160 episodes

A key role of the Griffith Asia Institute is to provide a forum for presentation and debate of important modern and contemporary issues related to the Asia-Pacific, and as appropriate, Australia's role in it. Since its inception, the Griffith Asia Institute has hosted a number of conferences, workshops and public lectures that include participants from interstate and overseas.

Griffith in Asia Griffith Asia Institute

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A key role of the Griffith Asia Institute is to provide a forum for presentation and debate of important modern and contemporary issues related to the Asia-Pacific, and as appropriate, Australia's role in it. Since its inception, the Griffith Asia Institute has hosted a number of conferences, workshops and public lectures that include participants from interstate and overseas.

    75 years since the end of World War II: commemoration and historical understanding

    75 years since the end of World War II: commemoration and historical understanding

    Three quarters of a century have passed since the end of the most catastrophic military conflagration in human history: World War II. Paradoxically, however, the more that time passes the more we seem to remember it, in official and popular culture: commemorations, memorials, movies and books, above all in Post-Soviet Russia. Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, commemorations of the 75th anniversaries of the German and Japanese surrenders in May and August 1945 respectively by the victorious former Western Allies were subdued affairs. In Washington, President Trump laid a wreath; in Paris, President Macron spoke in front of a near-deserted Arch de Triumphe; in locked-down London, Queen Elizabeth gave a televised address. In Moscow and Minsk, nevertheless, Presidents Putin and Lukashenko oversaw massive military parades celebrating victory in the “Great Patriotic War”.

    Such official commemorations usually celebrate the virtues of nation, state and people that seemingly made victory possible. But commemoration is one thing, historical understanding is another. This raises many questions, among them: Why is it being commemorated? What was really at stake in this titanic conflict? What were its consequences? And even, did the war actually end?

    This webinar, hosted by The Australasian Association for Communist and Post-Communist Studies (AACaPS), brings together four experts in the field to start a conversation about these issues: Professor Mark Edele (Melbourne University), Professor Roger Markwick (Newcastle University), Associate Professor Alexey Muraviev (Curtin University) and Dr Leonid Petrov (ANU).

    Professor Roger Markwick, Conjoint Professor of Modern European History, University of Newcastle
    Topic: World War II: Objectives and aftermaths

    Professor Mark Edele, Hansen Chair in History, Deputy Head of School, School of Historical and Philosophical Studies (SHAPS), University of Melbourne.
    Topic: The Soviet Union’s Second World Wars: History and memory

    Associate Professor Alexey Muraviev, National Security and Strategic Studies, Curtin University
    Topic: The Red Machine in Action: Soviet Military Power and the Allied Victory in World War Two

    Adjunct Associate Professor Slobodanka Millicent Vladiv-Glover, School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics, Monash University
    Topic: Narratives of the Victors and the Losers about WWII in the Balkans (Former Yugoslavia)

    Dr Leonid Petrov, Senior Lecturer, International College of Management in Sydney (ICMS) and Visiting Fellow, Australian National University
    Topic: WWII in North-east Asia: Has it really ended?

    • 1 hr 38 min
    New Caledonia – towards a new Pacific nation?

    New Caledonia – towards a new Pacific nation?

    On 4 October, New Caledonians will vote in a referendum on their political future. Long term residents of the French Pacific dependency – one of Australia’s closest neighbours – will vote yes or no on independence from France. Most indigenous Kanak support the call for independence and sovereignty, but must gain support from non-Kanak communities who want to retain ties to the French Republic.

    A previous referendum in 2018 saw 43 per cent support for independence, and since then, debate has polarised over New Caledonia’s future political status. But the 2020 referendum comes at a time of significant economic and social challenge, during the global pandemic. New Caledonia faces changing demand for nickel exports, the loss of international tourism and a rising cost of living for the vulnerable.

    Hear from leading political and community leaders, to discuss the referendum and future prospects for this Pacific nation. Facilitated by journalist Nic Maclellan, the discussion will be broadcast in English, providing first-hand perspectives on current developments that are largely missing from regional media.

    Confirmed speakers include:

    Patricia Goa is an elected member of New Caledonia’s Congress, representing the pro-independence Union Nationale Pour l'Indépendance (UNI). She lives in Baco tribe in New Caledonia’s Northern Province and works as an adviser to provincial president Paul Neaoutyine.

    Charles Wea was born in Ouvea in the Loyalty Islands. He completed university degrees in Samoa and Australia, and has served as the FLNKS representative to Australia and at meetings of the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

    Magalie Tingal is a former journalist and serves in the New Caledonia’s Northern Provincial Assembly. As a member of the Union Calédonienne party, she is a co-ordinator of the Yes campaign for the independence movement Front de Libération Nationale Kanak et Socialiste (FLNKS).

    Facilitator: Nic Maclellan is a correspondent for Islands Business magazine and other Pacific media. A regular visitor to New Caledonia, he reports regularly on France and the Pacific islands and is co-author of La France dans le Pacifique – de Bougainville à Moruroa (Editions La Découverte) and After Moruroa – France in the South Pacific (Ocean Press). He was recently awarded the 2020 Sean Dorney Grant for Pacific Journalism by the Walkley Foundation.

    • 1 hr 12 min
    Perspectives:Asia | You can’t paint the Pacific with just one brush

    Perspectives:Asia | You can’t paint the Pacific with just one brush

    Honouring the words of the late Dr Teresia Teaiwa it is important ‘to remind people of the complexity (of the Pacific) and not let them try to paint us with a single brush stroke'.

    Spread over a third of the earth’s surface, the Pacific ocean is home to the peoples of 20,000 different islands and atolls with over 1,200 recorded indigenous languages. As they navigate their way within a globalised economy, the resurgence of militarism and a warming planet, the nations of this region face ever more pressing and urgent issues. Most notably, the youth voice represents a valuable resource for the future.

    An in-conversation, chaired by Andrew Fa’avale from MANA Pasifika as our engaged panel of Pasifika youth share their perspectives and experiences, the contributions they make to their communities while sharing the challenges they face, be it independence, remittances, climate change, retaining culture, employment amongst others.

    Iree Chow in her role as the President of the Pasifika Women's Alliance is able to be a voice on women's issues, challenges and strengths to local, state and federal governments and to support women to be better leaders in the wider community.

    Timothy Harm is a creative producer for Conscious Mic - a collective of Pasifika, First Nations and culturally and linguistically diverse artists and creatives. He is also member of the Pacific Climate Warriors Brisbane Organising Team. He continues to find innovative ways to question and reinvent creative practices whilst creating, holding and sharing space for and with people in his community.

    Augusta Lokea is Vice President of the Brisbane Bougainville Community and is an active member of both the Papua New Guinean Community and the Brisbane Bougainville Community. She is also a cultural Ambassador, small business owner & a student.

    Megan Sainian Talvat volunteers for youth programs, is a small business owner, church intern and Youth Alive Band member. She is passionate about importance of knowing and speaking tokples (local language) as well and understanding laws, rules and traditions. She is an early childhood educator and university student.

    Andrew Fa’avale is the chair of MANA Pasifika and has published research in the fields of education, criminology and health. His research interests are motivated by fostering Pasifika success in the various domains in which he is involved. He is a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand and a legal practitioner by the Supreme Court of Queensland.

    • 1 hr 22 min
    Exploring Asia | Starting your career in the Asia Pacific

    Exploring Asia | Starting your career in the Asia Pacific

    For many students and graduates, starting a career in the Asia Pacific can feel like a mammoth task – a goal only achievable after many years working in Australia.

    About this series
    Griffith University students and alumni provide useful information on how to gain an Asia-Pacific experience while studying! Engaging with the Asia-Pacific is key to unlocking cross-cultural understanding, employability and widening your global experience. Hosted by Griffith New Colombo Plan Scholars, this series will cover scholarship and grant opportunities, in country experiences, volunteering and career opportunities in the Asia- Pacific.

    About this session
    In our last webinar of EXPLORING ASIA, New Colombo Plan (NCP) scholars Odin Lowsley and James Fairley speak with inspiring leaders in this space — Rob Malicki (the co-architect of the NCP), Elise Giles (Board Director of the Australia-Vietnam Young Leadership Dialogue) and Brad McConachie (RMIT, Vietnam) — to discuss leapfrogging the pack and ‘Starting your career in the Asia Pacific’. This session is hosted by James Fairley and Odin Lowsely.

    Griffith alumnus Elise Giles is a Capability Development Manager at Asialink Business. She is currently delivering Asialink’s Leaders program and was responsible for project managing the New Colombo Plan Ambassador and Alumni Program, in partnership with DFAT. Elise is also a Director on the Board of the Australia-Vietnam Young Leadership Dialogue & Steering Committee Director. She is a former Prime Minister’s Australia-Asia Scholar to Hong Kong. Elise has worked and studied across Asia, including Vietnam, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea, and has a wealth of experience engaging with government, private and community sector in these international environments.

    Rob Malicki is the co-architect of DFAT’s New Colombo Plan, Founder and CEO of AIM Overseas, CEO of The Global Society, Founder of ‘A Life That Travels’. He is passionate about overseas study and the way that it transforms young people. His mission, since his own student exchange in 2000, has been to help more young Australians make the most out of their own overseas study experiences. With over 15 years of experience, he is one of Australia’s leading experts and commentators in the ‘outbound mobility’ of Australian uni students.

    Griffith alumnus Dr Bradley McConachie started his career in Beijing with the Australia Studies Centre at Peking University and UNESCO in which he managed international development and research projects in China, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea and Japan. Following this he worked in Thailand for private companies seeking to develop their rising executive staff to better understand international business culture. Most recently he has taken up a position in Ho Chi Minh City working for RMIT Vietnam managing international research consortiums between Australia, Vietnam and Europe and maintains an Adjunct Fellowship in the Griffith Asia Institute. This year he was recognised by Griffith University for his contribution to public diplomacy research with a Research Excellence Award and receipt of the Chancellor’s medal.

    • 1 hr
    Asia Stories |’Re-enchanting’ Cambodia with Dr Catherine Grant

    Asia Stories |’Re-enchanting’ Cambodia with Dr Catherine Grant

    Sociologist John Clammer proposes that it’s through the creative and performing arts that the ‘re-enchantment of the world’ might take place. In Cambodia, the traditional performing arts are ‘re-enchanting’ the country in powerful and sometimes unexpected ways, disrupting old stories and creating new visions of a better Cambodia.

    Our host, Professor Renee Jeffery speaks with music researcher Dr Catherine Grant, Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre about some of the exceptional roles the creative arts are playing in contemporary Cambodia, including redressing past wrongs, upholding democratic principles, advancing peace and justice, and speaking truth to power.

    Catherine has been conducting collaborative research in Cambodia since 2013 and completed a 6-month Australia Endeavour Fellowship there in 2015; she is currently leading a British Museum-funded project documenting the makers and players of the critically endangered traditional musical instrument Angkuoch.

    • 34 min
    Exploring Asia | Aid, volunteering and development in the Asia Pacific region

    Exploring Asia | Aid, volunteering and development in the Asia Pacific region

    Many of us seek to make a difference in our world. But how can you? There are many opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region to volunteer and engage in development work. However, practices such as ‘orphanage tourism’ are marketed to mislead willing people to engage in work that is actually harmful to the local community.

    How do we know where to start, and what advice can we learn from those who have volunteered and worked in the area of development for years? Griffith student Anna Stirling, Ruth Larwill, CEO of Bloom Asia and Monique White share their experience to ensure you get the best out of your volunteering experience while making a difference to the community. This session will is facilitated by Gabi Cooper and Julia Hill.


    Anna Stirling is a New Colombo Plan Scholar for 2020 and studies a Bachelor of Laws/Government and International Relations at Griffith University. She has spent time volunteering in Cambodia, East Asia and the Philippines. When she was 15, she spent time in Cambodia with the NGO Life With Dignity to learn about how to employ sustainable aid practices in running a developmental organisation, and was shocked to hear about the prevalence of orphanage tourism in Asia. She wants to see fellow young people aware of how to have the most positive impact possible whilst being involved with aid/volunteering.

    Ruth Larwill is the CEO and founder of Bloom Asia and has established three vocational training and employment centres in South East Asia. Bloom Asia is a not-for-profit organisation that exists to restore and empower young women who have experienced significant trauma. Bloom Asia aims to address this through a program of Education, Vocational training (Cake decorating, Barista skills, Hospitality training), Mentoring (ACT therapy) and employment. At Bloom Asia, these young women are restored and equipped with the skills they need to create a better future for themselves and their families.

    Monique White and her husband Roger have been involved with the NGO Symbiosis International for a combined 23 years. Symbiosis works to transform the lives of South Asia’s poorest people through education, health and economic development. Monique travels to Asia every year taking teams of predominately young people to encourage and monitor the work on the ground in Symbiosis.

    Watch the webinar>>>https://youtu.be/pwLodTCsQdQ

    • 52 min

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