Junior policy associates 2015

Semester 1, 2015 intake

Andrew Asquith

Andrew Asquith

Andrew Asquith is completing a Juris Doctorate at the Sydney Law School. Andrew holds a Master of Criminology from the Sydney Law School and a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Sydney.

With a professional background in social work and adult guardianship, Andrew brings years of experience working in government policy and administration to the Junior Policy Associate position. Andrew worked as an English teacher in China between 2001 and 2003 where he first learned Mandarin. He has returned several times since then, travelling to more than dozen provinces and further developing his skills in Mandarin.

Andrew has diverse interests in China including law and international relations as well as classical and modern Chinese art and history.

Caroline Chong

Caroline Chong

Caroline is completing her undergraduate degree in Arts majoring in history and political economy and intends to complete Honours in history in 2016. She is interested in nineteenth-century Chinese history and in particular, the Qing Empire’s reaction to western imperialism. Caroline also has a strong interest in the Chinese diaspora, labour issues in China, and the growing role of China in trade and investment with African and South East Asian countries.

Jamie Kennedy

Jamie Kennedy

Jamie Kennedy is currently completing his honours in a Bachelor of Commerce (Liberal Studies) at the University of Sydney. His undergraduate majors of finance, business law and international relations have led to his thesis which focuses on the development of foreign investment laws in Australia and in particular the different treatment given to private and state-owned investors.

With a strong interest in international relations, Jamie has undertaken exchange programs to the University of Sheffield, UK and a study abroad with the USSC to Fudan University, Shanghai. On both these trips he was able to further develop his knowledge of international affairs from a different perspective.

Bowany Pugh

Bowany Pugh

Bowany Pugh (杨姣龙) has a Bachelor of Arts with majors in Chinese and Asian Studies, Honours in Asian Studies and a Master of International Law; all from the University of Sydney. She has studied in China multiple times, most recently to study Chinese Law and Legal Systems at the East China University of Political Science and Law in Shanghai.

Bowany has travelled extensively throughout China and has taught English at Kaihua high school in China’s Zhejiang province. She has a keen interest in Australia’s foreign policy priorities and the significance of the Australia-China relationship.

Bowany also has an interest in international development and currently works as Ambassador Program Coordinator at Opportunity International Australia.

Matthew John Wells

Matthew John Wells

Matthew John Wells has just completed his double degree in Engineering and Commerce with majors in Structural Engineering and Finance. Matthew currently works at General Electric in Global Growth and Operations and has previously worked in Beijing with VAMED Ag in hospital design and construction. During his time working in Beijing he was offered to join the 48 Group Club, a group dedicated to promoting trade, academic and cultural exchanges between Britain and China and managed to learn a basic level of Mandarin.

Matthew has a very keen interest in the future development of economic relations between Australia and China and hopes his appointment as a JPA will allow for greater engagement with the Chinese business community.

Benedict Xu-Holland

Benedict Xu-Holland

Benedict Xu-Holland is studying a Bachelor of Arts (history, politics and economics) at the University of Sydney. He studied politics, philosophy and economics at the Australian National University and has recently returned from Taiwan where he was researching Qing Dynasty economic history at the National Taiwan Normal University. Over the past two years his research at the ANU has focused on China's economic development, Communist Party rhetoric and Taiwan's democratisation experience.

Along with his role at the China Studies Centre, Benedict also contributes to several peer-reviewed publications and is Managing Editor of Incline, a foreign policy publication providing original analysis on New Zealand's role in Asia.

Junior policy associates 2014

Semester 2, 2014 intake

Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson is completing an undergraduate degree in Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney. He has a strong interest in Australia’s future in the Asia-Pacific century, and is passionate about a multiple array of issues in international relations.

With a long-held enthusiasm for Spanish and Latin America, Sam’s interest in China first began when he entered the China Studies Centre essay competition in 2012. This venture led to a trip around China during the 2013 summer break, where he forged a long-lasting affinity with the Chinese culture, people and food.

In winter 2014, he was a participant in the inaugural USSC study program to Shanghai, where he studied Chinese foreign policy and Sino-US relations at Fudan University. The principal objective of the trip was to survey the Sino-US bilateral relationship from the perspective of China, and it was here that Samuel was captivated by the energetic, fast-paced vibe of the exciting city that is Shanghai.

Samuel is currently an executive member of the Sydney University Chapter of the Australia-China Youth Association.

Max Kiefel

Max Fiefel

Max Kiefel is completing his honours year in a Bachelor of International and Global Studies with majors in Government and International Relations and History. Max has previously interned at the Lowy Institute and is currently the Online Director at the Sydney Globalist. Along with his studies these positions have led Max to develop a keen interest in China's history and political processes. In particular he is interested in the historical development of the modern Chinese state as well as Chinese foreign policy.

Alexandra Meek

Alexandra Meek

Alexandra is an undergraduate at the University of Sydney completing the Bachelor Commerce (Liberal Studies) with majors in Finance and Economics, and she is planning to complete Honours in Finance in 2015. As part of her degree Alexandra has also been studying Mandarin and spent a month each at both Peking University and Fudan University. After spending some time in China studying and travelling she has come to a deeper understanding of China, and believes an understanding of Australia-China relations and Chinese culture will be an increasingly valuable tool within an Australian business context in the future. Alexandra has completed multiple internships within the financial services industry and envisions herself working within the finance industry in China in the future.

Francesca Roberts

Francesca Roberts

Francesca's engagement with China began when she was told by her good friend at the University that it was "the land of opportunity". Following this she began working as a British Council Teacher, in the city of Chongqing from 2012, where she developed a great interest in the language, (local dialects and standardised Chinese) and the culture and history, particularly of the Southwest region. Further she undertook a year's study at Chongqing Normal University, attaining a qualification at upper intermediate level in Chinese language proficiency (HSK4).

Building upon her BA Hons International Development and International Relations, she pursued her interest in economics and trade by starting an internship with the British Chamber of Commerce Southwest China. As she progressed to Events Manager and then Interim Office manager, she established relationships and worked with Fortune 500 companies, the British Consulate General, and the Chinese government among others.

Since moving to Sydney in April 2014 she has been active in local associations that promote a connection between Australia and China including her current role as Social Media and Newsletter manager for ACYA.

Haimin Huang (黄海旻)

Haimin

Haimin’s passion for all things China was sparked from his appreciation of modern Chinese history and observing its ramifications on the nation’s political and socioeconomic character, domestic and global alike. His particular areas of interest include Chinese unification, Cross-Strait relations and China’s place in the post-Soviet world. Being of Chinese heritage, Haimin also hopes to foster in young Chinese Australians a greater sense of identity and understanding of their background.

On a broader note, Haimin seeks to experience the diversity of life, having being recently involved with the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and AIESEC Australia with the intention to go on exchange to the National University of Singapore in the near future. Haimin currently studies a Bachelor of Engineering at the University of Sydney.

Sam Wu

Sam Wu

Born in China, Sam developed the deep cultural, social and philosophical tie with this country which became an indispensable part of his life. His affinity with his Chinese roots propelled him to pursue a better understanding of modern China and its future social and economic development.

Currently studying a Bachelor of Actuarial Studies degree and competing in multiple business related competitions, his interest in the international financial markets will be his greatest motivation in deciphering the ever-evolving government and market dynamics of China.

Sam believes China's role in spearheading what most coined the 'Asian Century' is a great source of opportunity for Australia. He aims to achieve through his role as a Junior Policy Associate the advancement, of our engagement with the wider domestic and international Chinese community.

Minna Zhang

Minna Zhang

Minna graduated with a Bachelor of International and Global Studies (Hons) at the University of Sydney majoring in Government and International Relations, and Asian Studies. Her thesis concerned China’s changing attitude towards Taiwan’s presidential elections. During her degree, she spent a semester abroad in Hong Kong where she studied Mandarin and subjects on Chinese politics and its economy. Minna also participated in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Forum at the Asia Pacific Model United Nations 2011, was previously a member of the Australia-China Youth Association, and volunteered at the Chinese Cultural Days 2013.

Semester one, 2014 intake

Piero Craney

Piero Craney

Piero is in his second year of studying a combined degree in Law and International Studies at University of New South Wales (UNSW), majoring in Asian Studies, with a focus on China. Piero is particularly interested in the development and evolution of commercial law in China, and the emergence of tort law in the country. His interest has prompted him to go on exchange next year to Fudan University in Shanghai to learn Mandarin. Living on campus at UNSW International House, Piero is constantly exposed to different cultures and languages. His exposure has fostered his passion for inter-cultural dialogue and he is currently working on a project that will hopefully facilitate language-exchange at a primary, secondary and tertiary schooling level. He also represents youth on numerous government bodies, such the NSW Youth Advisory Council, and the NSW Road Safety Advisory Group; however he envisions a career in commercial law. At the end of his undergraduate degree he wishes to undertake further tertiary study in China with the intention of moving to Hong Kong to work in corporate and commercial law.

Sam Hall

Sam Hall

Sam is a young Sydneysider with deep interest in China and Chinese culture. Having worked, studied and travelled in China throughout the course of his undergraduate degree, the Chinese language has become an important framework through which he has come to expand his worldview and sense of self-identity. Being of half Chinese and half Anglo-Australian heritage, the process of intercultural communication and its associated rewards have become a point of fascination for Sam, chiefly in the contexts of post-1911 Chinese literature, Chinese hip-hop and more recently, translation. Having been with the China Studies Centre since mid-2013, Sam has enjoyed working on the variety of events and projects that continue to expand his horizons. Sam will complete his undergraduate degree at The University of Sydney at the end of 2014 and graduate with majors in Chinese, Economics and Quantitative Analysis.