Youth Engagement - The Australia-China Youth Dialogue

06 November 2013 by Joel Wing-Lun The 2013 Australia-China Youth Dialogue (ACYD) took place on September 24 with a reception hosted at Government House with a reception by the Governor General, the Hon Quentin Bryce AC CVO. ACYD 2013 brought together 30 Australian and Chinese young leaders with diverse backgrounds and expertise in Canberra and Melbourne for a six-day dialogue exploring issues and trends affecting the Sino-Australian relationship.

Prof the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC, Chancellor of the Australian National University and former Foreign Minister of Australia, Mr Peter Varghese AO, Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Prof Kerry Brown, Executive Director of the University of Sydney’s China Studies Centre (CSC), were among the eminent individuals who addressed this year’s Dialogue.

The Australia-China Youth Dialogue was proud to partner with the University of Sydney’s China Studies Centre. In announcing the partnership, Prof Kerry Brown praised the ACYD: “Engaging young professionals and academics in China in their work and their lives is critically important, and building deeper links between the two countries is something we fully support and wish to see flourish.”

The CSC supported a University of Sydney alumni fellow to attend ACYD 2013. The Centre is also a partner of the 2013 ACYA Journal of Australia-China Affairs.


In 2009, Dr. Stephen Fitzgerald (Australia’s first ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, 1973-76) highlighted the absence of – and a need for – more institutionalised dialogue between Australia and China through both governmental and non-governmental organisations. In 2012, the Hon. Julia Gillard MP, Prime Minister of Australia, stated that “In the Asian century, business as usual is not enough”.

ACYD was founded to address these concerns, and promote frequent and meaningful engagement and more sophisticated cross-cultural understanding among Australian and Chinese youth. Since 2010, ACYD has brought young leaders from Australia and China together with key experts and decision makers to discuss key aspects of the bilateral relationship.

Speakers at past Diaologues have included HE Ms Frances Adamson, Australian Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, Justin Yifu Lin, former Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of the World Bank, and the Hon. Bob Hawke AC, former Prime Minister of Australia.


ACYD seeks to enhance Sino-Australian relations by forging lasting connections that will benefit both countries in the future. The main objectives of the ACYD are to:

  •  Facilitate an understanding of Chinese and Australian culture and society;
  • Encourage talented youth to take an active interest in Australia-China relations;
  • Bring together Australian and Chinese youth from different sectors to create long-term, mutually beneficial relationships; and
  • Encourage youth to seek employment opportunities in future business, research, NGO and/or diplomatic roles between Australia and China.

With the respected former Australian diplomat Richard Woolcott AC recently describing the ACYD as “probably more important than the Australian American Leadership Dialogue,” it is safe to say that the ACYD is well on the way to achieving these aims.

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