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Since its inception in 2010 the Australia-China Youth Dialogue (ACYD) has brought together 30 of the best and brightest youth from Australia and China each year to undertake a track II dialogue to discuss matters of high importance to the Australia-China relationship.

According to ACYD Executive Director Fiona Lawrie, “Each year we bring together 15 Australian and 15 Chinese emerging leaders who are experts in their fields of academia, diplomacy, business, science, arts and sport to discuss issues pertinent to the Australia-China relationship.”

Applications for ACYD 2017 are now open. This year’s ACYD will be held in Beijing.

Delegates should be between the ages of 25-40. Applicants will need to show how they have demonstrated a commitment to advancing the Sino-Australia relationship in their chosen professional career.

The ACYD is broken into numerous discussion sessions and workshops with industry and government experts complimented by social dinners and cultural visits. The 2015 speakers include former Foreign Minister Bob Carr, former President of BHP Billiton China Clinton Dines and CEO of Corrs Chamber Westgarth.

 

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Alice from Asia Options also sat down with ACYD alumni Anne Kuleshova and Jack Jia to discuss their personal highlights from the ACYD and their tips for future applicants.

2013 Australian ACYD delegate Anne Kuleshova

Anne Kuleshova

Anne Kuleshova 孔睿涵 was a 2013 ACYD delegate; she has since joined the ACYD Management Team as the Director of Partnerships and Relationships. Anne (BCom (Honours), AIAA, SA Fin) is a Consultant in JANA’s Direct Investments Unit and a member of the Infrastructure and Private Equity Research Teams. Anne is an experienced financial professional, having worked in Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) at Macquarie Capital and in M&A and Valuations at Deloitte Corporate Finance. She is an Associate of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia (AIAA) and Senior Associate of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia (SA Fin).

Anne is Chair of Financial Services Institute of Australasia’s (Finsia) Young Finance Professionals Committee in Victoria and Director of People and Networks, Australia-China Young Professionals Initiative.

 

Why did you decide to apply for the 2013 ACYD?

My interest in the Australia-China relationship was initially borne from my work in Mergers and Acquisitions as part of Macquarie’s Investment Bank team in 2007-2008. When I applied for the ACYD in 2013 I was working as an Associate Director 副总监 at China House Consultancy 中皓顾问公. During that period I was heavily involved in facilitating investment from Chinese companies into Australian projects.

My understanding of China’s significance to Australia meant that I was keen to get involved in the ACYD so that I could interact with Chinese professionals who were leaders in their chosen professional fields. The ACYD promotes a mutual understanding of both China and Australia, and I believe that it is this mutual understanding that is the key to a stronger Australia-China relationship.

 

What was a personal highlight from the ACYD?

It has been my great privilege to get to know the Chinese delegates who participated in the 2013 ACYD. Despite growing up in China, I found that the Chinese delegates possessed an incredibly sophisticated understanding of Western culture. It was inspiring to meet them, and learn about their perspectives. Some of the Chinese delegates have found great success in their careers despite difficult circumstances, and I found their personal stories of success to be both humbling and inspiring. I believe that some of the Chinese delegates I have met during the ACYD will become future leaders in China.

 

What are your tips for Australian applicants who would like to attend ACYD?

The purpose of the dialogue is to promote a cross-cultural understanding of the Australia-China relationship. Hence, all delegates will need to possess an interest in hearing ideas and views that may differ from their own perspective. It is imperative that delegates maintain an open mind during the dialogue so that they can expand their knowledge and understanding of the Australia-China relationship.

At the same time, the Dialogue is an exchange of different ideas so a willingness to express one’s point of view in a robust and respectful manner would enable participants to promote an understanding of their own culture to other delegates.

 

2014 ACYD Chinese delegate Jack Jia 

Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 1.25.58 PMJack Jia (Xiao Jia) is managing director at Phoenix Publishing & Media International (Australia), an Australian subsidiary of one of the biggest public-listed publishing and Media groups in China. His role is related to strategy and team management. His business concept involves connecting art and culture with investment.

 

Why did you decide to apply for the 2014 ACYD?

ACYD is a unique organisation which allows young individuals to connect and collaborate with elites from both Australia and China. It is my long held belief that friendships begin at a young age, hence I applied for the ACYD so that I could establish friendships with youth from both Australia and China. I wanted to find out what my peers from Australia and China thought about the Sino-Australia relationship. I heard about the ACYD from my friend Peter Cai who is a former ACYD delegate, and a journalist at the China Spectator.

 

What was a personal highlight from the ACYD?

Listening to a presentation by Tim Chen, President of Telstra International, was a personal highlight for me at the 2014 ACYD. He talked about some of his experiences working as a senior executive in a multinational company and I found his stories to be very interesting. He also enlightened us with the lessons he learnt from working in the international marketplace. I was greatly inspired by his presentation.

I was also impressed by the smooth operation of the ACYD. It was a fantastic example of how well Australia and China can collaborate. Through the ACYD I am able to see the bright future of these two great countries.

 

What are your tips for Chinese applicants who would like to attend ACYD?

In terms of skills, Chinese applicants should have a high level of spoken English. They should also be able to clearly demonstrate their career goals in their application. In terms of tips, Chinese applicants should discuss their involvement in the Australia-China relationship and how they can contribute to the future of the bilateral relationship.

 

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Alice Slevison

Greater China Country Coordinator
Alice Slevison is a graduate from the Masters of International Relations (Chinese) at the University of Melbourne, and holds a B.A. of International Studies from RMIT University. Alice's passion has led her to undertake long-term study in Hong Kong, Xiamen and Nanjing and professional roles in trade and policy in Beijing and Shanghai. Alice is currently working in Canberra for the Australia Government.

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