Who We Are

China Matters Ltd
ABN 19601328018
China Matters is registered as a charity under the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC).

China Matters is an independent organisation that strives to advance sound China policy. We are unique in Australia. We engage business executives, public servants, politicians, and university leaders about challenging policy choices in the Australia-China relationship. We generate public debate about Australia’s relationship with the People’s Republic of China, which aims to inject nuance and realism into discussions. On the basis of solid China expertise and Chinese-language sources, we research problematic policy issues with the goal of formulating recommendations and providing analysis on how these policy challenges are viewed in Beijing.

China Matters does not have an institutional view.

Board of Directors

  • Stephen FitzGerald
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    Stephen FitzGerald AO

    Board of Directors

    Stephen 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, Professor 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.

    Professor 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 EnvoyThe 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 Professor FitzGerald delivered the Whitlam Oration at the Whitlam Institute, Western Sydney University.

  • Allan Gyngell
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    Allan Gyngell AO

    Board of Directors

    Allan Gyngell is an honorary professor at the Australian National University and National President at the Australian Institute of International Affairs. He 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).
    Prof 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, April 2017).
    Between 1993 and 1996, Prof 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. Prof 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).

  • Peter Hendy
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    The Hon Dr Peter Hendy

    Board of Directors

    The Hon Dr Peter Hendy presently runs his own economic consultancy and is a company director.  He is also currently a commissioner at the Commonwealth Grants Commission.  Dr Hendy was previously the Member for Eden-Monaro in the Federal Parliament, and during this time was Assistant Minister for Finance, Assistant Minister for Productivity, and Assistant Cabinet Secretary.
    Immediately prior to entering Parliament he was the Principal Advisor (Foreign Affairs and Trade) for the Hon Julie Bishop MP.  He was Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and is a former chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce (Australia) and vice president designate of the Confederation of Asia Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CACCI), Executive Director of the Bahrain Economic Development Board, and has represented business at the OECD.
    Dr Hendy has also served as the Chief Economist in the Prime Minister’s Office.  In the past he has been chief of staff of the Minister for Defence, the Minister for Employment and the Minister for Education.  He started his career in the Australian Treasury.  In 2003 he was awarded a Centenary Medal for services to Australian society in business leadership.  He is the author of the books Captains of Industry (MUP, 2008) and Why Australia Slept: Why Australia Is in Danger of Sleepwalking Into the Future (CCP, 2018).

  • Linda Jakobson (Deputy Chair)
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    Linda Jakobson

    Board of Directors

    Linda Jakobson is founding director and Deputy Chair of China Matters.
    Linda Jakobson has been a student of Chinese politics and the foreign and security policy of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) 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 the PRC, 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). Upon leaving Lowy, Ms Jakobson founded China Matters, an independent policy institute focussed on the tough policy issues in the Australia-China relationship.

    A Finn by nationality she has served as a policy advisor on China-related issues to the president, prime minister, or foreign minister in seven countries. In 2017, Ms Jakobson was invited to join the board of the new Diplomatic Academy of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

    Before moving to Sydney in 2011, Ms Jakobson lived and worked in the PRC for 22 years. A Mandarin speaker, 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, the PRC’s foreign and security policy, the Taiwan Straits, the PRC’s science and technology, and China’s Arctic aspirations. Two of her books and one report have received awards. Her most recent book, written with Dr Bates Gill, is China Matters: Getting It Right For Australia (La Trobe University Press / Black Inc., 2017). Her current research focuses on Australia-China ties and China’s foreign and security policy.

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

  • Kevin McCann (Chair)
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    Kevin McCann AM

    Board of Directors (Chair)

    Kevin McCann was chosen Chair of the China Matters Board on 8 November 2018. He is Chairman of Telix Pharmaceuticals Limited, Citadel Group Limited, the Menzies Research Centre and the Smith Family Centenary Council. He is a member of the Male Champions of Change, a Presiding Pro Chancellor of the University of Sydney, Co-Vice Chair of the New Colombo Plan Reference Group, a Director of the US Studies Centre and Evans and Partners Advisory Board, a member of the board for the John Grill Centre for Project Leadership, a Governor of Queenwood School for Girls and the Advisory Committee Australian Equities Flagship Fund (sponsored by Evans Dixon).

    He is a former Chairman of Macquarie Group Limited and Macquarie Bank Limited, Origin Energy Limited, Healthscope Limited and ING Management Limited, Fellow of the University of Sydney and former Chair of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust and the National Library of Australia Foundation.

    Mr McCann practised in Commercial Law as a Partner of Allens Arthur Robinson (now Allens) from 1970 to 2004 and was Chairman of Partners from 1995 to 2004.

    He has a Bachelor of Arts and Law (Honours) from Sydney University and a Master of Law from Harvard University.

    Mr McCann was made a Member of the Order of Australia for services to the Law, Business and the Community in 2005.

  • Andrew Michelmore
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    Andrew Michelmore AO

    Board of Directors

    Andrew Michelmore was Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of MMG Limited from 2009 until February 2017 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.
    Mr Michelmore 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 Rhodes Scholar and a fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers and the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.
    Mr Michelmore is Chairman of the Jean Hailes Foundation for Women’s Health, Chairman of the Council of Ormond College at the University of Melbourne and Deputy Chair of the Asia Society Australia. He was Chairman of the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) from June 2013 to June 2016 and Chairman of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) from October 2015 until his resignation in May 2017.

  • Andrew Parker
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    Andrew Parker

    Board of Directors

    Andrew Parker is a Sydney-based Partner at PwC where he leads the Australian firm’s Asia Practice. Mr Parker 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. Mr Parker 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. Mr Parker was the lead author of PwC’s landmark report on Australia’s lack of business investment in Asia titled ‘Passing us by’.

  • Michael Wesley
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    Michael Wesley

    Board of Directors

    Michael Wesley is 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.

Advisory Council

  • Nick Bisley
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    Nick Bisley

    Advisory Council

    Nick Bisley is Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at La Trobe University. He was previously the Executive Director of La Trobe Asia. His research and teaching expertise is in Asia’s international relations, globalisation and the diplomacy of great powers. Nick is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the Australian Journal of International Affairs, Australia’s oldest scholarly journal in the field of International Relations. Nick is a director of the Australian Institute of International Affairs, a member of the Council for Security and Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific and has been a Senior Research Associate of the International Institute of Strategic Studies and a Visiting Fellow at the East-West Center in Washington DC.

  • Natalie Cope
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    Natalie Cope

    Advisory Council

    Natalie Cope is the General Manager, Office of the CEO at GenesisCare, Australia’s largest and leading provider of cancer and cardiac care, and the biggest private provider of cancer care in the UK and Spain. In this capacity, she is playing a leading role in advancing the business’ expansion into Asia and in particular China. Prior to this role, Ms Cope was the Chief Executive Officer of the NSW Branch of the Australia China Business Council (ACBC), and previously Manager of Partnerships and Development at Asialink Business.
    Ms Cope was Australia’s 2015 Top Emerging Leader and MBA Scholar, receiving the 2015 Emerging Leaders MBA Scholarship by the University of Sydney Business School and the Australian Financial Review’s BOSS Magazine. She is the Ambassador of the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation, Asian Exchange Program and is a founding member and current Chair of the Australia-China Youth Dialogue.

  • Graham Fletcher
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    Graham Fletcher

    Advisory Council

    Graham Fletcher is Australia’s Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China. He was most recently First Assistant Secretary, North Asia Division. He has been involved with the Australia-China relationship at various times since joining DFAT in 1983. This has included four postings to the Embassy in Beijing (1986-88, 1997-2000 and 2004-08, and 2019-present) and a period as lead negotiator for the China-Australia FTA. He has previously served overseas as Deputy Head of Mission, Australian Embassy, Washington; Deputy Head of Mission, Australian Embassy, Beijing; and Counsellor, Australian Embassy, Beijing.

  • Peter Leahy
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    Peter Leahy AC

    Advisory Council

    Peter 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 six 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, LTGEN Leahy 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.

  • Xiaoling Liu
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    Xiaoling Liu

    Advisory Council

    Xiaoling Liu is currently an independent non-executive Director of Newcrest Mining, Iluka Resources and Melbourne Business School. Prior to this she spent 26 years with Rio Tinto Group where she held various positions. As the President and CEO of Rio Tinto Minerals, China was an important market for its various Borates products. As the President of Primary Metal Pacific, she had responsibility for a joint venture aluminium smelter in China. Before joining Rio Tinto, she worked as a Research Fellow at City, University of London and as a lecturer at Chongqing University in China. She has a Bachelor of Engineering from Chongqing University and a PhD from Imperial College London. She is a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. She became an Australian citizen in 1991 and currently resides in Melbourne.

  • John O’Neill
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    John O’Neill AO

    Advisory Council

    John O’Neill is Chairman and Non-Executive Director of The Star Entertainment Group Limited. He was Managing Director of the State Bank of New South Wales, and CEO of Australian Rugby Union (ARU). In 2004, Mr O’Neill joined Football Federation Australia where he established the A-League and took the Socceroos to the 2006 FIFA World Cup for the first time in over 30 years. The following year he returned to the ARU as Managing Director and CEO and was appointed inaugural Chairman of Events NSW. Mr O’Neill was a recipient of the Australian Sports Medal in 2000 and an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2004. He has also been awarded the Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur and in 2015 he was inducted as a Member into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame for outstanding achievement in rugby union and football.

  • Laurie Smith
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    Laurie Smith

    Advisory Council

    Laurie 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 20 years. Mr Smith 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.
    Mr Smith has a Bachelor of Science from Melbourne University, and undertook post-graduate study at Peking University. He is fluent in Mandarin.

  • Hugh White
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    Hugh White AO

    Advisory Council

    Hugh 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).

  • Su-Ming Wong (Chair)
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    Su-Ming Wong (Chair)

    Advisory Council

    Su-Ming Wong is Chairman and CEO of CHAMP Ventures. He is an investment professional with over 35 years’ of direct investment, international corporate advisory and merchant banking experience. He co-founded CHAMP Ventures in 2001, an Australian mid-market private equity funds manager with over $750 million funds under management.

    He is currently a director of Scentia and Lorna Jane.  He has been chairman/director of over 20 other CHAMP Ventures portfolio companies.

    Mr Wong is a Professor of Practice, AGSM & School of Banking and Finance at the UNSW Business School, director of Asia Society Australia and Sydney Writers’ Festival, Member of UNSW Business School Advisory Council and Council Member of American Chamber of Commerce.  He was a member of the Council of University of Technology, Sydney and the Council of VisAsia, NSW Art Gallery. He was a founding director of National ICT Australia, a member of the Industry Research and Development Board and a director of Unisearch.  He was also a council member of the Australian Venture Capital Association and a member of the South Australian Government’s Venture Capital Board.

    He holds a Master of Engineering from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand and a Master of Business Administration from the Australian Graduate School of Management, UNSW.

  • Jason Yat-sen Li
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    Jason Yat-sen Li

    Advisory Council

    Jason Yat-sen Li is Chairman of Vantage Asia Holdings, a commercial group with offices in Beijing and Sydney with interests in financial services, resources and technology businesses in Asia. He spent 10 years living and working in Beijing, first with Insurance Australia Group where he was Head of China Strategy, and then as Managing Director of Yatsen Associates, a corporate advisory firm he founded specialising in cross-border mergers and acquisitions. Mr Li was recently a non-executive director of the George Institute for Global Health and is a member of the Sydney Committee of the Australian Chamber Orchestra. He was appointed a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum in 2009 and currently serves on the WEF’s Global Agenda Council for China.

Associates

  • Jocelyn Chey
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    Jocelyn Chey

    Associate

    Jocelyn Chey’s last diplomatic posting was as Australian Consul General to Hong Kong 1992-94. She was the founding Director of the Australia-China Institute for Arts and Culture, Western Sydney University 2016-17.

  • John McCarthy
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    John McCarthy AO FAIIA

    Associate

    John McCarthy is currently a Senior Advisor to Mitsubishi Materials Corporation in Tokyo, and the Chair of the Advisory Board of the Griffith Asia Institute. Prior to this, he was the National President of the Australian Institute for International Affairs from 2010. He has also served as an ambassador in seven countries including Japan, Indonesia, the United States, Thailand, Mexico, and Vietnam. He was educated at Cambridge University, is an Officer of the Order of Australia (1999), and has an Honorary Doctorate from Murdoch University (2015).

  • David Olsson
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    David Olsson

    Associate

    David 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
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    Jonathan Pain

    Associate

    Jonathan 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.
    Mr Pain 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, he now calls Australia home.

  • Geoff Raby
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    Geoff Raby AO

    Associate

    Geoff Raby was Australia’s Ambassador to China from 2007 to 2011. Following completion of his Ambassadorial term, after 27 years in the public service, mostly with DFAT, he resigned to establish Geoff Raby and Associates Ltd. Dr Raby also holds a number of non-executive, independent director positions with ASX-listed companies, ie OceanaGold, Yancoal and iSentia. He was appointed to the Investment Attraction South Australia Advisory Board on 29 March, 2016.
    In China, Dr Raby serves as Co-Chair of Corrs Chambers Westgarth’s China practice. He is head of Trade Policy at the London-based think-tank Policy Exchange. Dr Raby is a member of the not-for-profit Advance Global Advisory Board, University of Sydney’s China Studies Centre Advisory Board, La Trobe University Asia Advisory Board, and the Foundation of the National Gallery of Victoria. In 2019, Dr Raby was awarded an Officer in the General Division (AO) for his distinguished service to Australia-China relations through senior diplomatic roles, and to multilateral trade policy development.

     

  • Richard Rigby
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    Richard Rigby

    Associate

    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).

    Professor Rigby 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.

  • Julian Snelder
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    Julian Snelder

    Associate

    Julian 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 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. Mr Snelder writes regularly about events in China and Asia for the Lowy Institute’s Interpreter.

  • Brendan Taylor
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    Brendan Taylor

    Associate

    Dr Brendan Taylor is Associate Professor of Strategic Studies at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University. He was Head of the Centre from 2011-2016. He is a specialist on great power strategic relations in the Asia-Pacific, East Asian ‘flashpoints’, and Asian security architecture. His publications have featured in such leading journals as The Washington QuarterlyInternational AffairsSurvivalAsian SecurityAsia Policy, Review of International Studies and the Pacific Review. He is the author of Sanctions as Grand Strategy, which was published in the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Adelphi series. He is also the editor, with William Tow, of Bilateralism, Multilateralism and Asia-Pacific security (Routledge, 2013); and (with Peter Dean and Stephan Fruehling) of Australia’s American Alliance (Melbourne University Press, 2016). He is co-editor, with Peter Dean, of the Melbourne University Press ‘Defence Studies’ series. His latest book, The Four Flashpoints: How Asia Goes to War, was published by Black Inc. in August 2018.

  • Jeremy Stevens
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    Jeremy Stevens

    Associate

    Jeremy Stevens is an Associate of China Matters. He was Program Director at China Matters from 2017 to 2019. He holds a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Adelaide, a Master of International Relations from the University of Sydney, and has studied Mandarin in Shanghai at East China Normal University and Jiaotong University. Mr Stevens has 12 years’ experience in Banking and Finance, including four years as a senior treasury and risk management advisor at two local Chinese banks where he managed a range of projects and business-focussed teams. His research interests include the global impact of China’s growing economic power and developments in international financial and security organisations.

Team

  • Alistair Nicholas - CEO
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    Alistair Nicholas

    Staff

    Alistair is the Chief Executive Officer of China Matters

    Alistair Nicholas’ career of more than 30 years spans international trade policy, diplomacy, journalism, business, government relations, corporate affairs, and crisis management in multiple markets including Australia, the United States and China. Highlights of his career include:

    • International trade policy advisor to the Australian government;
    • Australian Trade Commissioner to the World Bank and United Nations (based at the Australian Embassy in Washington DC);
    • Head of corporate and government affairs practices of international communications firms in Beijing for 13 years, in roles in which he provided advice to global Fortune 500 firms on their China operations;
    • Advisor to some of the world’s leading companies on corporate and government affairs in numerous markets around the world.

    Mr Nicholas has written extensively on doing business in China, and on public and corporate affairs, including contributions published in international university textbooks. He has advised numerous Australian businesses on their China business strategies, and Chinese businesses on their Australian operations. Mr Nicholas holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Political Science from the University of New South Wales, and a Certificate in Executive Leadership from Cornell University. He is actively involved in a number of voluntary roles, including as Deputy Chair of the social enterprise, Welcome To My Yard, which works with street-based youth in Nepal. Mr Nicholas lives in Sydney with his wife, Sonia. They have three adult daughters.

  • Dirk van der Kley - Program Director - Policy Research
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    Dirk van der Kley

    Staff

    Dirk is Program Director – Policy Research at China Matters. His most recent work has been at the Australian National University, where his doctoral thesis focussed on PRC economic statecraft. He recently returned from two years’ fieldwork in China and Central Asia on an Endeavour Scholarship. Previously Dirk worked as a Research Associate at the Lowy Institute for International Policy. Dirk is fluent in Mandarin. He wrote his Honours thesis at University of Sydney in Chinese.

  • Jennifer Hsu - Policy Analyst
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    Jennifer Hsu

    Staff

    Jennifer is a Policy Analyst at China Matters. After completing her PhD at the University of Cambridge in Development Studies, she researched and taught in development studies, political science and sociology in North America and the UK. Her research expertise broadly covers state-society relations, state-NGO relations and the internationalisation of Chinese NGOs. She has published widely in these areas.

  • Susan Nguyen - Communications and Events Manager
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    Susan Nguyen

    Staff

    Susan is the Communications and Events Manager at China Matters. Prior to her role at China Matters, she spent eight  years in the aviation industry at the Sydney based CAPA-Centre for Aviation, initially as Managing Editor of the airline strategy magazine Airline Leader, and latterly as Head of Events, where she launched high level conferences in Asia, Europe and the US. Susan graduated with distinction from the University of Sydney with a BA (Media and Communications). During her final year, she was awarded an international fellowship by the Australia-Korea Foundation within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

  • Zoe Peet - Office Manager and Operations Coordinator
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    Zoe Peet

    Staff

    Zoe is the Office Manager and Operations Coordinator at China Matters. She is studying a Bachelor of Arts and Advanced studies (Politics and International Relations/Visual Arts) at the University of Sydney, and has a previous qualification in Italian Language and European Studies from the University of Western Australia. Prior to China Matters, Zoe’s previous experience focussed on managing operations within retail and consumer goods industries.

  • Anita Wang - Young Professionals Project Coordinator
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    Anita Wang

    Staff

    Anita is the Young Professionals Project Coordinator at China Matters. She is studying a Bachelor of Commerce and Advanced Studies (Finance/Chinese studies) at the University of Sydney.  Prior to her role at China Matters, Anita had previous experience working with Deloitte Hong Kong China in the area of blockchain technology, along with a previous internship with the Australian Chamber of Commerce Shanghai in China. Anita is fluent in Mandarin, and her interests include Australia-China trade relations, the development of eCommerce and artificial intelligence technology in China, and China’s economic welfare within the Asia-Pacific region.

  • Gabrielle Burgess - Policy Assistant
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    Gabrielle Burgess

    Staff

    Gabrielle is a Policy Assistant at China Matters. She is also the Co-founding Director of the Culture Bridge Institute, a think tank examining cross-cultural issues in Australia. Previously, Gabrielle was a research assistant at UN Women in Beijing and has interned with UNHCR’s legal protection team and with the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Beijing. She has completed a year-long exchange at Peking University studying Chinese foreign policy and Mandarin language courses. Gabrielle holds a Bachelor of Laws with Honours and Bachelor of Asia-Pacific Studies from the Australian National University.

  • Noah Vaz - Policy Assistant
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    Noah Vaz

    Staff

    Noah is a Policy Assistant at China Matters. He is studying a Bachelor of Arts (Media & Communications) and a Bachelor of Laws at the University of Sydney. He has completed overseas studies at Beijing Language and Culture University, Fudan University, Cambridge University and King’s College, London. In 2017, Noah was awarded an international fellowship by the Australia-Korea Foundation within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; and named on the Dean’s List for Excellence in Academic Performance. Previously, Noah worked in change management at the Westpac Group and interned in the Political and Economic Affairs section at the U.S. Consulate in Sydney. He has a keen interest in foreign languages and has studied Mandarin, French, Spanish and German.

  • Brian Xu - Junior Fellow
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    Brian Xu

    Junior Fellow

    Brian is finishing a Bachelor of Engineering and a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Sydney, majoring in Aeronautical Engineering and Economics. He is a fluent Mandarin speaker, having studied in Tianjin and Beijing for six years, and has previously worked as a translator for the Chinese science and technology publication Guokr, as a GRE tutor for Chinese students, and as a consulting engineer. Brian developed his interest in international and China affairs through Model United Nations, and his main areas of interest are China’s military development and defence policy.

  • James Dunn - Junior Fellow
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    James Dunn

    Junior Fellow

    James is currently finishing his study towards a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of New South Wales, majoring in International Business and is a Dean’s List awardee. He is a recipient of several scholarships, including the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s New Colombo Plan Scholarship in 2018, where he studied at the University of Hong Kong and interned in Mainland China. Hailing from Albury-Wodonga, James can speak Mandarin, play the oboe and bagpipes, and has a particular interest in economic diplomacy and trade.

  • Baopu He - Junior Fellow
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    Baopu He

    Junior Fellow

    Baopu He is a fourth year student at the University of Sydney studying a Bachelor of Arts, where he majored in Japanese, and a Bachelor of Laws. Besides English and Mandarin, Baopu also has full professional proficiency in Japanese, having spent a year studying Japanese literature, language and politics at Waseda University before joining China Matters. He is currently an editor at Honi Soit, the University of Sydney’s student newspaper, and has previously worked for Sydney Speaks, an ARC research project conducted by ANU which explores multiculturalism and diversity in Australian English.

Interns

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