International Symposium: “Asia Literacy” in Practice

Date: 12 June (Thurs) 2014

Venue: H.B39 (at Basement of Building H), Monash University Caulfield Campus

The importance of “Asia literacy” has been widely discussed in Australia since the 1990s and was given renewed emphasis in the 2012 White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century. The Asia Education Foundation has been working hard to implement the cross-curriculum priority of “Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia” at Australian schools. But what Asia literacy really means and how it can be cultivated are not easy questions. In the academy and in Australian public culture, concerns have been raised about the risk of reproducing essentialist views that turn “Asian cultures” into stereotypes. Many have also criticized the promotion of Asia literacy as being too market-driven.

These criticisms help us to focus attention on what we mean by “Asia” and what forms of engagement with Asia are occurring in Australia. This one-day symposium seeks to highlight the experiences of people who have been involved in practicing “Asia literacy” through their work in such fields as secondary and university education, business, craft art, activism and media. Through the various experiences of invited speakers, this one-day event seeks to provide participants with a wealth of informed perspectives on and critical insights into engaging with “Asia”.


9:45-10:00 Welcome

10:00-11:30 Session 1 Teaching “Asia” in the high school
Chair: Hongzhi Zhang (Monash University)
Panellists: Mr. Mark Crnkovic (Head of Campus at Narre Warren South, Waverley Christian School) | Ms. Annabella Fung (Keysborough Secondary College) | Prof. Christine Halse (Deakin University)

11:45-1:15 Session 2 “Asia literacy” in business
Chair: Gloria Davies (Monash University)
Panelists: Mr. John Pereira (Pereira Partners and Australia-India Business Council) | Mr. Steve Barclay (Director, Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office in Sydney) | Mr. Scott Grant (Monash University)

2:15-3:45 Session 3 Working with “Asia”: Material culture and activism
Chair: Julian Millie (Monash University)
Panelists: Dr. Kevin Murray (Independent curator and writer) | Dr. Edwin Jurriens (University of Melbourne) | Dr. Sara Niner (Monash University)

4:00-5:45 Session 4 Embracing “Asia”: Towards an inclusive engagement 

Chair: Koichi Iwabuchi (Monash University)
Panelists: Ms. Jin Sun Lane (SBS producer) | Mr. Lance Truong (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) | Mr. Alistair Bayley (Monash University student) | Dr. Horie Miki (Ritsumeikan University, Japan) | Prof. Ariel Heryanto (Australian National University)

5:45-7:00 Reception

No registration fee.

RSVP required >> please register by sending an email to: (with “YES Will attend Conference” in the subject line)