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Frances Adamson

9 Podcast Episodes

Latest 1 May 2021 | Updated Daily

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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The Director’s Chair: Frances Adamson on her career, Australian diplomacy and relations with China

Lowy Institute: Live Events

In this episode of The Director’s Chair, Michael Fullilove speaks with the Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Frances Adamson. Over the course of her career, Frances has represented Australia’s interests in Europe and Asia and advised foreign ministers and prime ministers. Michael and Frances discuss relations with China, recent events in Myanmar, and how DFAT is helping Australians abroad during the pandemic. Frances reflects on why she joined DFAT, nominates Australian and foreign leaders who have impressed her, and talks about the distinctiveness of Australian diplomacy.


1 Mar 2021

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University of Adelaide Panel: Frances Adamson, Tanya Monro and Amanda Vanstone

A Podcast of One's Own with Julia Gillard

As an Honorary Visiting Professor of the University of Adelaide, Julia normally gives an annual public lecture to the University community. This was not possible in 2020, so Julia instead hosted this special episode of A Podcast of One's Own with three distinguished University of Adelaide alumna - former Australian Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone, Australia's Chief Defence Scientist Tanya Monro and Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Secretary Frances Adamson.They discuss their their careers, early experiences with gender barriers and how they’ve been impacted by COVID-19.See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.


10 Jan 2021

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Frances Adamson on securing Australia in an age of disruption

The National Security Podcast

In this episode of National Security Podcast, Frances Adamson — Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade— joins Rory Medcalf to discuss the national security challenges facing Australia in an age of disruption.With the destructive impact of COVID-19 reverberating around the world, exacerbating the disruptive forces of great power competition, Australian efforts to support its own national interests have rarely been more important. In this episode of the National Security Podcast, Head of the National Security College Rory Medcalf speaks with Secretary Frances Adamson on Australia’s tense relationship with China, how Australia perceives its interests and what Australia’s diplomatic community is doing to secure Australia in an age of disruption.Frances Adamson has led Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as Secretary since 2016 and in her time as a public official has served as International Adviser to a Prime Minister, Ambassador to China, and High Commissioner to Great Britain among numerous other senior government roles.Professor Rory Medcalf is Head of the National Security College at The Australian National University. His professional background involves more than two decades of experience across diplomacy, intelligence analysis, think tanks, and journalism.Chris Farnham is the presenter of the National Security Podcast. He joined the ANU National Security College in 2015 and is currently Senior Outreach and Policy Officer. Prior to joining ANU, Chris was a soldier in the Australian Army, and an analyst for think tanks and private intelligence companies where he focused on geopolitics and East Asian regional security.We’d love to hear your feedback for this podcast series! Send in your questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes to podcast@policyforum.net. You can also Tweet us @APPSPolicyForum or find us on Facebook. The National Security Podcast and Policy Forum Pod are available on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, and wherever you get your podcasts. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.


26 Nov 2020

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Frances Adamson, DFAT Secretary, on our 50th episode

Australia in the World

On the occasion of the podcast’s 50th episode, Allan and Darren are thrilled to welcome Australia’s most senior diplomat and foreign policy official, Frances Adamson, the Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the first woman to hold this appointment. The interview was conducted on Wednesday 17 June 2020. Immediately prior to her appointment as Secretary in August 2016, Frances was International Adviser to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. From 2011 to 2015, she was Ambassador to the People's Republic of China, also the first woman appointed to this role. Previously, Frances served in the Australian Consulate-General in Hong Kong in the late 1980s during the early years of China's reform and opening. From 2001 to 2005, she was seconded as Representative to the Australian Commerce and Industry Office in Taipei. She was also posted twice in London, including as Deputy High Commissioner. She was Chief of Staff to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and then the Minister for Defence from 2009 to 2010. The conversation begins with Allan asking about how Frances, and the Department, have been dealing with the Covid-19 crisis, and Darren wonders whether the pandemic is upending the traditional practices of diplomacy. The discussion moves to the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper – in the time since, has Frances been more surprised by the pace of change, or its direction? Foreign policy elites have arguably been repudiated by recent political developments, such as Brexit and Donald Trump’s election victory. Allan asks Frances for her views on the political forces behind these events, and what the foreign policy establishment in Australia can learn. Zooming out, and noting that the international system is in a state of disequilibrium at the moment, Darren asks Frances to describe how she hopes the order will settle over the next few decades. Referring to Foreign Minister’s Marise Payne’s speech the previous evening, Allan asks Frances for more detail about the audit of Australia’s participation in multilateral organisations that was recently completed. Darren asks specifically about the role of “middle powers” – should they specialise given their resources are limited? The conversation moves to China. With so much material out there, what’s a good entry point for Australians seeking to learn about China, and make sense of the daily barrage of media coverage? What does it mean for both sides to “work harder” to manage the relationship? And Darren asks about the state of debate inside China – are there still live debates about the big questions of international affairs within the Chinese system, and has China made up its mind about Australia? In the final part of the podcast, Darren asks about the balance between generalists and specialists in Australia’s diplomatic corps, and about effective models of work/life balance that Frances has seen in her career. As always, we invite our listeners to email us at this address: australia.world.pod@gmail.com We welcome feedback, requests and suggestions. You can also contact Darren on twitter @limdarrenj We thank AIIA intern Maddie Gordon for her help with research and audio editing and Rory Stenning for composing our theme music. On this milestone episode, we also extend our heartfelt thanks to all our past interns. Without their help we could never have come this far. Thank you to Stephanie Rowell, Mani Bovell, Charlie Henshall, James Hayne, Isabel Hancock and XC Chong. Relevant links Biography of Ms Frances Adamson: https://www.dfat.gov.au/about-us/our-people/executive/Pages/biography-of-frances-adamson IPAA Podcast, “Getting Australians Home – The unfolding story: Frances Adamson.  https://www.ipaa.org.au/getting-australians-home-the-unfolding-story-frances-adamson/ Marise Payne, “Australia and the world in the time of COVID-19”, Speech at the National Security College, ANU, 16 June 2020: https://www.foreignminister.gov.au/minister/marise-payne/speech/australia-and-world-time-covid-19 Evan Osnos, Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth and Faith in the New China: https://www.penguin.com.au/books/age-of-ambition-9781448190607 Richard McGregor, The Party: https://www.penguin.com.au/books/the-party-9780141975559 ANU Centre on China in the World, The China Story Yearbook: https://www.thechinastory.org/yearbooks/ China Matters: http://chinamatters.org.au/


24 Jun 2020

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EP#5: Making good decisions in a time of information overload – with Frances Adamson

Work with Purpose: A podcast about the Australian Public Service.

In our social media driven world, information is available from all corners of the globe 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.On this week’s episode of Work with Purpose David Pembroke and our first co-host, IPAA’s Future Leader’s Forum chair, Holly Noble, ask Frances Adamson, the Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, how she makes decisions when coping with information overload. How does she keep her team motivated and focused as she works to provide the best possible advice to Foreign Minister and Prime Minister.Frances is an accomplished public servant, a South Australian and former captain of boats at the Adelaide University Rowing Club. She joined the Australian Public Service in 1985. She has served twice in the United Kingdom, the second time as deputy high commissioner as well as in Asia on post in both Taipei and Hong Kong. Between 2011 and 2015, she served as Australia’s ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, the first woman appointed to that role, and she was also the first woman appointed as Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Frances was also foreign policy advisor to the former Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull.Discussed in this episode:Reflection on the COVID periodThe challenges of getting Australians homeGovernment communication through social mediaThe change in her department and their routineWhat is the right leadership style during a crisisWhat does recovery look likeAdjustments future leaders need to makeBecoming resilient through personal reflection See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.


8 May 2020

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Leading Foreign Policy: In Conversation with Frances Adamson, Secretary of Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Trans-Tasman Tales

Welcome to Trans-Tasman Tales, the free podcast by the Australian High Commission in New Zealand.In the latest episode of Trans-Tasman Tales, Australian High Commissioner to New Zealand Ewen McDonald sits down with Frances Adamson, Secretary for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.Ewen asks the big questions, including how the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper is going one year on, how Australia and New Zealand can work together to make a difference and whether the flat white is an Aussie or Kiwi creation.Keep up to date with the Australian High Commission in New Zealand by following us on social media: Find us on FacebookFind us on TwitterFind us on LinkedInVisit our website Music by Lee Rosevere


23 Oct 2018

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Frances Adamson on being secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs

Politics with Michelle Grattan

Frances Adamson is secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. She was previously international adviser to Malcolm Turnbull, and served as Australia’s ambassador in Beijing between 2011 and 2015. This interview is published in partnership with The Australian Strategic Policy Institute.


25 Jun 2018

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Canberra Conversations: Frances Adamson, Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Lowy Institute: Live Events

In this edition of Canberra Conversations, Lowy Institute Senior Fellow Sam Roggeveen speaks with Frances Adamson, Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, about her life and career, the influences that shaped her, the media diet she consumes, as well as the challenges facing her department and the nation.


13 Sep 2017

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2012. HE Ms Frances Adamson, Australian Ambassador to the People's Republic of China.

Griffith in Asia

'Queensland and China in the 40th Anniversary Year of the Australia-China Relationship', presented by Ms Frances Adamson, Australian Ambassador to the People's Republic of China. 8 November 2012. Perspectives:Asia.Perspectives:Asia is produced by The Griffith Asia Institute, Griffith University and the Australian Centre of Asia-Pacific Art, Queensland Art Gallery I Gallery of Modern Art.


1 Sep 2014