Board of Directors
Natalie COPE / 南希
Natalie is the CEO of the Australia China Business Council (NSW) where she is responsible for supporting member companies in their trade, investment and business engagement with China. She has spent her career focused on enhancing Australia’s relationship with China and the Region. Prior to her role with ACBC, Natalie was the Manager of Partnerships and Development at Asialink Business, Australia's leading centre for building Asia capability, public understanding of Asia, and appreciation of Australia's role in the Asian region.
Natalie was Australia’s 2015 Top Emerging Leader and MBA Scholar, receiving the 2015 Emerging Leaders MBA Scholarship by the University of Sydney Business School and The Australian Financial Review’s BOSS Magazine. She is the Ambassador of the Westpac Bi-Centennial Foundation, Asian Exchange Program and is a founding member and current Chair of the Australia-China Youth Dialogue, the preeminent track two dialogue for emerging leaders from both countries. Natalie holds a BA/LLB (Hons) and GDLP, and is in her final year of an MBA.
Previous experience includes practising as a litigation lawyer with DLA Piper, prior to which she worked in Beijing with one of China’s premier law firms. Since her first year in China at 18, Natalie has spent 15 years focused on China which has included study and work at various intervals in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong as well as traveling extensively across the country.
Executive Director (Operations)
Jade Little was elected Executive Director of the Australia-China Youth Dialogue in January 2016, having been a delegate in 2012.
Her work experience has been focused on the resources industries.She is currently employed by BHP Mitsubishi Alliance as a Superintendent for Mine Planning. Previously, work for McKinsey & Company involved her in the transformation services for mining, oil & gas and construction sectors around Australia, while work in Beijing for RungePincockMinarco, an Australian mining consultancy, engaged her managing technical reviews used for Initial Public Offerings for Chinese SOEs listing their global mining assets on the Hong Kong or Toronto Stock Exchanges. Prior to Jade’s move to China, she worked in Queensland and New South Wales as a mining engineer both on site and in corporate offices and completed university work placements in China and India.
Jade holds a Doctor of Philosophy (Mining Engineering), a Bachelor of Engineering (Mining) and a Bachelor of Arts (Chinese) from the University of Queensland (UQ). She also has a Master of Science in Global Finance jointly awarded by Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and New York University’s (NYU) Stern Business School. She is a member of the UQ’s School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering Industry Advisory Board. In 2017 she was awarded The Australian Financial Review BOSS Young Executive of the Year in 2017.
Jade’s work and study in China and participation in ACYD engaged her in many aspects of Chinese professional and personal life. The experience impressed her with both the opportunities and challenges posed by Australia’s growing commercial, educational, cultural and people exchanges with the world’s largest economy.
Henry Makeham / 孟秉融
Henry F. Makeham is a U.S. M&A associate, resident in New York, qualified to practice in New York, Hong Kong, and Australia. He has extensive experience in cross-border transactions, counseling Asian clients investing abroad, especially where there is a U.S. nexus. In 2010, Henry founded the Australia-China Youth Dialogue. He serves on the Panel of Advisors of the University of Sydney’s China Studies Centre and has written on Asia Pacific regionalism, ‘Chinese Perspectives on the Feasibility of an Asia Pacific Community’, published in Chinese Journal of International Politics (Oxford University Press). Henry graduated with double First Class Honours degrees from the Australian National University in Law and Chinese Studies. He is a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Endeavour Award, and was honoured as the university’s 2015 Young Alumnus of the Year. Henry also holds a Master of Laws from Harvard Law School where he served as Managing Editor of the Harvard Business Law Review, and was awarded a Dean’s Scholar Prize for his work in Leadership in Law Firms.
Michael TING / 陈际利
Michael Ting is a corporate lawyer based in New York. His primary practice is in M&A and equity capital markets. Michael can’t sit still and prior to New York he worked in Sydney for several years and Hong Kong for years before that. While he cannot predict where he will work next, he is constant about his curiosity for China and connecting cultures.
Born in Malaysia to Chinese parents, Michael immigrated to Australia before he was able to fully appreciate the diversity and rich culture of his dual Chinese and Malaysian heritage. He started to explore his mother language at university and he travelled to Beijing to further his studies. At Peking University, he discovered people from all over the world wanting to connect with China. In particular, a growing community of Australians with his same keen curiosity for the Middle Kingdom. Since then, he has continued his fascination with China, publishing work on Chinese law and trade.
Michael has tried to spread his enthusiasm for China and has helped establish a number of organisations that promote people-to-people connections between China and the world, including the Australia-China Youth Association, the Engaging China Project and the Australia-China Youth Dialogue.
CINDY GOTTINGER / 淑云
Cindy Gottinger is the client lead at Google responsible for increasing marketing efficiency and effectiveness of large MNC in China. Recognised by the technology industry as a young leader in her field, Cindy possesses an appetite to explore new markets and gain deeper insights into the evolving trends of Chinese consumers.
With over fifteen years involvement in the Australia China community, Cindy continues to be an active participant both in Australia and China. She is currently the Executive Director of Australia China Young Professional Initiative (ACYPI) in Greater China where she successfully established a platform for young professionals to engage in bilateral discussions and exchange.
As an experienced presenter fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese and German, Cindy is frequently invited to emcee and moderate a variety of business and community events both in Australia and China including most recently Australia China Alumni Awards in 2014 and 2015.
Before joining Google, Cindy was a brand manager at Volkswagen Group China where she was responsible for building the brand Skoda for Chinese consumers. Before moving to Beijing, Cindy was an international business development manager at China Radio International, where she managed the expansion of Chinese media properties both domestically and abroad. Cindy has also worked in the Private Wealth Management division at Goldman Sachs JB Were.
Cindy graduated from Monash University in Australia with a Bachelor of Commerce and Arts majoring in economics, Chinese and German.
Benjamin Leigh / 李智
Benjamin Leigh is an investor and entrepreneur based in Shanghai and Hong Kong. He assists Chinese families to make and manage real estate, direct private equity and other portfolio investments outside of China. He is also an advisor to SowAsia, a Hong Kong based social impact investor and accelerator.
He previously worked with Macquarie Group’s real estate investment banking team in Sydney and Hong Kong, and in Shanghai he assisted in the launch and initial growth of a domestic Chinese trust company joint venture between Macquarie and two SOEs, the Sino-Australian International Trade and Investment Company.
Benjamin quit banking in 2010 to become an entrepreneur. He started a small chain of fast food restaurants serving Asian food in his hometown, Brisbane, together with Chinese partners, and has now handed over operational responsibilities to new management.
Benjamin holds a Master of Finance (Investment Banking) from INSEAD, and a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and Bachelor of Commerce (Acct/Finc) from Bond University. He reads prolifically, is fluent in conversational Chinese and has a longstanding interest in Jungian psychology.