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15 May 2012

Asialink

Asialink is Australia’s leading centre for the promotion of public understanding of the countries of Asia and of Australia’s role in the region. The organisation is a key provider of information, training and professional networks. Asialink’s mission is to work with business, government, philanthropic and cultural partners to initiate and strengthen Australia Asia engagement. It excels in “soft diplomacy” - delivering high-level forums, international collaborations, leadership training, education, community health and cultural programs in Australia and Asia.

The Asialink Centre was established in 1990 as a joint initiative of the Australian Government's Commission for the Future and the Myer Foundation, one of Australia's oldest and largest philanthropic organisations.

Asialink's mission was to create a new generation of Australians who are knowledgeable about the countries of Asia and who understand more fully what we can learn from our neighbours and what we can contribute to the region in which we live. Following a series of search conferences with experts from around Australia, Asialink developed programs in education, the arts, business and community awareness; with education being its first priority.

Following the announcement of the privatisation of the Commission for the Future, Asialink sought a university partner and, in July 1991, became a centre of The University of Melbourne under an agreement between the Myer Foundation and the University. Asialink was administered from the Office of the Vice-Chancellor, with an Advisory Board chaired by the late Kenneth Myer AC and an Executive chaired by Professor Kwong Lee Dow. In 1998 Asialink became a non-academic department of The University of Melbourne, along with the Melbourne Theatre Company and the Ian Potter Museum of Art.

In 2001 a $2 million grant from the Sidney Myer Centenary Celebration allowed Asialink to move to the purpose built prestigious Sidney Myer Asia Centre which it shares with the University’s Asia Institute.