Why Asia, Why Now: Building capabilities for Australia-Asia success

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Online event.


About this event

Asia is critical to Australia’s post-pandemic recovery and future prosperity. Now is the time to intensify deep engagement, connections and the pursuit of long-term opportunities. With over 26 years of history, the Asialink Leaders Program is Australia’s premier program for the Asia capable leaders of today and tomorrow, empowering over 950 alumni globally.

The Asialink Leaders Program Virtual Hub has been created as an alternate pathway for leaders based in Asia, or in regional or rural Australia, and unable to access the City Hubs.

You can join the program via online, or upgrade for both online and in-person access. Numbers for the Virtual Hub are strictly limited to ensure diverse and intimate class sizes.

Join us in this session to:

  • Fuel your thinking on “Why Asia, Why Now”, with insights from McKinsey and Company’s Tarandeep Singh Ahuja on the opportunities and impetus for Australia’s engagement in the region.
  • Learn more about the Virtual Hub and how you can join this prestigious program to navigate Australian and Asian contexts and landscapes with confidence from anywhere in the world.
  • Hear from our prominent Asialink Leaders , who will share their experiences of the Virtual Hub and how that is assisting their work and fueling their careers through gaining insights, skills and connections for engaging with Asia.
  • Understand the application process and how you may qualify for the program.
  • Following the formal proceedings (30 minutes), have the opportunity to stay behind and engage with the Asialink Leaders team through the Q&A part of the session.

For more information on the 2022 Asialink Leaders Program and the Virtual Hub, please visit our website.


Tarandeep Singh Ahuja, Partner, McKinsey and Company, Chair, Asialink Business Advisory Council

Tarandeep is a Partner at McKinsey & Company, based in Melbourne. He leads McKinsey’s product development and procurement work across the Asia–Pacific region and leads the firm’s energy sector work in Australia and New Zealand. During his 16 years at McKinsey, Tarandeep has built extensive experience in strategy, M&A, operations, procurement, sustainability, digital and analytics, and large-scale performance transformations across various industries. Tarandeep is a regular speaker on energy and procurement topics. He has also been a knowledge advisor to Asia–Pacific CPO Forum and Australian Energy Week. Tarandeep is passionate about strengthening the business relations between Australia and Asia, and recently led research on the opportunities for economic collaboration between Australia and India. He is also on the advisory board of Young Sikh Professionals Network in Australia.

Dr. Dan Billing, Counsellor Defence Science and Technology at the Australian Embassy in Seoul (2021 Asialink Leader)

Dr. Dan Billing is currently serving in the role of Counsellor Defence Science and Technology at the Australian Embassy in Seoul, Republic of Korea. He is a military systems integration specialist and has led a broad range of research programs, published extensively, served as a journal editor, established and chaired conferences, and collaborated extensively with international partners in defence and national security. He holds an Executive Master of Business Administration (Exec. MBA) in innovation, strategy, and leadership from Melbourne Business School and has completed a Doctor of Philosophy and Postdoctoral Fellowship at Swinburne University of Technology in micro‐sensor technology and artificial intelligence. He also holds an adjunct professorial appointment at Victoria University.

Thea Kurniawan, Senior Business Advisory Analyst at Hatch (2021 Asialink Leader)

Thea Kurniawan wears many hats. Professionally based in Perth, Western Australia, she is a Senior Business Advisory Analyst at Hatch working in engineering, mining, start-ups, health, and FMCG industries across Indonesia, U.S.A and Australia. Outside of work, Thea actively volunteers with organisations such as Millennium Kids Inc., an environmental advocacy group that enables thousands of young people to have their say about the environment. Recently, the organisation has forged international partnerships to provide pathways for Australian and Indonesian youth to travel and exchange learnings on innovating solutions to save the environment in their respective countries. Thea is also the founder of TEDxUWA, one of Australia’s first and only fully youth-run TEDx events, reaching hundreds of live audiences across Australia every year and over 1.2 million people globally with their inspirational and multidisciplinary talks published online.

Who should attend:

  • Regional and Rural based leaders in Australia who are unable to join the Asialink Leaders Program in-person.
  • Experienced leaders based off-shore working for Australian organisations wanting to understand Australia-Asia trade, investment, foreign policy and development perspectives, and the implications for operating in Asia.
  • Leaders recently appointed to an in-market role and looking to navigate Australian and Asian contexts with confidence.
  • Organisational leaders or learning and development specialists with an interest in exploring professional development programs for fostering talent within their organisations, both in Australia and overseas.
  • Industry associations or professional bodies with an interest in promoting the program to their members and within their networks.

We look forward to welcoming you.