From Asia Literacy to Australian Literacy

The rise of Asian economies has brought to the fore the necessity of enhancing Australia’s literacy about Asian languages, cultures and societies as well as human exchanges between Australian and Asian countries. This public seminar series will discuss how we can further advance positive potentials of Australia’s engagement with Asia by rethinking Australian culture, society and identity in ways to go beyond a bipolarized Australia-Asia perception. This is to refocus the discussion of Asia literacy onto that of Australian literacy by reimagining Australia as part of trans-Asian cultural flows and human mobilities and reconceiving Asian Australians on equal terms as constitutive of Australian society


  1. “Who are Aussie celebrities? Social presence and media representation of Asian-Australians” Many people in Australia were especially impressed by the performance of Dami Im, who represented Australia at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest and won the jury vote and was placed second overall. Australian Women’s Weekly (16 may 2016) claims that she “embodies the diversity of 21st-Century Australia”.
  2. But does Dami represent the diversity of the Australian media world too? How is the media representation of Asian-Australians related to their actual presence in society? The second seminar of From Asia Literacy to Australia Literacy discusses the media representation of Asian-Australians, featuring Andy Trieu who co-hosts SBS popasia program.
  3. Andy's bio sets the scene for the afternoon's conversation.
  4. "Three-time Australian Champion Martial Artist Andy Trieu expanded his repertoire from competing in tournaments to being the full-time champion of Australia’s best Asian pop show, SBS PopAsia. Catch him on SBS 2 every Sunday from 9am or online anytime to get the lowdown on all things Asian pop and hear from the biggest stars in the biz. Andy was a finalist in CLEO’s Top 50 Bachelors and has performed on stage and screen. He was a series regular on the game-show ‘Kitchen Whiz’ and Australia’s first Kung Fu TV show ‘Maximum Choppage’."
  5. Andy begins the conversation with maximum audience participation ... Anh Do is the first name to be offered and soon we have 5 , Poh, Sam Pang, Max Brown
  6. The conversation then moves to stereotypes and the roles individuals who "look" a particular way are asked to play
  7. Andy shared this production from Minority
  8. Andy invites colleague Max Brown to join the conversation and add his experiences as an actor in Australia and the types of roles he is offered based on his looks. Max offered very honest responses and shared the frustrations of "genericasian" expectations from the industry.
  9. A role offering opportunities to reflect on the enduring issues of Identity and Belonging 1916-2016