Who We Were

China Matters was an independent organisation that strived to advance sound China policy. We were unique in Australia. Our supporter circle participated in the national debate about the People’s Republic of China (PRC) with the goal of injecting nuance and realism as well a diversity of views about the Australia-China relationship. On the basis of solid China expertise and Chinese-language sources, we researched problematic policy issues facing the PRC. Our analysis included assessments on how these policy challenges were viewed in Beijing. We also invested in the future generation of Australian China specialists.

China Matters never had an institutional view.


Board of Directors

Since late 2018, Mr Kevin McCann AO served as Chair of the China Matters Board. Other Board members included Stephen FitzGerald AO, Allan Gyngell (RIP May 2023), The Hon Dr Peter Hendy, Linda Jakobson (Deputy Chair), Andrew Parker, Dr Heather Smith PSM, and Professor Michael Wesley.

Allan Gyngell, AO, passed away on 2 May 2023. China Matters Founding Director and Deputy Chair, Ms Linda Jakobson, penned a tribute to her colleague and friend which you can read here. Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA) National Executive Director, Dr Bryce Wakefield, wrote Farewell to Allan Gyngell, Beloved Leader, Mentor, and Friend, which you can read here. In the Australian Financial Review, Mr James Curran wrote A man of quiet wisdom who bore witness to Australia’s foreign policy, which you can read here. In the Lowy Institute’s Interpreter, Mr Daniel Flitton wrote Remembering Allan Gyngell, “the finest mind in Australian foreign policy”, which you can read here.

Previous Board members were (in alphabetical order) Jan Adams AO PSM, Frances Adamson AC, Graham Fletcher, William Forde, Dr Bates Gill, Andrew Harding (Second Chair), Andrew Michelmore AO, and Warwick Smith AO (First Chair).


Advisory Council

The Advisory Council included Professor Nick Bisley, Natalie Cope, The Hon Jason Yat-sen Li, Laurie Smith, Professor Hugh White, and Su-Ming Wong (Chair).



Associates included Professor Jocelyn Chey AM, John McCarthy AO, David Olsson, Jonathan Pain, Geoff Raby AO, Professor Richard Rigby, Dr Brendan Taylor, and John Varano.