Karen Zhang is the Director for the 2019 Asia Pacific Week Conference.
She is currently in her third year of a vertical double degree, consisting of a Bachelor of International Security Studies and a Master of Diplomacy.
What is your cultural heritage and waht do you love about it?
My parents are both originally from China, and immigrated to Australia, when they were young adults. Having been born and raised in Melbourne, with an Asian background, I have grown up with an interesting mix of both traditional Asian and Western styles of upbringing. I like to think that now, as a young adult myself, I have a stronger sense of cultural identity, which consists of gratitude and love towards the country that I have grown up in, and pride for the innate and rich cultural values that underpin me. My favourite thing about Chinese culture would be the emphasis on love and support for your family, on being conscientious and enduring, and on carrying oneself with grace and dignity.
What is your spirit animal and why?
My spirit animal would definitely be either the tiger, deer or the dragon. The tiger is courageous, curious, loyal and a strong leader, whilst the deer is graceful and elegant. The dragon also has a beautiful mystique to it, and it can breathe fire - I think that's pretty cool!
What does the 2019 APW theme 'New Horizons' mean to you?
The theme of 'New Horizons' brings to my mind a plethora of issues and topics. I think this theme gives us an opportunity to delve into conventional and non-conventional issues. In particular, the theme not only begs us to discuss the current challenges facing the region, but also begs us to look into future opportunities - whether they be new ideas, new movements, new innovations or new solutions.
I hope this theme encourages delegates to be inquisitive, challenge what they already know, stimulate their minds, and engage in thoughht-provoking intelletual debates on the future of the dynamic and ever-changing Asia Pacific region. Along with the rest of our organising committee, we are thrilled to bring you a feast for the mind in Asia Pacific Week 2019.