I congratulate the recipients of the inaugural Australia-ASEAN Council (AAC) grants.

The AAC will support 16 projects which promote collaboration between Australia and the ten countries of ASEAN, in the areas of business, arts and culture, sport, education, and women in leadership.

Each of the successful proposals demonstrated a pioneering idea or approach. The AAC’s grants program will promote Australia’s creativity and ability to develop innovative ideas with partner countries.

Successful proposals include:

  • RMIT University’s ‘Educational Business Matching Course in Building Business Capability in Asia’ for up to 50 small to medium-sized enterprises
  • The Asialink ‘Women in Leadership Mentoring Program’, which will bring together women from across Australia and ASEAN to develop professional networks and identify ways to elevate more women into leadership positions across ASEAN
  • Monash University’s ‘Enhancing Thai Democracy through Education Links to Australia’
  • The Football Federation of Australia’s ‘ASEAN Women’s Football Administration and Coaching Development Exchange’
  • Supporting seven South-East Asian artists to show work at the 20th Sydney Biennale in 2016.

The AAC was launched three months ago and I commend AAC Chair Christine Holgate and her fellow board members for their proactive and enthusiastic approach to selecting the successful grant recipients.

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