April 29, 2011

Vic Asia Unit selected

The centre of the world is shifting and it is moving towards Asia. Although Victoria sits right on Asia’s doorstep, we find ourselves looking the other way. We need to be better prepared for the future and better placed to grasp the opportunities that a rising Asia offers our State. We also need to respond to the resulting shift of capital and resources to the mining sector, which will continue to put Victoria at a disadvantage. What we need is a dedicated Vic-Asia Unit, to harness the untapped knowledge and expertise across the Victorian Public Service and the wider community, to co-ordinate existing initiatives, and to develop new policies and programs to build an Asia-ready Victoria.

This website and the accompanying video were created to promote the Vic Asia Unit, one of five projects short-listed in the Open Category of the Victorian Public Service Innovation Challenge. On Monday 30 May 2011, this initiative was announced the winner of a VPS-wide, peer voting process.

UPDATE: In mid 2012 a new “International Engagement Group” was created within the Department of Premier and Cabinet, headed by Andrew Shearer, dedicated to improving and coordinating Victoria’s international engagement activities. This is a fantastic outcome for Victoria!

April 28, 2011

Why we need a Vic Asia Unit (video)

Is Victoria a little too Waltzing Matilda? Should we be learning more more about our Asian neighbours? With the help of Quick Chat Productions we have produced a short video highlighting some of the factors that motivated our idea for a Vic-Asia Unit.

If you still need convincing but you would rather look to Hollywood, we suggest you fast forward to the one-hour mark of the 2010 film Wall Street- Money Never Sleeps. In that scene, Jake Moore, played by Shia LaBeouf, wins a key contract for his company by demonstrating his mastery of Chinese language and culture. While in the real world success is never really this easy, people like Jake will always have an advantage over their colleagues who have little or no understanding of Asia!

April 26, 2011

Australian students in the dark (article)

Jenny McGregor, CEO of Asialink, recently wrote an opinion piece in The Age discussing the lack of Asia-readiness in Australia and its likely consequences. Read it HERE.