Alastair Baxter

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Al played Rugby Union for the Wallabies and Waratahs from 1999 to 2011 and at the time of his retirement was Australia’s most capped test prop after having played in two World Cups (Australia 2003 and France 2007) and two Super Rugby grand finals. Before beginning his career as a rugby player, Al completed degrees in both Architecture and Science at the University of Sydney. While playing rugby, Al worked part-time with the national architecture firm Cox Architecture and during this time he also sat on the board of the Rugby Union Players Association and was a Principal of the sustainability engagement firm Sustainable Forward.

Since retiring from rugby at the end of 2011, Al has continued his work as an architect having joined the global sports architecture firm, Populous, focusing on sports projects in Australia and Asia. Al is also a Director on the board of Waratahs Rugby, a Trustee on the NSW Government Statutory Authority, Sydney Living Museums (SLM), and a Director on the SLM Foundation Board. Al lives in Sydney with his wife and 3 young boys where, when not working as an architect, attempts to coach his 3 sons’ rugby teams!

Al was selected as an ACYD delegate in 2016.


Jeremy Brownlie

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Jeremy Brownlie is a research scientist and Deputy Head of the School of Environment and Science at Griffith University, Brisbane Australia.

His research team focuses on the control of pest insects. Jeremy is the Deputy Head of the School of Environment and Science at Griffith University, and is responsible for the School’s Learning and Teaching, and international engagement activities. He has brokered agreements between Griffith University and Chinese Universities that deliver education and research partnerships focused on Energy production and storage, Food security, and Drug discovery. By working in collaboration, Griffith University and its Chinese partners seek to address some of the major social and economic challenges facing China and Australia now and in the coming years.

Jeremy is the Vice President for Science and Technology Australia, the national peak body that represents Australia’s 72,000 Government, University and Industry based scientists and technologists, and promotes their views on a wide range of policy issues to all levels of government and the broader community.

Jeremy holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) and a PhD (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) from the Australian National University, and was a University of Queensland Postdoctoral Research Fellow from 2003-2008.

Jeremy was an ACYD delegate in 2015.


Jason Chai

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Jason is a Senior Adviser of Global Engagement and leads the Business Council of Australia’s policy development and advocacy on trade and investment related matters. He advises Australia's leading Chief Executives, ASX100 companies and government officials on how to better enhance and engage in trade and investment with our neighbouring countries.

He is an international public policy and government relations professional with a strong interest in China and climate change.

Formerly an Australian diplomat at the Embassy in Japan, Jason managed market access, environmental, and legal issues. At Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Jason worked in a variety of roles including as an international trade and climate change negotiator and international lawyer.

Before joining DFAT, Jason was a public policy and legal analyst at the Asian Development Bank in Beijing.

Jason holds a Master of Public and International Law from Melbourne University, and was an Asialink Leadership Fellow in 2008. He is fluent in English, Mandarin and Japanese.

Jason was selected as an ACYD delegate in 2016.


Thomas Day

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Thomas’ professional experience spans a range of China related roles in education, government and business. He has over a decade of experience engaging with China, including five years spent in-country.

In Thomas’ current role as Enterprise Solutions Manager at Asialink Business’ China Practice, Thomas is responsible for liaising with stakeholders from a variety of sectors to assist them understand the market, expand or grow in China.

Prior to joining Asialink Business, Thomas worked with a number of China related organisations, including the Confucius Institute at the University of Melbourne, Australia China Business Council, Australia China Alumni Association and the Australian Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo.

Thomas is passionate about promoting the Australia-China relationship. He is a member of the Australia-China Young Professionals Initiative (ACYPI) Melbourne Committee and was selected as a delegate at the 2016 Australia-China Youth Dialogue (ACYD) in Hong Kong which was a transformative experience both from a personal development perspective and also connected him with a powerful network of China engaged emerging leaders that are looking to make a positive impact on the bilateral relationship.

Thomas is also an avid fan of Australian Rules Football (AFL), and has proudly played for the Beijing Bombers, Shanghai Tigers, and the China Reds.


Shuang Li

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Mr. Shuang Li is a Biomedical Engineering PhD at The University of Melbourne after completing his Bachelor of Engineering with first class honour. He has 5 years working experiences in Engineering, Finance and technology startup, such as IBM, Credit Suisse and Flippa. In 2017, He moved into life science Venture Capital sector and worked at Bioclub, the leading biotech incubation platform in China, and Brandon Capital, the largest Australia life science Venture Capital firm. As a young entrepreneur, he co-founded EstateBaron, an online property development crowdfunding platform targeting retail investors in 2015. He also founded Melbourne Accelerator Program MedTech meetup, a platform to connect professionals/research/entrepreneurs in biotech startup space. In his PhD, he’s working on the next generation of coronary artery stent which aims to improve the efficiency in heart disease treatment.

Shuang was selected as an ACYD delegate in 2016.


Christiana Liang

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Christiana (Xiaoyan) Liang is a currently a lecturer in the School of Business and Law at CQUniversity Australia, teaching business-related subjects such as critical thinking and managerial decision-making, innovation, and managing human resources. Her research interests include Englishization-adoption of English as the official organizational language, Chinese immigrant professionals’ acculturation process, business ethics and leadership.  

Her ties with ACYD began in 2010 when she was selected as one of the 15 Chinese delegates to attend the inaugural ACYD in China. Having had a modest and monocultural upbringing, the bilateral dialogue widened her views and challenged some of her deep-seated cultural values. She remained involved in the ACYD organizing committee in 2012 and 2013. Having been inspired by the amazing over-achieving peers she met during the dialogues, Christiana made the decision to pursue a higher degree in Australia in 2014. She believes that the pursuit of truth is the highest moral order.

Christiana holds a Doctor of Philosophy (Management) from Monash University, a Master’s degree in Intercultural Business Communication from Shanghai International Studies University and a Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature from Central South University in China. She worked in the industry (marketing and consultancy) in Shanghai for two years. She was also the winner of ANZ Future Leader Award in 2015.


Renae Liang

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Renae is a public policy professional with experience in both the public and private sectors. The Australia-China relationship has been a key factor throughout much of her career. She previously worked for Jemena, an energy company majority owned by China’s State Grid. She also worked in the China Policy Unit and secretariat to the Foreign Investment Review Board at the Australian Treasury. She has advised ministers and senior government officials on a range of policy, economic, trade and investment issues—including the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement.

Born in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, she has spent considerable time studying, teaching English and travelling in Greater China. In both a professional and personal capacity, she has an interest in seeing the Australia-China relationship further develop and strengthen. She takes a particular interest in potential opportunities for collaboration between Australia and Greater China on common opportunities and challenges—including on climate change and energy, regional security and education.

Renae has a Masters of International Relations from the University of Melbourne, with a particular focus on trade, international political economy and the United Nations. She has twice studied internationally on exchange—at UCL in London and Sciences-Po in Paris.

Renae was an ACYD delegate in 2017.


Elva Zhang

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Formally an international student from China, Elva is an Australian-qualified lawyer with a Master of Laws (LLM in International Economic Law) from Geneva, Switzerland. With a demonstrated history of working in the maritime industry and international trade, she is highly skilled in dealing with cross-border transactions and international dispute resolution especially international commercial arbitration. Fluent in English and a native Mandarin Chinese speaker, Elva has developed a specialty in China related matters. 

Elva thrives in multinational business environment and global legal context, in which she can synthesise her trained legal knowledge, strong commercial acumen, innate cultural intelligence and positive leadership to make a meaningful contribution to the growth of the business she is working for.

In addition to working as a lawyer, Elva is the Founder of Peace Lab (www.peacelab.com.au), which curates and conducts experiential workshops that synthesis ancient Eastern wisdom teachings and contemporary Western science theories as a unique agent for well-being and positive changes.  A long-term meditator, trained in laughter yoga and positive neuroplasticity, Elva created Peace Lab to deal with stress, anxiety and negative self-talks, initially as an international student studying alone in a foreign country and then as a lawyer working in highly stressful jobs.

Although Elva used to be so serious, nowadays she feels lucky to be a “Laughing Zen Lawyer”, whereby she can share her passion for well-being and self-understanding through the creative endeavour of Peace Lab, while still being able to work as a lawyer for a global shipping line.

Elva was an ACYD delegate in 2014.