Australia now ASEAN 2019 was officially launched on March 19th by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Senator the Hon Marise Payne.
“If you look closely at Southeast Asia, you really are looking at the most diverse region in the world” said Minister Payne at the event hosted by the Southeast Asia Centre at the University of Sydney.
Australia now 2019 focuses on engaging and celebrating the vitality, the diversity and the capability of youth across Southeast Asia. The program will include youth dialogue, film, food festivals, cultural and sporting events, and innovative technology forums to support collaboration and exchange between Australia and the 10 member nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Minister Payne noted that “These programs not only have the potential to change the way Australians think about the world and our place in the world. They also have the potential to change the way that the region sees us. Initiatives like the New Colombo Plan, the Australia Awards and Australian now ASEAN, send a strong message that we want to engage more deeply with and learn from our neighbours……. Most of all, Australia now is about building relationships for the future.”
Highlights for Australia now 2019 include:
- A ‘Taste of Australia’ food celebration in partnership with Austrade. The program showcases Australia’s diverse and innovative food culture with cooking demonstrations, workshops, cultural exchange and community engagement with Australian celebrity chefs.
- An Australian film festival, featuring highlights from the Flickerfest Short Film Competition.
- An ASEAN wide short film competition hosted by Flickerfest for young filmmakers from across the region. The best ASEAN short films will feature as part of the Flickerfest 2020 program, and the top three film makers will be flown to Sydney for the Flickerfest awards ceremony and professional development.
- TEDx-style young-speaker series, providing a forum for youth to discuss issues that matter to them
- ASEAN-Australia Youth Forums for high-school students to work together to design solutions to common challenges and opportunities.
This year’s Australia now program is part of the Australian Government’s commitment to ensuring Australia remains a leading economic, development and strategic partner for Southeast Asia.
The ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in Sydney last year confirmed Australia’s commitment to ASEAN and the importance placed on working with our closest neighbours to realise a more secure and prosperous future.
Join us in celebrating Australia now and the dynamic and steadfast relationship that ASEAN and Australian youth share.