2012 Australian ACYD Delegates

Phillipa Brant

Philippa BRANT

Philippa is a researcher and consultant specialising in China’s foreign aid program. She completed her PhD at The University of Melbourne in mid-2012 where she investigated the implications of China’s foreign aid for the global aid architecture. She also has a first-class honours degree in Asian Studies/Political Science with a thesis on the barriers to education for migrant children in Shanghai.

Philippa previously worked in Beijing as a visiting researcher at the International Poverty Reduction Centre in China (IPRCC), a Chinese government organisation working to translate lessons from China’s own development experience to other developing countries, through South-South Cooperation. She was also an intern at UNICEF China in the Health Division, working on the maternal child health program. These were supported through the Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Endeavour Award, which Philippa received in 2010.

Philippa’s interest in China began through her beginner’s Mandarin studies in a Diploma of Modern Languages – originally intended as a complement to her Japanese skills. Travels to rural China on a university fieldtrip however, cemented her desire to develop a China-related career. Her current interests cover Chinese foreign policy, domestic development challenges, Chinese engagement in Southeast and the Pacific, China’s impact on global governance norms, and Australia-China relations.



Wesa Chau is an insightful speaker, strategic thinker, advocate and consultant.

She is a young leader with passion and ideas for innovation, and has a strong interest in developing a new generation of leaders through programs, presentations and mentorship to other young people.

She has 10 years of experience in advocating on a range of issues including multicultural affairs, international students, young people and people with disability, and was the founder of the Australian Federation of International Students.

Currently, she is the Director of Cultural Intelligence, a consultancy and training organisation specializing in inter-cultural awareness, engagement, and management.

Some of her previous professional roles include, management consultant, project officer and senior manager in industries ranging from healthcare, IT, government, international education, aged care and disability.

Wesa has appeared regularly on a range of television programs, in radio interviews and has published a range of articles and opinion pieces. In 2012, she was an inductee to the Victorian Honour Roll for Women and awarded University of Melbourne “Rising Star” Alumni Award. She was named Young Victorian of the Year 2010 and a recipient of the 2006 Service Delivery to Multicultural Victoria award. In addition, she was a finalist for the 2010 Premier’s Community Volunteering Leadership Award.

Wesa sits on a number of Boards including, Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria; InTouch – Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence; and ThinkBefore – promoting Student Safety via social media. She was also a member of the Ministerial Overseas Students Experience Taskforce.

She holds a Masters of Business Management; Bachelor of Engineering/Commerce from the University of Melbourne; Graduate Diploma of Law from Monash University and Graduate Certificate of Business (Quality Management) from Swinburne University. She was awarded a scholarship to the Global Leadership Study Program at Northeastern University, Boston USA in 2011.

Gareth Durrant


Graduating from National Taiwan University where he studied business and gender studies, Gareth is passionate about Australia's engagement with Asia and has spent more of his adult life in the Greater China region than at home.

Currently living in Melbourne, Gareth enjoys working on the front line of sexual health education, family planning and HIV/STI prevention as the local team leader for YEAH (Youth Empowerment Against HIV/AIDS), a youth-driven non-profit and at Marie Stopes East St Kilda Clinic. Gareth is pro-choice, sex positive and believes youth should be empowered to take control of their own sexual health.

Kyle FOX

Kyle FOX

Kyle walked in to the Australian Museum "Dinosaurs from China" exhibition in 1983 as a dinosaur fan and came out as a dinosaur/China fanatic.

After learning some Chinese at university in Australia, he spent a year trying to learn a little more at the Beijing Foreign Studies University. He later spent a few colourful years practicing criminal law in western Sydney before returning to Asia, this time to do a Master of Law degree at National Taiwan University. His research examined some of the different options available for dispute resolution in China. While struggling with research and coursework in a foreign language Kyle also coached the university's Jessup Moot team and was a member of the editorial team of two journals – one on WTO law and the other on arbitration. During his time in Taipei he also had the privilege of serving as a docent at the National Palace Museum. Since graduating Kyle has worked for the Australian Government, including the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Kyle lives in Canberra and owns three guitars – none of which he can play very well.

Julian Gruin

Julian GRUIN

Julian Gruin is a doctoral candidate and the Wai Seng Senior Research Scholar in Asia-Pacific Studies at St Antony’s College of the University of Oxford. During 2012 he is a visiting researcher at the Peking University School of Government, and the Institute of World Economics and Politics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. In 2011 he held a visiting research fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Society in Cologne.

His research focuses upon the the political economy of China’s financial development, the politics of global finance, and the evolution of varieties of capitalism. His doctoral dissertation examines the role of the financial system in China’s growth strategy since 1993, as a particular mechanism for reconciling nationally specific social, economic, and political demands. Interrogating the relationship between government agencies and financial institutions, it seeks to cast light on the potential for mitigating financial instability and promoting sustainable development via different institutional and regulatory configurations. His most recent article is "Asset or Liability? The Role of the Financial System in the Political Economy of China's Rebalancing", to be published in the Journal of Current Chinese Affairs.

Julian was born in 1985 on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca, to a Taiwanese mother and Australian father. Growing up in Brisbane, he graduated in 2008 with honours degrees in Political Science and Law from the University of Queensland. Prior to commencing his doctoral studies at Oxford, he also worked in Sarajevo, Sydney, and Singapore in the fields of both law and development.


Catherine HARDIE

Catherine Hardie is currently pursuing doctoral studies as a Clarendon Scholar at the University of Oxford’s Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology. Her areal concentration is contemporary China and its Tibetan regions, and her research addresses themes such as modernisation, urbanisation, cosmopolitanism, ethnicity, and identity. Prior to commencing her doctorate, she completed a Masters in Asian Studies with a China specialisation as an East West Center Graduate Degree Fellow at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa. Catherine lived, studied, and worked in greater China for a combined total of more than seven years before embarking on postgraduate studies. Over this time, she was fortunate to have been able to complete eighteen months of her undergraduate Arts/Law degree from the University of Melbourne as an exchange student at Peking and Tsinghua Universities, and, two years before that, to have enjoyed eighteen months as a Chinese language student in Taiwan under a Taiwanese Education Ministry scholarship. Her work experience in mainland China includes eighteen months as a volunteer teacher on an English training program for Tibetan teachers in the Ganzi Autonomous Tibetan Prefecture in Sichuan province, and another eighteen months in the same region working with a Tibetan nomadic artisan cooperative in market research and product design. She has travelled extensively in China, and is proficient in both Mandarin Chinese and Tibetan. Catherine looks forward to joining the team of delegates at the 2012 Australia China Youth Dialogue, and is excited by the prospect of participating in such a significant forum of exchange.



Dr Russell Harwood brings to the 2012 ACYD a deep knowledge of China’s economic, social and political context, which he has developed through his PhD research and publications on China, and roles as a university lecturer and coordinator of the Australia-China Education Fund. Russell has studied Chinese language, undertaken PhD fieldwork and worked on-and-off in China for more than three and a half years. His PhD, awarded by the University of Western Australia in 2009, examined how China’s ethnic minorities are negotiating economic development and modernisation, and included 12 months of independent fieldwork in an isolated rural community in northwest Yunnan. In 2013 Russell’s PhD will be published as a book with the University of Washington Press.

During his PhD fieldwork Russell initiated the Australia-China Education Fund to provide better educational outcomes and a more secure future for children from disadvantaged backgrounds in rural southwest China. His projects have included building an all-weather concrete path to connect an isolated, mountain-top village with the local primary school and providing university scholarships for ethnic minority women.

He currently manages AusAID’s Mongolia Program and works on the broader AusAID North Asia portfolio.

Russell will be attending the 2012 ACYD in a personal capacity and any views expressed in relation to ACYD, including those expressed at events and in associated publications, are his own and do not reflect those of the Australian Government.



Phillip Kingston is an interdisciplinary business professional who works with governments, IGOs, NGOs and companies to solve complex problems involving technology, people, policy and finance. He works in many countries through his global management consulting and technology services company Kingston (www.kdis.com.au). He utilises trends in high technology, responsible investment, entrepreneurship, social learning and media to maximise business and policy objectives today.

He has a Bachelor of Science (Melb), Bachelor of Commerce (Melb), Graduate Certificate Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation (Adel), Certificate in Company Directorship (AICD) and a Graduate Certificate in Psychoanalytic Studies (Deakin).

He is passionate about sustainability and social entrepreneurship as such he regularly assists universities, NGOs and companies in these areas. He speaks on the interrelated topics of social technology, marketing, web-based automation and entrepreneurship. He is the author of The War for Eyeballs – An Introduction to Internet Marketing.

Phil is an experienced company director, sitting on a range of private company and not-for-profit boards in Australia. Presently, he is the Managing Director of Kingston, Voyance Capital, Kingston Investments, the International Technology Fund and BBQ Hero Pty. Ltd. He is the Vice Chair of the Centre for Sustainability Leadership.

Fiona Lawrie


Fiona is the Chief Operating Officer and Campaign Manager at Thirst, a Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum initiative focused on water availability. Prior to relocating to Beijing, Fiona was an investment banker in Melbourne for several years.

In 2008 Fiona was selected to participate in the Brightest Young Minds Summit, held in Australia. In 2007 she was invited to participate in the inaugural Australian young leaders delegation invited to China by Premier Wen Jiabao.

Fiona was the recipient of Australia China Council’s Year in China Program scholarship to study Mandarin at Liaoning University, Shenyang and the Taiwanese Education scholarship to study Mandarin at the Political University, Taiwan. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mandarin and International Relations from the University of Melbourne.

Fiona is frequently invited to speak at business and community events both in Australia and China. Most recently she has presented at TED x Beijing and TED x Minda on the water, food and energy nexus.

Fiona is the Beijing Director of the Australia China Young Professionals Initiative.

Jade Little


Jade has been based in Beijing for the past year as a Project Manager/Consultant Mining Engineer contributing to the development of prospectuses for mining-related Chinese companies that are seeking to list on the Hong Kong and other Stock Exchanges. The projects she has worked on have been located all over the world.

Prior to Jade’s move to China, she worked in both the Queensland and New South Wales mining industry for approximately four years both on site and in corporate offices. Additionally during her time at university she completed two three-month vacation work placements in China and India. The insights she has gained from her work experience have impressed upon her the importance of furthering relations between China and Australia, as both have much to offer the other. Jade hopes to continue to develop a career within the Australian and Chinese mining industry and she is passionate about raising the level of interest in China and the understanding of China’s rich culture amongst fellow Australian peers.

Jade graduated from the University of Queensland (UQ) with Bachelor of Engineering (Mining) and a Bachelor of Arts (Chinese) in 2007 and more recently with a Doctor of Philosophy (Mining Engineering) in 2012. In November 2012, she will begin a Master of Science in Global Finance Program jointly offered by Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and New York University’s Stern Business School.



As a qualified Chartered Accountant, Lynn is passionate about her career as a financial adviser. She has practiced both in KPMG Australia and KPMG China for the past 8.5 years. She specialises in auditing and providing advices to clients across a broad range of industries and has been highly regarded throughout her career.

Lynn’s first hand commercial experience in China and deep knowledge about Australia commercial market makes her highly respected by her Chinese and Australian clients. Lynn is an important member in KPMG’s China Practice. Lynn contributed to KPMG China Practice’s success in becoming market leader for servicing Australia-China cross border commercial ties in the private sector.

Lynn’s work experience in assurance and financial advisory has allowed her to provide advices with commercial insights and with deep understanding on the needs of Chinese investment in Australia and the opportunities and challenges Chinese companies may face in the Australian market. She has been managing and leading cross-culture teams in providing professional services to both Chinese and Australian clients.

Her slogan “If You Think You Can, You Can” brings her strength to get through the challenging times and is the greatest driving force in both professional and personal life towards her chosen goals, in particular during adversities.

Lynn enjoys skiing, travelling, social networking and mentoring high school students in her spare time. In addition, she is also active in Chinese community services and often provides guidance for new Chinese immigrants on settling in Australia.

Elizabeth Payne

Elizabeth PAYNE

Elizabeth has extensive policy and research experience and has held roles with the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) in China, with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Kenya, with the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Energy Working Group (APEC), and with the Australian Government. Her research interests are in climate change and environmental sustainability, developmental health policy, and indigenous affairs. Elizabeth speaks English, Chinese and Spanish.

As an environmental health officer with the WHO in China, Elizabeth was involved on three Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Joint Programmes: a USD$19 million Climate Change Partnership Framework, a USD$5.8 million Governance for Water and Sanitation in China, and a USD$7.6 million Migrants and Youth Unemployment Programme. She was also involved in the development and roll out of the first Drink and Drive Intervention Education Campaign in China – the first of its kind in the country – in collaboration with the Chinese Ministry of Health and China’s Global Road Safety Partnership Initiative.

Elizabeth holds a Masters of Public Policy (International Policy) from Australian National University. During her Masters, Elizabeth represented Australia at an International Symposium in Japan, hosted by Waseda University, in which participants debated the viability of an East Asian Free Trade Agreement. She also has a Bachelor of Business (International Business), a Bachelor of Arts (International Studies) and a First Class Honours in Business from the University of South Australia.

Elizabeth has a passion for world affairs and travel and has spent six years of her life working and studying abroad in a diverse range of countries including China, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Mexico, the United States, and Kenya.


TANG Shuyin

Shuyin is currently a Volunteer Consultant with TechnoServe, an international development non-profit whose mission is to bring “business solutions to poverty”. Based in Mumbai, she is leading the development of a large global donor’s rice strategy for India and Bangladesh, with the potential to impact millions of smallholder farmers across both countries. Prior to joining TechnoServe, she spent 4 years at management consulting firm Bain & Company in both Australia and India, gaining wide industry exposure and expertise in customer experience, growth strategy, cost reduction and organisational redesign.

While Shuyin’s career path has recently taken an Indian turn, her studies at the ANU had a strong China focus, through a double major in International Relations and Mandarin as part of the prestigious PhB program. Her studies culminated with an honours thesis on the interplay between Chinese nationalism and international minority rights norms, which was awarded the University Medal, First Class Honours and the L F Crisp Prize for International Relations. While at the ANU, she also undertook internships in U.S. Congress, UNICEF and the Lowy Institute for International Policy.

As a result of these experiences, she will bring a slightly different perspective to ACYD: a Sinophile’s grounding in Chinese history, politics and international relations, but also a deep connection to the other Asian giant so critical for Australia’s future, India. She is strongly committed to fostering closer engagement not only between Australia and China, but also amongst the wider Asian region.


Philip WEN

Philip has been a journalist with Fairfax Media broadsheets The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age since January 2010. Based in Melbourne, he currently reports on business and economic news, with a particular focus on how the rise of China and Asia impacts on Australia.

He was acting China correspondent for Fairfax Media, based in Beijing, between January and June this year. Fluent in Mandarin, Philip holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne and a Graduate Diploma in Journalism from the University of Technology, Sydney.

He was a chartered accountant with consulting firm KPMG before deciding to pursue a career in journalism.

Alan WU

Alan WU

As the youngest and longest-serving Chair of Australia’s national youth peak, Alan successfully lobbied for $2million in new, annual federal funding to ensure that young people are represented in national policy discussions. For this, Alan was recognised by the Australian Human Rights Commission, named a finalist in the Young Australian of the Year Awards, and was amongst the youngest invitees to the Australia 2020 Summit.

Alan currently serves on the Board of Directors of Oxfam Australia, on Victoria Legal Aid's Community Consultative Committee, and on the School Board of Stromlo High School.

He has previously served on the Classification Review Board and the ABC Advisory Council.

Internationally, he has previously served as Special Envoy for Young People to the United Nations Environment Programme, on the Australian National Commission for UNESCO, and with the Australian Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York.

Alan has been a participant in the Asialink Leaders Program, the Emerging Pacific Leaders Dialogue, the Australian-American Young Leaders Dialogue and the US Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program. He is one of the youngest recipients of the Future Summit Leadership Awards, and was a 2009 and 2010 Australia Day Ambassador.

Alan has qualifications in law from the University of Melbourne and the Australian National University, and is admitted as a lawyer in the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory.