Australia will relate better to Asia by removing the “bamboo ceiling”

Former Labor Government Minister and current Chancellor of the Australian National University – Gareth Evans – has raised an important challenge for Australia that is too often swept under the carpet.

Australia’s “bamboo ceiling” keeps Asian Australians out of top positions.

Here is the view of Gareth Evans:

“The “bamboo ceiling” in Australia is real. Asian-Australians now comprise up 12 per cent of our total population but hold only around 3 per cent of senior leadership positions in our public institutions and ASX 200 companies. They have been an under-appreciated and under-utilised national resource for far too long.”


Gareth Evans sums it up so well:

“The bamboo ceiling is an issue on which we have ducked and weaved and dithered for too many years. The Asian century is off and running and we have in our midst a fantastic community resource with which to take maximum advantage of all the opportunities it offers.”

Well said.

And my view?


Removing the “bamboo ceiling” would reduce Australia’s anxiety and uncertainty over Asia – it would allow Australia to play a big role in the “Asian Century”.

One third of the world’s population lives on our doorstep – and they are on the rise as economies and powers.

By getting our own house in order – removing the “bamboo ceiling” – we can live positively and well in the world’s most exciting region.

China and India are our biggest source of migrants – let’s give them every opportunity.

Fair go, Australia!

Author: Stephen Manallack

Former President, Australia India Business Council, Victoria and Author, You Can Communicate; Riding the Elephant; Soft Skills for a Flat World (published by Tata McGraw-Hill INDIA); Communicating Your Personal Brand. Director, EastWest Academy Pty Ltd and Trainer/Speaker/Mentor in Leadership, Communication and Cross Cultural Communication. Passionate campaigner for closer western relations with India. Stephen Manallack is a specialist on “Doing Business with India” and advisor/trainer on “Cross-Cultural Understanding”. He is a Director of EastWest Academy Pty Ltd which provides strategic advice and counsel regarding business relations with India. A regular speaker in India on leadership and global communication, his most recent speaking tour included a speech to students of the elite Indian university, Amity University, in Noida. He also spoke at a major Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) global summit, the PR Consultants Association of India in Delhi, the Symbiosis University in Pune and Cross-Cultural Training for Sundaram Business Services in Chennai. He has visited India on business missions on 10 occasions and led three major trade missions there. He provides cross-cultural training – Asia and the west.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: