China Matters Team

China Matters is an Australian Public Company (ABN 19601328018). 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). China Matters does not have an institutional view.

Team

  • Linda Jakobson - CEO and Founding Director
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    Linda Jakobson

    Staff

    Linda Jakobson is founding director and Chief Executive Officer of China Matters.
    Linda 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). 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 China 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, 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. 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.

  • Tristanne Scott-Durairajah - Program Director - Operations & Partnerships
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    Tristanne Scott-Durairajah

    Staff

    Tristanne is Program Director – Operations & Partnerships with China Matters. She has 15 years of experience managing programs and partnerships across the not for profit and higher education sectors, including six years as International Programs Manager with Macquarie University. She has also held positions at Monash University and the Public Education Foundation.  Tristanne holds a Bachelor of Arts, International Studies and Bachelor of Health Science, Traditional Chinese Medicine from University of Technology Sydney and has post-graduate qualifications from the UNSW Business School. She was awarded a China Scholarship Council scholarship to complete one year of study at Zhejiang University.

  • 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.

  • Jackson Kwok - Policy Analyst
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    Jackson Kwok

    Staff

    Jackson is a Policy Analyst 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. In addition to Mandarin, he has also studied Japanese and Indonesian.

  • 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.

  • Noah Vaz - Research Assistant
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    Noah Vaz

    Staff

    Noah is a Research 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.

  • Luke Gallen - Junior Fellow
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    Luke Gallen

    Junior Fellow

    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 has also studied at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

  • Charmaine Xu - Junior Fellow
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    Charmaine Xu

    Junior Fellow

    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
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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.