The Newsletter 92 Summer 2022

News from Australia and the Pacific

Cathy HarperEdwin Jurriëns

Asia and Asians in Australian Politics and Society

For News from Australia and the Pacific, we ask contributors to reflect on their own research and the broader academic field in Australia and the Pacific of which it is a part. We focus on current, recent, or upcoming projects, books, articles, conferences, and courses, while identifying related interests and activities of fellow academics in the field. Our contributions aim to give a select overview of Asia-related studies in Australia and beyond, and to highlight exciting intellectual debates on and with Asia. The style of our essays is subjective and informal. Rather than offering fully-fledged research reports, our contributions give insight into the motivations behind and directions of various types of conversations between Asia and our region.

In the current edition, we focus on the theme of “Asia and Asians in Australian Politics and Society” – an especially timely topic as Australia held a national election on May 21. Each author, broadly speaking, examines the extent to which Australia is embracing its place in Asia and its Asian-Australian communities. Professor Jia Gao examines the continuing lack of representation of Asian Australians in parliament. Associate Professors Claire Maree and Jay Song show that this lack of representation remains in other aspects of contemporary life in Australia and that anti-Asian racism has increased since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Professor Andrew Rosser looks at the continued difficulties Australian business has engaging with Asia due to a lack of networks, capabilities, and partnerships. Cathy Harper makes an argument that more than ever, Australia needs to embrace the Asian communities existing within it and throughout the region.


Representation of Asia in Contemporary Australian Politics, Media and Everyday Life
By Claire Maree and Jay Song
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Better representation of Asian Australians in politics is needed more than ever
By Jia Gao
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Why expert Asia-related analysis is more important than ever, in Australia and the region
By Cathy Harper
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Australian Business and Economic Engagement with Asia
By Andrew Rosser
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