Last week I went to Sydney for the launch of a White Paper that was sponsored by ANZ Bank and hosted by ANZ CEO Mike Smith. The result of from what I gathered was a year’s worth of research and writing was to tell us all the blatantly obvious – Australia needs to become more ‘Asia Capable’.
The fact that this is possible really blew me away when I moved back here after what seemed like a lifetime away, given the huge Asian / Multicultural population in Australia.
If Only We Had More Polyglot Politicians!
Fluent in Thai, Mandarin and Russian, new Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate is paving roads into Asia like no Gold Coast mayor has done before.
About 2 years ago when I first moved back to Australia from Thailand one of the first people I was introduced to on the Gold Coast was then President of the Gold Coast Chamber of Commerce Tom Tate. From the name, I didn’t anticipate Tom’s background. He actually moved here from Thailand when he was a teenager and had done his initial years of schooling in both Thai and international schools.
I was frustrated moving to Australia seeing the huge potential using the Asian resources we had to become even more ‘Asia Competent’ than it has been in the past. I presented a few ideas to Tom based on what I had been doing across Asia over the past 15 years. His response was ‘In not too long from now, there’s a good chance that I will be Mayor. When I am, we will be in a position to really do something new and fresh’.
Tom Tate’s First Stop – The Sultan of Brunei
I started following following Tom’s movements during his first month or so in office while I was back in Thailand and Indonesia. I saw that he meant what he said. Amongst other things, he had travelled to Brunei and approached the Sultan to start developing on his prime land on the Gold Coast.
I thought ‘Ok, it’s time’.
I met with Tom and mentioned that I would like to share his linguistic ability with my blog / youtube followers. Not often you get a polyglot politician in Australia! I wrote a couple of lines in Thai, expecting to do a 15 second clip.
Tom said ‘let’s do something a little better than that’. Not long after, we have just shot this clip in Thai. Next week we will be doing one in Chinese and Russian.
So, if you’re watching this – enjoy both our new Mayor’s linguistic abilities, his passion for Australia – Asia links and of course the Gold Coast.
Hope to see you on the Gold Coast soon… as Tom says, whether coming for a holiday, to study, to live or to invest… The Gold Coast is open for Business!