Canberra Networking Events

‘Networking’ often draws different responses but whether you like it or not, networking can be fundamental to finding your next job, doing business and developing mutual contacts. There is already a wide range of advice on networking techniques on the web but there remains a gap in information on networking options specific to Australians interested in Asia. This is where Asia Options comes in to help and through our Asia Networking Guide Series we provide a directory for networking events in ten cities. Our first feature city in this edition is Canberra.

As the nation’s capital, Canberra offers a basket of engaging networking events and a welcome alternative to a night out at the notorious Mooseheads Bar. This week we feature seven networking platforms with a focus on Asia.

1) The Australian Institute of International Affairs

The AIIA’s Head Office is based in Canberra and offers monthly guest speaker events. Guest speakers include foreign ambassadors, esteemed academics from the ANU, representatives from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the list goes on. Guest speaker events vary in content but Asia related talks have become popular in recent years. There is also a great opportunity to network before and after the main presentation. AIIA members tend to be very young or very—well let’s just say ‘retired.’ The healthy pool of retired officials who attend AIIA events though are a wealth of knowledge and always keen for a yarn.

2) The Kokoda Foundation

Access to Australian defense strategists and experts in Canberra is unmatched and attending the Kokoda Foundation’s Future Strategic Leaders (FSL) Program events is a must for aspiring defense analysts and I.R students.

The Future Strategic Leaders’ Program has been established by the Kokoda Foundation to develop the professional skills of the next generation of Australian national security leaders. The program provides a challenging environment for Australia’s brightest and best young minds to develop their skills and build a network with the current and next generations of national security professionals in government and industry. The program offers regular Social Networking Events, the FSL Congress and the National Security Careers Night.

The FSL Congress is held twice a year and offers future strategic leaders the opportunity to attend a weekend retreat involving a series of workshops and seminars with senior national security community leaders and industry heads. The Kokoda Foundation National Security Careers Night is an exclusive careers night for university graduates and young professionals who work in the national security community or aspire to do so. The Careers Night provides future leaders with valuable insights into the national security community, featuring presentations on the roles, activities and professional development opportunities in major government organisations.

3) Australia China Youth Professionals Initiative

The Australia-China Young Professionals Initiative is the premier platform for young professionals in Australia and China to engage with the most significant issues of the bilateral relationship. ACYPI holds guest speaker and panelist events in Canberra where young professionals aged 22 – 35 can develop a deeper understanding of the issues, opportunities and challenges facing Australia and China. The Canberra ACYPI Chapter is not quite as active and professional as its counterpart in Melbourne but still a worthwhile networking and learning opportunity.

4) The Australian National University Clubs and Societies

ANU students are fortunate to not only to have access to a wide range of student interest clubs but also some of the best Asia related youth interest groups in the country. Both the Australia China Youth Association and the Australia Indonesia Youth Association launched their first chapters at ANU. ANU students have a strong record in the field of youth leadership and Asia expertise which means ANU clubs and societies are a great place to start for aspiring leaders in the Asia Century.

5) The Asia-Pacific Youth Organisation

The Asia-Pacific Youth Organisation is a non-profit youth organisation with a mission to facilitate constructive engagement of young leaders in the political, diplomatic and economic issues facing the Asia-Pacific region. Guest speaker events are held every few months and attract a mix of university students and young professionals.

6) The Australian National University

The ANU holds a wide range of free public presentations on public policy, economics and culture related to Asia. These public lectures offer an incredible opportunity to learn from and meet some of Australia’s most esteemed academics with a finger in public policy; including Emiratus Professor Peter Drysdale (known as the intellectual architect of APEC) and Professor Hugh White (former Director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute).

Keep an eye out for events at the ANU on the following webpages:

The Korea Institute

The Japan Institute

South Asia Institute

Australian Centre on China in the World

Crawford School of Public Policy

The Strategic and Defence Studies Centre

7) Exclusive events

Canberra also plays host to a plethora of invite-only events, including diplomatic receptions, book releases, government press conferences and so forth. These events are usually off-limits for university students. The best way to gain access to these events is to intern with the AIIA in Canberra or ASPI (The Australian Strategic Policy Institute). Both the AIIA and ASPI encourage interns to attend local networking events.

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Olly Theobald

Director at Asia Options.
Olly works in Hangzhou China and is enthusiastic about entrepreneurship, e-commerce, Asia education, data science, and foreign languages. Olly is a graduate from RMIT University and the Hopkins Nanjing Center for Chinese and American Studies. Olly speaks Mandarin and Korean.

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