AASYP presents: the Inaugural AAYLF

Young Leaders
Countless Opportunities


The ASEAN-Australia Young Leaders Forum will bring together 40 outstanding young leaders from across the ASEAN-Australia relationship in a forum to engage, connect and collaborate on issues of mutual significance.


The AAYLF is a four-day intensive workshop that aims to strengthen institutional networks, cultural exchange, collaboration and people-to-people links between young leaders across the ASEAN-Australia region. In light of the high priority afforded to the Strategic Partnership at the 2018 ASEAN-Australia Special Summit, the AAYLF aims to engage a community of young leaders working to promote joint partnership and collaboration through a one year term as AASYP ASEAN Australia Youth Ambassadors. 

The programme will build young leaders’ capacities as advocates and agents for increased partnership and collaboration between our nations through a collection of expert led panels, site visits, team activities and skills development through pitching, networking, cross-cultural training and publication opportunities.

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Why focus on ASEAN-Australia cooperation?

Australia became ASEAN’s first Dialogue Partner in 1974, elevating this relationship to Strategic Partner status in 2014. In 2018, Australia hosted the historic ASEAN-Australia Special Summit with ASEAN leaders in Sydney for the first time on Australian soil. In the context of this broadening and deepening relationship, the AAYLF will enhance the visibility and understanding of the Strategic Partnership amongst the region’s future leaders.

As immediate geographical neighbours, the ASEAN-Australia relationship is underpinned by political, strategic and economic benefits. The relationship offers significant security and economic advantages to the region, with both ASEAN and Australia internationally recognised as hotspots for diversity and innovation. But to truly benefit from this close geographical proximity, the relationship urgently requires champions, leaders and friends. By targeting 40 influential young leaders, the AAFYL aims to create a close-knit network who will look to each other as partners and friends as they become the next generation of leaders in the relationship.

The AAYLF aims to advance the profile of relations on both sides, visibly investing in youth as change agents in furthering cooperation and partnership between our nations. The 2019 AAYLF will add new voices and ideas to the ASEAN-Australia relationship and highlight the dynamics of innovation and engagement that are the driving forces behind the strategic and economic partnership.

Criteria for applicants

The programme will select 20 young leaders from ASEAN Member States and 20 from Australia aged 18-29 years from across disciplines and professions, with the intention of drawing together a wide spectrum of influential young leaders from diverse fields including science, policy, business and the arts. 

Young leaders will be selected according to: 

(a) leadership activities and impact,

(b) personal achievements, 

(c) level of engagement in community or field, and

(d) demonstrated passion to drive positive change.

The AAYLF is committed to empowering a diverse and inclusive group of young people including equal representation across genders, disability, regional/remote status, LGBTQI+ and diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

Look for other opportunities now:
ASEAN-Australia Special Summit