Inquiry examines WA and East Asia relationship

February 14, 2013

A major international commission of inquiry into the evolving interactions and relationships between South East Asia and Western Australia will convene its first meeting in Perth on February 18 and 19.

Entitled Western Australia and the Evolving Regional Order: the next 25 years, challenges and opportunities, the first Murdoch Commission will examine WA’s broad development potential through a set of specific themes pertinent to WA and other regional partners and evaluate the importance of regional engagement in advancing growth and development.

“The overall aim of the Commission is to produce evidence-based analysis of the prospects of WA in the Asian region and to generate practical insight for policy development,” said Murdoch University Vice Chancellor Professor Richard Higgott.

With WA closely entwined with the dynamic economies of the Asian region, the first Murdoch Commission will provide insight into and for business, academia, and government on WA’s future role in the region and the region’s future role in WA. It will analyse four interrelated themes: economic prospects; diplomacy and entrepreneurship; expertise and innovation; security and sustainability and the common problems within each theme confronting the region and make recommendations regarding how they may be addressed.

The first Murdoch Commission is co-chaired by eminent Western Australian Kerry Sanderson AO, Director of Downer EDI Limited, Chairman of Gold Corporation, Non-Executive Director of Atlas Iron and previously Agent General for the Government for Western Australia, and Dr Chung Min Lee, Dean and Professor of International Relations at the Graduate School of International Studies at Yonsei University in the Republic of Korea. Dr Lee concurrently serves as a member of the new President of Korea Ms Park’s Foreign Policy Advisory Council and the Presidential Committee on Future & Vision.

A further ten commissioners have been drawn from business, government and academia, both within Australia and importantly, from across the region, to complete the Commission’s program of work.

The Commissioners include:

  • Ambassador John McCarthy AO, National President, Australian Institute of International Affairs; former Australian Ambassador to Vietnam, Mexico, Thailand, the United States, Indonesia, Japan and High Commissioner to India;
  • Professor Dorodjatun Kuntjoro-Jakti, Professor of Political Economics, Universitas Indonesia. Former Minister of Finance, Indonesia;
  • Dr Denis Hew, Director, APEC Policy Support Unit, Singapore;
  • Professor Yong Wang, Director, Centre for International Political Economy, Peking University, Beijing;
  • Professor Kanishka Jayasuriya, Director of the Indo-Pacific Governance Research Centre, University of Adelaide;
  • Mr David Flanagan, Chairman, Atlas Iron;
  • Professor Takashi Terada, Professor of International Relations, Faculty of Law, Doshisha University;
  • Dr Rajiv Kumar, formerly Director and Chief Executive of the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) and Secretary General of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
  • Associate Professor Helen Nesadurai, Associate Professor and Deputy Head of School (Education), School of Arts and Social Sciences, Monash University (Sunway Campus) and
  • Dr Jeffrey Wilson, Lecturer in Politics and International Studies, Fellow of the Asia Research Centre, Murdoch University.

“Leading edge research requires strong institutional bases like universities, but it also thrives in dynamic networks that are well connected beyond provincial and national borders. The membership of the first Murdoch Commission gives us precisely that,” Professor Higgott said.

“Given the experience and expertise of its Co-Chairs and Commissioners, the first Murdoch Commission is well placed to identify, analyse and assess the challenges and prospects that WA and the region will face in the coming 25 years.

“It can also provide insight to business, academia, and government regarding policy initiatives to maximize the positive role that WA can play in the region and the positive role that the region can play in WA’s future. This is what we hope to achieve through the first Murdoch Commission.”

There will be four meetings of the Commission over the coming months, with the final report of its findings and recommendations due for release in December 2013.

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Comments (One response)

Michael devincentiis February 16, 2013

Western Australia and East Asia have not always been so close. Due to the fact that alot of WA's people unjustifiably criticize the people of EA. Others, are not so hasty in this generalization. I, myself, have partaken in both accounts. Unfortunately, some things that were said to me from traditionalist, and hence capitalist-justifying, standpoints were not assessed by me at the time and as such crept ilently into my worldview. I have vast experience in working with the peoples from various countries in EA. And generally, they are harder-working and much more friendly than the local residents of WA. We could learn a thing or two. However, this might be due to a misrepresented population, though, for example, are the people's of EA that I have worked with so representative of the population as a whole? Like why send a non-hard-worker who is not friendly, or either, overseas to study. That would just be a waste of money. Also, what good-mannered WA resident would work in a fast food outlet? Not many.

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