Jakarta (ANTARA) - On June 23 to 26, a diverse cohort of 50 ASEAN and Australian delegates engaged in sparking discussions on the cross-regional sustainability issues at the second-ever ASEAN-Australia Young Leaders Forum (AAYLF).

Driven by the remarkable success of the inaugural AAYLF 2019 in Jakarta, the ASEAN-Australia Strategic Youth Partnership (AASYP) is proud to say that the AAYLF 2022 was another great success after a two-year hiatus.

The AAYLF 2022 was kicked off with welcome addresses from leading figures of ASEAN and Australia, including Will Nankervis, Ambassador of the Australian Mission to ASEAN; Rodora T. Babaran, ASEAN Director of Human Development Division; Renee Woodhouse, Director of the Global Education and Migration from the Tasmanian Government. They emphasised the importance of strengthening ASEAN-Australia ties and the key role of youth in contributing to this space.

With 2 Masterclass and more than 12 important sessions delivered in the Forum, the delegates were given a space to voice their ideas and opinions on the sustainability challenges, ranging from climate change to human rights, across the region to be solved together.

Delegates enriched their valuable insight from pivotal figures in the region and ASEAN policy sphere, including academics, entrepreneurs, policymakers, consultants, and even former politicians. Some notable figures included Professor Stephen Smith, the former Australian Minister of Defence and Foreign Affairs, and Professor Nicholas Farrelly from University Tasmania and the Australia-ASEAN Council Board.

Here are some of what the delegates say.

“AAYLF 2022 was the perfect experience to virtually re-connect with South-East Asia before heading back into the region next year. Bringing together 50 young ASEAN and Australian leaders in sustainable development has established lasting relationships and provided delegates insight into the varying sustainability challenges facing our region. The guest speakers deepened my understanding of a variety of topics, including ASEAN-Australia relations, climate finance stakeholders and sustainable tourism, and has reshaped how I think about sustainable developed in the Indo-Pacific region.” Jasmine Schmidt, the Australian delegate.

However, it was not all deep-thinking and intricate dialogue – the delegates also enjoyed a cooking class with the MasterChef 2017 winner, Dianna Chan, and a Balinese dance class with Mekar Bhuana Gamelan Music and Dance.

The Forum would not have been a massive success without the continuous support from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Australia-ASEAN Council (AAC) as the initial sponsor and Study Tasmania as the lead partner. Our partnership with Study Tasmania aligns with our own organisational goals by promoting greater cross-cultural exchange, leadership, and growth opportunities for young people. Furthermore, their resources help their students to not only find work while they are studying in Tasmania but helps target opportunities that build their future career.

Lastly, in an era where the ASEAN region has become central to Australia’s economic, security and foreign policy interests, the AAYLF is a crucial steppingstone for the next generation of leaders to forge relationships and a deeper understanding of the region. Delegates emerged from the forum with broader perspectives and new networks.

Reporter: PR Wire
Editor: PR Wire
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