Perspectives: Asia hosted The Hon. Dr Andrew Charlton, Member of Parliament for Paramatta, to share insights on his latest book Australia’s Pivot to India.
In his lecture on Thursday, November 9, Dr Charlton shared a very personal and optimistic perspective on India’s development and Australia’s relationship with India. He spoke of how Australia was not only physically connected in historic times of Gondwana sharing geology, but that India was one of the countries that supported Australian settlements through much needed provisions.
Australia was one of the first countries to hoist India’s flag after its independence in 1947, however relations between the two nations have long been more hopeful than practical. Dr Charlton pointed out that a growing Indian diaspora in Australia, which as of 2020, became the second-largest group of overseas-born residents within Australia, contributes to the stronger relations between the two nations, moving beyond the “three C’s”- commonwealth, cricket, and curry – from a relationship he describes as “acquaintances”, to a relationship based on friendship and partnership.
Economically, Australia has a lot to gain from strengthening relationships with India, as its GDP rises and its population continues to increase. With India’s rise to becoming a 21st century superpower imminent, Dr Charlton linked its growth within the world and the growth of the Indian diaspora within Australia to the inescapable conclusion; the rise of India will change Australia, both within the country and outside of it. He expands on this prediction within his book.
The audiences’ questions touched on the support of the Australian government towards the Indian diaspora, the role of climate change cooperation, and the difference between the relationship of Australia with India versus Indonesia.
Perspectives: Asia is co-hosted by the Griffith Asia Institute and the Australian Centre of Asia Pacific Art, QAGOMA. It has been running since 2005 with high-level speakers from Australia, Asia, and the world to share perspectives and developments relevant for the Asia-Pacific region from diplomacy to economics, from sports to cooking. It is an opportunity for the public to learn about our closest neighbours and differing points of views on topics that vary with a range of interests.
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Watch the full video here.