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Next Voices

What are the greatest foreign-policy challenges Australia faces? How should it respond to a trade war, or to Indonesia’s changing politics, or to southern Pacific rivalries? What role should it play in the Asia-Pacific into the future?

At Australian Foreign Affairs, we seek to encourage voices with unique perspectives on Australia’s place in the Asia-Pacific and its relationships within the region. 

Contributions must be 1500–2000 words and previously unpublished. Authors whose work is selected will receive AU$100 and a one-year print and digital subscription to Australian Foreign Affairs, and will collaborate with Australian Foreign Affairs editors to shape and refine their piece. 

Pieces could be on-the-ground reportage, commentary, analysis or even memoir. The only qualification is an engaging, accessible and thoughtful examination of Australia’s foreign policy and the nation’s position in the world. We encourage writers to avoid foreign-policy jargon and to appeal to a wide readership. See past issues of Australian Foreign Affairs or this extract as a guide.

Writers do not have to be foreign-affairs experts: journalists, academics, foreign-aid workers, policy advisers, students and other interested readers are encouraged to submit. We hope to foster and promote a diverse stable of writers from Australia and the Asia-Pacific, and to encourage discussion on foreign affairs that represents a range of views in the broader Australian community.

Submission details for the next issue are below. Read our guidelines first. 

Through our Next Voices series, we look forward to discovering Australia’s newest and best foreign-policy commentators.


Upcoming submissions

Our Sphere of Influence: Rivalry in the Pacific
Open for submissions: Tuesday, 18 June 2019
Deadline: 11.59 p.m. Sunday, 28 July 2019

Australia’s relationship with its Pacific island neighbours is growing in importance. As foreign powers play a greater role in the region, and as small nations brace for the impacts of climate change, Australia is facing a struggle to maintain influence in the southern Pacific.

Our Sphere of Influence explores the security challenges facing nations in the southern Pacific and asks whether Australia will need new approaches to secure its relations and interests.

Some topics that interest us include:

  • the impacts of climate change in the southern Pacific
  • how to improve relations between Australia and its Pacific island neighbours in a changing Asia
  • the effects of resources allocation and degradation in Pacific island countries
  • the impacts of Australian aid and diplomacy in Pacific island countries
  • current and future security challenges facing Australia in the southern Pacific
  • the role of Australian leadership in the southern Pacific.

Writers are also encouraged to develop their own topic in relation to the theme. 


Past submissions

Are We Asian Yet? History vs Geography
Deadline: 11.59 p.m. Sunday, 10 March 2019

Australia is struggling to define its place in Asia as it balances historical ties to the West with its geography, including its proximity to emerging superpower China. 

Are We Asian Yet? explores Australia’s changing population, outlook and identity as it looks to the future and adjusts to the Asian Century.

Some topics that interest us include: 

  • how Australia’s changing demographics are reshaping its relationship with Asia
  • the role of culture in the China–US rivalry, and how this may affect Australia
  • how Asian countries view Australia and its role in the Asia-Pacific region
  • how migration flows and trade between Australia and its Asian neighbours are affecting Australia’s identity, reputation and foreign policy
  • the role of Australian leadership in the Asia-Pacific region.

Submissions have now closed.
Read the winning pieces:

Read our interviews with the winners here and view all the finalists here