Celebrating the Centre at 10

On Wednesday 22 November 2023, the Perth USAsia Centre marked its 10-year anniversary with a commemorative celebration at the Art Gallery of Western Australia, on the land of the Whadjuk Noongar People.

Distinguished guests, corporate partners, and friends of the Centre gathered for an intimate keynote address by award-winning journalist, author and filmmaker Professor Stan Grant.

Proud Whadjuk Noongar woman and long-time friend of the Centre, Ingrid Cumming welcomed the group to Country.

In opening remarks, the audience heard from the people behind the establishment of the Centre: former Australian Ambassador to the United States and now Perth USAsia Centre Chair, the Honourable Kim Beazley AC; the inaugural Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director and now Minister for Resources and Minister for Northern Australia, the Honourable Madeleine King MP; and founding Chief Executive Officer, Professor Gordon Flake.

They reflected on the immense contribution the Centre had made over ten years in building an engaged international strategic affairs community in Western Australia, and in enhancing understanding of the Indo-Pacific, a zone Mr Beazley characterised as “absolutely critical to our long-term survival and vital to our economy.”

Looking forward, Professor Stan Grant’s keynote address reflected on the moral choices that Australia and individuals must make to safeguard the future. Drawing on insights from his decades-long career as an international correspondent, he emphasised the need for genuine human connection to ensure the survival of democracy in Australia and globally. This lack of connection was behind Australia’s failed referendum on an indigenous Voice to Parliament, and it was behind increasing polarisation across the world. “If we lose intimacy, we lose democracy,” he remarked.

As the Centre looks to its next 10 years, we thank our sponsors for their ongoing support and are delighted to welcome our new partner Singapore Airlines. We are proud to be growing our research and education programs – commencing a First Nations Foreign Policy Program of work, and a series of online Masterclasses in 2024. And we will continue to build our community, here in Western Australia, across Australia and in the Indo-Pacific.

From all of us at the Perth USAsia Centre, we look forward to what the next decade will bring.

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