Building a more resilient Australia

| November 5, 2020

It’s been a challenging year for everyone in Australia – and the rest of the world. A year in which the country suffered devastating bushfires, a global pandemic and unprecedented shutdowns of the economy.

Australia’s reliance on fragile supply chains has been exposed, and growing political and trade tensions have all increased anxiety about Australia’s ability to weather domestic challenges and international crises in the future.

This Friday, on 6th November, Global Access Partners’ eleventh Annual Summit ‘A Vision for Australia’ will bring together the expertise of 120 national and international thought leaders to help chart a course towards a more resilient and sustainable path.

We at GAP have had to be resilient and adaptable ourselves, and so the Summit, which has always been held in person in the Legislative Assembly Chamber of a state Parliament House, will now go online for the first time in its history.

We are looking to turn this new digital format to our advantage, inviting participants from across Australia, international speakers and guests from Israel, Italy, Samoa, Solomon Islands, the UK and the USA.

I am particularly proud of this year’s programme featuring Australia’s Ambassador to the USA, His Excellency the Hon. Arthur Sinodinos AO, Australia’s Attorney-General the Hon. Christian Porter, NSW Minister for Counter Terrorism and Corrections the Hon. Anthony Roberts, Shadow Attorney- General the Hon. Dr Mark Dreyfus, NSW Health Secretary Elizabeth Koff, the new head of Resilience NSW, Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons, as well as senior figures from industry.

This Summit is the result of almost a year of intense stakeholder consultations, and I would like to thank the GAP team, our steering committee, the GAP Taskforce on National Resilience chaired by Stephen Hayes MBE, and numerous working groups convened by the Institute for Integrated Economic Research – Australia (IIER-A) led by Air Vice Marshal (ret) John Blackburn AO to explore the issue of national resilience across different sectors.

Organising the Summit has underscored the importance of teamwork and forward-thinking in the face of a string of unpredictable complications, and these are themes I hope the Summit will explore in the wider national arena.

GAP has worked over the last 20 years to help individuals, companies, civil society, academia and government work together for the common good, and this task is more important than ever as society comes together to recover from the challenges of this year and build a stronger, more resilient Australia.

I am confident that the Summit will generate a frank, wide-ranging and independent assessment of emerging risks and vulnerabilities and build on the work of the GAP Taskforce and IIER-A workshops to strengthen our collective ability to handle future challenges.

As well as hearing from our eminent guest speakers, every participant will be invited to contribute their own thoughts and suggestions which will then be developed by GAP over the next 12 months through a range of practical projects.

The Summit would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors – DXC Technology, Gravity iLabs, IIER-A, and Event Frog.

I am looking forward to hearing what everyone has to say in what is sure to be a fascinating discussion, and to working with GAP participants old and new on an exciting program of activities in the new year.