Convened by Dr Andrea Haefner from Griffith Asia Institute (GAI) and supported by Australian Government New Colombo Plan mobility funding, the Griffith Asia Business Internship (GABI) program commenced last week. More than 30 Bachelor and Master students from across a range of disciplines will soon embark on a Remote Global Internship and/or Research Project affiliated with organisationsbased in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia and South Korea. The focus of GABI is to enhance Asian capability while expanding communication skills, employability and problem-solving skills, as students work across cultures, time zones and languages.

To set the scene, the compacted three-day Asia Ready Program, kicked off with Prof Caitlin Byrne, GAI Director delivering a session on why Asia matters, focusing on the dynamism of the region andthe importance of engagement, relations and scholarship. Further highlights included a Business Council Roundtable including representatives from Australia Indonesia Business Council Queensland, Australia Korea Business Council and Malaysian Australia Business Council, introducing students to the role of each business council, key activities and events. The value of bilateral relationships was a central theme that emerged, reinforcing the importance of people-to-people connections and community-to-community partnerships, especially in times of crisis. This theme also re-emerged in a session by Michael Kocken from Trade and Investment Queensland (TIQ) sharing insights into TIQ’s work in the Asian Region, sharing insight and extensive commercial experience, while describing key export markets, trends and international investment opportunities.

As highlighted by Thomas Buchan, a Bachelor of International Business/Bachelor of Government and International Relations student,

‘I just wanted to say thank you for the Asia Ready program. I thought it was very insightful, especially the professional aspects from the Business Council Members and the Trade and Investment Queensland portions’.

The Asia Ready program is followed by introductory language, cultural and orientation activities and events over the coming week, before placements and research projects start in early November.

Find out more about GABI.