ANU Centre for Asian-Australian Leadership

“The richness of Australia is not just in our minerals and resources, but in the diversity of our people”. – Jieh-Yung Lo and Sung Lee, Asia Taskforce, October 2020


The ‘bamboo ceiling’ in Australia is real. Asian-Australians have been under-recognised, under-appreciated and under-utilised for far too long. For Australia to succeed and be the world’s most successful multicultural society, we must challenge existing models to increase Asian-Australian representation in senior leadership positions.
The Centre for Asian-Australian Leadership (CAAL) is the first of its kind in Australia. Established in January 2020 by the Australian National University (ANU), CAAL aims to research and provide solutions to tackle the ‘bamboo ceiling’ in Australia and address the significant under-representation of Asian-Australians in leadership positions within Australian public institutions and major private sector corporations.
CAAL’s vision is an Australia in which key public and private sector institutions fully reflect the cultural diversity of the Australian population. CAAL serves as a focal point within the ANU for the development and implementation of a new national agenda designed to achieve greater cultural diversity, and in particular greater representation of Asian-Australians, in such leadership positions.
CAAL’s mission is to increase the proportion of Asian-Australians in senior leadership positions, from around 3 per cent at present to around 15 per cent to reflect their share of the total population. CAAL will undertake and support independent research, targeted engagement, outreach initiatives, and tailored executive leadership training programs. It will seek to drive national conversations, establish partnerships and challenge current leadership models within public institutions and major corporations to ensure they better reflect the cultural diversity of our society.
CAAL’s main areas of focus are:
  • Research: Developing nation-leading research to collect and analyse data on the ethnic and cultural composition of Australia’s key public and private sector institutions, with the intent to identifying and understanding barriers, and providing solutions, frameworks and effective policies to support and increase the number of Asian-Australians in senior leadership positions.
  • Engagement: Bringing together people to discuss ideas, experiences, and explore advocacy initiatives in support of Asian-Australian leaders and breaking the bamboo ceiling.
  • Training: Translating our research into practice by delivering evidence-based executive level training to equip, upskill, empower and nurture emerging Asian-Australian leaders

The CAAL Advisory Board

At CAAL, we are grateful to our Advisory Board, who provide regular guidance and support for the Centre's mission and vision. Our members include:

  • Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC, Distinguished Honorary Professor, The Australian National University (Chair)
  • Geraldine Chin Moody, Co-Founder and Executive Director, 5H Values Capital and Non-Executive Director, Future Super
  • Professor Bina D’Costa, Professor of International Relations, Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, The Australian National University
  • Marina Go, Chair, Netball Australia and Non-Executive Director, Transurban, Energy Australia and 7-Eleven
  • Sung Lee, Director of Asia Practice, PwC Australia
  • Sid Myer AM, Chairman, Myer Family Investments
  • Chris Price, Chief of Staff and Director, Office of the Vice-Chancellor, The Australian National University
  • Harinder Sidhu, Australian High Commissioner to New Zealand, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • Kee Wong, Managing Director, e-Centric Innovations and Board Member, Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • Jason Yeap OAM, Chairman, Mering Corporation

Our Donors

The ANU Centre for Asian-Australian Leadership would like to sincerely thank our donors for their support, especially Jason Yeap OAM, Sid and Fiona Myer Foundation, Wesfarmers, Scanlon Foundation, Kee Wong, and Henry Makeham.

What's on at CAAL

Director CAAL (middle)
  • The annual Asian-Australian Leadership Summit, which elevates the issue of greater Asian-Australian representation in senior leadership positions, energises efforts to break through the ‘bamboo ceiling’, and highlights the important contributions Asian-Australians make in Australia and our nation’s engagement with Asia
  • 40 Under 40 Most Influential Asian-Australian Awards recognise the achievements of emerging Asian-Australian leaders across various professions and industries. Applications now open!

Check out some of our recent publications and events!

Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge and celebrate the First Nations Peoples on whose traditional lands we meet and work, and whose cultures are among the oldest continuing cultures in human history.

Our teams & contacts


Contact details
Mr Jieh-Yung Lo 
Director, CAAL
Phone +61 3 9639 8197
Page owner: Executive Office