Australia-ASEAN Emerging Leaders Program

  • Media release
10 August 2019

Today I announce the selection of 15 young people from across Australia and Southeast Asia for a program that seeks to foster the next generation of leaders and address some of the critical challenges facing our region.

The participants in the 2019 Australia-ASEAN Emerging Leaders Program will explore solutions to the challenges of rapid urbanisation in our region.

An additional 90 million people are expected be living in Southeast Asian cities by 2030, bringing greater prosperity and economic growth. To make the most of this opportunity, tomorrow's cities need smart planning, innovative solutions and good governance.

These young entrepreneurs who are participating in the program will learn how to maximise the impact of their enterprises in areas such as green infrastructure, renewable energy, water governance and data analytics.

The 2019 Australia-ASEAN Emerging Leaders Program participants are:

  • Ms Noorhafizah Rashid – Brunei
  • Ms Gita Dwijayati – Indonesia
  • Ms Melisa Lim Siew Ming – Malaysia
  • Mr Daniel Layug – Philippines
  • Mr Aushim Merchant – Thailand
  • Ms Zoe Eather – Australia
  • Mr Matthew Nguyen – Australia
  • Ms Zanthea Chulio – Australia
  • Mr Sirey Sum – Cambodia
  • Ms Manoly Sisavanh – Laos
  • Ms Amara Aung – Myanmar
  • Mr Li Seng Heng – Singapore
  • Ms Ngoc-Han Tran – Vietnam
  • Ms Christine Parfitt – Australia
  • Mr Thomas Da Jose – Australia

Australia has a long history of working with our close neighbours to support development and promote a more stable and prosperous region.

The program is an initiative of the Australia-ASEAN Council, which works to deepen Australia's engagement with Southeast Asia. Visit for more details.

Media enquiries

  • Minister's office: (02) 6277 7500
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555