Founded in 2010, the ACYD aims to promote a more sophisticated cross-cultural understanding between young Australian and Chinese from 18-35 years of age by bringing together key emerging leaders from both countries. We believe that frequent and meaningful engagement between young leaders in Australia and China who are interested in furthering Australia-China relations is in the long-term benefit of Australia, China, and the Australia-China relationship. In 2010 the inaugural ACYD was held in Beijing and Shanghai. Then in 2011, the second ACYD was held in Canberra and Sydney. For 2012, the third ACYD is planned for Beijing and Chengdu.
This submission is a collaborative effort by the Australian and Chinese delegates of the 2011 ACYD. It covers a range of issues that we believe need to be prioritised by the Australian Government as it seeks to navigate the Asian Century; a century couched in the context of a rejuvenated People’s Republic of China. Central to it all is the importance of developing a cohesive and compelling ‘Austral-Asian narrative’: a story that we tell about ourselves, defining Australia as a multicultural nation in Asia, comfortable with both our past and our future, and committed to an open, prosperous and sustainable Asia.
The perspectives contained within this document are youth perspectives. They reflect the priorities of the 2011 ACYD delegates and organisers. We hope they provide fresh insights distilled from the forthright and open discussions held throughout the 2011 ACYD. Whilst the views contained herein do not necessarily represent the views of the ACYD Executive Team, our Organising Partners, Major Sponsors or Associate Partners, they do represent the general perspectives of the 2011 ACYD delegate participants.
We hope that this document will not only help guide the Australian Government’s policy-making efforts with respect to realising a prosperous, frank and respectful Australia-China relationship, but also help inform the Australian private sector’s and civil society’s efforts for engaging with China. Moreover, the ACYD hopes that this document demonstrates that the ‘youth’ perspective is an integral constituency that can present valid views on substantive issues concerning the direction of Australia-Asia and more specifically, Australia-China relations.
This submission would not have been possible without the support and input of the 2011 ACYD delegates and ACYD administrative team members.
Henry Makeham, ACYD Founder February, 2012