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In a parliamentary context, again, who is there who does not think that our increasingly extraordinarily diverse electorates would not be more sensitively and effectively served by having many more as is the case now already with non-Anglo-Celtic Europeans Asian-Australian members of parliament— just four now in the federal Parliament and no more in any of the States. And, given the centrality of the rule of law and of a manifestly independent and unbiased judiciary to the kind of country that we are, who could believe that our long term national interests in community cohesion and confidence is being best preserved by a judiciary and magistracy in which at all levels, in the last figures I can find, for , there were among 1, office holders nationwide just 8 Asian-Australians?

Things may be beginning to move: two barristers of Chinese descent were made silk in Victoria last December. That they were the first in years, however, does not suggest that the time is exactly ripe for an orgy of self-congratulation. Why the Under-Representation?

Australia's Neighbouring Countries - Task 3 - ICT

This is the question we must ask, and try to answer, if we are ever to begin as a nation to turn things round. One answer, unpalatable though it may be for our self-image as a tolerant, triumphantly multicultural nation and given all the countering legislation that I, for one, have been party to passing , is that there is still a significant amount of outright racial discrimination. I suspect this is not remotely as true as it might have been once for senior leadership appointments, but it may still be uncomfortably real at lower levels.

In order to get as many interviews as an applicant with an Anglo-Saxon name, someone with a Middle Eastern name had to submit 64 per cent more applications, and with a Chinese name 68 per cent more. These perceptions can be career limiting for Asians who aspire to leadership positions. People see Asian deference to elders as a sign of their unwillingness to challenge authority and hence their lack of leadership potential.

Gareth Evans: Breaking the 'Bamboo Ceiling'

A third answer involves very sensitive terrain on which to tread, particularly for a non-Asian, but is one regularly acknowledged by those of Asian background themselves, viz. A fourth answer relates specifically to Chinese-Australians, and is a distressing new element on the scene. It is the sense that in the current environment of hyper-anxiety in some quarters about baleful Chinese, and particularly Chinese Communist Party, influence in Australian business, politics and universities, Chinese-Australians are going to find it even more difficult than they do at the moment to aspire to leadership positions, especially in any fields that are seen as even remotely security sensitive.

It is more subtle, as it goes beyond just hate speech and racism and seeks to undermine confidence and trust.


Cultural diversity seems to be twenty years or more behind gender diversity as an issue that institutional leaders seem prepared to address. Strategies for Breakthrough If we do have a bamboo ceiling problem in this country, and the evidence seems undeniable, what strategies should we embrace to ensure that more Asian-Australians break through it?

The first need is to better understand the scale of the problem, which means better and more accessible data on the ethnic and cultural composition of our population as a whole — which at the moment has to be painfully laboriously compiled from less than complete Census data — and of all our public companies and institutions. The second need is to use that data to set realistic targets and timelines, countrywide, sector by sector, institution by institution. Some consensus needs to be reached on the familiar debate about quotas, targets and tokenism which always flares up around any effort to redress apparent inequity in the context of gender, race, ethnicity or anything else.

Given the very early stages of debate about cultural diversity, any talk of formal quotas would seem counterproductive, but carefully thought out targets can be operationally very useful. Much will need to be done at the micro level, company by company and institution by institution, but it will be important at the macro-level that there be an accepted source of strategic guidance.

The obvious candidate for such a role, given its excellent reporting on this subject so far, is the Australian Human Rights Commission, but its effectiveness in this space will significantly depend on the degree of cross party support that the whole bamboo ceiling breakthrough enterprise commands. A third need is to identify the kind of detailed strategies and programs that are going to be necessary to actually change mindsets and get any targets implemented.

What will help organizational leaders recognize they simply have to find the bandwidth to address lack of cultural diversity: that not doing so is as unsconcionable, and as big a lost opportunity as not getting it about gender equity?

Gareth Evans: Breaking the 'Bamboo Ceiling'

Would the functional equivalent of Male Champions of Change add any value here? While it includes West and Central Asia, in Australian schools, studies of Asia will pay particular attention to the sub-regions of:. The first key concept highlights the diversity within and between the countries of the Asia region, from their cultures, societies and traditions through to their diverse environments and the effects of these on the lives of people. The third concept addresses the nature of past and ongoing links between Australia and Asia, and develops the knowledge, understanding and skills that make it possible to engage actively and effectively with peoples of the Asia region.

This learning can enrich their lives and equip them with the skills to engage effectively with peoples of the Asia region. Each learning area articulates appropriate and relevant aspects of the priority and how it can be incorporated in the curriculum. Australian Curriculum content descriptions and elaborations relating specifically to the priority are tagged with the priority symbol. In the Australian Curriculum: English, students can explore and appreciate the diverse range of traditional and contemporary texts from and about the peoples and countries of Asia, including texts written by Australians of Asian heritage.

It enables students to understand how Australian culture and the English language have been influenced by the many Asian languages used in Australian homes, classrooms and communities. Students draw on knowledge of the Asia region, including literature, to influence and enhance their own creative pursuits. They develop communication skills that reflect cultural awareness and intercultural understanding. In the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics, students can learn about the understandings and applications of mathematics in Asia and the way mathematicians from Asia continue to contribute to the ongoing development of mathematics.

Students have opportunities to develop mathematical understanding in fields such as number, patterns, measurement, symmetry and statistics by drawing on knowledge of and examples from the Asia region.

Also by Agnieszka Sobocinska

These could include calculation, money, art, architecture, design and travel. Investigations involving data collection, representation and analysis can be used to examine issues pertinent to the Asia region. The Australian Curriculum: Science gives students opportunities to recognise that people from the Asia region have made and continue to make significant contributions to the development of science understandings and their applications. It enables students to recognise that the Asia region includes diverse environments and to appreciate that interaction between human activity and these environments continues to influence the region, including Australia, and has significance for the rest of the world.

Students appreciate that the Asia region plays an important role in scientific research and development. These can include research and development in areas such as medicine, natural resource management, nanotechnologies, communication technologies and natural disaster prediction and management. In the Humanities and Social Sciences, students can investigate the diversity of cultures, values, beliefs, histories and environments that exists between and within the countries of the Asia region, and how this diversity influences the way people interact with each other, the places where they live and the social, economic, political and cultural systems of the region as a whole.

Students can investigate the reasons behind both internal migration in the Asia region and from Asia to Australia, and so develop understanding of the experiences of the people of Asian heritage who are now Australian citizens. Students can learn about the shared history and the environmental, social and economic interdependence of Australia and the Asia region. In a changing globalised world, the nature of interdependence between Asian regions and Australia continues to change. By exploring the way transnational and intercultural collaboration supports the notion of shared and sustainable futures, students can reflect on how Australians can participate in the Asia region as active and informed citizens.

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In the Australian Curriculum: The Arts, students can examine art forms that have arisen from the rich and diverse belief systems and traditions of the Asia region. Students can consider the aesthetic qualities of these art forms as well as their local, regional and global influence. This learning area provides opportunities to investigate the role of the arts in developing, maintaining and transforming cultural beliefs and practices and communicating an understanding of the rich cultural diversity of the Asia region.

Students can engage with a variety of art forms, media, instruments and technologies of the Asia region. In the Australian Curriculum: Technologies, students are able to explore traditional, contemporary and emerging technological achievements in the countries of the Asia region.

They investigate the contributions that Australia has made and is making to create products and services that meet a range of needs in the Asia region and can examine the contributions that peoples of the Asia region have made and continue to make to global technological advances. The Australian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education provides opportunities for students to explore the synergy between Asia and Australia in the areas of health and physical activity. It enables students to appreciate and engage with the diverse cultures, traditions and belief systems of the Asia region through the development of communication and interpersonal skills that reflect cultural understanding, empathy and respect.

Students examine the meaning of health and the mind-body-spirit connection across the cultures of the Asia region through wellness practices.

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These include physical activity and traditions of medicine and health care. In Health and Physical Education, students recognise the influence within Australian culture of traditional and contemporary movement activities from the Asia region and explore health and movement in the context of Asia.

The Australian Curriculum: Languages enables students to learn languages of the Asian region. Students learn to communicate and interact in interculturally appropriate ways — exploring concepts, experiences and perspectives from within and across Asian cultures. In the languages learning area, students develop an appreciation for the place of Australia within the Asian region, including the interconnections of languages and cultures, peoples and communities, and histories and economies.