China Matters Team

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.

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.