AALS Panel 2: Talent strategies to build Asia capability in government


Online event.

  • AALS 2020

COVID-19 has been more than just a health and economic crisis but a societal one, with reports of racism and a strain of nationalism on the rise worldwide – and Australia is no exception. Since the emergence of the pandemic, some Asian-Australians have been made to feel like outsiders, with some questioning their Australianness, identity and sense of belonging.

At this critical time, strong leadership is required, and a renewed emphasis on the importance of  Asian-Australian leadership to safeguard our cohesive society and economic prosperity.

The second Asian-Australian Leadership Summit (AALS) is convened by PwC Australia, Asialink at the University of Melbourne, Johnson Partners and the Australian National University. This year’s Summit, facilitated via an online platform, will host a diverse program of interactive sessions, with the aim of establishing new strategies, new partnerships, and identifying champions of change. The 2020 event will also reveal the results of specially commissioned research.

Comprised of senior leaders within the public service sector, this panel discussion will focus on how we can build a more culturally and linguistically diverse talent bench in our federal and state government agencies. The panel will explore the strategies that make senior leaders better recognise the important skills and perspectives Asian-Australians bring to an effective engagement with Australia’s diverse society and with the countries in our region.

Moderated by Penny Burtt, Group CEO of Asialink at the University of Melbourne, the panel discussion will explore the following topics:

  • Asian-Australian leadership in federal and state governments – what does the data tell us?
  • Policies and practices in government to promote cultural and linguistic diversity – how are key agencies working to enhance Asian-Australian leadership?
  • Given the importance of engagement with Asia to Australia’s future security and prosperity, what role can Asian-Australian leaders in government and beyond play in driving our engagement with Asia?
  • As a leader, what are some of the ways that panellists have contributed to fostering diversity and inclusion – and Asian-Australian leadership – in their organisations?
  • What are some new ideas or initiatives that panellists think government could explore in this area?


Harinder Sidhu, Deputy Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Kathrina Lo, Public Service Commissioner, NSW Public Service Commission

Swati Dave, Managing Director and CEO, Export Finance Australi

Catherine Seaberg, Assistant Commissioner, Australian Public Service Commission

Visit the Eventbrite page to register.

For more details visit the Asian-Australian Leadership Summit website.

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