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Victoria

Event Recap - Hamer Connect - Networking Evening

25 October 2017

ACBC Victoria, in partnership with Trade Victoria, launched the ‘Hamer Connect’ initiative at a networking evening at International Chamber House on 25 October.

Hamer Connect is a platform for ongoing engagement and the exchange of information between alumni of the Victorian Government Hamer Scholarships Program and professionals interested in Asia.

The event welcomed over 100 guests to gain insight into how the Hamer Scholarships program helps to build the Asia capabilities of Victorians and foster closer cultural and economic ties between Victoria and Asia.

Guests heard from ACBC President, The Hon John Brumby AO, plus a panel of China experts, who provided perspectives on the importance of Asia capabilities for the Victorian economy, as well as the various challenges and prospects regarding enhancing mutual understanding between Australia and China.

The formal proceedings began with a welcome from ACBC Victoria CEO, Ms Virginia Birrell, followed by a keynote address from The Hon John Brumby. He highlighted that the growth emanating from our region is and will be profound, and will continue to create opportunities for Australia. Just some of these opportunities include tourism, investment, sports diplomacy, international education and consumer products. Those with language skills, deep cultural understanding, and the capacity to build relationships therefore stand to succeed the most. That is why the Hamer Scholarships program is so important to Victoria.

This was followed by a panel discussion and Q&A session moderated by Ms Ylva Carasone, Executive Direction, International Coordination Office, DEDJTR. Panellists included Dr Sophie Couchman, Exhibition Curator, Museum Victoria; Mr Eric Gao, Founder and Managing Director, BMY Group; and Professor Charles Qin OAM, Managing Director and Chief Interpreter, Chin Communications. Sophie provided insights drawing upon her experience as a Hamer Scholarship recipient, while Eric and Charles spoke from the perspective of professionals with long term engagement with China. Topics covered included the nuances of cultural understanding, the importance and utilisation of Asia capabilities in different contexts, challenges surrounding the building of an Asia capable work force, and many more.

ACBC Victoria warmly thanks Trade Victoria for their partnership in this event. We also extend our thanks to the speakers and panellists for their insights and contribution to the event. Finally, we kindly thank all those who attended.