Bold experiment hailed a success by GAI and AIIA Queensland

Presenters and organisers of the event: (L-R) Muthuraj Guruswamy, the Honourable Paul Lucas, Dr Lili Mi, Charlie Shandil, Associate Professor Tess Newton Cain, Graeme Kerridge, Dr Andrea Heafner, Associate Professor Rob Hales, Shawn Hunter, Professor Christoph Nedopil Wang, Ingrid Valladares, Colin Forrest SC and Gabriela Hernandez.

“Well I can say one thing for sure, we will be having Griffith Asia Institute back” commented Paul Lucas, President of Australian Institute for International Affairs (AIIA) Queensland as he opened the Q and A session at the joint event held Tuesday April 9th at Holding Redlich in Brisbane.

Like a well-oiled machine, seven presenters took the audience on a journey through the recently launched “Griffith Asia Pacific Strategic Outlook” in what GAI Director called a “tour de force”.

GAPSO offers fresh insights and actionable recommendations for peace, inclusive and equitable growth, and a green sustainable future in the region as the most pressing issues across the 17 sustainable development goals.

The Asia-Pacific region, a vibrant mix of cultures and economies, stands poised for global leadership in sustainable development. Despite its immense potential, the region faces daunting challenges, including climate change, democratic resilience, and shifting geopolitics.

The report, crafted by 24 researchers in collaboration with esteemed regional institutions like the Asia Development Bank Institute (ADBI) and the National University of Singapore (NUS), delves into the unique challenges faced by the Asia-Pacific, and the opportunities and resources available within the region that can be mobilised to address them.

GAI Director Professor Christoph Nedopil emphasised the pressing need for sustainable development strategies in the region, stating,

“Challenges such as climate change, democratic resilience, and equitable development are pressing issues for policymakers, leaders, and businesses who must prepare for sustainable development and prosperity in the region.”

Moderator Paul Lucas led the distinguished panel comprising Christoph Nedopil, Robert Hales, Tess Newton Cain, Lili Mi, Shawn Hunter, Andrea Haefner, and Mohammed Avi Hossain. More than 60 people attended (online and in person) including the Chinese Consul-General, Dr RUAN Zongze and the Chinese consul Mr WANG Lin.

Paul Lucas leads the panel discussions: (L-R) Associate Professor Tess Newton Cain, Dr Andrea Heafner, Dr Lili Mi, Associate Professor Rob Hales, Shawn Hunter and Professor Christoph Nedopil Wang.

The panel presented core challenges and recommendations on the six themes of the report:

  • Green and just transition
  • Inclusive growth
  • Labour market challenges
  • Pacific development
  • China and the region
  • Southeast Asia

The vibrant discussion, fueled by questions and answers from the audience, underscored the imperative of embracing green, inclusive, and peaceful development. Australia, as a core economy in the Asia-Pacific, must step up its responsibility in this regard. Importantly, the themes and recommendations discussed will shape GAI’s future strategy, guiding its efforts to deliver impactful programs and research that contribute to sustainable development in the region. This aligns with Australia’s role as a leader in fostering regional cooperation and knowledge exchange.

/University Release. View in full here.