Gillian Bird, Deputy Secretary and Ambassador to ASEAN

Ms Bird was appointed Deputy Secretary in December 2004, and as Australia's first Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in September 2008.

Before taking up her position as Deputy Secretary, Ms Bird served as First Assistant Secretary, International Division, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Prior to this appointment, she was Head, Foreign and Trade Policy White Paper Task Force (Advancing the National Interest), within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Ms Bird has occupied positions in the South and South-East Asia Division, International Organisations and Legal Division, Peace, Arms Control and Disarmament Branch, and Executive Branch, of the department.

She has served overseas in New York, Harare and Paris. She has also worked with the Office of the Minister for Trade Negotiations. Ms Bird joined the department in 1980.

Ms Bird holds a BA (First Class Hons), University of Sydney and is a graduate of French Ecole Nationale d'Administration.

Ms Bird was awarded the Public Service Medal in 2012 for outstanding public service in the field of International Relations.

Professor Kerry Brown, Executive Director, University of Sydney China Studies Centre; and Professor of Chinese Politics, University of Sydney

Kerry Brown is Executive Director of the China Studies Centre, and Professor of Chinese Politics at the University of Sydney. He leads the Europe China Research and Advice Network (ECRAN), funded by the European Commission, and is an Associate Fellow on the Asia Programme at Chatham House. Prior to this he was Head of the Asia Programme at Chatham House. Educated at Cambridge, London and Leeds Universities, he worked in Japan, and the Inner Mongolian region of China, before joining the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. He worked in the China Section and then served as First Secretary, Beijing, from 2000 to 2003, and Head of the Indonesia East Timor Section at the FCO from 2003 to 2005.

He is the author of `The Cultural Revolution in Inner Mongolia’ (Global Oriental 2006), `Struggling Giant: China in the 21st Century’ (Anthem 2007), `The Rise of the Dragon – Chinese Investment Flows in the Reform Period’ (Chandos 2008) and `Friends and Enemies: The Past, Present and Future of the Communist Party of China' (Anthem 2009), Ballot Box China’ (Zed books 2011), along with an edited collection `China 2020’ (Chandos 2012). `Hu Jintao, China’s Silent Leader’ (World Scientific 2012), and `Contemporary China’ (Palgrave MacMillan, 2013). He is currently working on a study of the new leadership in China to be published in early 2014, and an edited collection of papers on Europe and China, along with the Berkshire Dictionary of Chinese Biography.

He is an associated scholar of the Mongolian and Inner Asian Studies Unit at Cambridge University, a senior associate of the Nottingham University China Policy Centre, and an associate of the London School of Economics IDEES Centre.


Hon John Brumby, Premier of Victoria (2007 – 2010); Independent Director, Huawei Technologies (Australia)

The Hon John Brumby was the former Premier of Victoria (2007 – 2010) and has immense experience in public life serving for more than 10 years as Treasurer and then Premier of Victoria, 6 years as Leader of the Victorian Opposition and 7 years as Federal MHR for Bendigo during the period of the Hawke Government.

Since retiring from politics, Mr Brumby has accepted a number of Board positions as well as a joint appointment to both the Melbourne and Monash Universities as a Vice Chancellor’s Professorial Fellow. He is Chairman of the Motor Trades Association of Australia (MTAA) Superannuation Fund, an Independent Director of Huawei Technologies (Australia) Pty Limited and a Director of Citywide Solutions Pty Ltd. Mr Brumby is also a Panel Member of the Federal Government’s Review into GST Distribution and was recently appointed to lead the Review into the feasibility of the establishment of a Commonwealth Anti Dumping Authority.

In addition, Mr Brumby is a Member of the Leadership Advisory Board of the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI) at Monash University; a Member of the Business and Economics (B&E) Board, Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Melbourne; and an Associate of the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, also at the University of Melbourne. Mr Brumby is also the Chairman of Trustees of the Joe Welch Bursary Trust and an Australia Day Ambassador.

John DentonPartner, Corrs Chambers and Westgarth

Corrs CEO John W.H. Denton is a global leader in three arenas; a legal expert in the areas of government, workplace relations, and international trade and investment; a national business leader and an international adviser on global policy. His advice is sought by the nation’s most prominent corporations and by governments and international bodies alike.

John is one of three Prime Ministerial representatives on the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC); Chair of ABAC’s Finance and Economics Working Group; board member of the Business Council of Australia; Chair of the BCA Global Engagement Taskforce and Chairman of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees Australia.

He was also appointed by the Prime Minister and Treasurer as one of two Australian delegates to the B20, the business reference group of the G20. He is a board member of the Commonwealth Business Council and the Asia Society Australasia Centre.

He is a former diplomat, has a double degree in Arts and Law, and is a Harvard Business School alumnus.

John is recognised as one of the best labour law practitioners in the Asia-Pacific by Asialaw Leading Lawyers Survey and one of Australia’s best government and trade lawyers in the 2011 Best Lawyers peer survey.

Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC, Chancellor of the Australian National University; former President Emeritus of the International Crisis Group; and former Australian Foreign Minister

Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC has been Chancellor of the Australian National University since January 2010, and is President Emeritus of the Brussels-based International Crisis Group, the independent global conflict prevention and resolution organisation which he led from 2000 to 2009.

He previously spent 21 years in Australian politics, thirteen of them as a Cabinet Minister. As Foreign Minister (1988-96) he was best known internationally for his roles in developing the UN peace plan for Cambodia, concluding the Chemical Weapons Convention, and initiating new Asia Pacific regional economic and security architecture. He has written or edited nine books - most recently The Responsibility to Protect: Ending Mass Atrocity Crimes Once and for All, published by the Brookings Institution in 2008 (paperback edition 2009) - and has published over 100 journal articles and chapters on foreign relations, human rights and legal and constitutional reform.

He has co-chaired two major International Commissions, on Intervention and State Sovereignty (2000-01), and Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (2008-10) whose report Eliminating Nuclear Threats was published in December 2009. He was a member of the UN Secretary General's High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change (2004), the Blix Commission on Weapons of Mass Destruction (2006), the Zedillo Commission of Eminent Persons on The Role of the IAEA to 2020 and Beyond (2008) and the UN Secretary-General's Advisory Committee on Genocide Prevention. He is Co-Chair of the International Advisory Board of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect.

Gareth Evans was made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) on 11 June 2012 for "eminent service to international relations, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, as an adviser to governments on global policy matters, to conflict prevention and resolution, and to arms control and disarmament." In December 2011 Foreign Policy magazine cited him as one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers for 2011 "for making 'the responsibility to protect' more than academic". In May 2010 Gareth Evans was awarded the 2010 Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute Four Freedoms Award for Freedom from Fear, for his pioneering work on the Responsibility to Protect concept and his contributions to conflict prevention and resolution, arms control and disarmament.

Kevin Hobgood-Brown, Managing Director, Riverstone Advisory; and Deputy Chair, Australia-China Council

Kevin has over 25 years of management and legal experience in the Asia Pacific region and has been based in Sydney since 1996. He was one of a small group of international lawyers to work in Beijing in the early 1980’s. Prior to joining Riverstone in May 2010, Kevin served as Group Executive and General Counsel for Sino Gold Mining Limited, an Australian listed company and the most successful resources industry investor in China, until the take-over of Sino Gold by Canadian listed Eldorado Gold. Kevin was an international law firm partner for 18 years, in which capacity he had postings in Beijing, San Francisco, Taipei and Sydney. He handled investment projects throughout China and in almost all of Australia’s major Asian trading partners.

Kevin is the Deputy Chairman of the Australian government’s eight-member Australia-China Council. He is the Immediate-Past Chairman of the Australia China Business Council, and has served on the Board of Directors of the ACBC since 1999. He is a member of the Advisory Board to the China Studies Centre of Sydney University. He is the managing director of the non-profit Foundation for Australian Studies in China. Kevin is a member of the Global Council of the Asia Society and taught at the Law School of Beijing University from 1983-87. Kevin has Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor degrees from the United States and a Diploma in Chinese Law. He is a member of the California and Texas Bar Associations and the Law Society of New South Wales.


Dennis Richardson AO, Secretary, Department of Defence

Dennis Richardson is a member of the US Studies Centre Board of Directors at the University of Sydney. Richardson commenced as Secretary of the Department of Defence in October 2012 following two years as the Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Richardson was Ambassador of Australia to the United States from June 2005 to December 2009.

Richardson has been a career public servant since 1969 when he joined Australia's foreign service. He has served in Nairobi, Port Moresby and Jakarta.

From October 1996 until his appointment to Washington he served as Director-General of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation. Prior to that he was Deputy Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (1993-1996).

Richardson has served in various senior public service roles in the Departments of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Foreign Affairs and Trade and Immigration. He was Head of the Review of the Intelligence Community post Cold War in 1992 and Principal Adviser to the Prime Minister from 1990 to 1991.

Richardson holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honours from the University of Sydney. He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2003.

David WalkerProfessor of Australian Studies at Deakin University and BHP Billiton Chair of Australian Studies at Peking University

David Walker is Professor of Australian Studies at Deakin University and BHP Billiton Chair of Australian Studies (Peking University). He has research interests in Australian social and cultural history. He is currently researching Australian perceptions of Asia from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. The first of three volumes on this subject was published under the title Anxious Nation: Australia and the Rise of Asia, 1850 to 1939 by University of Queensland Press in 1999. The book won the Ernest Scott prize for History in 2001. Anxious Nation has been translated into Chinese and published by China Renmin University Press, Beijing, in 2009. An Indian edition published by SSS publishing, New Delhi, was published in the same year. Professor Walker has extensive experience in the development of Australian Studies programs in PRChina, India, Japan and Indonesia and held the Distinguished Visiting Chair of Australian Studies at the University of Copenhagen in their 2010 Spring semester. He is a Visiting Professor in the School of Foreign Studies, Renmin University, Beijing. His latest book titled Not Dark Yet, examines sight, memory, family and history and has been published by Giramondo Publishing in 2011. Essays on this subject have appeared in Heat Magazine. Professor Walker is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and the Australian Academy of the Humanities.


Professor Kenneth Baldwin

Deputy Director, Research School of Physics and Engineering; and Director, ANU Energy Change Institute

Professor Ken Baldwin is a laser physicist based at the Australian National University, where he is Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum-Atom Optics, Director of the ANU Energy Change Institute, and Deputy-Director of the Research School of Physics and Engineering.

Professor Baldwin is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Physics, The Institue of Physics (UK), the Optical Society of America and the American Physical Society. He is a past-President of the Australian Optical Society, and is the first Australian to be elected to the Board of Directors of the Optical Society of America. In 2007, Professor Baldwin was awarded the W.H. Beattie Steel Medal, the highest honour of the Australian Optical Society, and in 2010 he was awarded the Barry Inglis Medal by the National Measurement Institute for excellence in precision measurement.

Professor Baldwin is also a past-President of the Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies (FASTS). In 2004 he won the Australian Government Eureka Prize for Promoting Understanding of Science, for his role in initiating and championing “Science meets Parliament”.

Ian Fry

International Environmental Law and Policy Expert

Ian Fry is an international environmental law and policy expert. His focus is primarily on the mitigation policies associated with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and its related agreements. He actively participates in climate change negotiations as a member of the delegation of the Government of Tuvalu. He also participates in other international environment fora, including the Convention on Biological Diversity. His particular interest relates to land use change and forestry issues with the Kyoto Protocol and the interface between science and policy making.

Ian Fry works as the International Environmental Officer for the Environment Department of the Government of Tuvalu. He has held this position for over twelve years and has represented the Tuvalu Government in numerous international fora including the World Summit on Sustainable Development, Commission for Sustainable Development, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol, Convention on Biological Diversity, and United Nations General Assembly. Ian is the spokesperson for the Alliance of Small Island States on matters relating to land use, land use change and forestry and more generally on issues relating to mitigation in the consideration of future climate change regimes. He has held the position of Vice-Chair of the Facilitative Branch of the Compliance Committee under the Kyoto Protocol.

Ian also undertakes consultancy work primarily associated with negotiations training in the context of multilateral environmental agreements. His work focuses on building the capacity of government representatives from Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States. He has facilitated negotiations training workshops in the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, the Marshall Islands, Nepal, Samoa, Senegal, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Tuvalu, Vietnam as well as special pre-Conference of Party workshops for LDCs in Canada, Italy, Indonesia, Kenya and Thailand. This work is carried out in association with the Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development (UK), the United Nations Environment Programme, the United Nations Development Programme, WWF Pacific and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme.

Prior to working for the Tuvalu Government, Ian was a writer for Earth Negotiations Bulletin. He has been a long term member of the IUCN Commission on Environmental Law and is the current Pacific Regional representative to the United Nations for the International Council on Environmental Law. He is currently undertaking a part-time doctorate through the Fenner School of Environment and Society (ANU) looking at land use change and forestry issues under the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol.

Professor Stephen Howes

Director, Development Policy Centre; Director, International and Development Economics Professor of Economics

Prior to joining the Crawford School in 2009, Stephen was Chief Economist at the Australian Agency for International Development. He worked from 1994 to 2005 at the World Bank, first in Washington and then in Delhi, where he was Lead Economist for India. In 2008, he worked on the Garnaut Review on Climate Change, where he managed the Review's international work stream.

Stephen serves as a Board Member for CARE Australia. He has previously served on the Board of the Pacific Institute of Public Policy, and on the Advisory Council of the Asian Development Bank Institute. He is the Director of the Development Policy Centre, as well as the International and Development Economics teaching program at the Crawford School.

Associate Professor Janette Lindesay

Professor of Climatology

Associate Professor Janette Lindesay's principal research interests are in climate variability during the period of instrumental record, and climate change science in relation to vulnerability and adaptation. Her current research focuses on integrating multiple influences on low-frequency fluctuations in Australian rainfall, including the potential for deterministic and dynamical seasonal forecasting; climatological aspects of bushfires and drought in Australia; temperature and rainfall trends and extremes; and climate change adaptation. She is also engaged in research into the pedagogy of climate change in academic and professional education.

Janette obtained her Honours degree in Geography, Postgraduate Teaching Diploma and Doctorate in statistical and dynamical climatology from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, and has also worked in academic and research organisations in South Africa, the UK and Australia. She has chaired the Atmosphere Reference Group for the ACT Region State of the Environment Report, and is a former President of the Canberra branch of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society. In addition to convening and teaching academic and professional programs and courses in climate science and climate change science and policy at the ANU, Janette teaches by invitation at the United Nations University in Tokyo, is a member of a number of professional meteorological societies, and is on the editorial boards of two international journals.

Alex Wyatt

Founder, Climate Bridge

Alex Wyatt co-founded Climate Bridge in the living room of his Shanghai apartment in 2006, and as CEO, grew the company into a multi-national enterprise which became one of the world's leading players in the international carbon markets. By 2013, Climate Bridge had a portfolio of more than 160 clean energy projects across China spanning a wide range of technologies including hydro-electricity, wind, biomass, solar, biogas, waste heat capture and other forms of energy efficiency. Taken together, Climate Bridge's projects comprise more than 2 GW of clean energy infrastructure and reduce so many emissions that they essentially make the whole country of Mongolia carbon neutral every year. In 2013, Alex sold the Climate Bridge business to an Asian consortium, and now spends his time as a Board Member of a number of different environmental business companies, as the Deputy Chair of the Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee in Victoria, and on a range of non-profit activities, most notably in the education and disability sectors in Australia.

Prior to founding Climate Bridge, Alex spent a number of years in the Shanghai office of McKinsey & Company, where he worked with both state-owned and multinational enterprises all over China. He is also an expert on the Chinese transportation sector, having undertaken a number of different projects to help optimise rail, sea and trucking networks throughout the country. From 2008-09, Alex was also a member of the Advisory Board of GECKO, an environmental education NGO based in Shanghai, and was a lead fundraiser for the Shenyang Children's Village in Liaoning Province, China, from 2002-04. Prior to moving to China, Alex was an overseas professional cricket player for Cranleigh Cricket Club in the UK (1998) and was a 1st grade cricketer in the Victorian Premier League from 1997-2000.

Alex was recently appointed by the World Economic Forum as one of its Young Global Leaders, and in 2009, was named in the "Advance Asia 50" as one of the fifty most influential Australians living in Asia. Alex was educated at Melbourne University (B.Sc, LLB) and Oxford University (M.Phil, MBA), where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

Josh Frydenberg MP

Federal Member for Kooyong

Josh Frydenberg is a Federal Member for Kooyong, from the Liberal Party of Australia. He did his tertiary studies at Monash University where he undertook Law and Economics degrees, graduating with Honours in both. Frydenberg holds a Master of Philosophy degree in International Relations from Oxford University (where he was awarded a scholarship by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the United Kingdom) and a Masters of Public Administration from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Upon returning to Australia, he was admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria. Frydenberg later served as an assistant adviser to Attorney General Daryl Williams OC, adviser and then senior adviser to Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, and finally, senior adviser to Prime Minister John Howard. Frydenberg hes written a number of editorials for leading publications including the The Age, The Herald Sun, The Australian and The Australian Financial Review.

Andrew Leigh MP

Federal Member for Fraser

Prior to being elected in 2010 as the federal member for Fraser, Andrew was a professor of economics at the Australian National University.

Andrew has written extensively on a range of subjects, including education, taxation and social policy. He also writes regularly for the Australian press.

Andrew holds a PhD in public policy from Harvard, having graduated from the University of Sydney with first class honours in Law and Arts. He has previously worked as a lawyer (including a stint as associate to former High Court Justice Michael Kirby), and as a principal adviser to the Australian Treasury.

Andrew is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences, the only parliamentarian to be a fellow of one of the four national academies. In 2011, he received the 'Young Economist Award', a prize given every two years by the Economics Society of Australia to the best Australian economist under 40.

Andrew has been a member of the Australian Labor Party since 1991.

Lesley Alway

Director, Arts, Asialink

Lesley Alway is an arts manager with experience in cultural organisations in the government, non-profit and private sectors. Between 2008-2010, Lesley was the Managing Director of Sotheby's Australia. Her previous roles include Director / CEO of Heide Museum of Modern Art in Melbourne, Director of Arts Victoria and Director of Artbank based in Sydney. Lesley's academic qualifications include a BA (Hons) in Fine Arts and BEd from the University of Melbourne, and an MBA from Monash University.

Michell Guo

Business Development and Client Manager, HASSELL

Born in Beijing, raised in Melbourne and educated at both The University of Melbourne and Tsinghua University, Michell Guo is a registered architect in Australia. After spending eight years working in Melbourne with one of Australia's largest multi-disciplinary design studios - HASSELL, Michell has recently moved back to China into a Business Development and Client Manager role for HASSELL's Beijing Studio.

Michell is bilingual and bi-cultural, her mixed background and experience gives her an innate ability to bridge between cultures; her in-depth understanding and sensitivity to both the eastern and western cultures often brings valuable insights to company and clients, making her an important link in many liaisons.


Co-Founder & CEO, kikki.K

As Co-founder and CEO of international Swedish design retailer kikki.K, Paul along with his Swedish born partner Kristina Karlsson has led the rapid growth and success since its start-up – from zero to 80 stores across Australia, New Zealand & Singapore, now employing a Team of over 600 people, selling online to over 74 countries and expanding globally.

For anyone unfamiliar, kikki.K is a multi-award winning boutique retail stationery & design concept presenting a Swedish-designed range of contemporary home & stationery products & unique gifts. The business has grown at a phenomenal rate in its first 12 years and was recently nominated for the Innovation Award in the Oracle World Retail Awards.

Paul has driven the development of kikki.K from a simple idea they had to its current position as a successful and growing international retailer, but according to Paul, his most successful achievement has been having the courage to 'sell the house' and follow a dream...


CEO of L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival

In May 2011, the Melbourne Fashion Festival appointed Graeme Lewsey to the newly created role of Chief Executive Officer. Graeme led the Festival and its world class team to new heights achieving outstanding results for the 2012 and 2013 Festivals.

Graeme is a proud Melburnian and after graduating from his BA at RMIT University he was awarded ‘Australian Young Designer of The Year’ by Woolmark which was followed by a decade of work with leading fashion brands and marketing agencies overseas.

Returning to Australia in 1997, Graeme was involved in the development of ‘Australian Fashion Week’ and subsequently joined the global team at IMG as a Senior Executive for the Asia Pacific region and was instrumental in the establishment of a range of events including the ‘Singapore Fashion Festival’, ‘Hong Kong Luxury Week’ and the ‘Sydney Fashion Festival’.

Graeme brings unparalleled event management, marketing and international industry experience to the Festival and his appointment has further enhanced the success of the Melbourne Fashion Festival and complements its high profile Board of Directors.

Patrick SKENE

Patrick Skene has over 10 years’ experience in multicultural community sport engagement and is the Director of Sport and Media for Red Elephant Projects (; @redelephantaus), a specialist consultancy involved in research, community engagement, media, marketing and participation and fan development program with a focus on multicultural and indigenous communities.

Red Elephant Projects has worked extensively on Asian Community sports programs from elite team inbound and outbound tours to working with Asian Australian sport organisations to strengthen community and deliver social outcomes through sport participation.

Red Elephant Projects are the community engagement advisors for the AFC Asian Cup 2015 Communities program and have worked with most major national sporting organisations including Football Federation Australia, the Australian Football League, the National Rugby League, Basketball Australia, Cricket Australia and Netball Victoria.

Patrick’s areas of expertise include research, strategy, program design, media, community engagement, fundraising and program sustainability.

Patrick has a Bachelor of Applied Science from University of Technology, Sydney.

Professor Emeritus Paul Dibb AO

Emeritus Professor of Strategic Studies; and Chairman, ANU Strategic and Defence Studies Centre

Paul Dibb is Emeritus Professor of strategic studies and Chairman of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at The Australian National University. He was head of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre from 1991 to 2003. His previous positions include: Deputy Secretary of the Department of Defence, Director of the Defence Intelligence Organisation, and Head of the National Assessments Staff (National Intelligence Committee).

He is the author of 5 books and 4 reports to government, as well as more than 120 academic articles and monographs about the global strategic outlook, the security of the Asia-Pacific region, the US alliance, and Australia’s defence policy. He wrote the 1986 Review of Australia’s Defence Capabilities (the Dibb Report) and was the primary author of the 1987 Defence White Paper. He also published a book in 1986, which was reprinted in 1987 and had a second edition in 1988, entitled The Soviet Union: the Incomplete Superpower (London: The International Institute for Strategic Studies).

At the request of the Foreign Minister, he has represented Australia at six meetings of the ASEAN Regional Forum’s Experts and Eminent Persons Group between 2006 and 2012 with the most recent one being in Bangkok in February 2012. Under the Howard Government, he was a member of the Foreign Minister’s Foreign Policy Council for 9 years.

Michael Shoebridge

First Assistant Secretary Strategic Policy, Department of Defence

Michael Shoebridge has been First Assistant Secretary Strategic Policy since May 2011. Previously to this he was the First Assistant Secretary Defence, Intelligence and Research Coordination in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Prior to this he was Deputy Director of the Defence Intelligence Organisation, and he was the Counsellor Defence Policy at the Australian Embassy in Washington. He has experience across a range of policy areas within the Australian Government, within the Department of Defence, the Department of Finance and Administration and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. He has worked in two Australian Commonwealth Ministers’ offices and also on secondment with the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence.

Mr Shoebridge has a Bachelor of Economics and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Sydney and also a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the University of Technology in Sydney. He joined the Department of Defence as a Graduate.

Professor Michael Wesley

Professor of National Security, Australian National University

Michael Wesley is Professor of National Security at the Australian National University. His career has spanned academia, with previous appointments at the University of New South Wales, Griffith University, the University of Hong Kong, Sun Yat-sen University and the University of Sydney; government, where he worked as Assistant Director General for Transnational Issues at the Office of National Assessments; and think tanks, in which he was Executive Director of the Lowy Institute for International Policy and a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Professor Wesley has also served as the Editor in Chief of the Australian Journal of International Affairs, a Trustee of the Queensland Art Gallery and a Board Member of the Australia Television Network. He is a Non-Executive Member of the Senior Leadership Group of the Australian Federal Police. His most recent book, There Goes the Neighbourhood: Australia and the Rise of Asia, won the 2011 John Button Prize for the best writing on Australian public policy.


Associate Professor, UNSW School of Social Sciences and International Studies

You Ji is an Associate Professor at the School of Social Sciences and International Studies, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UNSW. You Ji’s research interests include China's political and economic reform, elite politics, and military modernisation and foreign policy. His current projects focus on military transformation and issues in post-Cold War foreign policy and security matters.

Research Areas

Chinese politics and government, China’s economic reform and development, international relations with emphasis on Asia/Pacific, China's civil/military relations and PLA transformation, China's changing state/society relations and defence and security studies in Asia/Pacific

Dr Amy King (Facilitator)

Lecturer, ANU Strategic and Defence Studies Centre

Dr Amy King is a lecturer in the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University. She received her doctorate in International Relations from the University of Oxford, where she was an Australian Rhodes Scholar. Her research focuses on Sino-Japanese relations; the economic-security nexus; and the legacy of war, imperialism and late industrialisation in Asia. Amy holds a Bachelor of Arts (First Class Honours in International Studies) and a Bachelor of International Business from the University of South Australia, and an M.Phil in Modern Chinese Studies (Distinction) from the University of Oxford. She has also studied at Peking University in China, and Okayama University in Japan, and was a delegate at the inaugural Australia-China Youth Dialogue in 2010. Prior to coming to the ANU, Amy taught at the University of Oxford and University of South Australia, and worked as a research analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

Professor Peter Drysdale

Emeritus Professor of Economics, Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU

Peter Drysdale is Emeritus Professor of Economics in the Crawford School of Public Policy at The Australian National University. He is widely acknowledged as the leading intellectual architect of APEC. He was founding head of the Australia-Japan Research Centre and is known for his work on East Asian and Pacific economic cooperation and the East Asian economies. He is the author of a large number of books and papers on international and resources trade, foreign investment and economic policy in East Asia and the Pacific, including International Economic Pluralism: Economic Policy in East Asia and the Pacific. He is recipient of the Asia Pacific Prize, the Weary Dunlop Award, the Japanese Order of the Rising Sun with Gold Rays and Neck Ribbon, the Australian Centenary Medal and he is a Member of the Order of Australia, and an Honorary Doctor of Letters, from the Australian National University. He is presently Head of East Asia Forum (, the East Asian Bureau of Economic Research (EABER) ( and the South Asia Bureau of Economic Research (SABER) ( In 2011-12, he served on the Advisory and Cabinet Committee of the Australian Government's White Paper on Australia’s in the Asian Century and is currently a member of the Strategic Advisory Board for implementation of the White Paper.

Colin Heseltine

Director, Sino Gas and Energy Holdings

Colin Heseltine had a forty year career with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (1969-2008), which included many postings in the Asian region and senior policy advisory positions in Australia.

In 2006 he was appointed by the Australian Government to head the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Secretariat in Singapore during Australia’s host APEC year in 2007.

He served as Australian ambassador to the Republic of Korea from 2001-2005, deputy head of mission in the Australian Embassy in Beijing from 1982-85 and 1988-1992, and director of the Australian Commerce and Industry Office in Taiwan from 1992-1997. He has also had diplomatic appointments in Chile (1970-1973) and Spain (1975-78).

From 1998-2001 he was First Assistant Secretary, North Asia Division, Department of Foreign Affairs in Canberra.

Since leaving the Australian Government in July 2008, he has provided consultancy services to business organizations and is currently a non-executive board director of Sino Gas and Energy Holdings, an Australian company developing gas assets in China. He is a senior associate with the Nautilus Institute, a public policy think-tank which focuses on energy and sustainability issues in the Korean peninsula, and is vice chairman of the Australia Korea Business Council. He is also Adjunct Professor of the RMIT University (Melbourne).

He has a Bachelor of Economics with honours from Monash University. He is married with two daughters.

QIAN Jingmin

Director, Jing Meridan

Jingmin is a company director and investment management advisor with expertise on international business management, and highly experienced in resources, infrastructure and property sectors in Australia and Asia. Her consultancy, Jing Meridian, provides advisory services to directors and senior management.

Previously she spent over a decade in executive roles with L.E.K. consulting, Boral Ltd and Leighton Holdings, focusing on strategy, investment, mergers and acquisitions, and human resources planning in Australia and Asia. During this period, Jingmin was actively involved in acquisition projects and the expansion of Boral’s Asian plasterboard business in eight countries. Whilst working at Leighton Holdings, Jingmin was responsible for strategy research and scenario planning of the Group’s markets, especially Asia and its impacts on Australia. Prior to that, Jingmin started her career with Ministry of Commerce in Beijing, working with AusAID and UN on foreign development programs in over twenty provinces in China. Recently, Jingmin has co-written a paper “A long march: The Australia-China investment relationship”, which explores trends, policies and lessons of the Chinese investment in Australia and Australian investment in China.

Jingmin is a non-executive director of Golden Cross Resources and CFA Society of Sydney, an advisory committee member of Loscam Australia and Macquarie University’s Department of Marketing and Management, and an Executive Committee of the Australia China Business Council NSW.

Jingmin holds a Bachelor Degree of Economics from University of International Business and Economics in Beijing and an MBA from AGSM in Sydney. Jingmin is a CFA Charterholder and a fellow of Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Laurie Smith

Executive Director, International Operations, Austrade

In his role as Austrade’s Executive Director, International Operations, Laurie Smith is responsible for a network of offices in over 50 countries that assists Australian companies to grow their international business, attracts productive foreign direct investment into Australia and promotes Australia’s education sector internationally. He is based in Sydney.

Laurie has 25 years’ experience in international corporate, advisory and government roles that includes assignments in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Taipei.

From 2005 to 2011, Laurie was Austrade’s Regional Director, North East Asia, with responsibility for teams in over 20 locations. In this role, he led the strengthening of Austrade’s presence across central and western China, developed new strategies to take advantage of opportunities arising from structural change in Japan, and established in-market support for Australian firms in the emerging market of Mongolia.

Laurie previously held a number of senior roles with News Corporation and its affiliates in Hong Kong and Beijing, including as Executive Vice President (China) of STAR TV in Hong Kong. He led China business development for multiple divisions of the company, overseeing a range of direct and portfolio investments in China.

As Executive Director of a Sydney-based Asian-markets strategy consultancy, Laurie worked on projects across India, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Indonesia and South Africa for a client base that spanned Australia, Europe, the USA and Asia.

Laurie’s early career was with the Department of Trade and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra and Taipei.

Laurie has a Bachelor of Science (Mathematics, Statistics) from Melbourne University, and undertook post-graduate study at Peking University. He is fluent in Mandarin.

Michael Bleby (Moderator)

Journalist, BRW Magazine

After studying Japanese at high school, Adelaide University and the ANU, Michael spent three years in Japan on the JET program. His career in journalism started with an internship at Reuters in Tokyo, leading to another internship with Bloomberg in London, which then turned into a four-year job.

Since then Michael has used bashing out stories on a keyboard as a way to spend a year in Damascus as a freelancer and 7.5 years in Johannesburg with Business Day, South Africa's main business daily. He has also written for the Financial Times, The Age, and the Sydney Morning Herald.

He returned to Australia in 2011 and currently works for BRW Magazine in Melbourne, covering professional services (architecture, engineering, and law), transport, gaming, and emerging markets.

When not trying to get his head around why Melbourne's weather is the way it is, he is fascinated to watch how much Australia's responses to China's growth mirror those towards Japan 25 years ago. He can be found tweeting at @MichaelBleby.


The Hon Kim Beazley, AC

Australian Ambassador to United States of America

Mr Beazley was elected to the Federal Parliament in 1980 and represented the electorates of Swan (1980-96) and Brand (1996-2007).

Mr Beazley was a Minister in the Hawke and Keating Labor Governments (1983- 96) holding, at various times, the portfolios of Defence, Finance, Transport and Communications, Employment Education and Training, Aviation, and Special Minister of State. He was Deputy Prime Minister (1995-96) and Leader of the Australian Labor Party and Leader of the Opposition (1996-01 and 2005-06). Mr Beazley served on parliamentary committees, including the Joint Intelligence Committee and the Joint Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee.

After his retirement from politics in 2007, Mr Beazley was appointed Winthrop Professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Western Australia. In July 2008 he was appointed Chancellor of the Australian National University, a position he held until December 2009. Mr Beazley took up his appointment as Ambassador to the United States of America in February 2010.

In 2009, Mr Beazley was awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia for service to the Parliament of Australia through contributions to the development of government policies in relation to defence and international relations, and as an advocate for Indigenous people, and to the community.

Mr Beazley was born in Perth. He completed a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts at the University of Western Australia. He was awarded the Rhodes Scholarship for Western Australia in 1973 and completed a Master of Philosophy at Oxford University. He is married and has three daughters.

Michael Clifton

Senior Trade Commissioner (Shanghai), Austrade

Michael Clifton has enjoyed a diverse and varied career including trade and defence appointments in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Osaka and the Middle East. Fluent in Mandarin and Japanese, Michael’s career highlights include several postings to Hong Kong, three years at the Australian Embassy in Tokyo and four years as Senior Trade Commissioner and Consul General in Osaka. On his return from Osaka, he served as North East Asia adviser to the Minister for Trade, Simon Crean. Prior to his appointment as Austrade’s Senior Trade Commissioner in Shanghai and Country Manager (China), Michael served as Principal Adviser and Chief of Staff to Simon Crean, Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government.

Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of New South Wales and is married with three children.

Keith Richburg

Spring Fellow, Harvard University’s Kennedy Institute of Politics; and former Washington Post journalist

Keith B. Richburg spent more than 20 years overseas for The Washington Post, serving as bureau chief in Beijing, Paris, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Nairobi and Manila as well as New York. He also was the Post’s foreign editor during 2005–2007. Richburg was Journalist-in-Residence at the East-West Center in Hawaii in 1990 and was president of the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents Club in 1997, during the year of Hong Kong’s handover to China.

During his time at the Post, he reported on the invasion in Iraq, the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the U.S. military intervention in Somalia, the genocide in Rwanda and the 1997 Hong Kong handover and Asian economic crisis. He has won several awards, including the George Polk Award, the Overseas Press Club Award, the National Association of Black Journalists Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Richburg speaks English and French and has been learning Mandarin.

A native of Detroit, Richburg began working for the Post as a summer intern in 1978. He received a B.A. from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in international relations from The London School of Economics.

He is a 2013 Spring Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy Institute of Politics and also a freelance writer. In addition, he is working on a book project.

Richburg is the author of the acclaimed book, Out of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa (Basic Books, 1997) that was described by USA TODAY as “the most honest book to emerge from Africa in a long time.”

His media appearances include MSNBC, CNN, The Washington Post, Al Jazeera, C-SPAN, Sky News and France 24. He has participated in forums and panels at the Overseas Press Club in New York, the East-West Center in Hawaii, Tsinghua University in Beijing as well as academic and professional panels in Washington, DC, New York, Indonesia, the Netherlands and Hong Kong.

Alistair Thornton

Co-Founder, Young China Watchers

Alistair Thornton is Co-Founder of Young China Watchers, a dynamic global community of China-focused young professionals. Alistair was previously a Beijing-based Senior China Economist at IHS, a macroeconomic research firm, where his work focused on monetary policy, the property market, regional growth dynamics and the inflation outlook in China. He has published a number of papers with the Lowy Institute for International Policy, has frequently appeared on BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC and CNN to comment on the Chinese economy, and has been regularly quoted in the Financial Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and The Economist. Alistair did his undergraduate studies at the University of Edinburgh, and has Masters degrees from the University of Sydney and the University of London. He speaks Mandarin. He was based in Beijing between 2008-2013 and is now based in California, at Stanford University Graduate School of Business.