Australia Vietnam Young Leadership Dialogue

Australia Vietnam Young Leadership DialogueAn Australian-grown initiative is aiming to harness young leaders to unlock new opportunities in the Australia-Vietnam relationship.

The Australia Vietnam Young Leadership Dialogue (AVYLD], co-founded by Monash alumna Rachel Bui (2011 Bachelor of Commerce, Honours), grew out of a desire to create stronger links between the two countries. “There's a huge Vietnamese population in Australia and Vietnam is an emerging market – it's seen as the next 'Asian Tiger' by economists – and there hasn't really been an organisation or platform to connect the two countries,” said Rachel.

Vietnam is the fourth biggest source of international students in Australia behind China, India and Malaysia, and Rachel stated that the education sector is an area with potential for growth and cooperation between the two countries. “Education is a huge component. Vietnamese international students have been one of the most popular groups coming to Australia to study so there's a lot of synergy there.

“There's a lot of Australian alumni in Vietnam who are in management and leadership positions now. We've got that alumni base to reach out to, and with time, I think that will really help Australia in terms of doing business in Asia and understanding and building deeper links.”

The AVYLD ran its inaugural dialogue May event in Sydney, bringing together 19 delegates from Australia and Vietnam for a four-day program of speakers and workshops. The event brought together young Australian and Vietnamese leaders to build the relationships and cultural understanding that will be required to work successfully with each other in the future, Rachel said.

"Part of our vision is getting people to collaborate because I believe that it's only when you're actually working together and collaborating that true relationships are formed. The idea was to get them to actually start working together and understanding cultural nuance as well as leadership traits from each other."

Monash alumnus, Mark Schultz (2011 BA, 2011 LLB (Hons)), was one of the Australian delegates at the event and said he got involved in the AVYLD because of his study and work experience involving Vietnam.

“I'd studied the history of Vietnam as part of the Arts and Politics component of my degree at Monash. It's always been an interest of mine and I've done a bunch of work across all three of the professional jobs I've had that's touched on Vietnam. It sounded like a great opportunity to get involved and meet some people with some interesting backgrounds from Vietnam and also help to strengthen the connections between Australia and Vietnam.”

Mark said the focus of the AVYLD on young leaders is critical for the future success of the Australia-Vietnam relationship. “I think it's absolutely critical. Making sure that the people who are going to inherit the world in 30 years’ time are the ones that are making a difference is very important. But also, in a country like Vietnam, which has a very, very young population, being able to engage with people who are of a similar generation and who have a similar set of ideas and values is just good business.”