BRAIN DRAIN CAN BE­COME AN EX­CHANGE

HELP­ING AUS­TRALIANS OVER­SEAS STAY CON­NECTED IN AN IN­CREAS­INGLY MO­BILE WORLD MAKES A VALU­ABLE CON­TRI­BU­TION BACK HOME.

The Australian - The Deal - - Ceos Abroad - BY SER­A­FINA MAIO­RANO

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

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