Sunday 03 Jul 2022 | 08:52 | SYDNEY

Australia in the World

Two visions of leadership

Malcolm Turnbull on last night\'s edition of Q&A: My own view is that America has completely abdicated global leadership on climate change...I think what we have to look forward to, and it isn\'t a very promising prospect, but the only country I think that is capable of showing real

Reader riposte: The limits of machine translators

Aidan Dullard: Cameron\'s point about the increasing sophistication of technology like Google Translate is often seen as the death-knell for professional translators and interpreters; as machine translation gets more accurate and more widely available, the need for human translators will

DFAT needs a movie star

In a bid to defend itself against congressional calls for cuts to the State Department budget, it appears State has recruited the star power of Michael Douglas. Douglas was quoted in Business Week yesterday saying: Congress is way out of line,” Douglas told reporters. Diplomacy “

Fixing the international architecture of aid

Peter Baxter is Director General of AusAID. Hear his recent Lowy Institute speech here. What we do at AusAID is hard work. If there was a simple template for development we would have been using it already. We allocate our funds and efforts based on need, our capacity to make a difference,

Reader riposte: Digital interpreters

Cameron Crouch writes: A quick thought in relation to The Interpreter\'s ongoing debate about Australia\'s Asia literacy: do advances in machine translation reduce the need for Australians to learn Asian languages? The notion that Google Translate can already speak \'57 languages as well as a 10

Australia Asia literacy wipe-out

Tim Lindsey is an ARC Federation Fellow and Director of the Asian Law Centre at the University of Melbourne. It\'s been coming for years, but it looks Australia\'s Asia literacy wipe-out may now have arrived. In October, The Sydney Morning Herald reported that NSW has just reported its

East Timor and me: A response to Noam Chomsky

Gareth Evans (pictured) was Australian foreign minister from 1988 to 1996. Noam Chomsky, in Sydney on 2 November, repeated his familiar attack on my handling, as Australia\'s foreign minister from 1988-96, of relations with Indonesia over East Timor. It is one that he, along with his

Reader riposte: No incentive to be a Asia linguist

Ryan writes: Firstly, I\'d like to congratulate Mr Carr for his post, and for highlighting the absence of demand for language learners. But I\'d like to perhaps challenge him on his assertion that, if you \'build demand for cultural and social engagement and the language, business and

Smashing the people smugglers' business model

Dr Khalid Koser is Head of the New Issues in Security Program at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, and a non-resident Fellow at the Lowy Institute. The \'business model of migrant smuggling\' was developed by me and a few colleagues at the Migration Research Unit at University College

Choosing our media diets

Continuing the discussion on media coverage of soldiers\' deaths, Greg Jericho compares coverage of Vietnam and Afghanistan: One difference of course is that there is less news coverage of the war in Afghanistan than that of Vietnam. Vietnam was referred to as the first war brought into

Do Australian schools teach our kids anything about Southeast Asia?

The point Andrew makes about building demand for Asian language study first is absolutely crucial. The Gillard Government\'s discontinuation of funding for Asian language teaching in Australian schools last budget laid to rest a 20-year experiment with top-down, government-led Asia literacy.

Reader riposte: A business case for Asia literacy

Kathleen Kirby, Executive Director of Asialink and Asia Education Foundation writes: Geoff Miller asks if there is a jobs pay-off for Asia literacy? The Australian Industry Group and Asialink undertook a survey this year to better understand Australian business preparedness for doing

The media, the war, the shutdown

Rodger Shanahan says Australia\'s news organisations got it wrong on Sunday night by prioritising the Qantas shutdown over the deaths of three Australian soldiers in Afghanistan. Media Watch\'s Jonathan Holmes agreed; he quoted Rodger\'s piece approvingly at the top of his program

The Commonwealth flaps on

The Commonwealth summit proved anew the rule that leaders love to gather for a gabble, but deciding actually to do something tends to induce paralysis. Or, more likely, a demand for further study.  What the leaders did agree on was to change succession laws so that in the future the first-

Overburdening the bank guarantee

The European sovereign debt mess is a reminder of how foreign capital flows can get countries into trouble. It\'s not just the southern Europeans who are feeling the pinch. The heavy investment of French and German banks in Greek government bonds (and the debt of other troubled countries) has left

Asia literacy: Is there a jobs pay-off?

Geoff Miller is the former Director-General of the Office of National Assessments. Andrew Carr\'s article on the need to stimulate demand for Asian languages in Australian schools seems to me correct in raising the issue of supply and demand. But perhaps it doesn\'t raise the issue at a

Memo to soldiers: Don't die during an industrial relations dispute

I know that Australian soldiers dying isn\'t good news, but I used to think it was at least newsworthy. Until yesterday, that is. When news of three dead and seven wounded Australian soldiers collides with a Qantas shutout, guess which event dominates the media? I looked at the SBS and ABC

5-minute Lowy Lunch: Indonesia rising

Indonesia\'s democratisation and economic development have been tremendously beneficial developments for Australia. But Josh Frydenberg, former senior adviser to Foreign Minister Alexander Downer and Prime Minister John Howard and now the Liberal Party member for the federal seat of

Wise words from the Press Gallery

Two of the greats of the Canberra Press Gallery have sent down pronouncements from the Hill on the past and future of that murky place where journalists joust with politicians and policy. One missive is the Andrew Olle Lecture by Laurie Oakes. The other is from Rob Chalmers, musing on a life

Asia literacy: Boost supply or demand?

One policy guaranteed to feature in the \'Australia in the Asian Century\' White Paper is the take-up of Asian languages by Australians. Yet, as my colleague Mark Thirlwell noted to me the other day, we need to think about whether this problem is one of supply or demand. Most reports argue

Bali, our Asian dream and nightmare

It hasn\'t been a good month for those wondering how Australia will adjust to the Asian Century. The mere fact our foreign minister is active and busy at his job is treated, by default, as a bad thing. Meanwhile, the arrest of a 14 year-old Australian on drug charges in Indonesia set off a series

Summits here, there and everywhere

For Julia Gillard, these should be the best of times. The median wealth of Australians is the highest in the world and the World Bank thinks Australian companies have a pretty easy time of it, too. With everything rosy at home, the Prime Minister should be embarking on an extraordinary series of

Thai floods reveal message for Australian business

Mark Carroll is the Executive Director of the Australian-Thai Chamber of Commerce. The views expressed are his alone and do not necessarily represent those of the Chamber or its members.    As the muddy flood waters in Thailand recede, they will reveal just how important the Thai

Australian NGOs: Less begging, more busking

It's not often that public organisations invite criticism. But ACFID — the umbrella group which tries to bring together under one very broad roof Australia's collection of international non-government development organisations – did just that. At its annual conference in Canberra a

Mahathir agrees he was a 'recalcitrant'

The word \'recalcitrant\' has been woven through the Australia-Malaysia relationship for two decades — denoting opposing views of Asia, middle power competition and clashing personalities. The shift beyond the recalcitrant era is illustrated by the Gillard Government\'s vain quest for

Diplomatic symbols: The Lodge

In preparing Australia for the Asian century, how Australia presents itself to the world — especially to visiting national leaders and diplomats — will be crucial. Symbols and diplomatic procedures will have to be considered and challenged. One change I\'d like to see to this end

New Zealand: Better with Australia

Dr Andrew Butcher is Director of Policy and Research at the Asia New Zealand Foundation. There\'s one common thread in the recent series of reports commissioned by the Asia New Zealand Foundation about the views of New Zealand\'s regional neighbours on its place in Asia: New Zealand is

Tony Abbott, values warrior

The Opposition leader prefers a Free Trade Agreement with Japan over one with China: Tony Abbott has signalled the landmark free trade agreement John Howard launched with China would be on the backburner if the Coalition wins the next election. The Opposition Leader foreshadowed that Japan

Lowy Lecture Series - Josh Frydenberg presentation

Indonesia's strong economic growth and emerging leadership in the region are creating new opportunities for Australia to deepen its political, economic and strategic ties with our close and important neighbour. With an economy expected to double in size over the next fifteen years, Indonesia is now

PNG Prime Minister breakthrough visit

The visit of new Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O\'Neill to Canberra last week represented something of a breakthrough in bilateral relations. O\'Neill brought nine cabinet ministers with him, who met with Australian counterparts in the 20th bilateral Ministerial Forum (pictured

Australia in Libya: Value for money?

Today marks seven months since NATO started bombing targets in Libya as part of the campaign to enforce a no-fly zone authorised by UN Security Council Resolution 1973. Australia is now the second largest state donor to the Libyan reconstruction effort, having committed $41.1 million from our

Afghanistan: A revealing army report

I\'ve just finished reading Colonel Peter Connolly\'s account of his time in command of the ADF\'s Second Mentoring and Reconstruction Task Force in Uruzgan between May and December 2009. \'Counterinsurgency in Uruzgan 2009\' reads a lot like an edited post-operation report and its great to see

Rudd raises the China rhetoric

Apologies for being a few days late to this, but since nobody else seems to have picked up on it, I wanted to point to Foreign Minister Rudd\'s speech to the Oxford Business Alumni on 13 October. He used what struck me as surprisingly strong language in listing China\'s ten ambitions for the

DFAT needs a Googleplex

It was nice to read that the latest Australian parliamentary inquiry includes, as one of its four terms of reference, the examination of \'the affect (sic) of e-diplomacy...on the activities of diplomatic posts\'. Given DFAT doesn\'t even have an ediplomacy office, you have to suspect that point is

Reader riposte: Political football

J. Bechara writes: \'Australia is blessed by four codes of football\' is a curious affirmation, since the variety of rugby codes is the main cause of their limited range (none can be considered a national sport), shortage of funds and dependence on controversial sources, as poker machines.

Michael Kirby on the Commonwealth

Ahead of next week\'s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth, former High Court Justice Michael Kirby stopped by the Lowy Institute last week to explain his work as Australia\'s representative on the Commonwealth\'s Eminent Persons Group.  Michael Kirby is passionate about

Australia-ROK: Software development

South Korea and Australia don\'t muster much soft power, but if they join thoughts they could have some impact on the software of the emerging Asia Pacific system. That\'s the thought I offered up last week to the Australia-Korea dialogue held in the Foreign Affairs Department in

Friday funny: White men can't haka

Nowadays the All Blacks use the Maori haka as the ultimate intimidatory weapon before kicking off in test matches. It is a challenge to a fight, and the intensity in the eyes of All Blacks of both Maori and European heritage can stir the soul and intimidate opponents. But way back in the

Australia and South Korea have a free trade deal

Australia has achieved something with South Korea that it can\'t get with China or Japan –  a Free Trade Agreement. Marking the Australia-Korea dialogue in Canberra, the Foreign Minister, Kevin Rudd, told a dinner that the deal is just about done. Or in Rudd\'s words, the

5-minute Lowy Lunch: AusAID today

AusAID Director-General Peter Baxter gave this week\'s Wednesday Lowy Lunch lecture, delivering a spirited defence of Australia\'s aid budget, which you can listen to here. While AusAID has endured criticism over inefficient use of costly external consultants, Mr Baxter pointed out that

Asking too much of consular service

There must have been a heavy collective groan reverberating along the corridors of DFAT\'s RG Casey building earlier this week when Australia\'s diplomatic corps learned that the prime minister had personally spoken with the 14 year-old boy arrested in Bali for drug possession. As a consular

Principles and the NPT

I admire Greens Senator Scott Ludlam, but he has just put out a press release on uranium sales to India that rather artfully backfires: Labor\'s own policy bans the sale of nuclear fuel to countries that have refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), yet there is a danger the

How will we come to view these wars?

Major Gen (Retd) Jim Molan is author of Running the War in Iraq. Max Boot has published a review of a book, \'Westmoreland: The General Who Lost Vietnam\', by Lewis Sorley. This book will re-ignite the long fought controversy over who lost the Vietnam War, but it also has great relevance to

An Asia Pacific concert by another name

An Asia Pacific concert or community of powers is where the region is slowly heading, if we get lucky and get good leadership — but it\'s time to drop the concert label. The concert/community outcome is still the desired destination, but to get there, much less sell the concept, it has

Rolling Stone says RIP Australia

Rolling Stone has a piece in its latest issue titled Climate Change and the End of Australia. Depending on your views, it\'s either alarming or alarmist: How bad could it get? A recent study by MIT projects that without \"rapid and massive action\" to cut carbon pollution, the Earth\'s

Australia Asia strategy emerges

Does Australia have a strategy for dealing with the new Asia, especially the rise of China and India? This question is central to the Australian Government\'s recently-announced Asia policy review. Either we have a plan, in which the case the review can test, inform and refine it, or we don\'t

Political football, the Australian way

To express the zeitgeist and schadenfreude of Oceania this week leads to only one topic – football. Australia didn\'t really engage with the tax summit in Canberra because its attentions and emotions had been spent on the two grand finals at the weekend. Concurrently, the rugby fest thunders