MAICo-organized by Monash Asia Institute, Monash University & Immigration Museum, Melbourne


The rise of Asian economies has brought to the fore the necessity of enhancing Australia’s literacy about Asian languages, cultures and societies as well as human exchanges between Australian and Asian countries. Though being highly economy-driven, these trends surely have an impact on Australia’s engagement with, and impression about, Asian countries. These, in turn, might influence and improve the mainstream’s social perception of people with Asian backgrounds living in Australia.

This public seminar series will discuss how we can further advance such positive potentials of Australia’s engagement with Asia by rethinking Australian culture, society and identity in ways to go beyond a bipolarized Australia-Asia perception. This is to refocus the discussion of Asia literacy onto that of Australian literacy by reimagining Australia as part of trans-Asian cultural flows and human mobilities and reconceiving Asian Australians on equal terms as constitutive of Australian society.

The inaugural seminar will feature Professor Fazal Rizvi, who co-authored the recent report on Asian diasporas’ contribution to Australian economy, and discuss the limitations and potentials of the idea of the uses of Asian-Australians for Australian economy in the Asian century. The complicated relationship between Asian migrants and diasporas’ lives in and attachment to Australia as citizens and their connections and identifications with the “homeland” will also be discussed.

Date and Time: 5-7pm 22 September (Thursday)
Venue: The Theatrette, Immigration Museum, Melbourne (400 Flinders St)

Fazal Rizvi (University of Melbourne)
“Australia’s Diaspora Advantage Realising the potential of transnational business networks with Asia”

“In 2015, I, along with Emeritus Professor Kam Louie (UNSW), was invited by the Australian Council of Learned Academy (ACOLA) to chair an Expert Working Group to look into the contribution that Australia’s Asian diasporas are making to the Australian economy, and especially its integration into Asia. Our project was expected to map the Asian business diasporas in Australia; explore the ways in which the diasporas participate and contribute to enterprise and innovation; identify the challenges they confront; and discuss some of the ways in which governments, industries and associations might address these challenges. In this talk, I will discuss some of the challenges we faced in doing this governmental work; how we negotiated these challenges; and how our findings nevertheless provided some fresh ways of thinking about diaspora formations in Australia and their significance in an increasingly transnational economic space. In particular, I will point to major limitations in the current ways of thinking about the relationship between cultural and economic formations, and the ways in which government agencies collect data and enact policies.”

Fazal Rizvi is a Professor of Global Studies in Education at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. He has written extensively on issues of identity and culture in transnational contexts, globalization and education policy and Australia-Asia relations.

Seminar moderator: Koichi Iwabuchi (Monash Asia Institute)

Light refreshment will be provided. RSVP by 19 September 2017 to