Murdoch University recently hosted the inaugural meeting of the first Murdoch Commission, a major international commission of inquiry into the evolving interactions and relationships between Asia and Western Australia, and Australia more generally.
Murdoch University Vice Chancellor Professor Richard Higgott officially launched the Commission with Co-Chair Kerry Sanderson on Monday, February 18. Guests included members of the local diplomatic corps, business and community leaders and federal, state and local government officials.
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 Commission is composed of 12 members from business, government and academia from Australia and across the region.
“The purpose of the initial meeting was to set the overall agenda for the Commission and initiate the program of study for each of our themes,” said Commission Director of Studies, Associate Professor Michael Crozier.
“The meeting was very productive. We had important discussions on how we define the region and agreed that *ASEAN plus 6 will be the central focus. It was decided that the wider backdrop of the Commission should include the Indian Ocean Rim extending to Africa, given its developing resources industries.”
The Commission is an evidence-based, independent, research initiative that aims to develop practical recommendations that will advance growth and economic and social development in WA, Australia and the region.
“We talked a lot about the importance of mutuality, resilience and connectivity in the region over the coming decades. The meeting was particularly eager to include intergenerational voices in deliberations on emerging common problems and in the development of solutions and recommendations,” Professor Crozier said.
“It was a pleasure to sit around the table with a group of such distinguished Commissioners and to have everyone contribute their ideas, views and experience in such an energetic and positive way.”
The Commission will travel to Jakarta for its second meeting in April. In the lead up to this meeting the Commission will undertake significant out-of-session work to develop the research themes and priorities and to specify the appropriate methodologies. The Commission will also be seeking submissions and input from a range of sources.
*ASEAN plus 6 groups 10 countries in Southeast Asia and six partner countries: China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.