Board of Directors

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

    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

    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

    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)

    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)

    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

    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

    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

    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.