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.
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.
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.
Partner, 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.
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.
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.
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.
Professor 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.