Prime Minister Gillard announced in September 2011 that the Australian Government commissioned a White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century for consideration by Cabinet in the first half of 2012.
In providing a national blueprint for Australia at a time of transformative economic growth in Asia, this White Paper is expected to help the Australian Government, and the people of Australia, navigate the ‘Asian Century’. Language education is a key part of this challenge because the effective teaching and learning of global languages is commonly understood as essential for the cultural, economic and intellectual life of any society. Moreover, and in terms of Australian National Interest, greater language diversity and capacity could result in a significant deepening of our engagement with Asia, not just in the areas of economy and security, but in science and technology collaboration, clean energy, education and so forth. The panel members will together address issues involving linguistic diversity and sustainability in a national sense, Australia, as well as the challenges and opportunities that Australia’s language education will face over the coming decades.