Australian High Commission


Upcoming Events


"Connecting expertise to build smarter, more sustainable cities in our region"

Significant urbanisation is underway in Southeast Asia. By 2030, an additional 90 million people are forecast to move to ASEAN cities. These urban populations are expected to triple by 2050. This growth presents opportunities for Australia, which has experience in providing for the expanding needs of cities confronting urbanisation challenges.

The Australian High Commission in Singapore, with Austrade and CSIRO, is hosting the inaugural Regional Built Environment Forum (BEF) 2019 in Singapore on Tuesday 4 June 2019. The BEF 2019 will showcase Australia’s and Singapore’s capabilities in the built environment and explore how our countries can jointly support ASEAN’s unfolding urbanisation story.

The BEF 2019 will cover topics on the future cities in ASEAN; commercial opportunities in the region; skills and education, innovation and platforms; and, sustainability and city resilience. The BEF 2019 will also include a Built Environment Marketplace, where selected organisations can display capabilities in smart cities design, construction and technologies.


Click here to download the latest BEF 2019 Programme.



Keynote: 'Cities of the Future in Asia'                                                                                                   

Discussion Panel - Regional Opportunities in the Built Environment  


Keynote: 'Digitalisation of Urban Environments'                    

  • Mr Bill Chang, CEO, Group Enterprise and Country Chief Officer (Singapore), Singtel


Discussion Panel - Digitalisation in the Built Environment                                                                                                            


Discussion Panel – Future Skills and Education

  • Dr Fatemah Farnaz Areifan, Lecturer and Program Coordinator, Construction Management, The University of Newcastle Australia/Singapore

  • Professor Chan Heng Chee, Chairman, Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities, SUTD

  • Professor Alan Dench, Pro Vice Chancellor, Humanities, Curtin University

  • Associate Professor Lisa Law, Centre for Disaster Studies, College of Science and Engineering, James Cook University

  • Final panellist to be announced


Discussion Panel – Sustainability and City Resilience                                                                     

  • Ms Jessica Cheam, Founder and Managing Editor, Eco-Business (Moderator)

  • Mr Guy Barnett, Coordinator, Future Cities Initiative and Urban Ecologist, CSIRO

  • Dr Lachlan Blackhall, Entrepreneurial Fellow, The Australian National University

  • Ms Joelle Chen, Director, MANN+HUMMEL and Former Regional Head Asia Pacific, World Green Building Council

  • Mr Lim Teng Leng, Deputy Director, Capability Development, Centre for Liveable Cities


Discussion Panel – Platforms and Partnerships for Commercial Opportunities                                                          


Click here to download the latest BEF 2019 Programme.



Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for the latest BEF 2019 updates, news and announcements using the hashtag #BEF2019.


To register your interest in taking part in the BEF 2019, please contact the Australian High Commission in Singapore's Public Affairs team at Please include details of your current role, organisation, relevant expertise and (if applicable) the Australian university you graduated from.


Past Events


FREE PUBLIC TALK: 'Under a different sun; Australian Aboriginal prisoners of war in Singapore, 1942-45'

Public talk by Garth O'Connell and Jackie Huggins

When: Friday 15 February, 5.00pm until 6.00pm

Where: National Museum of Singapore Gallery Theatre, 93 Stamford Rd, Singapore 178897

RSVP: Please email by 14 February to register (for catering purposes)

During the Second World War 15,000 Australians became prisoners of war after Singapore fell to the Japanese on 15 February 1942. Among the Australians captured on the island were more than 50 Aboriginal and Pacific Islander soldiers. A further 13 captured elsewhere in the region were later moved to camps in Singapore. During the following three and a half years of captivity these men suffered extreme hardships, including starvation, illness, forced labour, and brutal treatment from camp guards, some of whom were confused by the presence of these dark-skinned Australians.

With their non-Indigenous brothers in arms most were forced into labour on the infamous Burma–Thailand Railway, and on other islands such as Borneo and mainland Japan. More than 20 n ever returned to Australia, and several were buried and commemorated at the Kranji War Memorial in Singapore.

The daughter of one of these Aboriginal prisoners of war is the respected Aboriginal Elder Jackie Huggins AM, who will offer her personal insights as part of this presentation.

About the presenters

Garth O’Connell is a curator in the Military Heraldry and Technology section at the Australian War Memorial. He is of both Aboriginal (Gomeroi nation) and Irish descent. Within his family he is a fourth-generation army veteran, and among his many interests is the wartime history of Singapore and military service of other Indigenous Australians.

Jackie Huggins AM is a preeminent historian and highly respected leader in the Aboriginal community. She is of the Bidjara/Pitjara (Central Queensland) and Biri/Birri Gubba Juru (North Queensland) peoples. Her father, John “Jack” Huggins, was a soldier in the Australian Army who was captured in Singapore.


Click here to download event flyer




In November 2018, ASEAN 2018 Chair, Singapore, invited Australia to join China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Russia, the United States and innovative Singaporean companies to take part in a Smart Cities Showcase as part of the 33rd ASEAN Summits programme.

We took this opportunity to share our expertise in smart cities and sustainability and to promote the AUD$30 million ASEAN-Australia Smart Cities Initiative, announced at the Special Summit in March 2018. We also reaffirmed Australia's support for the ASEAN Sustainable Urbanisation Strategy (ASUS) and presented case studies where Australia has provided relevant assistance to ASEAN countries.

Resources that were available at Australia's Smart Cities Showcase booth are available from the below links:

  1.  ASEAN-Australia Smart Cities Initiative Fact Sheet 

  2. Spotlight on Infrastructure and Urbanisation - South East Asia Case Studies

  3.  ASEAN Sustainable Urbanisation Strategy (ASUS)

  4. Enhancing ASEAN Connectivity: Developing a rolling pipeline of ASEAN Infrastructure Projects 

  5. Australian Green Building: Developing a smart, sustainable ASEAN Report

  6. CSIRO Living Labs: Creating Smart Cities of the Future Fact Sheet

  7. Designing water security solutions (Makassar, Indonesia) CSIRO Fact Sheet

  8. Climate Adaptation through sustainable urban development (Can Tho, Vietnam) CSIRO Fact Sheet

  9. Smart cities for a sustainable future, CSIRO Fact Sheet

  10.  Advanced Data Analytics in Transport, CSIRO-Data61 Fact Sheet

  11. Data-driven Failure Prediction on Water Main, CSIRO-Data61 Fact Sheet

  12.  Monitoring the health of structures, CSIRO-Data61 Fact Sheet

For more information about this initiative, please contact the Australian High Commission in Singapore's Public Affairs team at





Together with our Festival Partners CSIRO and Austrade, the Australian High Commission in Singapore held an Australian Festival of Innovation in Singapore and ASEAN throughout September 2018.

Good Science = Great Business 2018 brought top Australian and Singaporean scientists, business leaders and innovative companies together to showcase Australian science in Singapore; raise awareness of the opportunity in Singapore and ASEAN; and, provide a platform for Australian research institutions and businesses to begin to explore that opportunity.


Click here to download the Festival Programme.


Follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn for Festival-related updates, news and announcements using the hashtag #GoodScienceAUSG.   



For more information about the Festival, please contact:For more information about this initiative, please contact the Australian High Commission in Singapore's Public Affairs team at