New South Wales


The Perils of Economic Reform: A Cautionary Tale from Myanmar - ONLINE ONLY


From: Friday December 1, 2023, 12:00 pm

To: Friday December 1, 2023, 2:00 pm

THE FOLLOWING EVENT REGISTRATION IS FOR ONLINE ATTENDANCE ONLY. To register to attend this event in-person, click here
For NSW Treasury members, please register via the Treasury invite or email:


Please join our special guest Sean Turnell for The Perils of Economic Reform: A Cautionary Tale from Myanmar

For 650 days, the author and economics professor was unjustly incarcerated in a Myanmar jail on a trumped-up charge of being a spy. When he was imprisoned alongside Myanmar’s democratic leadership following the military coup in February 2021, Professor Turnell was an economic policy advisor to Myanmar’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.

This will be a compelling and insightful talk as Sean reflects on his deep commitment to using his economic expertise to promote social justice. The event will include a Q&A.

The session is presented by NSW Treasury and the NSW Branch of the Economics Society of Australia.

About The Speaker

Professor Sean Turnell was accused of violating the Official States Secrets Act. Following a secret trial in September 2022, he was convicted and sentenced to three years in prison. After 650 days of incarceration and severe ill-treatment, including solitary confinement, he was finally released in November 2022.

Sean has worked relentlessly in the cause of improving the economic, social and cultural circumstances of Myanmar’s population. His commitment to, and impact on public policy in Myanmar has won wide respect, both within Myanmar and beyond. The people of Myanmar and Australia’s Burmese community are extraordinarily grateful for Sean’s contribution. Sean’s book about his experience, An Unlikely Prisoner, will be published on 14 November 2023.

Sean is an Honorary Professor of Economics at Macquarie University, and non-resident Fellow at the Lowy Institute in Sydney. He has been a Senior Economic Analyst at the Reserve Bank of Australia, and a policy adviser to a range of international institutions, including the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Sean’s work is regarded as some of the most insightful on Myanmar’s economic development and was requested by Aung San Suu Kyi (former State Counsellor of Myanmar and Nobel laureate) to design and plan economic reforms in Myanmar.

Event Details

Date: Friday 1 December 2023

Time: 12.00 - 1.00pm AEDT
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For those attending online, a Microsoft Teams link will be emailed out to you 24 hours prior to the event. 

Cost: Free for Members / $10 for Non-Members

If you are not yet an ESA NSW member, this event is an opportunity for you to become a member to enjoy discounted rates on our other events and access to other free events throughout the year. You can become a member here.

We look forward to welcoming you to this event, 

ESA NSW Branch / NSW Treasury


Bookings are now closed


NSW Treasury

52 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000

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