Launched in 2007, the the Young Leadership Dialogue embodies the intergenerational imperative in maintaining the Leadership Dialogue mission over the longer term—to advance mutual understanding among Australian and US leaders through a consistent flow of younger women and men leaders from each country. On the sidelines of the August 2007 Australian American Leadership Dialogue in Melbourne, the inaugural meeting of the Young Leadership Dialogue was convened by Founder Phil Scanlan. He was joined by the following US participants in the Australian American Leadership Dialogue:
- Hon Lael Brainard
- Ambassador Paula Dobriansky
- Hon Dr Joseph Duffey
- Hon Michele Flournoy
- Hon Larry Irving
- Professor Larry Smarr
- Hon Robert Walker
The Young Leadership Dialogue promotes a culture of service, not careerism, bringing together young Australian and American leaders from government, enterprise, education, media and civil society to engage on issues that concern today’s youth and future generations. Leadership is about creating new space—economic, social, security, cultural, educational, innovative, intellectual, entrepreneurial and policy. Leadership also demands that we forge bipartisan commitment to long-term strategies which are conducive to enhancing the security and prosperity of citizens from Australia, the United States and our shared Indo Pacific neighbourhood.
Australia and the United States aspire to be model societies—inclusive, pluralistic democracies underwritten by the rule of law—where the diversity of our people is a national asset, and every citizen is first class. The stage is set for new collaborative initiatives, such as in science and technology, which will help create the platform for our high performing communities through 2050 and beyond. Anything is achievable so long as neither nation becomes complacent. Australians must not presume the permanence of the US alliance, nor should Australia or the USA take the other for granted. In all bilateral relationships Australia must comport itself as principal.
The Young Leadership Dialogue has gone from strength to strength, celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2016. The YLD Alumni program was formally established in 2016, enabling more than 300 Australian and American Young Leadership Dialogue participants to remain engaged in the Leadership Dialogue family.