BRAIN DRAIN CAN BECOME AN EXCHANGE
HELPING AUSTRALIANS OVERSEAS STAY CONNECTED IN AN INCREASINGLY MOBILE WORLD MAKES A VALUABLE CONTRIBUTION BACK HOME.
Not long after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the then Australian consul-general in New York, Ken Allen, and his wife, Jill, hosted a gathering to discuss bringing together the young Australians living in the city.
With the support of its founding patrons, Anthony Pratt, Peter Lowy and Lachlan Murdoch, the Advance network (formerly Young Australian Professionals in America) was created. Today, under the patronage of Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Advance has more than 20,000 members in 90 countries and offices in the US, Asia and Europe.
As national economies become increasingly global and interdependent, and as the balance of the world economy shifts towards Asia, trusted networks and relationships will take on even more importance. With technology and transport
becoming more accessible and affordable, greater mobility will lead to more hyphenated lives and redefine identity.
Diasporas around the world, including Australians, facilitate the flow of ideas, innovation and capital, be it human, social, intellectual, cultural or financial. There are about one million Australians living and working overseas and two million alumni of Australian universities spread around the world.
Such levels of migration present an opportunity to turn a brain drain into a brain exchange. In particular, the knowledge, networks and spheres of influence of our most successful global Australians living overseas – chief executive and C-level executives of global companies, such as Biocon’s Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw in India and Suntech Power’s Shi Zhengrong in China – can act as a valuable conduits for
THERE ARE ABOUT ONE MILLION AUSTRALIANS LIVING AND WORKING OVERSEAS AND TWO MILLION ALUMNI OF AUSTRALIAN UNIVERSITIES SPREAD AROUND THE WORLD.
productivity, innovation and the development of deep, rich relationships. We have the chance to gain from the breadth of vision their local and global exposure has given them.
What makes them so successful at the top level of business? Being brought up in a multicultural society, with great education and an open-ness to the world, has been a launching pad for many. Add to this our adaptability, innovative approach to problem solving, can- do and go-getter attitudes, strong work ethic, humility, motivation, competitiveness and an easy-going approach to work and life. This makes for an attractive set of skills when working across geographies and cultures.
Advance chief executive Serafifina Maiorano