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Growing prosperity in our region a blessing: Deputy PM

Growing prosperity in our region a blessing: Deputy PM

Australia’s Foreign Minister has delivered the 2017 Alfred Deakin Institute Oration.

Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister the Hon Julie Bishop has urged Australians to be ambitious when considering their vision for their country’s role in the region at the 2017 Alfred Deakin Institute (ADI) Oration in Geelong.

Welcoming Ms Bishop, ADI Director Professor Fethi Mansouri, said the Institute was proud to be facilitating such an important conversation and highlighted the key role the Institute’s partnerships played in supporting its research.

“In fact, Minister, there are a number of projects around our immediate region, as well as the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region which have been conducted with support from your Department. In particular, these include the Council for Australian-Arab Relations (CAAR), the Australia India Institute, the Australia Thailand Institute and the Australia China Council,” he said.

Professor Mansouri noted that projects included those directed at countering violent extremism in the region and others aimed at building leadership capacity among young people and women.
Ms Bishop foreshadowed the soon-to-be-launched 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper, the first foreign policy blueprint for Australia since 2003, and expressed her delight at delivering the Institute’s first Oration.

“It is a delight to be here to deliver the Alfred Deakin Institute Oration, for this Institute is developing a national, indeed international, reputation for research that will further our understanding of how Australian society and the world is changing,” she said.

Ms Bishop’s opening remarks drew parallels between the Institute’s applied, evidence-based and policy-directed approach with that of the Coalition.

“The Institute’s research draws insights from multiple disciplines: political science, economics, sociology, jurisprudence and philosophy, to name a few,” she said.

“More than the pursuit of knowledge, the Institute seeks to shape the policy agenda, help individuals reach their potential, and advance individual and social justice in a dynamic world.”

Ms Bishop said practical wisdom derived from observation, and analysis was the basis for all good policy.

“The Coalition Government is seeking to achieve similar outcomes,” she said.

Ms Bishop said the White Paper would build on Australia’s strengths and shed further light on how it could pursue its strategic, economic interests, and promote its values in the decade ahead. It would also be a practical document to guide policy in a way that is relevant to the daily lives of Australian citizens, through initiatives such as the New Colombo Plan.

A particular challenge would be managing the overwhelming blessing of growing prosperity throughout the Indo-Pacific / Indian Ocean /Asia Pacific region. Examples of this include China’s prosperity and desire to extend its influence, Russia’s strategic interest, and the rise in wealth, strength and influence of South Korea, Indonesia and Vietnam.

“Australia welcomes the emergence of new powers outside our traditional network of security allies and partners,” Ms Bishop said.

“This is precisely what a free and open order, based on rules, is designed to achieve. The challenge is to ensure that all nations use their growing power responsibly, so, while benefiting from participation in the rules-based order, they accept the responsibility of respecting and strengthening that order at the same time.”

The full speech is available here:


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