Beasley Intercultural Newsletters

New Year’s directions, trends and reflections on 2019 at BI.

Peter Dunn - Preparing To Lead In A Crisis book cover

Peter’s book – click the link to buy a copy

Here’s to a happy, safe and healthy Lunar new year in 2020.  Last year was a huge year for us, and for many of our clients.  It was also a tough end to the year for many people with the implications of climate change making themselves so apparent.  We would like to extend our gratitude to the many volunteers and emergency service workers who continue to do an extraordinary job.  At BI we’re also sending our thoughts and best wishes to our Associate Peter Dunn who lives in Lake Conjola and is now coordinating the area’s recovery post fires. We continue to recommend Peter’s book ‘Preparing to to lead in a crisis’. Peter is a member of Emergency Leaders for Climate Action, and a part of the Beasley team.

We are grateful for the opportunity to work with so many incredible people.  In the last year, we have seen a continuation of many themes we saw emerging in 2018, both in the world of our clients, and in our own business.

Some of the team catching up in Sydney recently (L to R: Karen G, Rachel R, Matilda E, Ramona S & Tamerlaine)

Our clients are continuing their digital transformation, as are we.  In 2019 we moved our business HQ into a building with 2500 others working on digital scale up/start up –‘ Fishburners’ at the Sydney Start Up Hub.  Fishburners is an incubator which gives us unique access to expertise, a community of incredible others working on similar challenges, and a fabulous hub for our business.  Click here to see the music video put out by Fishburners for the holiday season (my little cameo in the lift scene!). An expanded, secure online ‘homebase’ for Beasley Intercultural and our clients is critical.  We’re in the building phase so watch this space!

At the Australian High Commission in Dhaka.

Digital transformation is also changing the way we deliver our services for our clients.  In  our facilitation of large events, we are now maximising inclusion and ‘making thinking visible’ through using live data gathering, aggregation and sharing.  It’s a bit of a mind shift to ask people to get out their phones, but it is incredible to aggregate and live feed the thoughts of hundreds of people on a topic and have the opportunity to facilitate dialogue and ‘conversations that matter’.  In 2019 we applied our efforts to facilitating highly inclusive and responsive dialogue on issues for leadership development, strategy and planning sessions.  We facilitated discussions to Deputy Secretary level on climate risk and adaptation, supported national strategic planning for large industry bodies and MC’d international events and forums focusing on regional and international collaboration.   We also worked with global teams in country in locations as diverse as Bangladesh, Vietnam, Fiji and the Philippines. Maximising inclusion, facilitating participation, and enabling people with diverse views and perspectives to effectively work together on shared problems is a critical area of need, and one we are committed to continuing to deliver on.

Our online and blended programs continue, in key areas of : inclusive leadership, global mobility, cultural capability, and resilience through change.  We are delivering an increasing number of small group programs for cohorts of participants in different countries as well as 1:1 Coaching/Advisory for senior global leaders around the world.  As geography no longer bounds us, we are able to match the best and most appropriate consultant with our clients and work with them throughout their global mobility – either relocating home base, or simply working in a role requiring travel or unusual hours.

Our learning and development expertise continues to be focused on getting the most practical outcomes.  We were delighted to welcome Dr Karen Gonsalkorale to the team in 2019. Karen brings deep expertise in behavioural insights, adding another dimension to maximising the impact of our work.

Global mobility support continues to be a significant focus.  Geoff, Ramona, Matilda, Liz and Camilla have all been busy working with both inbound and outbound participants.  Our longest programs are a week of intensive training preparation, or 8 month coaching and support for high profile priority postings, our shortest program comprises of online resources complimented with a one hour zoom session with a coach. It’s satisfying to see so many clients recognising how important this important area is for ensuring the effective adjustment, performance, and resilience of their staff and their families. Resilience through change was one of our popular programs, and one Ramona has been busy delivering through much of 2019.  We anticipate this need will only grow. Through preparing leaders and teams, it is possible to develop strategies to support people work together through change.

The importance of Inclusive Leadership is increasing as complexity and change defines so many workplacs.  Karen has been developing and delivering ‘Inclusive Leadership through Change’ to the top 200 leaders of the NSW Department of Justice (now Communities and Justice) with incredible results.  She has also been providing support to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and other corporate clients on this important topic.  Matilda has been delivering extensive ‘Addressing Unconscious Bias’ programs. Institutions across Australia are working

Graduation of the 2018-2019 VC’s Sponsorship program at the University of Sydney.

to tap into and better leverage the talent within, and ensure leadership ranks better reflect the communities they serve.  Tamerlaine has been delivering the one year in duration Vice Chancellors’ sponsorship program at the University of Sydney for a second year, working with incredibly talented future women leaders from diverse cultural backgrounds. The inaugural Asian Australian Leadership Forum was a great initiative in 2019, convened by PWC and Asialink and Tamerlaine also attended the Crawford Leaderhsip forum at the ANU.

In 2019 I also was active on the Board of the Australia ASEAN Council for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, actively Chaired by Christine Holgate.  Flagship programs we funded included the Australia-SEAsia Muslim

Australian ASEAN Board hosting Muslim Exchange program participants in Sydney

exchange program, the BRIDGE school partnerships and Australia Vietnam Young Leaders Dialogue.  Our Board also visited WA where we engaged in the Perth US Asia Centre SEAsia dialogue where I spoke on people to people linkages across the region.

The capacity of our leaders and organisations to adapt to a changing context, and harness the creativity and capacity of global communities will have critical implications for our future. We need to work together across difference, to apply evidence-based thinking, and innovate at a scale we have never done before.  There has never been a more important time to build resilient, culturally-capable, inclusive and effective institutions and businesses.   This is not only necessary when working internationally, but also at home.

We look forward to keeping in touch with our extraordinary global network of friends, colleagues and clients. In 2020, we hope the lunar new year is one of peace, good health and prosperity for you and your community.

Holiday Listening and Reading Guide

At Beasley Intercultural we’re looking forward to relaxing over the holidays and the luxury of uninterrupted time for reading, listening and thinking. Below the Beasley Intercultural team share the accompaniments for the upcoming road trips, beach and river time, or for just sitting on the couch enjoying some wine. We hope you enjoy these as much as we do!


Saturday Extra ‘A Foreign Affair’ Geraldine Doogue – ABC Radio

Geraldine Doogue’s dulcet tones are always a pleasure, and her weekly program/podcast has an extraordinary breadth of presenters. Tamerlaine featured on ‘A foreign affair’ in August 2018 discussing ‘culture, collaboration and the region’.

The People & Culture Podcast with James Judge

This podcast is a series of in-depth discussions with practitioners and leading experts on the shape of the future workforce. During each discussion emerging trends are discussed, including their impact on how Australian’s work.

This podcast is in association with the Mandarin, which is always a great place to catch up on a range of topical issues relevant to all those working with, or for, the public sector in Australia.

Tamerlaine features in episode five ‘Navigating cross cultural communication.’

Still Jill

This ABC Series features Beasley Intercultural Consultant Matilda Emberson’s beloved sister Jill and the personal account of her battle with ovarian cancer.

Being a professional broadcaster Jill tells her story very poignantly, the highs, as well as the lows.  There are gendered aspects to ovarian cancer – as a rare, underfunded and lethal cancer – the symptoms of which women and their medical advisers don’t always have the language or comfort in discussing – more often than not until it is too late.

Hillbilly Ellegy, JD Vance on Audible

Although this maybe should be under the ‘reading’ category, as it’s also a great book, the audible version of this book is superb. There’s nothing better than listening to an autobiography narrated by the author.

Hillbilly Elegy is all about culture and context, and is best experienced when the names and accents are local, and just as they should be. This ‘book’ is strongly recommended for anyone who wants to understand more about Trump’s America, the risks of binary us/them thinking, and the importance of empathy in a polarising world. It’s a great story, a personal tale and one which Tamerlaine loved so much she was walking to work so she could finish listening to it.

Slow Burn

Season 1 of this American podcast dives deep into the President Nixon Watergate affair. Each of the major figures in the scandal are introduced and the presenter is excellent at helping the listener create a mental map of interconnecting people and events. Lesley, who works in Beasley Intercultural head office commented “For someone who wasn’t born, and only had casual knowledge of the events of Watergate, Season 1 required ‘binge listening’!”

Season 2 demonstrates how a United States Special Counsel investigation can begin down one path, but end up exposing many others! This season takes a very close look at the Bill Clinton Whitewater investigation. It provides fantastic history, which you could speculate still has ramifications for the political dynamics in the United States today.

Adding to the intrigue while listening to these podcasts is the looming shadow of the current Special Counsel Mueller investigations. How will history recount this time we are currently living in?

And if you like this genre, Beasley Intercultural Consultant Julie Webb loved a related podcast:
Russia if You’re Listening by the ABC.

Witness – BBC World Service

Never be without a good podcast in your life again. An abundance of high quality programs on everything and anything that appeals to just about everyone! Beasley Intercultural Consultant Elizabeth Morris loves these podcasts and they have accompanied her on her many travels to Bogota, Jakarta and New Delhi this year.

Chat 10 Looks 3

What a phenomenon this podcast has become. Chat 10 looks 3 has now spawned an entire global community of tens of thousands, an ongoing series of sell out events, and a range of merchandise. Annabel Crabb and Leigh Sales have really hit a sweet spot with their focus on creating a ‘community of kindness’ where they ‘chat’ about movies, books, work, life and family. Elizabeth said this podcast got her through a long road trip this year. Tamerlaine also likes to listening to it on a plane as it’s a sound of home, and a source of great books and movies.

Fierce Girls

This is a great series for the holidays, particularly listening with daughters, nieces, and for that matter, sons and nephews! Each short episode gives a history of a remarkable Australian women who have made a difference. This podcast uses sound to bring each story to life. It’s a great collection of bite sized pieces of Australian history.

Julie says “I have learned a lot about people I had heard of, but didn’t know lot about beyond the headlines.”

Pretty for an Aboriginal

Julie says “Actor Miranda Tapsell and comedian actor Nakkiah Lui talk about life, love and work as an aboriginal woman in Australia (my words – theirs would be way funnier).”. It’s described online as “Nakkiah and Miranda have conversations Australia is uncomfortable having—about sex, relationships, dating, power, and, most difficult of all, race.” This podcast is a great snapshot of modern Australia.

The Art of Inclusion

The series is described as: “A look into the lives of fascinating people, whose stories shed light on the wider social issues facing Australia, and the world. We flip the script on who we include, who we don’t, and how we can do better in everything from gender, race, mental health and disability, through to the inclusion of LGBTQI+ and Indigenous communities.”

Over six episodes, you hear the stories of politicians, journalists, athletes and executives with advice on how to master The Art of Inclusion. Beasley Intercultural really loved this 6 part series from the Diversity Council of Australia and wishes they would make more!


Preparing to Lead in a Crisis, Peter Dunn

A book written and published by a member of the Beasley Intercultural team just has to be top of the list for us! Peter has had an extraordinary career, as a Major General in the Australian Army, working around the region and the world.

Peter has worked in many crisis situations, and conducted reviews of leadership and organisational responses, including in the ACT bushfires. In recent years he’s focused much of his efforts working with indigenous communities in his work as Chair of Malpa. He’s also been leading educational reform programs in Saudi Arabia. In this book, Peter explores critical elements of success: challenging unconscious biases, thinking strategically and leading inclusively.

Click here to buy a copy.

The Mekong Review

An amazing publication produced in Marrickville in Sydney’s Inner West and punching above it’s weight in global distribution and readership. The Mekong Review is a literary magazine from Southeast Asia. Every quarter, it publishes book reviews, essays, interviews, profiles, poetry and fiction from the region and beyond.

Put together by Minh Bui-Jones who was born in Vietnam and came to Australia in 1978 as a refugee. Bui-Jones began his media career in TV as a researcher and producer for SBS. He worked as a journalist at The Sydney Morning Herald, then later founded or co-founded four magazines focusing on Asian current affairs, including The Diplomat in 2001. Why not subscribe, or buy someone you love a subscription for Christmas?!


The Founder and Editor Tyler Brule is quite a personality, and one of the few people who, in this day and age, manages to deliver a hard copy magazine with interviews, great articles and a network of writers around the world. It’s sometimes a little ridiculous on the design front– ‘the best fit out for your personal jet’, but we particularly love the international relations, community and small business focus, and profiles of fascinating people who make a difference.

Asia Society: Disruptive Asia Series

This series is edited by Greg Earle who is on the Board of the Australia ASEAN Council with Tamerlaine. It is a great collection of writing on contemporary ASEAN.

Volume one comprises ‘twenty essays from the leading and emerging Asia watchers on Australia’s foreign policy in the region, business connectivity, community links, shared regional challenges, Asia competencies and cultural diversity’.

Volume two focuses on the ASEAN region and Australia’s relations with its South-East Asian neighbours. The ASEAN edition focuses on the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit held in Sydney – the first time Australia has hosted the forum on its shores, and one of the largest gatherings of Asia’s leaders in Australia’s diplomatic history. Each article is a quick read and a good introduction into many of our friends and colleagues in the region.

Griffith Review 61:  Who We Are

Edition 61 focuses on the issue of multiculturalism in Australia, the opportunities offered, complexities involved, and how it has shaped our identity as Australians.

Beasley Intercultural Consultant Ramona Singh says “As the daughter of Dutch and Indian parents, people’s experiences and perspectives of multiculturalism have always fascinated me.  At Beasley Intercultural, we are always asking our clients to identify what it means to be Australian.  This is a great book to add to the conversation.”

The Griffith Review is a quarterly publication featuring essays, reportage, memoir, fiction, poetry and artwork from established and emerging writers and artists. Each edition focuses on a contemporary theme, enabling pertinent issues to be aired and discussed in a public forum.

Dark Emu, Bruce Pascoe

One of Peter Dunn’s recommendations, this book shines a light on the misrepresentation of many elements of Australian indigenous history – particularly the realities of settlement and agricultural management of the land. The book provides fascinating evidence and insights into the way Australia was actively farmed, managed and lived in by Australia’s first nation peoples. It is critically important to not only record these stories and living memories, but also to understand them and the implications for our nation’s story into the future.

New Power, Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms

This was read and enjoyed by a few members of the Beasley Intercultural team. Elizabeth, Geoff Health and Tamerlaine all agreed it’s essential for understanding the way power is being exercised in a rapidly changing world.

New York Times columnist David Brooks calls “the best window I’ve seen into this new world.” Jeremy Heimans was co-founder of ‘GetUp!’ so it also has an interesting Australian angle.

Hit Refresh, Satya Nadella

Tamerlaine has spent a lot of this year deepening her understanding of how digital transformation is shaping dynamics in the region and the importance of leading change within our global clients. This book is written by the CEO of Microsoft and explains his personal journey of change in the past four years transforming the business through engaging with diversity, embracing agile and design thinking and radically transforming the approach of the business.

Nadella has made some missteps along the way, and as all leaders, is not perfect – he learned a valuable lesson on the power of social media when he suggested the gender pay gap would simply be resolved if women waited to be recognised! That said, his humility, willingness to own his learning and his explicit focus on growth mindset and inclusive leadership is interesting to learn more about.

Not Just Lucky, Jamila Rizvi

Ramona has been leading our gender training team this year and thinking a lot about related in issues. Ramona says “In these days when many men are feeling blamed for women’s woes, Jamila Rizvi shifts the focus from men to women in explaining why women are promoted less, listened to less and earn less in the Australian workplace.”

As women, when we do achieve success, we often attribute it to luck rather than acknowledging our own hard work and sacrifice to achieve our goal.  Ramona enjoyed the humour, personal anecdotes and solid research of this book.  If you’ve ever uttered or shuddered at the words “women are their own worst enemy”, you might enjoy it too.

Border, Kapka Kassabova

Ramona loved Kassabova’s book and said the complex history, politics and mythology of this particular border captured her imagination. The concept of borders and the people who cross them is always controversial.  Kapka Kassabova emigrated with her parents from Bulgaria to New Zealand at the age of 25.  Two decades later she returns to explore and understand the border that Bulgaria shares with Turkey and Greece.  When she was a child the border was designed to keep Bulgarians in, preventing them from escaping a totalitarian regime.  Today the border is designed to keep Middle Eastern refugees out.

Kassabova’s account is of personal experiences of villages and people that have been ruled by Ottomans and Communists, have survived as spies, smugglers and border guards and have observed Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

A Moonless, Starless Sky, Alexis Okeowo

Ramona loved these stories of resistance and survival, endurance and resilience, from a perspective of empathy and curiosity.  There are 4 stories in this book including a Ugandan schoolgirl who is kidnapped by an army, given to a young soldier as his bush wife, then builds a life and family with him.

The author, Okeowo, was raised in Alabama by Nigerian parents, spent time in Uganda as a newspaper intern and then in Nigeria as a reporter. Feeling neither wholly American nor African, an outsider in both places, enabled her to write with a unique perspective on the lives of “ordinary women and men fighting extremism in Africa”.

A few classics: The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje, The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, and Mr Pip by Lloyd Jones

Matilda says she’s a recent convert to re-reading much loved books. She has enjoyed reading again Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient and Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things (the latter so much more vivid after visiting Kerala).

Next on her list is one of her favourite books Mr Pip by Lloyd Jones – set on Bougainville, PNG during the crisis – the book illustrates the transformative power of great literature. With no resources other than a copy of Dickens’ Great Expectations, the stand in teacher reads aloud to the children, including main character, Matilda who subsequently goes on to study English literature in Australia. The descriptions are incredibly evocative and Jones doesn’t pull any punches about the misdemeanours of PNG soldiers trying to round up rebels.

Beasley Intercultural Autumn 2018 Update

Welcome to our Autumn update on the exciting challenges, opportunities and events at Beasley Intercultural.

We are seeing a constant state of change in many workplaces with globalisation, digital transformation, M&A’s and shifting demographics just some of the causes.  To survive and thrive, resilience needs to be developed and nurtured. Our ‘Resilience through Change’ program has been very popular lately, delivering terrific results to empower employees to navigate the change process.

Beasley Intercultural hosted a table at the International Women’s day breakfast in Sydney in March.  We are currently doing a large body of work on developing a suite of high-quality gender training programs. It’s so important we understand how to take a nuanced approach to gender issues.  The UN breakfast highlighted how women are disproportionately impacted by disaster, crisis and conflict. For example, Women are 14 times more likely to die in a natural disaster. It was so inspiring to hear from Iba Qasas, Chief Crisis Prevention, Preparedness and Response at UN Women, and learn about the efforts of the UN to ensure ‘No Woman is Left Behind’. A great event, however, on the gender front, as many members of our team are working women with families and doing the morning ‘drop off’ juggle, we are hoping for a lunch instead next year!

I was recently interviewed for a new podcast by James Judge, Associate Publisher at The Mandarin. The  discussion focused on how to ensure inclusion for performance – an essential element of diverse, global workplaces.   We also talked about blind recruiting, cross-cultural management, glass and bamboo ceilings, and what it takes to address unconscious bias. Listen

The state of New South Wales has one of the most culturally diverse communities in the world with 27.6% of the population born overseas. In March, we were delighted to attend the huge Harmony Day celebration hosted by the NSW Premier. The dinner celebrates and recognises people who support multicultural community organisations. Congratulations to those people recognised for making a positive difference to the lives of so many others.  More

ASEAN-Australia Special Summit 2018: Australia was host to the ASEAN Summit in April and I had the honour of MC’ing one of the key business events. There was a high profile line up of experts from diverse industry, government and business backgrounds including Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Singaporean Prime Minister, H.E. Lee Hsien Loong.  The event offered a unique opportunity for Australian  enterprises to network and share their knowledge and insights on engaging in our region.

In February, Beasley Intercultural Consultants attended a briefing on the progress of the Australian Modern Slavery Act at Parliament House, Canberra.  An Australian Modern Slavery Act (similar to legislation in the UK) will require the business community to review the existence of slavery within their supply chains. This is an important development, and will require an understanding of the connectedness of supply chains throughout the world, and a commitment to doing the right thing. We’re watching with interest, and hoping the new legislation will be supported by a strong push for capability development. What Australian business needs to know

We have had a very busy kick off to 2018 with our facilitator led training courses. The most popular programs continue to be Cultural Capability, Addressing Unconscious Bias and Inclusive Leadership.

As always, our team are travelling a lot, and also delivering our blended programs to clients around the world using our online delivery and eLearning.  We currently have participants in more than fifteen countries in our Inclusive Leadership Program.

It’s great to connect remotely, but we always enjoy it when we have the opportunity to share a meal and catch up in person. It was wonderful to travel and work with clients in China and Thailand last week, who had travelled from around the world to be there.

We hope all’s well in your world.

Best regards

Tamerlaine and the Beasley Intercultural Team

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Modern Slavery Act coming soon – What Australian business needs to know

On Thursday February 15 I attended Parliament House in Canberra to hear more about the progress of the Australian Modern Slavery Act. In 2015 the UK enacted legislation on Modern Slavery, which we hope will soon be replicated in Australia.

End Slavery Around 40 million people worldwide – men, women and children, are victims of modern slavery, which includes forced labour in manufacturing, agriculture, food production, construction and commercial sexual exploitation.  More than two thirds of these people are in the Asia Pacific

Australia is not immune to this issue. Both within our country and through the supply chains we benefit from. The supply chain of products we buy is complex, and, as discovered by many who have taken the time to look, you don’t have to go too far to discover slavery. Andrew Forrest, Chairman Walk Free Foundation has personally made a commitment to ending modern slavery, after discovering human slavery within his company’s own supply chain (AFR: Modern Slavery in Global Supply Chains)

At yesterday’s hearing, David Cooke, Chairman and MD of Konica Minolta explained how they are enacting change in their supply chain and the links to managing business risk (KM receives anti-slavery Australia freedom award). As he said “this needs to be at the top of the agenda in board rooms across Australia” Other panelists sited insights from Nestle about what they have learned, how transparency around this has worked for them, and what they are doing about it.

A Modern Slavery Act for Australia, similar to legislation in the UK will require the business community to review the existence of slavery within their supply chains. It is important this new legislation actively encourages businesses to look deep into their operations and act on any findings. There is a risk, that without a nuanced approach, victims of modern slavery will be even more vulnerable. It’s critical that legislation is designed to ensure support for victims.

We at Beasley Intercultural are keen to support the business case for, and more importantly, the ability, to enact change in this area. What’s going to make the difference for the next stage is the ‘how’. Business needs to step up and get engaged in the conversation, and ensure a positive outcome, which makes a difference to some of the world’s most vulnerable people, and doesn’t simply add to red tape or compliance reporting.

Prime Minister Turnbull has indicated that legislation should be drafted and before parliament this year. Support is strong across the political spectrum, and the NGO and community sectors that are at the frontline of supporting victims. Leaders in the global business sector want to address this issue and do the right thing. Let’s now take this to the next level and get something done, and soon.

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Happy Lunar New Year 2018 Year of the Earth Dog

Happy Lunar New Year

It’s celebration time – Happy Lunar New Year! Friday February 16 will be start of the Year of the Earth Dog.

What is Lunar New Year?

Lunar New Year is one of the world’s most vibrant and colourful events, with celebrations taking place all across the globe. Also called ‘the Spring Festival’, “Tet Festival’ or ‘Chinese New Year’, depending on where you are the festivities typically last from 7-15 days, officially kicking off on February 16, and in the case of Chinese New Year, ending with the Lantern Festival on March 3.

Dictated by the cycle of the moon, the date of the Lunar New Year changes every year. Celebrations can last up to 15 days and traditionally centre around friends and family, decorating houses, exchanging gifts, with loud firecrackers, drums, bells and gongs to ward off evil spirits and ring in the new year.

Is this relevant to me?

This is the biggest holidays of the year in Asia, with many cities around the world also hosting Lunar New Year events.   Many companies across Asia that will be closed and their employees away with families, often in other cities.  Please note this means that it will be difficult to schedule events and meetings or get any major decisions made around this time of year.

Travel implications

The Lunar New Year is the largest annual human migration on the planet when hundreds of millions of people will be cramming onto planes, trains, buses, boats and cars to go home or away for the holiday! More than 2.98 billion trips are expected to be made between February 1 and March 12 in China alone.

The Year of the Earth Dog – what to expect in the year ahead.

According to the Chinese zodiac, the Earth Dog is seen as stubborn, yet respectful of other perspectives, and hard working. If you are born into the year of the Dog, you are likely seen as just and honest with a strong sense of loyalty to friends and family and a fierce determination to get things done. This is a year for quiet achievement and avoiding the spotlight. It may be a year when you need to take your time in order to be able to effectively communicate with others.

Happy Lunar New Year to all our partners and clients from Beasley Intercultural.

Beasley Intercultural provides strategic advisory services and cross cultural education programs to global businesses in highly complex and rapidly changing environments.

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Reading and Listening Guide: best of 2017

By: Tamerlaine & Ramona  – top cultural reading and listening picks for 2017

Parag Khanna – Connectography
Tamerlaine: Secretary Pezzulo from DIBP raved about this book in his presentation at the Crawford forum. Luckily for me, the author Parag Khanna was at the event and I had the good fortune to discuss it with him! This book describes how our world has changed, and how mega-cities and the connectivity among them will shape our futures. An essential read for anyone working on internationalisation or globalising business models. Khanna is described as “a leading global futurist and strategist, world traveller, and best-selling author. He is a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre on Asia and Globalisation at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore”.

Magda Szubanski – Reckoning: A Memoir
Ramona: A trusted friend recommended I read this, and I couldn’t put it down. I could well relate to Magda’s challenges of growing up as the child of migrants in suburban Melbourne, in a family full of secrets, and struggling to find a place to belong. Her voice on the page is as real and clear as we hear her on the screen. Reckoning has won six awards and is one of my favourite memoirs.

Shankar Vedantam – The Hidden Brain
Tamerlaine: Ramona suggested this book to me and I really enjoyed it. It’s a fun easy read which provides fascinating insights into unconscious bias.
Ramona: One of the best books I’ve read for understanding how our hidden brain can lead us to exercise our biases while denying they exist; determine how we’ll respond in a crisis; blind us to our privilege; lead us to steal; all the while believing we are making decisions based on logic, evidence, character and merit. Shankar Vedantam is a fabulous story teller and brings an important scientific subject to life.

Mei Fong – One Child: The Story of China’s Most Radical Experiment
Ramona: Mei Fong is a brilliant story teller who introduces us to a vast array of people impacted by China’s One Child policy: the eternal bachelors and their desperate parents who will never see grandchildren, the surrogate mothers providing babies for those who can’t conceive, the government officials paid to spy on those who have illegal second children, the parents who have lost their one and only child and cannot have another. Throughout this story, she deals with her own challenges of conceiving through IVF, so her experience is personal as well as political. If you’ve ever wondered about the wider impacts of China’s One Child policy this is the book to read.

Rebecca Huntley – Still Lucky: Why you should feel optimistic about Australia and its people
Tamerlaine: We are so fortunate to share an office with Pino Migliorino and his team at the Cultural Perspectives Group. Pino often hosts drinks for friends and colleagues with interesting guest speakers – Rebecca Huntley was one of his recent guests. Rebecca is one of Australia’s most experienced and knowledgeable social researchers. For more than a decade, Rebecca has interviewed and listened to thousands of Australians – in their homes, at work and in Australian Board Rooms. This book is a summary of who we are, where we’re heading and what Australians are really thinking. The good news is that we’re “more generous, more progressive, and more alike than we think we are – and we are better than our day-to-day political discourse would suggest.”

Anita Heiss – Am I Black Enough For You?
Ramona: Anita Heiss is a Wiradjuri woman, an author, poet, academic and social commentator. In 2011 she was one of nine people accused by Andrew Bolt of choosing to identify as Aboriginal for personal gain. The group successfully sued Bolt in the Federal Court. This book is Anita’s personal response to his accusation. Growing up in Malabar, Sydney with an Austrian father who migrated alone to Australia, and a Wiradjuri mother surrounded by her own family, Anita’s identity was multi-layered but very strongly Aboriginal. She’s a city girl who hates camping, loves make-up and heels and a proper bed to sleep in. Her memoir, as does all of her writing, challenges the stereotype of what it takes to be accepted as a “real” Aboriginal person.

Mohsin Hamid – Discontent and Its Civilisations.
Ramona: We rarely consider the impact of internal terrorist attacks and American drone bombings on the daily lives of Pakistani citizens. Mohsin Hamid’s stories offer us that perspective. Born in Lahore, he moved with his parents to the USA when he was 4, he then chose to move back to Lahore with his wife and young child as an adult. This collection of essays deals with migration, exile, identity and belonging. My favourite story is of how he learned to speak English at the age of 4. At Beasley Intercultural we love to challenge and shift perspective. This very readable book does just that.

Tamerlaine: I love catching up on what’s happening in the world through listening to Saturday Extra with Geraldine Doogue on Radio National. A few episodes I’ve enjoyed recently:

A Foreign Affair: Rising tensions about Chinese influence in Australia and the region, and the Rohingya crisis are discussed with Michael Wesley and Tim Costello

The Making of Vietnam: ‘The mountains are like the bones of the earth. Water is its blood.’ said Trinh Hoai Duc, an ethnic Chinese scholar and poet writing about Vietnam in 1820. Water plays a vital role in the Vietnamese life, economy and mythology. Southeast Asia scholar Ben Kiernan traces the history of the aquatic nation.

Little Soldiers: An American Boy in Chinese School: A fascinating personal story exploring how the culture of our education system shapes our thinking and relationships to one another. This includes an interview with the author of the book of the same name, which is now on my holiday reading list.

The New Chinese: Barry Li, author of “The New Chinese: How They Are Changing Australia” speaks candidly about his life in China, and Australia, as a modern Chinese person. Fascinating insights into one of the biggest new language groups – Mandarin speakers and recent Chinese migrants in multicultural Australia.

The Missing Asian-Australians in our Institutions: Ramesh Thakur argues the ethnic diversity within Australia is not represented in our political parties or in our major institutions. As political leaders discuss our role in the Asian region, be it economical or for security, countries like Canada, are embracing their ethnic diversity and electing them into government.

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Happy Lunar New Year – 2017 Year of the Rooster


Happy Lunar New Year

It’s celebration time – Happy Lunar New Year! Saturday January 28 will be start of the Year of the Fire Rooster.

What is Lunar New Year?

Lunar New Year is a the most significant holiday of the year across much of Asia, with the largest celebrations in China and Vietnam. It’s also known as ‘the Spring Festival’, or ‘Chinese New Year’ in many places.

The date of Lunar New Year changes annually as it is dictated by the cycle of the moon. Celebrations can last up to 15 days and involve visiting friends and family, gift giving, new clothes and loud firecrackers to herald in the new year and chase away bad spirits.

What’s the relevance for me?

Be aware of the implications of Lunar New Year for your clients, colleagues and customers across South East Asia and China. Be mindful of scheduling events, meetings, or expecting major decisions to be made – people are in celebration mode and may be on leave.

Travel implications

Lunar new year is the largest annual net migration of people on the planet. One billion people will travel home or away on a holiday! More than 600,000 people will move through Beijing train station each day.

Take a look at this video to get an idea about the scale of the event.

The Year of the Fire Rooster – the year ahead

According to the Chinese zodiac, the Fire Rooster is seen as hardworking, resourceful and courageous. If you are born into the year of the Rooster, you may enjoy being the centre of attention and be a very confident individual who enjoys maintaining many relationships. This is a year for scrutiny and planning. It may be a year of putting many resources into completing a few tasks perfectly.

Happy Lunar New Year to all our partners and clients from Beasley Intercultural.

Beasley Intercultural provides strategic advisory services and cross cultural education programs to global businesses in highly complex and rapidly changing environments.

Celebrating 20 Years of Beasley Intercultural

It’s great to be back in the office re-energised and ready to go. Did you know Beasley Intercultural is celebrating our 20 year anniversary in 2017?

This year we will be reflecting on our 20 year journey and sharing some of the amazing experiences, client case studies and adventures we’ve had along the way.

We will be sharing our lessons learned about how the world of work, of global teams and has changed, and highlighting key insights.

Join us in the celebration. If you have any experiences of Beasley Intercultural to share, we’d love to hear from you. We look forward to the next stage of the adventure!

Accessing the $190bn Multicultural Market – what works?

The expert panel chaired by Hakan Harman, CEO Multicultural NSW

Did you know one in five Australians speak a language other than English at home? And yet so much of our advertising and marketing is not reaching this $190 billion market. Inclusion is core business, and getting it right makes a difference to employee engagement, performance and the bottom line.

Last night I attended the Australian Multicultural Awards at the Sydney Opera House. It’s been wonderful, as an adviser to Multicultural NSW, to see the evolution of this event, and great to see the business case so clearly articulated. I think Geraldine Chin Moody from Virgin Australia summed it up so succinctly:

“Success is when we don’t talk about diversity any more and we talk about inclusion. It shouldn’t matter who you are – it’s what you have to contribute”

As Geraldine emphasised, inclusion is so important for effectively accessing, managing and leveraging diversity. Virgin took an

With Huss Mustafa and Malini Raj, Multicultural Community Banking at Commonwealth Bank

internal employee-driven approach to their diversity campaign. The good news is, Virgin are reflecting this principle in their advertising. What a great campaign ‘Together we fly’.

As we highlight in our successful, global, Inclusive Leadership program, inclusion takes effort, focus and a commitment from leaders. Get in touch if you’d like to enable a more inclusive culture in your organisation.

Leading for Change – Let’s get started!

It was a delight to attend the ‘Leading for Change: Blueprint for cultural diversity and inclusive leadership’ report launch today at Westpac Barangaroo and catch up with so many friends and colleagues. The report highlights the lack of cultural diversity in Australian leadership and makes the case for change. As also explored in the Diversity Council of Australia ‘Cracking the Cultural Ceiling’ Report, this issue still needs to be addressed.

It’s good to shine a light on what’s really happening – to frame an issue and make it explicit.  But when we have the numbers, and we know they need to be better, what do we do? There is no ‘silver bullet’, no ‘magic wand’. As Rebecca Lim from Westpac so succinctly said “it’s not easy, but that shouldn’t stop us from getting started”.IMG_1789  Change is a process. It doesn’t happen in one step. So, we’ve got the awareness, there’s some desire, it’s now time to build capability.

The next stage of the conversation needs to address: what works; what’s challenging; and how do we do this well? Without supporting capability, there’s the risk such reports will result in racial stereotyping and reinforcement of bias. Let’s focus on how inclusion works, how leaders can engage more effectively within and across cultures, and how they can support a high-performance culture where everyone contributes their best.

Find out more about our Inclusive Leadership Program.  We have delivered the program in well over 15 countries, and it’s making a difference.

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