The neighbourhood forum

The neighbourhood forum

Oct 11
Join a senior CEDA audience and expert speakers from Australia and the Indo-Pacific region for the second annual neighbourhood forum to hear how we can best engage with the region and re-cast key foreign, economic and development issues from a local perspective.


Penny Burtt, Group Chief Executive Officer, Asialink
Professor Caitlin Byrne, Director, Griffith Asia Institute
Rowan Callick OBE, Journalist and Industry Fellow, Griffith Asia Institute
Richard Maude, Deputy Secretary, Indo-Pacific Group, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Event overview

Australia’s strategic gaze is firmly set on our neighbourhood. We operate in a region of deep economic interdependencies experiencing the highest rates of growth globally. The future success of the Indo-Pacific region and ours in turn, are subject to a rapidly changing political, economic and social circumstances. 
Locally, Queensland’s state budget factors in Chinese growth and trends and key strategic partners, with the shifting balance of power front of mind. What happens in our neighbourhood has direct implications for Queensland’s economic future.
The neighbourhood annual forum provides business intelligence and briefings on the policy, politics and economic trends at play in the Indo-Pacific that impact your relationships, investments, operations and interests in the region.

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.

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 member

Major sponsor

Further sponsorship available:

Align your brand with CEDA and communicate with hard-to-reach business, government and policy leaders by sponsoring this event. Contact Clint O'Brien on 07 3121 6431 or email
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