Recent decades have seen a demographic shift in Australia from predominantly European immigration to Asian. But how are we poised to engage with Asia in the 21st century? Is political rhetoric around migrants threatening to undermine our national interest? And with China set to become the world’s largest economy, where should our diplomatic allegiances lie? Join Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane, former foreign affairs minister Gareth Evans and authors Linda Jaivin and Richard McGregor in conversation with political commentator George Megalogenis as they consider Australia’s future in the Asian region.

Supported by the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund.

Gareth Evans (Australian)

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Gareth Evans was a Cabinet Minister in the Hawke-Keating governments for thirteen years, including as Foreign Minister from 1988-96. He led the Brussels-based International Crisis Group from 2000-09, and is now Chancellor and Honorary Professorial Fellow at the Australian National University. He co-chaired major international commissions on mass atrocity crimes and nuclear weapons, has won many national and international awards, and has written or edited thirteen books, most recently Inside the Hawke Keating Government: A Cabinet Diary and Incorrigible Optimist: A Political Memoir.

Linda Jaivin (Australian)

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Linda Jaivin is the author of eleven books, a literary translator from Chinese specialising in film, and co-editor of the ANU's China Story Yearbook. She is also a prolific essayist, occasional playwright and first-time curator. Her first book, the comic erotic Eat Me, was an international bestseller. Her China memoir The Monkey and the Dragon, and novels A Most Immoral Woman and The Empress Lover all explore aspects of the foreign experience of China.

Richard McGregor (Australian)

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Richard McGregor is a senior fellow for east Asia at the Lowy Institute in Sydney. He is an award-winning journalist and author with extensive experience in reporting on the top-level politics and economies of east Asia, primarily China and Japan, and the US. He was a correspondent for the ABC and The Australian in Japan and China, and the Financial Times bureau chief in Beijing, Shanghai and Washington. His 2010 book, The Party, on the Chinese Communist Party, was called a “masterpiece” by The Economist and won numerous awards. His latest book, Asia's Reckoning, on Sino-Japanese relations and the fate of US power in east Asia, was published in late 2017. He was a fellow at the Wilson Center in 2015 and a visiting scholar at George Washington University in 2016.

Tim Soutphommasane (Australian)

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Dr Tim Soutphommasane has been Race Discrimination Commissioner since August 2013. Prior to joining the Australian Human Rights Commission, Tim was a political philosopher and held posts at The University of Sydney and Monash University. Tim is the author of four books, the most recent of which is I'm Not Racist But.... He is an adjunct professor at the School of Social Sciences and Psychology, Western Sydney University.

George Megalogenis (Australian)

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George Megalogenis is an author and journalist with three decades' experience in the media. The Australian Moment won the 2013 Prime Minister's Literary Award for Non-fiction and the 2012 Walkley Award for Non-fiction, and formed the basis for his ABC documentary series Making Australia Great. His latest book is Australia’s Second Chance. He is also the author of Faultlines, The Longest Decade and Balancing Act: Australia Between Recession and Renewal.