China Matters is an Australian Public Company (ABN ). It is an independent not-for-profit entity focused exclusively from a policy perspective on China’s rise and how it matters to Australia. China Matters is registered as a charity under the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).

Board of Directors

Jan Adams

Jan Adams AO PSM

Jan Adams is Australia’s Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China and took up her appointment in February 2016.

Ms Adams is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. She was appointed Deputy Secretary in April 2013 with responsibility for trade and economic issues. In this role she was chief negotiator overseeing conclusion of Free Trade Agreements with China, South Korea and Japan. Previously, Ms Adams was First Assistant Secretary, Free Trade Agreement Division.

Ms Adams was awarded the Public Service Medal in 2007 for outstanding public service in pursuing Australia’s international objectives on trade and the environment. In 2016 she was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to international relations through the advancement of Australia’s diplomatic and free trade relationships, particularly with the United States of America, South Korea, Japan and China.

Stephen FitzGerald

Stephen FitzGerald AO


FitgeraldStephen FitzGerald began his professional career as a diplomat, studied Chinese and became a career China specialist. He was China adviser to Gough Whitlam, and Australia’s first ambassador to the People’s Republic of China and concurrently to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. In 1980 he established the first private consultancy for Australians dealing with China, which continued until 2010.

Since the late 1960s, Dr FitzGerald has worked for policy reform in Australia’s relations with Asia, and for Asia Literacy for Australians. He chaired the 1980s committee of the Asian Studies Association of Australia on Asian Studies and Languages in Australian Education, and the government’s Asian Studies Council, which in 1988 wrote A National Strategy for the Study of Asia in Australia. In the same year, he chaired the government’s Committee to Advise on Australia’s Immigration Policies, which wrote the landmark report, Immigration. A Commitment to Australia.

He was head of the ANU’s Department of Far Eastern History and also of its Contemporary China Centre in the 1970s. In 1990 he founded and until 2005 chaired the UNSW’s Asia-Australia Institute, dedicated to making Australia part of the Asian region through think-tank activities and ideas-generation by regional leaders meeting in informal discussion.

Dr FitzGerald has been consultant to the Queensland and Northern Territory governments on the introduction of Asian languages to the school curriculum, consultant to Monash, Melbourne and Griffith universities on mainstreaming Asia in university studies, Chair of the Griffith Asia Institute, and Research Strategy Director of UTS’s China Research Centre. He is currently a Fellow of the Australian Institute of International Affairs and a Honorary Fellow at the China Studies Centre at Sydney University. He has also been awarded two Honorary Doctorates from Macquarie University and the University of Tasmania.

He has published monographs, reports and articles on China, Asia, Australia’s foreign policy and relations with China and Asia, Asia literacy, and the study of Asia and Asian languages in Australian schools and universities. His most recent publications are Comrade Ambassador: Whitlam’s Beijing Envoy, The Coup that Laid the Fear of China, and Australia and China at Forty: Stretch of the Imagination. His current research is on the evolution of Australia’s policies and attitudes towards Asia from the 1960s to the present.

On 16 March 2017 Dr FitzGerald delivered the Whitlam Oration at the Whitlam Institute, Western Sydney University.

William Forde

William (Liam) Forde

LLiam Forde photoiam Forde has enjoyed an interesting career as a Chairman, CEO and executive in a variety of industries across multiple geographies.

His industrial and commercial experience has been gained in the consumer sector: automotive and domestic appliances; in the development sector: property, large-scale construction and engineering; in the financial services sector: funds management in infrastructure debt and equity funding and also in mining: in an integrated supply chain for rare earths.

This experience has been both domestically and internationally. In particular, Liam has done business throughout the Asian region in China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, India and Papua New Guinea.

Currently, Liam is a Non-Executive Director of Lynas Corporation Limited, an Australian listed entity involved in the mining and processing of rare earths for sophisticated customers in existing and emerging industries. Until mid-2016 Liam was Chairman of Hastings Funds Management, a global infrastructure business specialising in sourcing and investing equity.

Liam came to Australia from Ireland with his family in 1974 to engage in the opportunities and challenges presented by the potential for growth in the Asian region.

Liam graduated with a degree in economics, politics and philosophy from Queens University, Northern Ireland. He is also a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Liam has an abiding interest in geo-politics and cross-cultural challenges.

Bates Gill

Bates Gill


Bates Gill (PhD Virginia) is Professor of Asia-Pacific Strategic Studies at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University (ANU). He is an internationally-recognized China expert with 30 years’ experience as a scholar and policy advisor focusing on the country’s political scene, socioeconomic development, and foreign relations. Chinese analyses rank Professor Gill as one of the most widely-cited specialists on Chinese foreign relations and the Chinese Diplomatic Academy recently ranked him as one of the top 10 American China-watchers. He has led major public policy programs at leading U.S. think tanks focusing on China and Asia, including holding the prestigious Freeman Chair in China Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC.

He has authored seven China- and Asia-related books and more than 100 other China-related publications, including Rising Star: China’s New Security Diplomacy and China: The Balance Sheet: What the World Needs to Know Now about the Rising Superpower. He is the co-author, with Linda Jakobson, of a new book China Matters: Getting It Right For Australia (La Trobe University Press / Black Inc., March 2017). Professor Gill speaks, reads and writes Chinese and, in addition to his three years living and working in China, has made over 60 other working visits to the country since 1987.

Allan Gyngell

Allan Gyngell AO

allan-gyngell-200x200Allan Gyngell was the Director-General of the Office of National Assessments (ONA) from July 2009 until April 2013 and, prior to that, the founding Executive Director of the Lowy Institute for International Policy (2003-09). He is currently a Visiting Fellow at the National Security College, an Adjunct Professor at the Crawford School of Public Policy and Director of the Crawford Australian Leadership Forum.

Mr Gyngell has a wide background in international policymaking and analysis and has written and spoken extensively on Australian foreign policy, Asian regional relations and the development of global and regional institutions. He is co-author (with Michael Wesley) of Making Australian Foreign Policy (Cambridge University Press). He is also author of Fear of Abandonment: Australia in the World since 1942 (La Trobe University Press, forthcoming).

Between 1993 and 1996, Mr Gyngell was foreign policy adviser in the office of then-Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating, and from 1991 until 1993 was First Assistant Secretary in the International Division of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Mr Gyngell also spent a number of years as an analyst with ONA, where he worked on Southeast Asian issues (1978-80) and headed the branch dealing with great power relations at the end of the Cold War (1984-89).

Linda Jakobson

Linda Jakobson

Linda Jakobson, internationally recognised China analyst

jakobson_linda_hires picLinda Jakobson has been a student of Chinese politics and China’s foreign and security policy for the past three decades. She is internationally known for her publications about China’s foreign policy. Her China-related career includes posts as a teacher (at the Shandong Institute of Economics in China), a lecturer (at Hong Kong City University), a foreign correspondent (in Beijing), a visiting professor (at Sydney University), and senior researcher and program director (at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), and the Lowy Institute for International Policy). She has served as a policy advisor on China-related issues to the president, prime minister, or foreign minister in seven countries.

Before moving to Sydney in 2011 Jakobson lived and worked in China for 22 years. She is the author, co-author or co-editor of seven books about Chinese and East Asian politics and society as well as the author of over 100 other publications about Chinese politics and society, China’s foreign and security policy, the Taiwan Straits, China’s science and technology, and China’s Arctic aspirations. Two of her books and one report have received awards.

In 2014 Linda Jakobson became an independent researcher. The next year she established China Matters Ltd. In 2017 Jakobson was invited to join the board of the new Diplomatic Academy of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

A Mandarin speaker, Jakobson was a Fellow at the Kennedy School at Harvard University in 1990.

Jakobson’s current research focuses on Australia-China ties, US-China ties, China’s foreign and security policy. She is the co-author, with Dr Bates Gill, of a new book China Matters: Getting It Right For Australia (La Trobe University Press / Black Inc., March 2017).

She and her husband, Chris Lanzit, also a Mandarin speaker, live in Pyrmont, New South Wales. They are permanent residents of Australia.

Andrew Michelmore

Andrew Michelmore

Andrew Michelmore has been Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of MMG Limited since 2009 following his tenure as Chief Executive Officer of Zinifex Limited and then OZ Minerals Limited. Prior to this he spent two years working in London and Russia as Chief Executive Officer of EN+ Group and became interim Chairman of RUSAL, an EN+ portfolio company, in October 2006.

Andrew has more than 35 years’ experience in the metals and mining industry. He spent 12 years at WMC where he was Chief Executive Officer and prior to that held senior roles in the company’s nickel, gold, alumina, copper, uranium and fertiliser businesses. He holds a First Class Honours degree in Engineering (Chemical) from the University of Melbourne and a Master of Arts in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University. He is a fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers and the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. Andrew is Chairman of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), Chairman of the Jean Hailes Foundation for Women’s Health, Chairman of the Council of Ormond College at the University of Melbourne and a member of the Business Council of Australia (BCA).

Andrew Parker

Andrew Parker

Andrew Parker 200dpi_5325_croppedAndrew Parker is a Sydney-based Partner at PwC where he leads the Australian Firm’s Asia Practice. Andrew joined Price Waterhouse in 1985, became a partner in 1999 and spent 12 years in PwC’s London, Moscow and Jakarta offices where he gained considerable experience advising companies investing in foreign (and particularly developing) markets. Andrew was previously the leader of PwC’s Asian telecoms industry team.

He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Asia Society and a non-executive director of the Australia Indonesia Centre at Monash University. Andrew was the lead author of PwC’s landmark report on Australia’s lack of business investment in Asia titled “Passing us by”.

Advisory COUNCIL

Michael Wesley - Chair

Michael Wesley

MW PhotoMichael Wesley is Incoming Dean of the College of Asia and the Pacific and was previously Director of the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs at the Australian National University. His career has spanned academia, with previous appointments at the University of New South Wales, Griffith University, the University of Hong Kong, Sun Yat-sen University and the University of Sydney; government, where he worked as Assistant Director General for Transnational Issues at the Office of National Assessments; and think tanks, in which he was Executive Director of the Lowy Institute for International Policy and a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. Professor Wesley has also served as Editor in Chief of the Australian Journal of International Affairs.

His book, There Goes the Neighbourhood: Australia and the Rise of Asia, won the 2011 John Button Prize for the best writing on Australian public policy. His most recent book is Restless Continent: Wealth, Power and Asia’s New Geopolitics.

Geremie R Barmé

Geremie R Barmé

BarmeGeremie R Barmé is an historian, cultural critic, filmmaker, translator and web-journal editor who works on Chinese cultural and intellectual history from the early modern period (1600s) to the present. He is a research professor and Australian Research Council Federation Fellow in the ANU College of Asia & the Pacific, The Australian National University (ANU), Canberra, where he is the editor of the online e-journal China Heritage Quarterly and creator of The China Story Project. He is the Founding Director of the Australian Centre on China in the World, ANU.

Graham Fletcher

Graham Fletcher

Graham Fletcher

Graham Fletcher heads up the North Asia Division in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  He has been involved with the Australia-China relationship at various times since joining DFAT in 1983.  This has included three postings to the Embassy in Beijing (1986-88, 1997-2000 and 2004-08) and a period as lead negotiator for the China-Australia FTA.  He has also served in Noumea and Washington.

Peter Leahy

Peter Leahy AC

Peter Leahy ACPeter Leahy concluded his career in the Army in 2008, as Chief of the Army, with the rank of Lieutenant General. He served in this appointment for 6 years. His period of command was marked by the continuous global deployment of Australian soldiers on high tempo, complex and demanding combat operations. He was also responsible for the rapid expansion and development of the Army to meet the changing demands of modern conflict.

Since leaving the Army Peter has joined the University of Canberra as a Professor and become the foundation Director of the National Security Institute. He has been appointed to the Boards of Codan Limited, Electro Optic Systems Holdings Limited and Citadel Group Limited. Additionally, he is a member of the Defence South Australia Advisory Board, Chairman of the Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal Committee in the ACT, Chairman of the charity “Soldier On” and a Trustee of the Prince’s Charities Australia.

David Olsson

David Olsson

David Olsson picxDavid Olsson is a former managing partner of global law firm King & Wood Mallesons, and is currently senior China consultant to the firm. He has been working with clients in Asia for more than 25 years, based in Beijing from 2008 – 2013 and now in Melbourne. He has been a lead participant in numerous Australia – China bi-lateral initiatives, especially in the area of financial market reform. He is a former chairman of the Australia – China Chamber of Commerce, Beijing.

He serves on the Board of the Australia China Council and the Australia China Business Council, Victoria. He is the chairman of the Australian Renminbi Working Group, a private sector led initiative supported by the Australian, Hong Kong and mainland Chinese governments which is looking at renminbi business in Australia.

Jonathan Pain

Jonathan Pain

Jonathan Pain oct 2013Jonathan Pain is a Director of JP Consulting NSW Pty Ltd and has 30 years of international investment experience having led investment teams in London, Bahrain and Australia. He is the author and publisher of an investment newsletter, The Pain Report. He is well known for his contrarian views and is a regular guest on CNBC TV and speaks at conferences around the world.

Jonathan holds a joint honours degree in Economics and Politics from Keele University and a Masters degree in Finance from Exeter University. Having been born in South Africa and lived in Lesotho, Swaziland, England and Bahrain, Jonathan now calls Australia home.

Richard Rigby

Richard Rigby

Richard Rigby is the Executive Director of the Australian National University (ANU) China Institute, Professorial Fellow at the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy, and the Associate Director of the Centre on China in the World (CIW). Professor Rigby graduated in History at the ANU in 1970 and went on to do his PhD – subsequently reworked and published by the ANU Press as The May 30th Movement – under Professor Wang Gungwu in the then Department of Far Eastern History (now the School of Culture, History & Language).

Richard joined Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs in 1975, where he worked until the end of 2001: postings included Tokyo, Beijing (twice), Shanghai (Consul-General 1994-1998), London, and Israel (Ambassador, 2000-2001). He then joined the Office of National Assessments as Assistant Director-General, responsible for North and South Asia, where he worked until taking up his current position with the ANU China Institute in April 2008.

Laurie Smith

Laurie Smith

LSLaurie Smith is currently a member of the national board of the Australia China Business Council and a member of the Advisory Council of China Matters. He served as the Executive Director of International at Austrade 2011-2015 and before that lived and worked in China in various government and private sector roles for close to twenty years. Laurie has extensive experience in trade, investment and related policy issues in Asia generally and greater China in particular and has worked across many industry sectors with particular experience in agriculture, food, technology, media, education and training.

Laurie has a Bachelor of Science from Melbourne University, and undertook post-graduate study at Peking University. He is fluent in Mandarin.

Julian Snelder

Julian Snelder

Julian SnelderJulian Snelder is a private investor based in Hong Kong and Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA). He has been living and working in Asia for a quarter-century and is currently a partner in a global emerging markets fund Amiya Capital. Prior to this he lived in China, India and Korea working as a management consultant and investment banker.

He has two bachelors’ degrees, one in engineering from the University of Canterbury and the other in economics from Trinity College, Cambridge. Julian writes regularly about events in China and Asia for the Lowy Institute’s Interpreter.

Andrew Stoler

Andrew Stoler

01_Stoler_NWC_North TceC16Andrew Stoler served as Deputy Director-General of the World Trade Organization in Geneva 1999-2002. He is currently based in Australia and is a consultant on international trade and investment issues and negotiations. He serves on the Advisory Committee of the European Centre for International Political Economy and is a member of the International Academic Advisory Board of the United States Studies Centre (USSC) at the University of Sydney.  From 2003 until 2011, Mr. Stoler was the foundation Executive Director of the Institute for International Trade at the University of Adelaide. Earlier, he had a long career as a negotiator with the Office of the United States Trade Representative in Washington and Geneva.

Hugh White

Hugh White AO

Hugh White HeadshotHugh White has been Professor of Strategic Studies in the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University since 2004.  Before that he was a senior official of the Australian Government.  His publications include Power Shift: Australia’s future between Washington and Beijing, [2010] and The China Choice: Why America should share power [2012].


Tim Lane - Deputy Director

Tim Lane

Tim Lane brings a wealth of international business experience to China Matters as our Deputy Director.  After a successful career in corporate law he spent 12 years with Rio Tinto, first as Senior Corporate Counsel and later as the Group’s Chief Advisor on China Relations. He has worked on major projects in Australia, China, the United Kingdom, Russia, India, South America and Sub-Saharan Africa, and from 2010 to 2016 helped manage the Rio Tinto Group’s extensive business with China.  Tim holds degrees in science and law from the University of Melbourne, a Masters’ degree in law from the University of London, and studied Mandarin at Beijing Normal University and the University of Melbourne. He is currently based in Brisbane, where he also serves on the Advisory Council of the Griffith Asia Institute, and travels to China on a regular basis.

Virginia Lee - Operations Manager

Virginia Lee

virginia-leeVirginia Lee is the Operations Manager at China Matters. She completed a Bachelor of Law and Commerce and has a Master’s degree in International Relations. Virginia has spent the last ten years in the Australia’s federal law divisions. She speaks Mandarin Chinese and basic Japanese.

Hannah Bretherton - Project Coordinator and Researcher

Hannah Bretherton

Hannah headshot -1Hannah Bretherton is a Project Coordinator and Researcher at China Matters. She previously worked as a Research Support Coordinator at the Australia-China Relations Institute (ACRI), University of Technology Sydney (UTS). In January 2016 Hannah was published in the Australian Journal of International Affairs with co-author Professor Kerry Brown, Lau China Institute, King’s College London. She has a peer-reviewed journal forthcoming in the Australian Journal of Politics and History and has written opinion pieces for the Sydney Morning Herald, The Diplomat, The Strategist, Business Spectator and East Asia Forum. Hannah completed a Bachelor of International Studies with First Class Honours at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in 2014. She is a current participant in the CSIS Pacific Forum Young Leaders Program. Her research interests include Australia’s China policy, Chinese investment in Australia, Chinese foreign policy and the South China Sea.

Jackson Kwok - Research Assistant

Jackson Kwok

jkwok-portrait Jackson Kwok is a Research Assistant at China Matters. He previously was an intern and Chinese Media Research Consultant with the Lowy Institute for International Policy’s East Asia Program. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Languages) with First Class Honours in Government and International Relations from the University of Sydney. He has also studied Mandarin at Tsinghua University in Beijing and modern Chinese history and foreign policy at Nanjing University. His research interests include Sino-Japanese relations, security in the East and South China Seas, and China’s state media.

Sophia Sun Zou - Junior Fellow

Sophia Sun Zou


Sophia is currently completing a Bachelor of Arts (Languages) at the University of Sydney, with a triple major in Government & International Relations, Chinese Studies, and French Studies. She has also studied political science at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. Currently, she is a Research Intern with the Department of Premier and Cabinet NSW. Previously, she has served as Junior Policy Associate at the China Studies Centre, and as a university representative for the School of Social and Political Sciences. Sophia also speaks fluent Mandarin, Cantonese, and French.

Zoe Neill - Intern

Zoe Neill

Zoe is a currently completing a Bachelor of International and Global Studies at the University of Sydney, with a double major in Government and International Relations and International Business. She is also completing a Diploma of Language studies majoring in Spanish and Latin American Studies. In 2015, Zoe spent time studying Mandarin at Peking University in Beijing. Last year Zoe represented Australia at the Asia-Pacific Economic Corporation CEO and Voices of the Future Summit in Lima, Perú. This year she will be a delegate for the China Australia Millennial Project.

David Bovey Wang - Intern

David Bovey Wang

David is currently completing a Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications) at the University of Sydney, with a double major in Chinese Studies and Philosophy. He has also studied at King’s College London, Peking University in Beijing, and Purdue University in the United States.

Sunny Cao - Intern

Sunny Cao

Sunny completed a Bachelor of International Studies with Distinction at the University of New South Wales in 2015, majoring in Asian Studies. He is currently completing a Masters in International Relations, also at UNSW. During his undergraduate study, he also undertook a year of exchange, travelling to South Korea to study at Korea University, where he represented Australia in the International Student Festival committee for two consecutive semesters. His interest in East Asia has led him to participate in many university clubs and societies, including the Australia-Chinese Youth Association (ACYA). Sunny also served as Secretary for two university clubs and has also volunteered at UNSW Global.


China Matters offers a three month internship program. Please visit our internships page for more information.