We need to align our ends and means, and engage in practical, tough-minded diplomacy directed at making a difference.
As an ally of the US and a major trading partner of China, we need to be alert to everything that goes on between them, as well as within them.
One specific opportunity for some serious re-thinking would be our stance on foreign investment in Australia - not usually thought of as a key element of our foreign policy.
Australia has a powerful 'strategic narrative' that is a potent source of soft power. But it's increasingly difficult for this story to be heard.
Managing the tension between the interests of our major strategic partner - the US - and our primary economic partner - China - has to be at the very heart of Australian foreign policy.
Major change is underway in the region and has been for some time.
It is possible to sketch what’s happening in Asia and what it means for Australia in terms which are not as scary politically or diplomatically as our ministers seem to assume. Here is a modest drafting suggestion.
The IEA treaty needs to be amended to allow large energy consumers, such as Brazil, Russia, India and China, to become full members.
We cannot create greater prosperity and security for Australia if we pursue a set of narrowly defined interests using a piecemeal strategy.
We need to look afresh at Australia’s priorities in international engagement and consider how these should be resourced.
Surely working with our nearest neighbours on the issues most important to them is in Australia’s national interest.
Policy-makers need to modifying government narratives and policy settings to embrace and celebrate the success of Australian investment internationally, as well as foreign investment in Australia.
The Foreign Policy White Paper will need to address the way economic and security analysts often talk past each other in the Australian policymaking space.
Values play a proportionately larger part in the conceptualisation and practice of Australian foreign policy than is the case in most other Western democracies