Event Details

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Speaker: Senator the Hon Penny Wong, Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and Leader for the Opposition in the Senate

Penny Wong has served as Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs since 2016 and Leader for the Opposition in the Senate since 2013. A Senator for South Australia since 2002, Ms Wong has previously held numerous positions in both government and opposition, including as Minister for Climate Change and Water; Minister for Finance and Deregulation; Shadow Minister for Trade and Investment, Corporate Governance and Responsibility, and Employment and Workforce Participation; and as a longstanding member of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security. Prior to her career in federal politics, Senator Wong worked in the trade union movement, and as a lawyer.

With the next federal election to be held in or before 2022, the forum will offer the opportunity to engage on the Labor Party’s top priorities and strategic thinking in areas including Australia’s relationships the EU, UK and US on trade and investment, defence and security, and the global rules-based order.

Senator Wong’s shadow portfolio extends to many of the most complex areas of national administration in the context of rising geopolitical tensions and a changing threat landscape. Heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic, and while the Opposition has remained largely supportive of the Government’s foreign policy agenda during the crisis, Senator Wong has advocated for a more assertive, ambitious and self-reliant strategy for Australia’s interests in the region and in multilateral fora. In particular, the Senator has sparked debate on issues including Australia’s response to the pandemic in the Indo-Pacific region; IP waivers for COVID-19 vaccines; increased action on climate change as key to national security and international partnerships; foreign investment screening and foreign interference legislation; management of the Australia-China relationship; international cyber and critical technology co-operation; Australia’s withdrawal from Afghanistan; among many others.

This event was attended on behalf of the Norwegian Chamber by Sophia Demetriades and Lily Tindale.