OzAsia Festival Keynote Address: Australian Fusion: Imagining our Eurasian Future

Delivered by Jason Yat Sen Li

Young Global Leader - World Economic Forum and International Lawyer 
Governing Member of The Smith Family

Thursday 8 September 2011

Her Majesty's Theatre, Grote Street, Adelaide

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  Unedited transcript (pdf format)
  Visuals from presentation (pdf format)


Presented by The Adelaide Festival Centre's OzAsia Festival and The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre at UniSA

Jason will be introduced by Lieutenant Governor Hieu Van Le in the presence of former Prime Minister Bob Hawke.

Many describe the 21st century as the Asian Century.
China is already Australia's largest export market and our economic prosperity is also inextricably tied to the dynamic Asian economies of India, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand. Indeed, Australia hardly faltered during the GFC, buoyed by the voracious Chinese demand for minerals and energy.

But strategically and socio-politically, how comfortable is Australia today within Asia?
Do we align ourselves too closely to the United States and Western Europe whose markets, culture and institutions dominate our headlines and our consciousness? How serious are we about including more of our own diverse Asian population in our parliaments, our boardrooms, our judiciary, our media and our sporting teams?

What might be Australia's place in Asia as the region surges in economic, strategic and cultural power?
And what might be Asia's place in Australia, such that we may enjoy continuing prosperity, peace, optimism and a sense of belonging?

This address will probe the potential of a Eurasian-minded future for Australia - a confident, expansive and inclusive future for all - if we are prepared to embrace it.   

Jason Yat Sen Li

Jason Li represents the new breed of global business and interculturally savvy young Australian leaders who see the potential in open minds and open doors. Apart from English, he is also fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese, German and Dutch. He has lived a life that fuses Australian and Asian experiences and which stretches from the philanthropic, to the legal, with high academic and professional achievements in Sydney, New York and The Hague, to the entrepreneurial, as a business founder in China.

After working for the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal from 1996 - 1998, he returned to Australia to campaign against racist politics and was a leader of the 1999 Australian Republican Movement . His awards include Australia's Hauser Global Fellow for 2000 (New York University Law School), 2002 Eisenhower Fellowship, and 2009 Davos World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.

Formerly IAG's Head of China Strategy (Insurance Group Australia), Jason is now CEO of Yatsen Associates, a firm he founded in 2005, Immediate Past Vice-Chair of the Australia-China Chamber of Commerce in Beijing, a Director of the George Institute for Global Health, and a Governing Member of the esteemed charitable organisation, The Smith Family. He has also been a Director of the National Centre for Volunteering.

Special offer for Hawke Centre supporters

The OzAsia Festival is pleased to offer Hawke Centre supporters a special festival subscription price to select shows until the end of the Festival.

Rhinoceros in Love
 - a frenetic and compelling glimpse of the new face of 21st century Chinese theatre($40 Adult/ $35 Conc)

 - a captivating dance double bill featuring contemporary Japanese dancer Kaiji Moriyama ($44 Adult/ $34 Conc)
In lieu - an evening of contemporary dance and gamelan music by local artists ($20 Adult/ $15 Conc)

The Arrival
 - Shaun Tan's graphic novel The Arrival will be brought to life on the big screen accompanied by Ben Walsh's incredible 10 piece Orkestra of the Underground ($30 Adult/ $25 Conc)
Shugo Tokumaru - his atmospheric sound is a mix of classic Beatles-esque melodies and his own spin on Japanese pop ($30 Adult/ $25 Conc)
Cool Wise Man - a bunch of cool guys mixing ska, calypso and reggae. A big hit at 2008 Big Day Out ($30 Adult/ $25 Conc)

These special offers can be booked at any BASS Outlet in person, over the phone (131 246) or on the net. 
The word OZHAWKE will need to be quoted/ inserted on-line. There's a maximum of 4 tickets per person at these prices.


While the views presented by speakers within the Hawke Centre public program are their own and are not necessarily those of either the University of South Australia or The Hawke Centre, they are presented in the interest of open debate and discussion in the community and reflect our themes of:strengthening our democracy - valuing our diversity - and building our future.

The copying and reproduction of any transcripts within the Hawke Centre public program is strictly forbidden without prior arrangements.

While the views presented by speakers within The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre public program are their own and are not necessarily those of either the University of South Australia, or The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, they are presented in the interest of open debate and discussion in the community and reflect our themes of: Strengthening our Democracy - Valuing our Diversity - Building our Future. The Hawke Centre reserves the right to change their program at any time without notice.