The neighbourhood

The neighbourhood

Oct 11
Hear expert analysis of the rapid change underway in Australia’s neighbourhood, our future in it and why the success of Australian business and our national economy depend on understanding it well.  


Penny Burtt, Group Chief Executive Officer, Asialink
Professor Caitlin Byrne, Director, Griffith Asia Institute
Rowan Callick OBE, Journalist and Industry Fellow, Griffith Asia Institute
Wen Gu, Chief Executive Officer, Australia China Business Council (ACBC), Queensland

Event overview

We operate in a region and an environment of shifting political, economic and security settings.  Australian influence and our priorities in the Pacific are front and centre, major players across the Indo-Pacific continue to experience the highest growth rates globally and present enormous opportunity – yet questions remain. 
How do we balance important economic relationships and diplomacy?  What does the current situation in Hong Kong teach us about China, and how can we best work with key strategic partners to ensure the future success of the Indo-Pacific region?
The annual neighbourhood lunch event provides business intelligence and briefings on the policy, politics and economic trends at play that impact your relationships, investments, operations and interests.

Meet the speakers

Penny Burtt
Group Chief Executive Officer, Asialink

Penny leads Asialink’s work and promotes better understanding of Asia and Australia’s role in the region. She is a former diplomat and represented Australia at a senior level in Singapore; Malaysia; Indonesia; and at the United Nations in Geneva and New York. She has previously served as an Adviser to the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs; on the Board of the United States National for APEC; and led External Relations and Client Service Risk for the Asia Pacific with McKinsey & Company.

Professor Caitlin Byrne
Director, Griffith Asia Institute

Caitlin is deeply engaged in Queensland’s international policy community. Her research is focused on Australian diplomacy with a special interest in Australia’s engagement in the Asia-Pacific region. Prior to academia Caitlin held strategic management, legal, foreign and social policy roles across government, business and community sectors.

Rowan Callick OBE
Journalist and Industry Fellow, Griffith Asia Institute

Rowan Callick is a double Walkley Award winning journalist and author. He has worked in Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong and Beijing as The Australian’s Asia-Pacific Editor and The Australian Financial Review’s China Correspondent. He is a contributing author the 2019 edition of State of the Neighbourhood report.

Wen Gu
Chief Executive Officer, Australia China Business Council (ACBC), Queensland

Before moving to Brisbane Wen worked at AustCham Shanghai, the largest Australian Chamber of Commerce in China. She previously managed the China program in the Lord Mayor’s International Relations and Multicultural Affairs Unit, in the education sector and as Legal Counsel at ShiMao Group in Shanghai.

Richard Maude
Deputy Secretary, Indo-Pacific Group, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Richard oversees Australia’s bilateral relations with Australia’s partners in Asia and North America. In 2017 he was head of the whole-of-government taskforce responsible for the preparation of the Australian Government’s 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper. He has previously served as Director-General of the Office of National Assessments and worked on international political, strategic and economic developments affecting Australia’s national interests. 

Dr Julia Newton-Howes AM
Chief Executive Officer, Investing in Women

$90 billion will be added to South East Asian economies each year if the impact investing Dr Julia Newton-Howes leads for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in key markets, trading partners and countries at the centre of Australia’s aspirations for our region is successful.  Originally a scientific researcher, she is now a globally acknowledged social innovator; the former CEO of CARE Australia; has advised the Board of the World Bank; been a Telstra Business Women of the Year; and received the Order of Australia for her services to Women and International Development.

Supported by CEDA members

Major sponsors