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Message from the AAED Convenor  
Special Edition - ASEAN Day 2021

Michael Fay_DSC3561 small .jpg

Dear colleagues in ASEAN and Australia,

We offer our congratulations to ASEAN on its 54th birthday and look forward to a brighter future in 2022. ASEAN is increasingly recognised as an essential organisation and its 10 member countries offer significant opportunities to develop mutually beneficial education sector cooperation.


Australia was the first Dialogue Partner invited by ASEAN in 1974. This was a tangible recognition of our place in Asia. The education and skills training sector is a key bridge for deepening our partnership with ASEAN institutions and building people to people links. 

The devastating impact of COVID-19 across ASEAN continues to be a massive public health challenge and the military coup in Myanmar has become a regional humanitarian crisis. The ASEAN-Australia Education Dialogue (AAED) welcomes Australia’s commitment to working with ASEAN on addressing both of these crisis situations. We send our condolences and support to those struggling across the region. 

This week, the United Kingdom became ASEAN’s 11th and newest Dialogue Partner, so we expect to see increasing UK engagement with the region, particularly in building education and research partnerships. Focus areas are likely to be in joint research programs across the maritime sector, green finance investment, climate change mitigation and the transition to clean energy.

We have chosen a selection of recent news articles that capture some of the key themes relevant to Australia and ASEAN. These include:

  • Malaysian media reporting on ASEAN-Australia government cooperation to address COVID-19 challenges, regional security issues and resolving the crisis in Myanmar

  • Environmental challenges in the Mekong Delta

  • The development of Study Hubs in Vietnam and Malaysia

  • Indonesia’s role in ASEAN economic integration

  • Brunei Darussalam on bridging the skills gaps and building inclusive digital literacy and learning

We welcome more Australian and New Zealand focus on the region and thank our regional partners from government, education, business and industry as well as NGOs for their ongoing support. We look forward to meeting you virtually at upcoming country focus webinars on Brunei (this year’s chair of ASEAN) and Cambodia (the incoming chair of ASEAN in 2022.)


Lastly, we thank His Excellency Mr Zakaria Ahmad, the High Commissioner of Brunei Darussalam in Canberra, Australia for his kind message. We congratulate Brunei Darussalam for its Chairmanship of ASEAN 2021 in such a challenging year.

Warm regards,


Michael Fay


ASEAN-Australia Education Dialogue (AAED) 

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