Geoff Bowan is the Counsellor (Development Cooperation) at the Australian Embassy in Beijing, where he is responsible for Australia’s development cooperation relations with China and Mongolia and Australia’s humanitarian assistance to DPRK. Before coming to Beijing in March 2011, he managed AusAID’s North Asia Section and worked in AusAID’s budget area. Prior to joining AusAID, he worked in the Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade from 2001-2008 and was posted to Beijing to report on China’s external relations. He and partner Joanna have three children.
Professor Ding is an associate professor in the School of International Studies at Peking University, where he specializes in questions of political economy and integration. He has been a visiting scholar in the US and Japan on frequent occasions, and has written widely on issues from currency reevaluation to bilateral economic relations.
Guo Chunmei is an assistant research fellow on Australian studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR), China’s leading think tank on international affairs. She is also a former 2011 ACYD Delegate.
After obtaining her M.A. in Sociology from Jilin University, she began her research on Australian studies. In recent years, she has published a lot of articles on bilateral relations between China and Australia, e.g. Julia Gillard: Prime Minister of Australia (International Data Information No.1, 2011), Tweaking Sino-Australian Relations (China Daily 06/30/2010), Playing up the ‘China Threat’ (Beijing Review No.21, 2009), etc. and often been interviewed by Chinese TV and newspapers.
Chunmei is proud of being one of the few scholars following Australian dynamics almost everyday. She aims to introduce Australia to more Chinese people and considers youth exchange as a very important bridge between the two countries.
Jing Xuezhu is the Vice-Principal of Xiannongtan Sports Institute, one of China’s leading sports institutes. Before her career in sports administration, Jing was herself a world-class track and field athlete, crowned Chinese National Champion in 2001 for High Jump. Xiannongtan Sports Institute is home to seven sports, including Tennis, Football, Weightlifting, Track and Field, Table Tennis, Gymnastics and Rugby Union. Xiannongtan produced numerous medalists at the recent 2012 London Olympics, including Golds in Gymnastics and Table Tennis.
Gillian Mellsop is UNICEF’s Representative to China. She has long worked to enable children to enjoy fulfilling childhoods, previously serving as UNICE’s Representative in Nepal, as well as in the Pacific Islands.
Ms. Mellsop believes the opportunity to contribute to the lives of children in China is especially exciting. “The Chinese government has made enormous strides on children’s rights,” Ms. Mellsop says, citing China’s achievement of its Millennium Development Goals in education and health and nutrition. “But there are still significant challenges for children as well. Pockets of inequity are now more pronounced, and China is dealing with newer children’s issues such as children affected by migration.”
Before joining UNICEF in 2003, Ms. Mellsop worked for AusAID and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of New Zealand. She has a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and History from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and a master’s degree in Development Management from the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.
Alongside his involvement in the ACYD and ACYA’s Engaging China Project, Jacob is a current member of the Australian Sevens Rugby Team. Jacob competes in an annual Sevens World Series against over 20 other countries, the pinnacle of which is the Hong Kong Sevens. During his time working and studying in China, Jacob has established a strong connection with the Chinese rugby community, and is assisting both China and Australia to form meaningful connections through sport.