Australian Foreign Policy: Unfinished Business – Philip Flood AO
May 3, 2012 in Australia in the Asian Century
The art of diplomacy has changed radically since Philip Flood joined the Australian foreign service more than half a century ago at the age of 22. Since then he’s been ambassador to Indonesia, high commissioner in London, head of the Office of National Assessments, director-general of Ausaid and then the secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
In his fascinating memoir Dancing with Warriors, Philip reflects there is still a lot of unfinished business for Australia’s diplomatic corps, particularly in Asia, and they need to be given the tools to do the job. “You still need diplomats on the ground”, he says, “to take the pulse of a country and give advice to a minister”.
And he believes there is much still to be done to prepare Australians for the multitude of developments in Asia, as well as correcting the failure within Australia to develop a deep understanding of the cultures and languages of the region.
Watch Philip Flood’s insightful address to AIIA NSW:
You can also access a transcript of his speech through the link below: