Welcome to the FCA
Welcome to the Foreign Correspondents’ Association (FCA) – Australia & South Pacific. Established in 1985 by a small group of journalists based in Sydney, the FCA has played a key role in helping correspondents perform their job effectively and keeping the rest of the world informed about the people and issues making news in the region. At a time when freedom of expression and independent journalism is often under threat, our members pride themselves on keeping the beacon of free speech alight and telling it how it is.
With a population of almost 900.000 and only a 4.5% unemployment rate, Fiji has registered the 9th consecutive year of economic growth in 2017, with 3.5% growth forecasted for 2018. In order to promote the beautiful Pacific islands as a hub for foreign investors, the Fijian government is implementing pro-growth reforms. In a Press Conference for the FCA, the Consul-General, Zarak Khan, explained the projects, which aim to make Fiji a top economic destination in sectors such as Agriculture, Manufacturing and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO).
In an exclusive Press Conference for Foreign Correspondents in Sydney, the Former Prime-Minister Kevin Rudd said he decided to write The PM Years “to shed light on an obscure part of Australian history”, including the events that led to his downfall in June 2013. Rudd commented on Australia’s leadership instability and how it is affecting the country’s international reputation. He also talked about economy, Australia’s relationship with China and the USA as well as refugees. The PM Years recounts Rudd’s achievements and sorrows in 652 pages.
October 3, 2018: DFAT and FCA discuss Australia’s Soft Power
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is currently leading a review of Australia’s soft power, which is a commitment of the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper. This is the nation’s first ever review of this type, which seeks to generate new ideas and thinking on Australia’s soft power assets and partnerships, as well as policy options for maximising Australia’s reputation and prosperity in the future.
The Foreign Correspondents Association was invited to contribute to the discussions. The President Hiroki Iijima, the Vice-President Sandip Hor and the Treasurer Liz Lacerda represented the FCA in the meeting. The Government has extended the consultation period and invites interested parties to provide a written submission by Friday 12 October 2018. Email your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org
FCA’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) elected the Board for 2018 – 2019 on Monday, Aug 5, in DFAT Sydney Conference Room. The popular Japanese TBS television correspondent Hiroki Iijima was re-elected as President, with Vice- President Sandip Hor, Treasurer Liz Lacerda, Honorary Secretary Wolfgang Mueller, Mimi Chau, Thorsten Joses and Philip Engelberts, plus Laurence Arthur (in Melbourne) and Rob Taylor (in Canberra). The new Board discussed the future of the FCA with 20 other members. Great lunch after the meeting at Bar Cupola, in Sydney CBD.
July 12, 2018: FCA briefing with the Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells.
June 28, 2018: “The Tourism Opportunity for Australia: 2020 and Beyond”
The Managing Director of Tourism Australia, John O’Sullivan, briefed FCA members on the strategy to build the competitiveness of Australia’s tourism industry and grow its economic contribution. “Tourism 2020” focuses on improving the industry’s performance and competitiveness by pursuing new opportunities for growth.
The “Tourism 2020” goal is to achieve between $115 billion and $140 billion annually – in overnight spend – by 2020. The total overnight visitor spending has already reached a record $107.4 billion for the year ending March 2018. “Tourism 2020” is an initiative of Tourism Australia, the Australian tourism industry and federal, state and territory governments in an effort to maximise tourism’s economic contribution to the Australian people. Read more about the Tourism 2020 strategy.
May 28, 2018: “US Foreign Policy in Asia and Nuclear-free Korean Peninsula”
Research Fellow in the Foreign Policy and Defence Program at the University of Sydney’s United States Studies Centre, Brendan Thomas-Noone, briefed FCA members on North Korea’s nuclear program and the regional foreign policy role of the US administration, as well as Australia’s responsibilities in supporting a stable and resilient Indo-Pacific.
He said that Australia’s strategy includes the need to provide infrastructure, economic growth, governance support and security assistance to help Pacific and south-east Asian nations cope with Chinese influence.
FCA members were invited to the “Lightning of the Sails”, which marked the “lights on” beginning of Vivid Sydney 2018 at the Sydney Opera House and Circular Quay. Invited by Destination NSW, foreign correspondents celebrated the 10th anniversary of the biggest festival of light, music and ideas in the world.
During 23 days and nights of visual creativity, Vivid 2018 had nine live precincts across Sydney, including Luna Park for the first time, a free public exhibition of outdoor lighting sculptures and installations and a contemporary music program.
In 2007, Melbourne-based Tilman Ruff, 62, co-founded the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. Ten years later, the organisation was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
In a press briefing for the FCA in Sydney, Dr. Tilman Ruff explained how the “visionary work” has brought the world much closer to a nuclear-free world. On July 7 last year, the Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty – the first legally binding international agreement to prohibit nuclear weapons – was adopted by 122 countries.
We have a busy calendar of newsworthy and social events. FCA regularly invites experts in the field of politics, business, academics, Indigenous affairs and civil society from around Australia and beyond as guest speakers. We also host social get-togethers and dinners, which offer a great opportunity for members, their families and friends to network.