The ALRA committee decided to dedicate a special issue of the ALRA newsletter to
the roundtable discussion held at the ASAA’s biennial conference in Canberra, July 2016. The occasion is
memorable as Australia’s Asian Studies community came together amidst what was regarded as an offensive on
Asian Studies nationally as exemplified by the uncertain status of ANU’s School of Culture, History and Language.
This special issue commemorates the first year of the changeover to ALRA, a focus on Asia
that represents the broader region and its wider interest, and its first ASAA conference ALRA has participated in,
in our attempt to establish a stronger relationship with Asian Studies scholars. Further, due to the success of
the roundtable discussion, we are convinced the issues raised then and in this special issue are important and
significant, and deserving of a dedicated issue. Last but not least, we hope to do justice to the discussion: to
not only represent the issues, but also the sentiment, passion and frustration of both the presenters and audience.
Dr Amy Chan