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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 - 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.