Desmond Narain Doulatram
ANU’s Asia Pacific Week 2022 was a wonderful interdisciplinary event rich in academic discussions where learners, observers, lecturers, and culture practitioners weaved together the existing reality of the Asia Pacific region through the art of story-telling. As a lecturer at the College of the Marshall Islands teaching Pacific Studies and Micronesian Studies and as a PhD Candidate in Pacific Studies at the University of the South Pacific, I felt that this Conference was a nice opportunity to build my own understanding of the dynamics of the Asia Pacific region while opening up to new stances of interpreting the need for historical justice by practising greater cross-cultural empathy. I had the opportunity to observe this first-hand through Asia Pacific Week where I got to see this in action with young delegates, young professionals, and young academics displaying greater cross-cultural empathy making me more optimistic about our collective future.
Brianna Ruth Audrey
When I first saw ANU Asia Pacific Week 2020’s (ANU APW 2020) ad on YouthOp, I knew I had to sign up. My seniors once told me about their extraordinary week in Canberra, learning about Asia and Pacific regions more than they ever did during our daily classes. As I also have taken interest in the region, it became my dream to experience this event firsthand. If it weren’t for YouthOp, I would never know that ANU APW was still conducted, even amid the pandemic.
I was very happy throughout the event. I was constantly motivated to find out more about the topics discussed by the panel and delegates. I don’t think that I have ever attended a conference this lively and substantive. The committee was very wonderful, and the other delegates were very insightful and friendly.
My favourite part of the entire conference has to be the Pacific Dance Workshop. I never thought that I would ever have the chance to learn such a beautiful dance from a country so far away from Indonesia, let along learning about it online. The fact that the committee was able to execute a dance lesson perfectly online is beyond my comprehension. I was able to have so much fun with 80 other delegates from all around Asia and the Pacific regions through my screen, and that is an experience that I will never trade for anything else.
It is safe to say that ANU APW 2020 were one of my 2020 highlights. I made new friends and gained new insight. I was also able to experience things that I could probably never have gone through if the pandemic didn’t happen. So, I thank the ANU APW committee for accepting me as one of the delegates, as well as YouthOp for giving me exposure towards this wonderful event.
The 2018 Asia Pacific Week (APW) was a well-organised and thought-provoking multidisciplinary program balancing between academic-policy panels and social activities, intellectual stimulation and friendship-building. In a professional manner, we unpacked contemporary issues – from international security and environment to public health and untold stories of indigenous Aussie communities – with a very competent calibre of junior researchers, professors and practitioners from across the world. It was incredible to engage in thorough discussions on my research project – ‘alliance recalibration’ of US’ allies in the Pacific – deepening personal insights from Australian, Filipino and Japanese viewpoints. We also visited the Australian parliament, had night walks and most importantly, photographed our memories (make sure you don’t miss the serenity of ANU’s lake!).
Not only were the delegates top-notch and sociable but equally the organising committee, making APW unforgettable. Having delightedly attended on an APW scholarship, in partnership with Youth Opportunities, and compared it to several programmes in Asia, Europe and the Arabian Peninsula, I happily recommend attending APW 2019 for the outstanding quality of the conference, competence of delegates, invaluable friendships and networking opportunities. Canberra won’t disappoint you as any airport immigration officer would indicate upon arrival - I promise, there is a lot to learn and earn at the Australian National University’s Asia Pacific Week!
Asia Pacific Week 2016 at the ANU was an eye-opening experience. It gave me the opportunity to participate in many thought-provoking and interactive discussions on various topics affecting Asia and the Pacific regions, and I was able to engage with regional experts on these issues.
My experience with APW has assisted me in my position as a teacher and, also, a PhD student focusing on education. I encourage my students to become global citizens by focusing on the Sustainable Goals of the United Nations, which are consistent with the topics discussed during Asia Pacific Week 2016. As a result of this, I have integrated Project-Based Learning (PBL) into my teaching practice to empower my students to solve everyday problems so they can be creative, compassionate, and confident individuals. I aim to create independent learners who can generate better ideas and execute them accordingly in line with the lessons learned during the conference and its theme, ‘Forward Thinking’.
Asia Pacific Week helped me to realise that we can’t solve today’s and tomorrow’s problems with yesterday’s thinking. So, I need to assist the youth in shaping a better future for the region and the world.
APW 2015 proved out be an immensely irreplaceable experience for me. First, I got to know so many people from around the world, about their diverse views on Asia and the Pacific regions and their experience so far. Secondly, I got an opportunity to meet not only the highly knowledgeable PHD scholars but also the government officials, professors and last but not the least, the conference organisers did a commendable job in packing up the sessions with knowledge and information and at the same time sparking the debate in and outside of the sessions. One of my favourite moments of the conference was "The Great Debate" which showcased three of our fellow delegates in an oxford style debate against ANU's finest academics on the topic ' Is local pop culture more influential than western popular culture in the Asia and Pacific regions'.
I think ANU is the best place where one can interact with notable scholars and wonderful students from all around the world.
When I was accepted and chosen to present, it seemed too good to be true. Little did I know how significant the impact of this experience would be on my studies, worldview, and future career plans. At first, I did not think my background in environmental issues would allow me to relate to or academically interact with other delegates, almost all of whom were specialising in Asia and the Pacific regions.
Instead, I became exceedingly captivated and wrapped up in all of the panelists’ discussions of topics I’d never even considered—from military strategies to shifting media portrayal of gender roles in Korea. Not only did new topics stretch my mind, but I was also enabled to see how the policies of each of our countries affect others. I still keep in touch with many of the 100 delegates from around the world, and will always remember our time together discussing trends and developments in Asia and the Pacific regions as one of the most rewarding and enjoyable in my life so far.
Asia Pacific Week 2013 proved an immensely valuable platform for putting my knowledge into context. Asia Pacific Week allowed me to see what is beyond one’s own specialised but also biased lens, and to challenge each other’s perspectives and appreciate a whole new view of Asia and the Pacific regions. The program offered more than the traditional panel discussion — the organising committee prepared innovative setups like a war game simulation and an ambassador’s panel, constantly shifting the delegates’ mindsets by exploring unfamiliar concepts.
Nur Alia Pariwita
ANU APW was the most superb event that I attended in 2011. Why? First of all, I joined the most diverse atmosphere from 100 young bright scholars who have enthusiasm in many areas of studies surrounding Asia and the Pacific regions, just as politics, law, economics, security, gender, environment, development, etc. The participants also came from universities across the world that enrich the discussions/talks of each activity that we had in this event. The alumni of ANU APW 2011 have group on social media which make easier for us to keep in touch and updated with Asia Pacific issues and others.
Secondly, I got opportunity to meet not merely academia from ANU but beyond as well as Australian government officials, particularly as the ones who interested in Australian security studies, it was my privilege to have sessions with Professors from Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, ANU. Networking is the most priceless thing from international event like ANU APW.
Thirdly, the committee created many variation of type of event, such as conference, focus group discussion, and as delegates of ANU APW 2011, we had an honour to experiencing the first interactive master blogging session as well as attended China Update at that time. I can assure you won’t get bored and you’ll feel time flies so fast. Therefore, you don’t have to think twice to apply ANU APW this year. Grab it first!
Thank you to the Asia Pacific Week 2012 for inviting me to speak about my research on natural disaster risk and insurance. For me, the conference was helpful for connecting with top economists and policymakers at ANU, as well as learning about ways my research could be applied and interpreted in individual country contexts in the region. I especially appreciated that, while the conference highlighted the importance of the US-China relationship, there was balanced discussion and ample attendance by smaller countries that brought out nuanced multilateral conversations.
The conference organisers did an excellent job packing the sessions with information and opportunities to interact with high-profile experts, while also keeping the mood fresh and lively, to spark debate both in and outside of the formal sessions. One of my favourite moments of the conference was the live blogging competition, which showcased a few brave volunteers bending cultural stereotypes with wit and humour in real-time. Overall, I had a wonderful experience gaining exposure to research and policy throughout the Asia Pacific region. Thank you again to the conference organisers and fellow delegates for making it such a memorable experience.
I got an opportunity to attend the ANU Asia Pacific Week, 2012, and I consider it a profound experience, that went beyond my expectations. I feel privileged to have become a part of ANU APW-2012 as the conference enhanced my academic, social and strategic knowledge about Asia, Pacific and the world in general. The conference was definitely well planned and well organised and the ‘Great Debate’ made the experience even all the more unique and cognitively stimulating.
I consider ANU as the best place where one can interact with notable scholars and outstanding students. APW 2012 has made it possible to keep in touch with prolific scholars and academicians as well as with the curious students and young scholars from all over the world.