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2023 Events

Climate resilience in Asia

On 24 November 2023 La Trobe Asia hosted a panel event at La Trobe University city campus on climate resilience in Asia featuring Ambika Vishwanath, Lauren Rickards, Ruth Gamble and Bec Strating. The effects of climate change in the decades to come and what governments in Asia can do to address these problems is an important area of dicussion, especially considering the threat of rising sea levels to coastal populations in the region.

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.


Asia's changing security order: The view from Taiwan

On 30 October 2023 La Trobe Asia in partnership with the Ideas and Society Program held an exclusive interview with Joseph Wu, Foreign Minister of Taiwan.

Professor Bec Strating (Director, La Trobe Asia) interviewed the minister in which he spoke candidly about Taiwan's strategic defensive position, the threat of China, its political challenges and the importance of supporting its democracy.

The interview was followed by a Q and A featuring Douglas Hsu (Taiwan Representative to Australia) and Kevin Magee (Former Australian Representative to Taiwan)

An audio recording is available here.


Australia, China and the Pacific Region

On 14 September 2023 La Trobe Asia hosted a book launch of Divided Isles: Solomon Islands and the China Switch written by Ed Cavanaugh and published by La Trobe University Press. Ed Cavanaugh and Dr Hu Dan (University of Melbourne) spoke with Bec Strating (La Trobe Asia) about China's activites in the Pacific, their trade, investment and influence, and how countries like Australia could be better supporting island nations.

An audio recording is available here.


School sport for development in India

On 28 July 2023 La Trobe Asia, in collaboration with the Australia India Institute, hosted a panel to launch the ninth La Trobe Asia Brief authored by Biju Philip, Nikhil Jha and Greg Dingle.  We thank Biju and Greg for sharing their research findings on the relationship between sport, education and development and their policy recommendations. We also thank Australia India Institute CEO Lisa Singh, and  David Hussey from Cricket Victoria, for adding their valuable insights on the role of sport in facilitating positive relations between people and communities across Australia and India.

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.

A copy of brief may be downloaded here.


Australia's Asia Identity

On 14 July 2023 La Trobe Asia hosted a panel with The Honourable Tim Watts, Dr Sabrina Gupta, and Alice Pung OAM.  They provided their valuable insights on an important topic of Australia’s modern identity, including the progress and ongoing issues in representation across a range of areas such as politics, universities, arts and culture, healthcare and education, and critical questions of how Australia can and should seek to project its modern identity to the region and the world. The conversation sparked a lot of great questions and engagement from the audience, and we are grateful to Tim, Sabrina and Alice for contributing their time on a Friday afternoon to make the event such a success.

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.

A copy of The Hon Tim Watts speech is available here.


History of the Filipino-Australian Diaspora and Philippine Migration

On 23 June 2023 La Trobe Asia and the Philippine Australia Network at La Trobe University hosted a panel as part of the series of harmonised events to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Philippine Independence.

The discussion panel was engaging thanks to our five guest speakers: Melba Marginson, Kristen Aquino, Carl Anacin, Ana Labrador and Trevor Hogan who have worked extensively within the Filipino-Australian Diaspora, also sharing their personal experiences. This led to further discussions with our in-person and virtual audiences who shared their own insights and experiences over the years of being part of the Filipino-Australian community. We are extremely grateful to them for sharing their time and knowledge with us.

The event concluded with a powerful poetry and dance performance by Mr Matcho Makata and Filipino creative dancer Lil Strongside. Matcho's poems conveyed the challenges and struggles of being a Filipino creative artist in Australia, while also shedding light into the personal challenges of migrating to a foreign land away from your homeland.

The event can be viewed here.


Australia's foreign policy under a new government

On 30 May 2023 La Trobe Asia hosted a panel to discuss how the new Labor government has positioned Australia’s foreign and defence policy in its first year of power.

Our panel members: Kevin Magee, Yun Jiang and Peter Dean shaired their varied perspectives, knowledge and understanding in a discussion that addressed some really important issues.  We thank them for taking the time to share their insights and expertise in both diplomacy and defence planning.

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.


Medical populism in the Asia Pacific

On 12 May 2023 Dr Gideon Lasco, MD, PhD, University of the Philippines Diliman presented the fourth Philippines in Focus seminar for 2023 (a part of the Philippines-Australia Forum at La Trobe University).

Dr Gideon Lasco's presentation shared a new perspective on responses to health crises through the lens of Medical Populism in the Asia Pacific Region. All three case studies which involved:

1) the controversy surrounding the Dengue vaccine (Dengvaxia) in the Philippines in 2017,

2) War on drugs by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in Thailand in 2003, and;

3) COVID-19 response in India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi

revealed how figures in political power simplify and exaggerate the gravity of health emergencies that often lead to a divide between groups of the public. Understanding Medical Populism through Dr Lasco's work shows the implications of communications during health emergencies and how it relates to various political agendas.

The event can be viewed here.


Fresh Perspectives on the Quad

On 3 May 2023 La Trobe Asia launched the eighth issue of the La Trobe Asia Brief "Fresh Perspectives on the Quad: Emerging Leaders on the key security challenges in our region".

We would like to thank our four panellists, Patrick Saunders, Abhishek Sharma, Eleanor Shiori Hughes and Afeeya Akhand for their insights.  We would like to extend that thank you to the 16 Emerging Quad Leaders for their contributions to the brief.  The event explored resilience against grey zone challenges, geoeconomics, outer space, critical technologies and climate security. In this brief, young leaders emphasise the importance of the Quad working together on non-traditional security issues and ensuring the Quad delivers on public goods initiatives to strengthen the free and open Indo-Pacific.

A soft copy of the publication is available HERE.

Email us with your snail mail address so we can send a printed copy.

La Trobe Asia is thankful to the US Embassy in Canberra for their ongoing support of the Emerging Leaders Program.

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.


'Asian Studies in Focus' Seminar Series - Seminar # 1

Being genderqueer in Hindi

On 27 April 2023, La Trobe Asia held the first of five seminars focused on Asian Studies.

Our launch event was presented by Dr Ian Woolford, Lecturer in Hindi, Department of Languages and Cultures at La Trobe University

We would like to thank Ian for sharing his important research on the implications of Hindi being a gendered language, especially the challenges it presents for language teachers wanting to adopt inclusive queer pedagogies while teaching a language that does not easily accommodate non-binary identities.
You can find Ian’s excellent review article on the topic in Melbourne Asia Review here: https://melbourneasiareview.edu.au/queering-hindi-as-a-foreign-language/

The event can be viewed here.

Seminar # 2

Global Mobility and the Power of Cross-Cultural Intelligence: Insights for Filipino Diaspora in Australia - Associate Professor Alfred Presbitero, MBA (International) Director, Deakin Business School, Deakin University (4 May 2023)

Associate Professor Alfred Presbitero’s presentation was a thought-provoking introduction to the concept, applications, and relevance of the concept of ‘Cultural Intelligence’, a topic that he has researched thoroughly over the course of his academic career.  He discussed the importance of Cultural Intelligence with special reference to the Filipino community and Australia’s multicultural context, advocating for more familiarity with the concept and its importance to achieve inclusion, transcend stereotypes and eliminate racism in different contexts.

The event can be viewed here.

Seminar # 3

Makan: Reconsidering the History of Malaysian and Singaporean Hawkers - Dr Bernard Keo – Lecturer in History, Department of Archaeology and History, La Trobe University (11 May 2023)

Dr Bernard Keo shared his passion for food,  a brief history, and tentative findings / ideas of his new research project on hawkers in Malaysia and Singapore.  We learnt just how serious street food is in both countries. It was fascinating and more complex than we may have expected and the research has many other dimensions that he hopes to expand on and explore.  The audience engagement was much appreciated and we look forward to the next instalment (with more food pictures).

The event can be viewed here.

Seminar # 4

How women talk about women in Japanese politics - Dr Emma Dalton – Lecturer in Japanese, Department of Languages and Cultures, La Trobe University (18 May 2023)

Dr Emma Dalton shared her ongoing research in collaboration with Dr Hiroko Levy into women representation in the Tokyo Legislative Assembly, how they speak about women issues, and how often the different political parties vocalise these views during parliament sittings. Women represent more than 30 percent in the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly, and in a city like Tokyo with a business orientated environment, work-related issues such as work hours and carers leave are a top priority.

Emma and Hiroko’s findings are expanded on in this article they wrote for Melbourne Asia Review.

The event can be viewed here.

Seminar # 5

The Politics of Indian History -Divya Rama Gopalakrishnan, PhD Candidate, University of Melbourne and Dr Ruth Gamble, Senior Lecturer and DECRA Fellow, Archaeology and History, La Trobe University (8 June 2023)

Introduced by Dr Ruth Gamble, who set the context for us all, Divya Rama Gopalakrishnan shared her research into one country (India) rewriting history (noting that many other countries throughout the world are also engaging in similar practices).  Following the presentation, Dr Ruth Gamble led the discussion where many different views were shared by an engaged audience. The diverse views and opinions demonstrated just how differently history is viewed by each of us and why it is important to contribute to these bigger discussions through a variety of presentations.  We thank both Divya and Ruth for sharing their time and knowledge with us and for challenging us to think.

The event can be viewed here.

Seminar # 6

Ma Yifu and His Understanding of Confucianism - Dr Chunmei Pan – Lecturer and Coordinator of Chinese Studies Program, Department of Languages and Cultures, La Trobe University (1 June 2023)

Dr Chunmei Pan shared her research on Ma Yifu (a sage of Confucianism) and how we might understand Confucianism and whether it still matters today.  Chunmei’s presentation provided a comprehensive overview of Ma Yifu’s life and achievements and demonstrated that there are no easy answers to some of the complex questions raised by our engaged audience.  We thank her for sharing her time and knowledge with us.

The event can be viewed here.


Blue Security Maritime Affairs Series: AP4D Publication Launch

On 27 April 2023 La Trobe Asia was pleased to launch the first issue of ‘Blue Security’, our new Maritime Affairs series that looks at current and emerging regional maritime security issues and produces cutting edge research designed for public and policy audiences.

We were grateful to be joined by Melissa Conley-Tyler FAIIA, executive director of the AP4D, our partner in the DFAT-funded Blue Security program. AP4D wrote the first issue on a Joint Maritime Security Agenda for Australia and Southeast Asia, and Melissa gave an excellent summary of the issues and policy recommendations outlined in the document, which was based on multiple consultations with experts from across the region. We were delighted to be joined by Charmaine Willoughby and Aristyo Darmawan, who provided their insights on maritime security issues important across Southeast Asia. We are thrilled to be able to work with experts such as Charmaine and Aristyo through the Blue Security program.

Blue Security is a collaboration between La Trobe Asia, Griffith Asia Institute (GAI), University of New South Wales Canberra (ADFA), University of Western Australia’s Defence and Security Institute (DSI) and the Asia-Pacific Development, Diplomacy and Defence Dialogue (AP4D). The Blue Security Program engages with and facilitates high quality research on issues of critical maritime security across the Indo-Pacific.

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.


Australia’s Asia-Pacific Engagement: Past and Future

On 21 March 2023, La Trobe Asia hosted an in-person panel at our City Collins Campus.  The event was also presented online.

We thank Benjamin Jones, Nick Ferns, Michael O’Keefe and Wesa Chau for joining us to celebrate the Melbourne launch of the book “Australia on the World Stage: History, Politics, and International Relations” edited by Benjamin Jones, Bridget Brooklyn and Rebecca Strating). You can find a link to purchase the book here.

The discussion was insightful and wide-ranging, covering some of Australia’s key relations in and beyond Asia, both in the past and the present.

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.


Community, lived experiences and behaviours of Filipino gamers inside virtual worlds (spaces) in games

Philippines in Focus Seminar Series 2023 – Seminar #2

On 16 March 2023, the Philippines-Australia Forum (PAF) at La Trobe University held its second hybrid seminar of the Philippines in Focus Seminar series 2023 exploring the communities, lived experiences and behaviours of Filipino gamers in the virtual worlds (spaces) of games.

Our guest speaker Ms Hannah Ruth Sison, academic, multimedia artist, model, and PhD student of Mass Communications at the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman, shed light onto the experience of living inside what might be referred to as the ‘transreality’ of Filipino gamers inside games that co-exist with our physical reality and often transcends the boundaries of virtual space and the physical world.

Follow  @PAFLaTrobe for the latest updates on events and activities.

PAF is an initiative of La Trobe Asia.


Distributed, Digitalised and Divided: Transnational Filipino Family in the Digital Era

Philippines in Focus Seminar Series 2023 – Seminar #1

On 23 February 2023, the Philippines-Australia Forum (PAF) at La Trobe University held its first hybrid seminar of the Philippines in Focus Seminar series 2023 exploring how digital technologies are shaping the lives of transnational Filipino families.

Our guest speaker Dr Earvin Charles B Cabalquinto, an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow and Lecturer in Communication at Deakin University shared his work analysing the use of digital technologies amongst Filipino families living across international borders and how this bridge of communication presents unique opportunities and implications to maintaining long distance relationships.

You can read more about Dr Cabalquinto’s work through his latest book (Im)mobile Homes: Family life at a distance in the age of mobile media published by Oxford University Press.

Follow @PAFLaTrobe on Twitter  for the latest on their events and activities.

PAF is an initiative of La Trobe Asia.


What Indonesia’s Criminal Code Means for Human Rights

On 7 February 2023, La Trobe Asia in collaboration with Human Rights Watch presented an online panel to better understand how Indonesia's new Criminal Code will affect Human Rights.

We thank Andreas Harsono from Human Rights Watch for collaborating with us and clearly explaining the significant implications for human rights of women, religious and LGBTIQ+ communities in Indonesia if the new criminal code is enacted. We would also like to thank Dina Afrianty and Dirk Tomsa from La Trobe University, for contextualising the new laws and explaining how it fits with political, legal and cultural trajectories in Indonesia.

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.


China and the power of Xi Jinping

On 3 February 2023, La Trobe Asia hosted an in-person panel at our City Collins Campus.  The event was also presented online.

We would thank Professor Suisheng Zhao (University of Denver), Dr Yangbin Chen (La Trobe University and Dr Diane Hu (The University of Melbourne) for a very engaging discussion on the role of transformative leadership in Chinese foreign policy-making and politics more generally. Congratulations to Professor Zhao for his book “The Dragon Roars Back” published by Stanford University Press.

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.


2022 events

2022 Christie Eliezer Memorial Lecture: “Epidemic to immuno-epidemic models of COVID-19”

On 21 November 2022, La Trobe Asia, in collaboration with the School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, were delighted to present the inaugural Christie Eliezer Memorial Lecture.

Professor Malay Banerjee from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India presented the inaugural memorial lecture following an introduction from Renuka Eliezer and Geoff Prince. Christie’s daughter, Renuka, gave a short speech about her father’s time at La Trobe University. Emeritus Professor Geoff Prince, who was one of the last PhD students to be supervised by Christie, spoke about the hugely important influence Christie had on his learning and career.  Geoff had nothing but praise for the collaborative way Christie supervised, and shared some memories of working with Christie that illustrated his humble, kind, gentle, generous and inclusive personality.

Professor Banerjee’s presentation, although quite mathematical at times for some participants, was fascinating as he shared how he and his team developed a new modelling approach for the COVID-19 epidemic that accounts for the variation of how people experience COVID within a population. We thank Malay for travelling all this way, and for sharing his knowledge and expertise with us.

The event can be viewed here.


The Quad: Emerging Security Issues in the Indo-Pacific

On 16 November 2022, La Trobe Asia hosted a hybrid panel event The Quad: Emerging Security Issues in the Indo-Pacific.

We would like to thank our panellists: Stuti Bhatnagar, Kate Clayton, Tom Corben, and Eleanor Shiori Hughes for sharing their thoughts on the opportunities and challenges facing the Quad in an increasingly contested region. This public event was the culmination of a two-day policy workshop at the La Trobe University City Campus for emerging policy leaders from India, Japan, US and Australia, with the generous support of the US Embassy in Canberra.

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.


'Philippines in Focus' Seminar Series - Seminar # 1

Exploring the Filipino community in Melbourne and Australia - Launch event

On 19 October 2022, La Trobe Asia held the first of four seminars focused on the Philippines.

Our launch event featured a panel of young Filipino-Australians who shared their experiences of coming to Melbourne and Australia.  They shared how they came to be a part of the Filipino community in Melbourne as well as their work to create and develop a space within the community for Filipinos to feel at home, remain rooted in Filipino culture, yet connect with other culturally diverse communities in Melbourne.

We are extremely grateful to May Red Zafra, Raine Cabral Laysico and Melvin Mata for sharing their times, stories and experiences with such honesty – they were inspirational!  And thank you to Francis Sollano and Rei Fortes for their expert moderation of the event.

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.

Seminar # 2

Space and Identity: Indian Diaspora in the Philippines - Gilbert Jacob Que, PhD candidate, Department of Social Inquiry at La Trobe University and Instructor, Ateneo de Manila University

Gilbert's insightful presentation gave us a comprehensive overview of Indian migration to The Philippines.  Based on his doctoral studies carried out in the PhD program partnership developed between Ateneo de Manila University and La Trobe University, Gilbert gave a very engaging presentation exploring the varied instances and spaces in which Indian migrants interact and develop a sense of belonging in The Philippines.  His work is a novel contribution to knowledge that should help open new avenues for research and policy change in the future in the important topic of migration to The Philippines.

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.

Seminar # 3

Relational Inequality and COVID-19 in the Philippines - Jacqueline Marie J. Tolentino - PhD Candidate, La Trobe University-Ateneo de Manila University

Jacqueline Marie Tolentino’s excellent presentation offered a detailed approach to a critical topic of our times:  How COVID-19 has not only uncovered, but also complicated pre-existing socio-economic inequalities in The Philippines. Her presentation explored this phenomenon from the point of view of relational egalitarianism, this is, the premise that individuals consider and treat one another as equals.  This premise is directly connected to questions of democratic citizenship, the protection of rights and just state-society relations – all themes of great importance in The Philippines and beyond. Jacqueline’s presentation was based in her doctoral research, carried out in a partnership program developed between Ateneo de Manila University and La Trobe University.

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.

Seminar # 4

Contingent Breadwinners: Precarious Livelihoods of Left-Behind Family Members of Filipino Victims of Trafficking - seminar # 4 – Associate Professor Sallie Yea, Tracey Banivanua Mar Principal Research Fellow, Department of Social Inquiry, La Trobe University.

Sallie Yea presented her very important research, which is still in progress, on what happens to the ‘left-behind women’ and what they often need to do to survive in the absence of migrant men. Sallie painted a very clear picture of the financial and relational effects of migrant worker exploitation from her data from a study of human trafficking and forced labour in the offshore fishing industry.  It was quite confronting at times but we are extremely grateful to Sallie for sharing her knowledge, insights and time with us.

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here .


Academic Mobility and International Academics: Challenges and Opportunities book launch

On 18 October 2022, La Trobe Asia was delighted to host this hybrid launch to celebrate this significant achievement for our colleague, Dr Jasvir Kaur Nachatar Singh, and the book she edited Academic Mobility and International Academics: Challenges and Opportunities.

Congratulations to Jasvir on such a wonderful publication!  It was a fascinating discussion between Jasvir and Ashleigh-Jane Thompson, perfectly moderated by Kerstin Steiner and Sabrina Gupta.  Marian Mahat also provided an excellent introduction to the book as Series Editor.  We thank them all for making the time to be a part of this launch.


Indigenous Language Rights and the Politics of Fear in Asia

On 4 October 2022, La Trobe Asia held the Melbourne launch of the excellent La Trobe Asia Brief – Issue 7 written by Gerald Roche, Madoka Hammine and Tuting Hernandez on Indigenous Language Rights and the Politics of Fear in Asia.

Our panel of inspirational academics and activists: Gerald Roche, Jakelin Troy and Dolly Kikon, moderated by Professor James Leibold, provided much food for thought as they discussed the issues with great passion and knowledge with their many examples and personal observations from all over the world.  There were practical suggestions for all of us to follow in our daily lives and the informed questions from the audience added to the quality of the event.

We are extremely grateful to James, Gerald, Jakelin and Dolly for giving so generously of their time to share their knowledge and experiences with us.

The event can be viewed here.

If you would like a copy of the brief you can download a pdf from our website or we will send you a free printed copy if you email us with a snail mail address we can post to (domestic or international).


Human Rights in China

On 17 August 2022, La Trobe Asia and Human Rights Watch collaborated to present a hybrid panel event at the La Trobe University City Campus and online.

Our panel ( Yaqiu Wang, Vicky Xu and Gerald Roche) moderated by Professor James Leibold, explored the current state of human rights in China, with a focus on human rights abuses in Xinjiang, language oppression and the experiences of being a human rights researcher.

We are extremely grateful to James, Yaqiu, Vicky and Gerald for giving so generously of their time to share their knowledge and experiences with us.

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.


China’s Antarctic ambitions - and their implications for Australia

On 2 August 2022, La Trobe Asia, China Matters and the Australian Institute for International Affairs (AIIA) were delighted to come together to launch the report written by AIIA China Matters Fellow Yun Jiang.  

Yun’s report China’s Antarctic ambitions – and their implications for Australia is available for download here.

The panel moderated by Professor Nick Bisley included a presentation from the author, Yun Jiang, with Dr Nengye Liu and Richard Maude providing their responses to the report.  The report includes recommendations for Australian policy makers on ways to engage with Beijing on Antarctic matters in a way that promotes Australia’s interests, and we are extremely grateful to Yun Jiang, Nengye Liu, Richard Maude and Nick Bisley for giving so generously of their time to share their knowledge and expertise with us.

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.


Protest, Dissent, and the Struggle for Justice in India

On 28 July 2022, La Trobe Asia hosted an 'in-conversation' with Professor Nandini Sundar, professor of sociology at the Delhi School of Economics.

In this conversation, Professor Nandini Sundar discussed her widely read 2020 report on threats to academic freedom in India, recent arrests of academics journalists, and activists, and her three decades of writing and scholarship about Adivasi communities in Bastar district, Chhattisgarh. The conversation took place on the two-year anniversary of the arrest of Delhi University professor of English Hany Babu.  Professor Sundar discussed his arrest, and the arrests of other lawyers, activists and academics who have been charged in the infamous Elgar Parishad case. The conversation concludes with Professor Sundar’s thoughts on the rights granted to all citizens by the constitution of India.

We are extremely grateful to Professor Sundar, Ian Woolford and Gerald Roche for giving so generously of their time to share their knowledge and expertise with us.

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.


Enhancing Maritime Security in the Indo-Pacific

On 25 July 2022, La Trobe Asia, in collaboration with Griffith Asia Institute and Kings College London, hosted a panel to launch the report Enhancing Maritime Security in the Indo-Pacific which written by:

  • Hillary Briffa, King’s College London
  • Ian Hall, Griffith Asia Institute
  • Alessio Patalano, King’s College London
  • Bec Strating, La Trobe Asia

The report is the product of a series of workshops held in early 2022 involving experts from the United Kingdom and across the Indo-Pacific and was supported by a grant from the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. A copy of the report can be downloaded here and we thank all involved in this project for their invaluable contributions to the project.

We invited three of our experts back to discuss the report with one of the authors – Ian Hall.  Together Huong Le Thu, Tara Davenport and Abhijit Singh provided their responses to the three questions posed by the authors:

  1. What are the central maritime security challenges facing states in the region?
  2. How do they respond individually and collectively to these challenges?
  3. And what legal and institutional mechanisms exist to manage ongoing disputes?

We would like to thank Ian, Huong, Tara and Abhijit for their time and sharing their knowledge, understanding and expertise with us all.

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.


Perspectives on Gender Mainstreaming in Foreign Policy from the Indo-Pacific

On 13 July 2022, La Trobe Asia, in collaboration with 9DASHLINE and Kubernein Initiative hosted a panel to discuss gender mainstreaming in foreign policy.

Introductory remarks were given by our colleagues Hunter Marston (representing 9DASHLINE) and Priyanka Bhide (representing Kubernein Initiative).  The recent Kubernein Initiative report ‘Understanding Feminist Foreign Policy: A view from India” was presented to the audience and a copy of this report can be downloaded here [PDF 570KB].

The panel discussion with Soumita Basu, Elise Stephenson and Maria Tanyag was excellent.  The panel covered:

  • the objectives and universality of the Feminist Foreign Policy concept
  • how it intersects with the Women, Peace, Security agenda particularly in times of interdependent, complex and overlapping crises
  • the importance of representative, inclusive, intersectional and bottom-up approaches to foreign policy-making
  • how effectiveness of Feminist Foreign Policy might be measured.

We hope that this contributes to an ongoing conversation about reconceptualising foreign and security policy across Asia.

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.


Sleepwalk to War: the Australia-US alliance in Asia

On 30 June 2022, La Trobe Asia hosted a panel which discussed a new Quarterly Essay by Hugh White.

We thank Hugh White for joining us to discuss his writing “Sleepwalk to War: Australia’s unthinking alliance with America”. We would also like to thank Emma Shortis, from RMIT and Andrew O’Neil from Griffith University for sharing their views on some of the key themes outlined in the essay. It was a terrific discussion which engaged with different views about the costs and benefits of Australia’s enduring alliance with the US in the context of a contested region and an increasingly divided US, the extent of US’ enduring credibility and commitment in Asia, the nature of Australia’s agency and independence in its relations with Washington, and what Australia can and should be doing to differently to support its interests in the future.

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.


A China Reset?

On 7 June 2022, La Trobe Asia hosted a panel which discussed what Australia's China policy might look like under a Labor government, whether it needs to 'reset' the relationship and what such a reset might look like. A number of valuable points emerged from the discussion, including the dangers associated with using the language of a 'reset' , the importance of high-level diplomacy for managing bilateral relations, and different levels of optimism regarding Australia's ability and willingness to re-calibrate relations with China.  We thank our panel members Kevin Magee, Dan Hu, Nick Bisley and Kate Clayton for their participation and insights.

The event can be viewed here.


Australia votes 2022: Our place in the region

On 17 May 2022 La Trobe Asia was delighted to present this event in collaboration with University of Western Australia’s Defence and Security Institute. DSI’s Director, Professor Peter Dean, joined Associate Professor Bec Strating on the panel alongside Associate Professor Andrea Carson, Dr Jennifer Hsu and Sarah Ison. We thank Peter, Andrea, Jennifer and Sarah for sharing their perspectives on the key issues of the election campaign, what it says about how Australian politicians and citizens view our place in the region, and the key priorities in foreign and defence policy.

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.


'Indonesia in Focus' Seminar Series - Seminar #1

Indonesia’s foreign policy in a changing regional environment – Launch

On 28 April 2022 La Trobe Asia held the first of seven seminars focused on Indonesia.

La Trobe Asia had the pleasure of discussing Indonesian foreign policy and Australia-Indonesia bilateral relations with Professor Dewi Fortuna Anwar during this launch event.

As an eminent practitioner and scholar of international relations, Dewi demonstrated her deep knowledge of so many of the complex regional and global issues that states such as Indonesia and Australia must grapple with, including strategic competition, trade, infrastructure and development, maritime security, the role of regional institutions such as ASEAN, just to name a few. We had a few technological/connection issues, but it did not stop us from having an illuminating conversation and we would like to thank Dewi for sharing her time and insights so generously with us.

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.

Seminar # 2

Disability Leadership in Indonesia - Dr Elisabeth Jackson, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Human Security and Social Change, La Trobe University and Nur Syarif Ramadhan, Director, Indonesian Diffability Movement for Equality. (5 May 2022)

Indonesia’s disability movement has made important progress in realising the rights of people with disability in the last decade. This has been led by disability advocates working at both the national and local levels. In this seminar, we share initial findings from our research with over 50 Indonesian disability leaders on their personal leadership journeys and how they see their leadership as contributing to social change.

The event can be viewed here

Seminar # 3

Managing oral cancer in Indonesia - Dr Elizabeth Fitriana Sari - Senior Lecturer, Department of Rural Clinical Science, La Trobe University. (12 May 2022)

Oral cancer is considered as a public health problem that carries significant morbidity and mortality, but Indonesians are often unaware of the deadly oral cancer. Indonesia has insufficient data in relation to oral cancer prevalence and their risk factors.

This seminar will present my continuing research about oral cancer in Indonesia, the prevalence, the risk factors associated with oral cancer and examine what role the Indonesian government should take in managing oral cancer in Indonesia.

The event can be viewed here

Seminar # 4

Democratic Regression and Environmental Politics in Indonesia - Associate Professor Dirk Tomsa - Head of the Department of Politics, Media and Philosophy, La Trobe University. (19 May 2022)

This seminar analyses how populist resource nationalism, anti-science attitudes, controversial new laws and tightening restrictions on political freedoms are undermining prospects for environmental protection in Indonesia. However, it also highlights some silver linings that provide hope for Indonesia’s embattled environment.

This event can be viewed here

Seminar # 5

Indonesia's fight for a law against sexual violence - Dr Dina Afrianty - Research Fellow, La Trobe Law School, La Trobe University (26 May 2022)

The struggle of Indonesian women for legal protection against sexual violence and gender equality has been faced by persistent opposition from conservatives and from parliamentary representatives both from Islamic and secular political parties. At this seminar, I will discuss the ongoing struggle of women for a law reform in the effort to eliminate sexual violence.

The event can be viewed here

Seminar # 6

Welfare-to-work Reform in Indonesia - Dr Phuc Nguyen - Senior Lecturer, La Trobe Business School, La Trobe University (2 June 2022)

This seminar will explore the effectiveness of the Kartu Prakerja (KPK) Program, and explore the complex intentions and values underpinning the government’s new approach to addressing Indonesia’s unemployment problem.  It will also examine whether the program reaches the intended targets using evidence from both service providers and program participants.

The event can be viewed here

Seminar # 7

Patient Safety and Quality of Care in Indonesian Hospitals - Dr Inge Dhamanti, Adjunct Senior Lecturer, School of Psychology and Public Health, La Trobe University (9 June 2022)

Patient safety is a human right and the critical aspect of service quality that must be met. The government has made numerous efforts to improve patient safety, however there are many challenges in implementing patient safety in Indonesian hospitals. This seminar will examine incident reporting in Indonesian hospitals, and secondly analyse compliance in Indonesian hospitals with reporting national quality indicators before and during the pandemic.

The event can be viewed here


“The New BJP: Modi and the making of the world’s largest political party” – a conversation with the author

On 26 April 2022 La Trobe Asia was delighted to be joined by Dr Nalin Mehta who discussed the central arguments of his new book The New BJP with La Trobe University academic Dr Ian Woolford. It was a fascinating look into some of the key controversies in explaining the BJP in Indian politics, including: the role that Hindutva nationalism and ideology plays in sustaining and growing support for the BJP under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the nature of continuity and change in the BJP, and the extent to which it has expanded its focus beyond Hindu nationalism in order to enhance its power. The book is based on extensive empirical research on the BJP and we thank Nalin for talking us through the book, and Ian for his probing and insightful questions.

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.


The Xinjiang Emergency: Perceptions of Uyghur Detention in China

On 5 April 2022 La Trobe Asia was delighted to present the Melbourne book launch for The Xinjiang Emergency: Perceptions of Uyghur Detention in China at our City Campus and online.

We thank our guests Michael Clarke and James Leibold for sharing their extensive expertise and insights on the current situation in Xinjiang, the drivers of the Chinese Communist Party policies and actions, the language of justification used domestically and in the international community, and options for international responses that could feasibly uphold principles of human rights.

I would also like to congratulate Michael on the release of his new important edited collection "The Xinjiang Emergency" published by Manchester University Press.

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.


Deepening Australia-Japan Relations in a contested region

On 4 April 2022 La Trobe Asia, in collaboration with the Consulate General of Japan in Melbourne was delighted to present 'Deepening Australia-Japan Relations in a contested region' at our City Campus and online.

We were delighted to welcome Stephen Nagy from the International Christian University (ICU), Tokyo in Japan to this La Trobe Asia event, our first international visitor and our first in-person seminar in over two years!  We were joined on the panel by two leading La Trobe experts Nick Bisley and Kaori Okano to discuss how Japan and Australia view security and economic dynamics in the region and opportunities for deepening bilateral ties. We managed to cover a vast range of issues in our conversation, including trade relations and prospects of economic decoupling, why Taiwan and Ukraine matter for Australia, Japan and Asia, the value of cultural, educational, business and people to people links for the bilateral relationship, security dynamics in the South and East China Seas, AUKUS, five eyes, and language policies. I want to thank Kaori, Nick and Stephen for sharing their deep knowledge and expertise with us.

We were also very fortunate to hear insightful welcoming comments from Consul-General Shimada Junji from the Japanese Consulate in Melbourne. It was terrific working with the Japanese Consulate again (after so long) to deliver this hybrid event!

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.


Fresh Perspectives on the Indo-Pacific

On 24 March 2022 La Trobe Asia was pleased to launch the La Trobe Asia Brief, Issue #6, Fresh Perspective on the Indo-Pacific.  In  2021 La Trobe Asia (supported by the U.S. Embassy in Canberra) supported emerging leaders discuss critical issues facing the Indo-Pacific. The brief, written by students and young professionals from a diverse range of areas, was a product of the program and launched by a panel of three of the authors who explored gender and conflict resolution in the Indo-Pacific, Australian foreign policy, and South Korea’s maritime strategy.

As the balance of power shifts in the Indo-Pacific, future leaders are looking at strategic challenges from a fresh perspective. To understand the future of the Indo-Pacific, it is vital we listen to future leaders.

We thank Tom Barber, Isadora Vadasz and Alexander M. Hynd for sharing their thoughts and ideas with us.

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.


Gendering the Pandemic: Women’s representation and participation in the Asia-Pacific

On 15 March 2022 La Trobe Asia was pleased to partner with the Griffith Asia Institute to deliver a panel that carried on the conversations of International Women’s Day on this important topic. Vivian Lin, Dhara Shah and Ryce Chanchai spoke eloquently about women’s representation, participation and visibility during COVID-19 across the Asian region. This rich and timely discussion canvassed a range of issues including how the pandemic has affected women across Asia, the factors that contribute to women disproportionately experiencing adverse effects from the pandemic across political, social and economic sectors, and what governments, business, international organisations and non-government organisations might do better to mitigate these effects and better prepare for future pandemics.

We  thank them all for sharing their time and expertise with us.

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.


Indigenous Language Politics in Asia

On 22 February 2022 La Trobe Asia was delighted to participate in Global Language Advocacy Day by hosting this powerful conversation between Tuting HernandezMadoka HamminePrem Phyak, and Gerald Roche.  This webinar panel was part of a series of activities to mark the beginning of the UN International Decade of Indigenous Languages.

The conversation about Indigenous language politics in Asia will continue through three podcast interviews with Charisma LepchaGegentuul Baioud, and Maung Nyeu which will be available on our Asia Rising podcast soon.

We thank our panelists for sharing their time, knowledge, expertise and experiences with us.

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.


2021 events

Surviving Covid-19 and a military coup as a garment worker

On 23 November 2021, La Trobe Asia in collaboration with the Women in Asia Conference 2021, presented a public lecture to open the conference.

Associate Professor Shelley Marshall and PhD candidate Sara Tödt shared their insights from empirical studies  on the complex and sometimes allegedly conflicting narratives of female garment workers in Myanmar and Thailand. Based on the research, the presenters suggested a form of ‘regulatory solidarity’, i.e. laws and policies in the Economic North in order to assist in improving the working conditions of these workers.

We are very grateful to our panellists  for sharing their knowledge and expertise with us.

The event can be viewed here.


Democracy in Malaysia: Prospects and Possibilities

On 18 November 2021, La Trobe Asia presented a panel on Malaysian politics.

Associate Professor Kerstin Steiner - La Trobe University, Professor James Chin - University of Tasmania and Dr Amrita Malhi - Australian National University shared their deep expertise on historical and contemporary Malaysian politics. It was a discussion that unpacked the evolving and complex political landscape since 2018, and contextualised these shifts by paying close attention to Malaysia’s institutions, identity dynamics, and history.

We are very grateful to our panellists  for sharing their knowledge and expertise with us.

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.


The AUKUS Deal: Regional Security in the Indo-Pacific

On 27 October 2021, La Trobe Asia, in collaboration with the US Embassy Canberra presented a panel which helped to demystify the new AUKUS agreement between Australia, US and the UK.

Maria Rost Rublee, Natalie Sambhi, Anna Powles, Peter Dean and Bec Strating separated what we actually know about the agreement from what we do not know. The discussion covered a wide range of issues, including the different aspects of the technology sharing agreement, the mixed regional responses to the announcement, what the move to nuclear-powered submarines suggests about Australia’s role in the region, and the implications of acquiring nuclear fuelled capabilities for Australia’s domestic policy settings and regional reputation.

We are very grateful to our panellists  for sharing their knowledge and expertise with us.

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.


Asian Monarchies in the Modern Age

On 12 October 2021, La Trobe Asia was delighted to launch the latest book by La Trobe University Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow, Professor Dennis Altman - ‘God Save the Queen: the strange persistence of monarchies’. It was our great delight to celebrate this book with three exceptional members of the La Trobe academic community, with Dr Wendy Mee and Professor Kaori Okano also sharing their deep insights. The conversation traversed the fascinating and rich diversity of constitutional monarchies and hereditary systems in Asia, how they intersect with leadership and types of government, the different symbolic or political power their wield, and whether they tend to help or hinder populism. One of the key takeaways was the benefits of examining politics, history and society through the lens of monarchical rule.

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.


The Shortest History of China

On 28 September 2021, La Trobe Asia was delighted to help launch Linda Jaivin’s book ‘The Shortest History of China’. We were also grateful to Dr Ruth Gamble - La Trobe University and Professor Baogang He - Deakin University for their excellent contributions to the lively discussion that covered politics, international relations, language and literacy, culture, and the importance of understanding history. If you have not had the chance to read Linda’s book, we highly recommend it as a fascinating examination of the rich, messy and complex history of China.

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.


'India in Focus' Seminar Series - Seminar #1

Australia’s Relationship with India

On 19 August 2021, La Trobe Asia held the first of six seminars focused on India.

Our first 'India in Focus' event was a live recording of La Trobe Asia’s Asia Rising podcast with Lisa Singh - Deputy Chair, Australia India Council and Former Australian Senator (2011-2019).

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.

Seminar # 2

When India fought China, and why it matters - Dr Ruth Gamble, DECRA Research Fellow | Department of Archaeology and History, La Trobe University (26 August 2021)

China and India fought a war over their unresolved Himalayan border in 1962. Nearly sixty years later, this border remains unresolved, and the effects of the ongoing dispute over it can be felt in the whole region’s geopolitics, ecologies, cultures, and, increasingly, technologies. This seminar will present a political ecological analysis of the war’s causes, events, and aftermaths, and use the past to suggest what the region’s bifurcated future may hold.

The event can be viewed here

Seminar # 3

Heritage sites and tourism industry in India - Dr Kiran Shinde, Community Planning and Development, La Trobe University (2 September 2021)

This presentation examines prevailing tourism trends in heritage sites in India and then raises some pertinent questions about these trends in relation to the sustainability of those places. Adding to the conventional modes of inquiry against social, economic, and environmental indicators, this presentation argues that there is a deeper sense (or spirit) of place that plays an equally important role in understanding sustainability of heritage sites. The presentation draws on from many heritage sites that are popular in India.

The event can be viewed here

Seminar # 4

Diabetes self-management in India - Dr Sabrina Gupta, Psychology and Public Health, La Trobe University, Dr Jency Thomas, Physiology, Anatomy and Microbiology, La Trobe University, and Rahul Krishna Puvvada, PhD candidate La Trobe University (9 September 2021)

Self-medication practices are common across India and include taking both traditional and western medications without proper medical advice, and using old prescription drugs or unused drugs from friends and family members. These practices can lead to many detrimental effects. We aim to identify the factors that may influence these practices and gain perspectives of people living with diabetes, their carers; doctors and pharmacists living and working in Mysuru, India.

The event can be viewed here

Seminar # 5

Researching the smaller languages of the India-Myanmar border - Associate Professor Stephen Morey - Languages and Linguistics, La Trobe University.

The border of India and Myanmar is an area of great language diversity and cultural richness. Stephen Morey has been working to study and record the languages of this area since the 1990s and in this talk will present some data about the number of languages spoken there, about their diversity and some of the challenges of recording the very multilingual situation there in a time of globalization and modernization.

The event can be viewed here

Seminar # 6

Sport for Development: Opportunities and Challenges - Dr Biju Philip, Adjunct Lecturer, La Trobe Business School, La Trobe University.

What are the impacts of a sport-for-development program in social inclusion in rural India? This seminar will discuss some of the opportunities and challenges of sport-for-development programs in an Indian school setting.

The event can be viewed here


Developing Partnerships Between Australian and Indian Universities

On 11 August 2021, La Trobe Asia hosted a panel as part of 'India Week' with the Australia India Institute.

The panel discussed the importance and value of partnering and sharing their experiences in setting up the Asian Smart Cities Research and Innovation Network (ASCRIN). Our speakers, representing each of the institutional partners (IIT Kanpur, BITS Pilani and La Trobe University) provided information about how the 10 themes were developed, the challenges to operationalise the partnership, the importance and value of industry partners, and where they hope to see the partnership go in the future.

We thank the speakers for sharing their valuable time with us and also for their insights and reflections:

  • Professor Aniruddha Desai, Founding Director of ASCRIN, La Trobe University
  • Professor Susan Dodds, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Industry Engagement), La Trobe University
  • Professor Yogesh M Joshi, Dean of International Relations, IIT Kanpur
  • Professor Sudhirkumar Barai, Director Pilani Campus and Director International Programs & Collaborations, BITS Pilani

The panel was moderated by Dr Bec Strating, Executive Director - La Trobe Asia.

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.


The Challenge of China

On 10 August 2021, La Trobe Asia and Ideas and Society collaborated to bring The Hon. Kevin Rudd AC, 26th Prime Minister of Australia,  and The Hon. Malcolm Turnbull AC, 29th Prime Minister of Australia, together to discuss the recent emergence of China as an economic and military super-power, rivaling the United States, as one of the most significant and challenging developments of the present era.  The event was introduced by Professor John Dewar, Vice-Chancellor of La Trobe University and moderated by Dr Rebecca Strating, Executive Director, La Trobe Asia.

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.


Is Asia Heading for War?

On 4 August 2021, La Trobe Asia, in collaboration with Asia Society, hosted a panel which discussed the probability of war in the region, what it would mean for the balance of power, and how Australia could be expected to act.  These are real issues that could occur in the near future, and we thank our speakers for their time, insightful discussion and comments:

  • Dr Oriana Skylar Mastro, Center Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University and Non-Resident Senior Fellow at American Enterprise Institute
  • Professor Nick Bisley, Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, La Trobe University
  • Guy Boekenstein, Northern Australia Fellow, Asia Society

We are grateful to Asia Society for partnering with us on this event.

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.


Australia Southeast Asia relations: the post COVID-19 Regional Order

On 7 July 2021, La Trobe Asia launched the fifth La Trobe Asia Brief “Australia Southeast Asia relations: the post COVID-19 Regional Order”.

This publication was the product of a fruitful online academic dialogue held in February 2021 in collaboration between: La Trobe Asia, Asia Centre, Centre for Strategic and International Studies Indonesia, Institute of Strategic and International Studies Malaysia, Griffith Asia Institute, Asialink, Perth USAsia Centre and Generate Worldwide.

Some of the authors involved with the brief shared their knowledge and insights with the conversation spanning strategic, economic, health, diplomacy, environmental and human rights issues that affect bilateral and multilateral relations between Australia, Southeast Asian states and ASEAN. We thank Professor Caitlin Byrne, Chen Chen Lee, Dr Jeffrey Wilson and Dr Huong Le Thu for giving their time and providing their expertise.  We thank all our partners for their work in making this collaboration a success and would also like to acknowledge that this project was proudly supported by the Australia-ASEAN Council.

If you would like a hard copy of the brief, please email with a mailing address so we can send to you (note: we are happy to post internationally as well).  Soft copies can be downloaded from our website .

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.


Japan's Evolving Security Policy

On 8 June 2021, La Trobe Asia hosted the online launch of Kyoko Hatakeyama’s book Japan’s Evolving Security Policy: Militarisation within a Pacifist Tradition (published by Routledge).

Kyoko’s book provides a fresh perspective on the role of domestic politics and international norms shaping Japan’s security policies.

The event was also a wonderful opportunity to reflect on Japan’s emerging role in Northeast Asia and the broader Asian security order. We thank Nobuhiro Aizawa and Nick Bisley for contributing their time and expertise to help launch this wonderful book with Kyoko Hatakeyama.

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.


'China in Focus' Seminar Series - Seminar # 1: China's Grand Strategy and Australia's Future in the New Global Order

On 22 April 2021, La Trobe Asia held the first of six seminars focused on China.  Dr Geoff Raby AO, former Australian ambassador to China (2007–11); ambassador to APEC (2003–5); ambassador to the World Trade Organization (1998–2001), and member of the La Trobe Asia advisory board spoke about his recent book: China's Grand Strategy and Australia's Future in the New Global Order.

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.

The 'China in Focus' seminar series highlighted China related research at La Trobe University from all disciplines, allowing conversation and analysis on specialised topics with academics and experts and is an initiative of La Trobe Asia.

Seminar # 2 - Alcohol consumption and the risk of stroke in middle-aged and older adults in China - Dr Heng (Jason) Jiang, Health Economist and Epidemiologist at the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research (CAPR), School of Psychology and Public Health, La Trobe University (29 April 2021)

Seminar # 3 - Did the 2009 health reforms help China's pandemic response? - Professor Vivian Lin, Executive Associate Dean (Strategy and Operations) and Professor of Public Health Practice at the University of Hong Kong. Adjunct Professor at La Trobe Asia (6 May 2021)

Seminar # 4 - Mobilities and Vulnerabilities of Older Chinese Rural-Urban Migrants - Dr Rachel Winterton, Senior Research Fellow, John Richards Centre for Rural Ageing Research, La Trobe Rural Health School, La Trobe University (1 July 2021)

Seminar # 5 - A Chinese perspective of China-Australia relations - Dr Dan Hu, Deputy Director of the Australian Studies Centre at Beijing Foreign Studies University (20 May 2021)

Seminar # 6 - Forging the Race/Nation: Coercive Nation-building in Xi Jinping’s China - Professor James Leibold, Head of Department, Politics, Media and Philosophy, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, La Trobe University (27 May 2021)

Participants could choose to join for one, two or more seminars on China and each seminar will have a 45 min presentation followed by 15 min Q&A.

Not all the seminars were recorded.


Modern Day Slavery and Human Trafficking in Asia

On 20 April 2021, La Trobe Asia hosted a panel which discussed the complexities of tracking, and defining modern day slavery and human trafficking, the different sectors in which it occurs, why these labour/human rights and social justice issues persist, and what roles governments, NGOs and individuals in Asia and beyond can play in combatting MDS and human trafficking.

We are grateful to Sallie Yea, Jenny Stanger and Sunil Rao for sharing their expertise and insights with us throughout the discussion.

If you are inspired to learn and/or do more:

Download the Australian Government's National Action Plan (NAP) to Combat Modern Slavery

Donate to the Australian Freedom Fund (AFF). The AFF directly benefits survivors of slavery by filling critical gaps when no other support is available. Grants from the AFF are directly managed by staff at The Salvation Army's Trafficking and Slavery Safe House – the only service of its kind in Australia and that operates independently of government funds.

Contributions to the AFF provide:

  • Emergency Relief – There is often a gap period between escape from slavery and access to formal supports/services that can be as little as 2 weeks or as long as 1 – 2 months.  During this time and at other times, funding may be needed for temporary accommodation, food, basic necessities, replacement of documents/photos, transport and access to a phone.
  • Independent Living Grant – Survivors transitioning into more permanent housing may seek a grant to assist with the costs of providing a bond and obtaining items to establish a household.  A second grant from this fund may be allocated to previous applicants being reunited with family members.
  • Family Reunification Grant – Most people who experience trafficking and slavery have family members left behind in their country of origin. This separation can be for unexpected periods of time, which increases the vulnerability of children/spouses, and stresses relationships. Separation from children, especially, contributes to depression and a sense of hopelessness among people enslaved in Australia.  Reuniting with family members can cost up to $10,000 and is out of reach for many survivors who are often working in low-paid jobs as they build a new life in Australia.

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.


Fighting Fake News in a time of COVID-19

On 16 March 2021, La Trobe Asia, in collaboration with the Asia Centre, Bangkok, hosted a panel to launch Associate Professor Andrea Carson’s important and timely report Fighting Fake News: A study of online misinformation regulation in the Asia Pacific.

The event unpacked some of the key issues raised in this report, such as the nature of online misinformation, disinformation and fake news, the social and political problems that arise from its spread in Asia and elsewhere, how governments – particularly Singapore and Indonesia – have sought to regulate it, and what this has meant for journalists and civil society groups that seek to hold governments to account. Particularly interesting was the discussion about what happens when governments themselves are responsible for the dissemination of fake news, and the potential consequences of attempts to determine what news is ‘fake’ across different cultural contexts.

We are grateful to Associate Professor Carson, Dr James Gomez of the Asia Centre, Bangkok, and Associate Professor Dirk Tomsa for their excellent contributions to the discussion.

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.


Could Taiwan be the next Global Flashpoint?

On 3 March 2021, La Trobe Asia hosted a panel on the prospects and challenges facing Taiwanese independence and democracy.

Brendan Taylor (Strategic Studies, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University), Natasha Kassam (Research Fellow, Lowy Institute) and Jessica Drun (Non-Resident Fellow, Project 2049 Institute) provided their different views which enabled us to better understand the complexities of Taiwan's unique position in Asian geopolitics, how strategic rivalry and a new Biden administration might affect Taiwan's future, public opinion and political dynamics within Taiwan itself and the interests and views of other regional states.  We thank them for the time they gave to participate in this panel.

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.


Myanmar’s Military Coup: Challenging Democracy in Southeast Asia

On 24 February 2021, La Trobe Asia hosted a panel on the recent events in Myanmar.  Wai Wai Nu (Peace, Human Rights and Women Rights Advocate, Founder of Women's Peace Network, Myanmar), Hunter Marston (Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, Australian National University), and Christopher Lamb (President of the Australia Myanmar Institute; Honorary Associate Professor - The University of Melbourne; and, Former Australian Ambassador to Myanmar) astutely convened by Bec Strating (Chair), used their deep knowledge of Myanmar politics and society to analyse the drivers behind the military takeover, outline possible futures for democracy and human rights, and make recommendations for how individuals and the international community might effectively support the Burmese people.  Their insights were incredibly valuable in helping make sense of the rapidly unfolding events in Myanmar and we greatly appreciate their time to participate in this panel.

The event can be viewed here or an audio recording is available here.


Historical event information

If you would like information about events which La Trobe Asia presented from 2014-2020, please email asia@latrobe.edu.au and we can share with you.