Podcasts

Learn about and listen to our 2022 events and podcasts

Recreating a Virtual Angkor

Angkor is an archaeological site in northern Cambodia, and was home to the impressive capitals of the Khmer Empire between the 9th and 15th centuries. It is one of the most important archaeological sites in Southeast Asia, and an ongoing project aims to recreate it virtually.

Guest:

Dr Bernard Keo, Archaeology and History, La Trobe University

Recorded on 9 May 2022

Episode #191


Event: Human Rights in China

The track record of human rights in China is of global concern, with allegations of religious and ethnic repression, lack of freedom of information and civil liberties, violations of gender rights, and detainment of those who would speak out against the Chinese Communist Party.

While the Chinese government is focused on maintaining ‘social stability’, the response of states within the international community remains largely non-confrontational, despite the growing mountain of evidence of human rights violations and repressions. Some fear China is gradually altering the entire international human rights system by stealth.

What is the true situation of human rights in China? What response should be expected from the global community? What role can public activism play in improving the situation for Chinese people?

Panel:

  • Yaqiu Wang, Senior Researcher on China, Human Rights Watch
  • Vicky Xu, Writer, journalist and researcher
  • Dr Gerald Roche, Senior Research Fellow, La Trobe Asia

Chair:

Professor James Leibold, Politics, La Trobe University

This was a hybrid event, recorded on 17 August 2022 at our City Campus and streamed online.


Security Challenges in the Asian Region

What are the broad strategic trends and security challenges affecting the Asian region, now and into the future?

Guests:

  • Dr Elizabeth Buchanan, Head of Research, Royal Australian Navy, Seapower Centre
  • Professor Peter Dean, Director of Foreign Policy and Defence, United States Studies Centre

Host:

Associate Professor Bec Strating, Director, La Trobe Asia

Recorded on 21 July 2022

Episode #190


Webinar: China’s Antarctic ambitions  - and their implications for Australia

In recent years, as the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has grown in economic size, military strength and international influence, it has become more active in Antarctica. This has led to worries that Beijing’s ambitions extend further than just scientific research and fishing.

Concerns have been raised about the PRC wanting to exploit Antarctica’s mineral and fossil energy resources and militarise the continent. There has been speculation that the PRC is even planning to make its own territorial claims.

A La Trobe Asia event in collaboration with Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA) and China Matters to launch a new policy research report China’s Antarctic ambitions - and their implications for Australia by Yun Jiang.

Author of report:

  • Yun Jiang, AIIA China Matters Fellow

Panel members:

  • Associate Professor Nengye Liu, School of Law, Singapore Management University
  • Richard Maude, Senior Fellow, Asia Society Australia

Moderator:

  • Professor Nick Bisley, Dean, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, La Trobe University

Recorded on 3 August 2022 as a live webinar event.


Pelosi's Visit to Taiwan Escalates Tension with China

There has been an escalation of tension between China, Taiwan and the United States in the wake of a visit to Taiwan by United States house speaker Nancy Pelosi, the first visit of such a rank in close to 30 years.

While the visit validates Taiwan’s democratic claims, it gives China an incentive to increase hostilities and increase tension in the region.

Guest:

Professor Nick Bisley, Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at La Trobe University

Recorded on 8 August 2022

Episode #189


Webinar: Protest, Dissent, and the Struggle for Justice in India

In early 2022 the NGO Civicus added India to its watch list of countries of concern. In doing so it highlighted recent protest movements, arrests of academics, journalists and activists.

This discussion examines how India got to this position and the impact on people on the ground in India.

Speakers:

  • Professor Nandini Sundar, Sociology, Delhi School of Economics
  • Dr Ian Woolford, Hindi Studies, La Trobe University
  • Dr Gerald Roche, Senior Research Fellow, Politics, La Trobe University

Recorded on 28 July 2022 as a live webinar event.


Webinar: Enhancing Maritime Security in the Indo-Pacific

The Indo-Pacific faces multiple security challenges, ranging from the risk of major war arising from territorial and maritime disputes to significant human and environmental threats to ecosystems.

Exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, many states remain at odds over governance issues, how to confront pressing regional disputes and how to deal with countries outside the Asian region seeking to have greater influence. While the role of existing regional institutions such as ASEAN remains central to regional security and prosperity, improved regional architecture will be needed to address maritime security challenges with a clear understanding of priorities across regional states.

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

Launch of the ‘Enhancing Maritime Security in the Indo-Pacific’ report, a collaboration between Griffith Asia Institute, Kings College London and La Trobe Asia.

Speakers:

  • Dr Huong Le Thu, Principal Fellow, Perth USAsia Centre
  • Assistant Professor Tara Davenport, Deputy Director, Asia-Pacific Centre for Environmental Law
  • Abhijit Singh, Senior Fellow, New Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation

Chair:

Professor Ian Hall, Griffith Asia Institute, Griffith University

Recorded on 25 July 2022 as a live webinar event.

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.


The Democratic Decline of Indonesia

Indonesia has made impressive democratic gains since the fall of the authoritarian Suharto regime in 1998, and has long been praised as a ‘model Muslim democracy’.

But in recent years, the quality of Indonesian democracy has noticeably declined as the country continues to struggle with challenges to its democratic institutions and values, with systemic corruption and discrimination and violence against minority groups.

Guests:

Authors of Politics in Contemporary Indonesia: Institutional Change, Policy Challenges and Democratic Decline (Routledge, 2022)

  • Dr Ken Setiawan, Lecturer in Indonesian and Asian Studies, Asia Institute, University of Melbourne
  • Associate Professor Dirk Tomsa, Head of Department of Politics, Media and Philosophy, La Trobe University

Recorded on 15 July 2022

Episode #188


Australia's Unthinking Alliance with America

Australia has a strong alliance with America, one that has remained unwavering through changes of leadership and turbulent international developments.

While agreements such as AUKUS and the Quad have strengthened our position in the region, it has come at the cost of relations with other states and could in the future draw us into conflict.

Guest:

Professor Hugh White AO FASSA, Emeritus Professor of Strategic Studies at Australian National University

Hugh's new Quarterly Essay is Sleepwalk to War: Australia’s unthinking alliance with America.

Recorded on 30 June 2022

Episode #187


Webinar: Gender Mainstreaming in Foreign Policy

The idea of gender mainstreaming in foreign policy is gaining traction across the world. Several countries such as Sweden, Canada, France, Mexico, Germany, Spain, Luxembourg, Libya, Chile, and most recently the Netherlands have announced Feminist Foreign Policies.

Other countries such as Australia, UK, Ireland, Argentina, may not have made formal Feminist Foreign Policy announcements yet, but are working towards understanding and integrating the gender and inclusivity lens in policy action according to their specific contexts.

Through this webinar, along with unpacking some of the core aspects of a Feminist Foreign Policy/gender mainstreaming in foreign policy, we seek to hear perspectives from Indo-Pacific countries, with the objective of adding more voices from the region to the growing global conversations.

Opening remarks:

Hunter Marston - 9DASHLINE
Priyanka Bhide - Kubernein Initiative

Panel:

  • Dr Elise Stephenson, Research Fellow, The Global Institute for Women's Leadership, Fellow, National Security College, Australian National University
  • Dr Soumita Basu, Associate Professor, Department of International Relations, South Asian University
  • Dr Maria Tanyag, Fellow / Senior Lecturer, Coral Bell School of Asia-Pacific Affairs, Australia National University

Chair:

Associate Professor Bec Strating, Director, La Trobe Asia

This event was a collaboration between 9DASHLINE, Kubernein Initiative and La Trobe Asia.

Recorded on 13 July 2022 as a live webinar event.


Event: Sleepwalk to War: The Australia-US alliance in Asia


Australia has a strong alliance with America, one that has remained unwavering through changes of leadership and turbulent international developments. While agreements such as AUKUS and the Quad have strengthened our position in the region, it has come at the cost of relations with other states in the region and could in the future draw us into conflict.

Where does this leave our future security and prosperity in Asia? Is there a better way to navigate the disruption caused by China’s rise?

A Melbourne event to discuss Sleepwalk to War, a new Quarterly Essay by Hugh White.

Panel:

  • Professor Hugh White, Emeritus Professor of Strategic Studies, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University
  • Dr Emma Shortis, School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT
  • Professor Andrew O’Neil, Acting Dean, Griffith Graduate Research School, Griffith University

Chair:

Associate Professor Bec Strating, Director, La Trobe Asia

This was a hybrid event, recorded on 30 June 2022 at our City Campus and streamed online.


The Catch

A podcast miniseries about modern slavery and forced labour in the offshore fishing industry in the Asia Pacific Region.

Produced by La Trobe Asia

Episode 1: Recruitment

Host: Dr Bec Strating, Director, La Trobe Asia

Guest: Dr Sallie Yea, Tracey Banivanua Mar Fellow, La Trobe University


Episode 2: In Too Deep

Host: Dr Bec Strating, Director, La Trobe Asia

Guest: Dr Sallie Yea, Tracey Banivanua Mar Fellow, La Trobe University


Episode 3: Restitution

Host: Dr Bec Strating, Director, La Trobe Asia

Guest: Dr Sallie Yea, Tracey Banivanua Mar Fellow, La Trobe University


Episode 4: Reintegration

Host: Dr Bec Strating, Director, La Trobe Asia

Guest: Associate Professor Christina Stringer, Centre for Research on Modern Slavery, University of Auckland


Episode 5: Support

Host: Dr Bec Strating, Director, La Trobe Asia

Guest: Patricia Kailola, Human Dignity Group in Fiji


Episode 6: Victim's Voices

Host: Dr Bec Strating, Director, La Trobe Asia

Guest: Dr Sallie Yea, Tracey Banivanua Mar Fellow, La Trobe University


Indigenous Language Politics in the Chittagong Hill Tracts

The Chittagong Hill Tracts is in southeast Bangladesh, on the country’s border with India and Myanmar, and is home to 14 Indigenous groups. However, the state contests these people’s Indigenous status and identity. How will this impact their ability to participate in the UNESCO International Decade of Indigenous Languages, and what does it mean for the future of the languages of the Chittagong Hill Tracts?

Podcast #3 of a three podcast series exploring issues of indigenous languages to mark the beginning of the United Nations International Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022 - 2032).

Guest:

Dr Maung Ting Nyeu, Research Scientist, New York University

Host:

Dr Gerald Roche, Senior Research Fellow, Department of Politics, Media and Philosophy at La Trobe University,  and La Trobe Asia Fellow

Recorded on 19 March 2022

Episode #186


Bongbong Marcos Wins Philippines Election

At the end of June the Philippines will welcome new leadership featuring two very familiar names. Following in his father’s footsteps is Bongbong Marcos, son of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos, and joining him as Vice-President is Sara Duterte, daughter of the current President.

While Marcos and Duterte are both the children of politicians with contentious backgrounds, they were elected with notably large majorities. How did they win, and what could their leadership mean for the Philippines?

Guest:

Professor Nicole Curato, Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance, University of Canberra

Recorded on 27 May 2022

Episode # 185


Webinar: Australia votes 2022: Our place in the region

As Australians head to the voting booth, much of this election has focused on our regional relationships and our place in the global order.

Many have labelled this a 'khaki election', with national security becoming a major election issue. The campaign so far has been dominated by regional issues, particularly the fallout of China's pact with the Solomon Islands.

Whether it is the strength of our alliances with neighbours or how to deal with rising China, the next government will potentially shape Australia's place in the region for the next generation.

What does the 2022 election campaign reveal about Australia’s perceptions of its security within an increasingly contested region? Is the ‘politicisation’ of national security a positive development, and to what extent does it determine how people vote? And what do the national security discussions mean for the Asian diaspora in Australia?

Panel:

  • Professor Peter Dean, Chair of Defence Studies/Director, Defence and Security Institute, UWA Defence and Security Program, University of Western Australia
  • Associate Professor Andrea Carson, Department of Politics, Media and Philosophy, La Trobe University
  • Sarah Ison, Political reporter in The Australian's Canberra press gallery bureau
  • Jennifer Hsu, Research Fellow in the Public Opinion and Foreign Policy Program, Lowy Institute

Chair:

Associate Professor Bec Strating, Director, La Trobe Asia

This event is a collaboration with the Defence and Security Institute at the University of Western Australia.

Recorded on 17 May 2022 as a live webinar event.


Modern Monarchies in Asia

Listen to the podcast here

While the twentieth century saw the collapse of monarchies across Europe, recent events are a reminder that hereditary monarchies still matter in Asia. In some countries like Malaysia and Bhutan the institution is thriving, but they can struggle for relevancy given the pro-democracy movement in Thailand and fast-modernising landscape of Japan.

Guest:

Emeritus Professor Dennis Altman, Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow, La Trobe University and author of God Save the Queen: The Strange Persistence of Monarchies.

Recorded on 15 February 2022

Episode # 184


Webinar: 'The New BJP' - a conversation with the author

This special 'in conversation' event discussed Nalin Mehta’s recently released book, “The New BJP: Modi and the making of the world’s largest political party” (Westland, 2022). The book examines the rise and influence of the BJP party in India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and implications for Indian politics and society.

Guests:

Dr Nalin Mehta, Dean, School of Modern Media, UPES | Advisor, Global University Systems | Non-Resident Senior Fellow, Institute of South Asian Studies, National University Singapore
Dr Ian Woolford, Lecturer, Hindi Studies, La Trobe University

Moderator:

Associate Professor Bec Strating, Director - La Trobe Asia

Recorded on 26 April 2022 as a live webinar event.


Indonesia’s Foreign Policy in a Changing Regional Environment

Indonesia aspires to play an active and influential role in regional and global affairs, and its public expects broad influence. How can its foreign policy ideas adapt to a changing and contested region? And how can prospective partner countries such as Australia build trust and relationships?

Guest:

Professor Dewi Fortuna Anwar, Research Professor at the Research Centre for Politics, National Research and Innovation Agency (Pusat Riset Politik BRIN); Chair, Board of Directors of The Habibie Center; former Deputy Secretary for Political Affairs to the Vice President of Indonesia.

Recorded on 28 April 2022.

Episode # 183


Japan's Regional Security Challenge

Japan occupies an ambitious position in geopolitics, desiring to maintain a balance of power in the face of a rising China, and to bring about economic prosperity, peace, and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

Guest:

Associate Professor Stephen Nagy, Department of Politics and International Studies, International Christian University (ICU), Tokyo, Japan.

Recorded on 4 April 2022

Episode #182


Event: The Xinjiang Emergency: Perceptions of Uyghur Detention in China

Since 2016, an estimated one million Uyghurs and members of other Turkic Muslim minorities have disappeared into a vast network of ‘re-education camps’ in the far west region of Xinjiang, China in what some experts call a systematic, government-led program of cultural genocide.

Those outside detention are subject to intensive surveillance through a network of hi-tech surveillance systems, checkpoints and interpersonal monitoring.

While many countries now acknowledge these problems as a reality of President Xi Jinping's China, a more accurate understanding of how the detentions are perceived both within China and in the global community is crucial.

The Melbourne book launch of The Xinjiang emergency Exploring the causes and consequences of China's mass detention of Uyghurs, edited by Michael Clarke.

Panel:

  • Dr Michael Clarke, Senior Fellow, Centre for Defence Research, Australian Defence College and Adjunct Professor, Australia-China Relations Institute, University of Technology Sydney
  • Professor James Leibold, Department of Politics, Media and Philosophy, La Trobe University

Chair

Associate Professor Rebecca Strating, Director, La Trobe Asia

This was a hybrid event, recorded on 5 April 2022 at our City Campus and streamed online.


Event: Deepening Australia-Japan Relations in a Contested Region

As regional powers in the Indo-Pacific, Australia and Japan have much to gain from increased bilateral cooperation and increased interaction through ‘minilaterals’ such as the Quad. Strategic forces are pushing the states closer together, and Australia relationship with Japan has never been closer. This is demonstrated by the ‘Special Strategic Partnership’ between the states and the recent signing of an historic Reciprocal Access Agreement.

How can the two countries deepen their relationship in a time of strategic contestation? How can they better use diplomatic, trade and security policy tools to deal with new challenges? And how might cultural and people-to-people links be further developed?

Opening remarks by Mr Shimada Junji, Consul-General of Japan in Melbourne.

Panel:

  • Senior Associate Professor Stephen Nagy, Department of Politics and International Studies, International Christian University (ICU), Tokyo, Japan
  • Professor Nick Bisley, Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, La Trobe University
  • Professor Kaori Okano, Japanese Studies, La Trobe University

Chair:

Associate Professor Rebecca Strating, Director, La Trobe Asia

This was a hybrid event, recorded on 4 April 2022 at our City Campus and streamed online.


Webinar: Fresh Perspectives on the Indo-Pacific

This launch of Issue 6 of the La Trobe Asia Brief brings together emerging leaders to discuss critical issues facing the Indo-Pacific. Written by students and young professionals from a diverse range of areas, this event will explore 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.

This La Trobe Asia Brief is an output of the 2021 La Trobe Asia Emerging Leaders Program: Regional Perspectives on the Free and Open Indo-Pacific. Over two months 40 Emerging Leaders participated in a series of Masterclasses and academic dialogue with regional experts.

This event was supported by the U.S. Embassy Canberra.

Speakers:

  • Tom Barber, Program Officer, Asia-Pacific Development, Diplomacy & Defence Dialogue (AP4D)
  • Isadora Vadasz, Victoria Department of Justice and Community Safety
  • Alexander M. Hynd, PhD Candidate and Research Associate, University of New South Wales

Chair:

Associate Professor Bec Strating, Director, La Trobe Asia

Recorded on 24 March 2022


Indigenous Language Politics in Inner Mongolia

The Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region in northern China has, in recent years, been the site of extensive protests against changes to the education system that have diminished the role of the Mongolian language. What might the UN’s Decade of Indigenous Languages mean for the region’s Mongols and their struggle to protect their language?

Podcast #2 of a three podcast series exploring issues of indigenous languages to mark the beginning of the United Nations International Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022 - 2032).

Guest:

Gegentuul Baioud, Postdoctoral Fellow, Hugo Valentin Centre, Uppsala University

Host:

Dr Gerald Roche, Senior Research Fellow, Department of Politics, Media and Philosophy at La Trobe University,  and La Trobe Asia Fellow

Recorded on 17 February 2022

Episode #181


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

For all states across the Asia-Pacific women’s representation in all sectors remains dismally low. The COVID-19 pandemic and responses to it have disproportionately affected women and girls across the Asia-Pacific, from alarming increases in domestic violence during extended lockdowns to the growing gender gap in employment opportunities.

Addressing these challenges requires policy-makers to implement gender-sensitive reforms, taking the voice and visibility of women and girls seriously in decision-making processes across both private and public sector spheres.

As we manage the difficult task of recovery and the ongoing long term impacts of COVID-19 there has never been a better time to lift ambition on women’s representation and participation in leadership roles. But how do we make this ambition a reality?

This event was presented by La Trobe Asia and the Griffith Asia Institute.

Introduction provided by Professor Caitlin Byrne, Director - Griffith Asia Institute

Panel:

  • Professor Vivian Lin, Executive Associate Dean, Professor of Practice (Public Health), LKS Faculty of Medicine, Hong Kong University and Adjunct Professor, La Trobe Asia
  • Dr Dhara Shah, Senior Lecturer and Deputy Director Engagement in the Department of Business Strategy and Innovation, Griffith Business School
  • Ryce Chanchai, ASEAN Governance, Peace and Security Lead, UN Women Indonesia

Chair:

Associate Professor Bec Strating, Director - La Trobe Asia

Recorded on 15 March 2022


Indigenous Language Politics in the Indian Himalayas

The Lepcha community is indigenous to the Himalayan mountains, and can be found across India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibet. There are estimated to be less than 70,000 speakers of the Lepcha language, and while it is an official language of Sikkim, retention is a challenge.

Podcast #1 of a three podcast series exploring issues of indigenous languages to mark the beginning of the United Nations International Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022 - 2032).

Guest:

Dr Charisma Lepcha, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Sikkim University and Visiting Scholar, Harvard Yenching Institute.

Host:

Dr Gerald Roche, Senior Research Fellow, Department of Politics, Media and Philosophy at La Trobe University, and La Trobe Asia Fellow

Recorded on 16 February 2022

Episode #180


Webinar: Indigenous Language Politics in Asia

Asia is a linguistically diverse region, but this diversity is currently under threat. After centuries of colonisation and decades of rapid development, communities throughout Asia are facing distinct and urgent challenges to defend their rights to language in the face of discrimination, exclusion, and violence.

How are Indigenous people and languages across Asia responding to this situation? Who decides which languages deserve attention and resources? How can awareness of Indigenous languages be raised and new political agendas promoted?

As the world enters what UNESCO has declared as the Decade of Indigenous Languages we will explore these issues with several researchers from Asia - people who speak, advocate for, or research some of the region’s many Indigenous languages.

Speakers:

  • Assistant Professor Prem Phyak, Applied Linguistics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Associate Professor Madoka Hammine, International Studies, Meio University
  • Associate Professor Tuting Hernandez, Linguistics, University of Philippines
  • Senior Research Fellow Gerald Roche, Politics, Media & Philosophy, La Trobe University

Chair:

Associate Professor Bec Strating, Director, La Trobe Asia

Recorded on 22 February 2022.


Podcast: Biden's Indo-Pacific Strategy

The Biden administration has released a new Indo-Pacific strategy, and much is at stake, with the acknowledgement that competition from China and climate change are of great concern to the United States and its allies.

Guest:

Associate Professor Bec Strating, Director, La Trobe Asia, La Trobe University

Recorded on 15 February 2022.

Episode #179


Podcast: Beijing Hosts the Winter Olympics

The 2022 Winter Olympics will be held in Beijing, and with the collision of sports, politics and covid, this is proving to be an Olympiad to remember.

Guest:
Associate Professor Geoff Dickson, Director of the Centre for Sport and Social Impact, La Trobe University

Recorded on 1 February 2022.

Episode # 178


Podcast: Health Systems and the Pandemic

As we enter year three of the covid-19 and settle into our schedule of working from home, home-schooling and hopefully not catching a deadly plague, how are health systems in Asia coping and adapting with the pandemic?

Guest:
Professor Vivian Lin (Executive Associate Dean of LKS Faculty of Medicine at the University of Hong Kong and Adjunct Professor of La Trobe Asia).

Recorded on 17 January 2022.

Episode #177