The University of Technology, Sydney has appointed Australia's former Foreign Minister, the Hon Bob Carr, to lead the Australia China Relations Institute (ACRI) – a new think tank dedicated to Australia-China relations.
Bob Carr commences his role as Director, Australia China Relations Institute this week. He will work on a near full-time basis.
UTS Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ross Milbourne, said Bob Carr would bring experience and leadership to this exciting new research centre and would work with a world-class team of researchers.
"Engagement with China was a hallmark of Bob's term as Minister for Foreign Affairs – even as Premier of New South Wales – and he brings to UTS a wealth of experience, knowledge and understanding of foreign policy and international relations," Professor Milbourne said.
"As is common practice with eminent appointments to university leadership positions, I am very pleased that Bob will join our team as a Professor of International Relations, in recognition of his contribution to public life and intellectual debate."
A global search is underway for an Academic Director to lead the ACRI research program.
"ACRI will not be devoted to China studies or China's world role but to the Australia-China relationship. This makes it unique among Australian think tanks and universities," Professor Carr said.
Professor Carr said ACRI is being established at a time when it can be said both sides of Australian politics have helped shape the relationship in a positive way and when attention will focus on a free trade agreement between the two countries.
"ACRI will modernise the conventional approach of international think tanks. It will use the university's expertise in data analytics and choice modelling to achieve a deeper understanding of economic, political and social sentiment in Australia and China concurrently.
"This multidisciplinary approach will frame new questions around our study of contemporary economic, business, social and cultural aspects of the Australia-China relationship.
"For example, the work of the institute comes at a time when millions of Chinese and Australian online users are engaged in public global conversations each day via social media.
"These public conversations offer a rich ground for the university's analysts to explore sentiment across multiple points of engagement between the two countries, data analytics being a strong and recognised UTS specialty.
"This means, for example, we can gain real-time understanding of Chinese views on Australian education, tourism, travel, investment, as well as broader questions of foreign policy and international relations. This real-world sentiment can illuminate our policy debates in Australia and China."
Professor Carr said ACRI would have a strong and dynamic program of public engagement. It would work closely with business communities in both countries. It would promote leadership exchanges for young people.
ACRI has been supported by a generous $1.8 million donation made by Mr Xiangmo Huang, Founder and Chairman of the Yuhu Group late last year.