China Matters offers 40-day internships to young Australians who are learning Mandarin and have an interest in Australia-China relations. Our internship program provides the opportunity to gain first-hand experience in a fast-paced, dynamic team that is focused on challenging and emerging issues in Australia-China relations. For two days per week, our interns experience what it is like to be in a professional environment, building a range of skills in administration, event management and research, and receive mentorship from leading China expert, China Matters Founding Director Linda Jakobson.

China Matters is currently not accepting applications for Junior Fellow Interns.

Current Interns

Charmaine Xu - Junior Fellow Intern(April 2019 - Present)

Charmaine is studying a Bachelor of International and Global Studies and Bachelor of Laws at the University of Sydney, majoring in International and Government relations. She is undertaking an additional Diploma of Chinese Language and can speak and write Chinese fluently. Charmaine is currently the President of the Australia-China Youth Association’s University of Sydney chapter. She has completed overseas studies at Fudan University, Peking University, King’s College London and Yale. Since 2017, Charmaine has acted as a volunteer language tutor to both adult migrants under the AMEP program and King’s College students in the Modern Language Centre. She also previously worked as a legal assistant at a boutique criminal law firm. Charmaine’s interests include China’s position within the international order and the CCP as a political entity.

Brian Xu - Junior Fellow Intern(April 2019 - Present)

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.

Past Interns

Luke Gallen - Junior Fellow Intern(September 2018 - July 2019)

Luke is currently completing a Bachelor of Laws with a Bachelor of International Studies at Macquarie University, majoring in China studies. In 2018, Luke was competitively chosen to partake in the Global Leadership Program’s China symposium. He spent a month travelling across the country engaging with officials from AIIB, BRICS New Development Bank, AustCham Shanghai, Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, UNDP and the Australian Embassy. Luke is currently a Social Justice Executive within the Macquarie University Law Society. In this role he organises and coordinates events, such as trivia nights, speaker forums and fundraiser BBQs, to raise money and awareness for local charities. He will also studied at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Nicholas Burkett(April - October 2018)

Nicholas completed a Master of International Relations at the University of Sydney after completing a Bachelor of Security Studies at Macquarie University. In 2017, he undertook short-term study in India at the University of Delhi, St Xavier’s Kolkata and TISS Mumbai as part of the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan. In 2018, he completed an international school summer at Beijing’s Tsinghua University.

Where is he now? Nicholas now works at the Lowy Institute as a Research Assistant in the Asian Power and Diplomacy Program. 

Jessie Ding (September 2018 - April 2019)

Jessie is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws at the University of Sydney, majoring in Asian Studies. In 2017, she was awarded a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant to complete a Chinese Politics, Business and International Diplomacy course at Shanghai Jiaotong University, and an intensive language program at the University of Sydney’s Suzhou campus. She also competed in the 2017 Atlantic Council Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge, providing policy recommendations for potential cybersecurity threats within the Asia-Pacific region. Previously, she worked as a paralegal in a boutique Sydney law firm. Jessie also has a keen interest in the evolving Australia-China discourse and global Sinophone literature.

Julie Zhu(April - October 2018)

Julie is completing a Bachelor of Commerce and Law, majoring in Finance at the University of New South Wales. She has studied China International Business and Economic Law at Tsinghua University. Previously, Julie has interned at the Bank of China Head Office in Beijing, conducting market research, assisting with publications and completing translations. She was president of the UNSW branch of Australia-China Youth Association in 2017-2018 and Marketing Director of UNSW Law Society in 2016-2017.

Where is she now? Julie is currently a Paralegal in the Corporate Mergers and Acquisitions team at Norton Rose Fulbright.

Monica Jones - Junior Fellow Intern(November 2018 - May 2019)

Monica is studying a Bachelor of Arts/Laws at the University of Sydney, majoring in Chinese Studies and Political Economy. She speaks and reads Chinese fluently and has undertaken in-country study at Fudan University and a Suzhou-Shanghai field school. In 2018, Monica served as the treasurer of the Australia-China Youth Association. She also volunteers at Toongabbie Legal Centre. Monica’s areas of interest include Chinese linguistics, inequality in modern China and the political economy of China’s development.

Julia Bergin(December 2017 - May 2018)

Julia was completing a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Melbourne, with a double major in Politics/International Relations and Criminology. Her research interests include transnational issues, specifically unregulated people movement, and serious and organised crime. During her studies, she was named on the Dean’s Honours list and received a Melbourne Global Scholars award.

Where is she now? Julia now works at Asia Society Australia as Communications and Content Officer, and as Research Officer for The Little Red Podcast.

Edward Ongay(August 2017 - January 2018)

Edward has completed a Bachelor of Commerce/Arts at the University of New South Wales, with a triple major in International Business, Economics and Chinese Studies, and a minor in Asian Studies. He is fluent in Spanish, as he is originally from Argentina and moved to Australia in 2012. He previously worked as a Project Intern at Export Connect and developed a market-specific presentation on the Hong Kong and Singapore organic food markets for Australian exporters.

Where is he now? Edward has accepted a graduate position at Protiviti, a global consulting firm that provides solutions in the areas of analytics, IT, risk and compliance.

Noah Vaz(August - December 2017)

Noah was studying a Bachelor of Arts (Media & Communications) and Bachelor of Laws at the University of Sydney, majoring in Chinese Studies. He completed intensive language programmes at Beijing Language and Culture University and Fudan University as well as studied international politics abroad at Cambridge University and King’s College, London. In 2017, Noah was awarded an international media fellowship by the Australia-Korea Foundation within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Previously, Noah worked in corporate communications and change management at the Westpac Group. He also has a keen interest in foreign languages and has studied Mandarin, French, Spanish and German.

Louisa Bochner(May - August 2017)

In 2016, Louisa completed a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) at the University of Sydney, majoring in Chinese Studies and Philosophy. She completed two study abroad programmes at Fudan University in Shanghai, 2014 and 2015, and has also studied Middle Eastern Politics in Milan. In 2016, she was elected member to the University of Sydney’s Student Representative Council. After her internship, Louisa worked as a Project Officer at China Matters and coordinated the Young Professionals Program.

Where is she now? Louisa is currently the International Cyber Policy Program Coordinator at Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI).

David Bovey Wang(February - August 2017)

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 also studied at King’s College London, Peking University in Beijing, and Purdue University in the United States.

Where is he now? David is currently completing an Honours program in Philosophy at the University of Sydney.

Zoe Neill(January - June 2017)

Zoe has completed 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 also completed a Diploma of Language studies majoring in Spanish and Latin American Studies. Zoe has studied Mandarin at Peking University and Spanish at the University of Alicante, Spain. In 2018, Zoe represented Australia at the OECD Forum in Paris and completed an internship at AustCham Shanghai.

Where is she now? Zoe is currently a Human Rights and Refugee Researcher and Caseworker at Amnesty International Australia.

Sunny Cao(January - April 2017)

Sunny completed a Bachelor of International Studies with Distinction at the University of New South Wales in 2015, majoring in Asian Studies. He was completing a Masters in International Relations, also at UNSW, and has also studied 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-China Youth Association (ACYA). Sunny also served as Secretary for two university clubs and has also volunteered at UNSW Global.

Oliver Young(November 2016 - February 2017)

Oliver completed a Bachelor of International Studies from the University of NSW with a major in International Relations and obtained a Graduate Diploma of Economics at ANU. His interest in China led him to undertake a year studying Chinese at Fudan University, Shanghai. He previously interned at AustCham Shanghai and the NSW Health China Desk, volunteered for ACYA and participated in the Australia Week in China and Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations delegations.

Where is he now? Oliver currently works as an analyst at the Commonwealth Treasury where he provides advice on a range of macroeconomic policy issues.

Sophia Sun Zou(September 2016 - March 2017)

Sophia completed a Bachelor of Arts (Languages) at the University of Sydney, with a triple major in Government & International Relations, Chinese Studies, and French Studies. She also studied political science at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. She was additionally a Research Intern with the Department of Premier and Cabinet NSW. Previously, she had 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.

Michael Chi(June - September 2016)

Michael holds a Bachelor of International Studies with Honours in a major of Asian Studies from the University of New South Wales. He studied on exchange at the American University, Washington D.C., and has worked as a Political Risk Analyst as part of the start-up Horizon Intelligence, which provides security and risk alerts on an online global dashboard. His research interests include East Asian security, Australia’s Asia-Pacific policy, and the policy implications of emerging technology.

Where is he now? Michael is currently a Research Assistant at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

Jacinta Keast(May - August 2016)

Jacinta holds a Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Arts from the University of Sydney, majoring in International Business, Chinese Studies and Asian Studies. She was recently honoured as one of 25 Young Women to Watch in International Affairs. She has studied on exchange at Peking University, the University of Hong Kong and Fudan University. She also worked as a Research Intern at Peking University’s Australian Studies Centre. She speaks Mandarin.

Where is she now? Jacinta has been awarded a Schwarzman Scholarship to study a Masters of Global Affairs at Tsinghua University, Beijing in 2020.

Stella Jakobson(March - April 2016)

In 2016 Stella was in her second year of a three-year Bachelor of Humanities in Civic Activities and Youth Work degree at Humak University of Applied Sciences. She completed a Bachelor’s degree in Chinese Language at Beijing Language and Culture University. She speaks fluent Finnish, English and Mandarin.

Where is she now? Stella has just finished her second degree in Leadership of Community Organisations in May 2018 at Humak University of Applied Sciences in Helsinki.

Louise Mao(January - April 2016)

Louise holds a Bachelor of International Studies (Hons) from the University of New South Wales. She was a Confucius Institute Scholar at Lanzhou University and an exchange student at Peking University. In 2016, she conducted research for her Honours thesis on China’s ability to exercise influence in Southeast Asia through its economic resources and capabilities. Louise was previously an Assistant Project Officer of International Engagement (China and East Asia) at the NSW Department of Industry.

Where is she now? Louise is currently a Graduate Policy Officer at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Amy Russell(October - December 2015)

Amy was studying a Combined Bachelor of Laws & International Global Studies at the University of Sydney. In 2016, she went to Fudan University in Shanghai to study Chinese political history and contemporary Chinese politics. Her aspirations include undertaking research on China’s environmental policy.