Junior policy associates 2015

Semester 2, 2015 intake

Dominic Kocx

Dominic Kocx

Dominic is studying a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws, majoring in Chinese Studies. He is interested in international relations, law and diplomacy with respect to China. He is also interested in the role of media in the transmission of culture and representations of Chinese identities across the Chinese diaspora, particularly through film media and emerging digital media. Some of his other interest areas include environmental policy in China, China’s place in the geopolitics of territorial disputes in Southeast Asia and conceptions of ‘Greater China’, with a particular interest in the politics of both Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Simon Norton

Simon Norton

Simon Norton works in anti-money laundering, counter-terrorism financing, and sanctions in the banking and financial services industry and recently completed a Master of International Security at the University of Sydney. His Master’s thesis investigated China’s Grand Strategy. Simon has previously studied Chinese commercial law at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics and United States foreign policy at the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University in Washington DC.

Simon’s interests include China’s foreign and national security policy, China-US relations, the effect of a rising China on international relations and security in the Indo-Pacific region, and East Asian maritime security.

Timothy Sullivan

Timothy Sullivan

Timothy is in his fourth year of a combined Arts/Law degree at the University of Sydney. As part of his Arts degree he majored in Chinese Studies and completed two one month in-country study programs in Mandarin at Peking University and Fudan University.

Spurred by his upbringing in Canberra as well as involvement in debating at high school and university, Timothy has a strong interest in Australian politics and international relations. He believes Australia’s relationship with China is increasingly becoming its most crucial economic and political relationship. Timothy also works as a paralegal in a Sydney law firm and has gained an appreciation for the importance in business of understanding Chinese language and culture. Timothy hopes to forge his career in either the international relations space or else working within the law in the Asia Pacific region.

Sophia Sun Zou

Sophia Sun Zou

Sophia Sun Zou is currently completing her undergraduate studies with a Bachelor of Arts (Languages) at the University of Sydney, with a triple major in Government and International Relations, French Studies and Chinese Studies.

Sophia brings to the China Studies Centre her research in Sino-Australian politics, reflecting her broader interest in international relations. She is particularly interested in China’s role as an Asia-Pacific power, and the effects of China’s foreign policy on Australia.

She plans to complete a joint Honours in Government and IR and Chinese Studies in 2018, after studying abroad both to hone her language skills in French, Mandarin and Cantonese, as well as to gain a more global perspective on the study of political science.

Nicholas Yuen

Nicholas Yuen

Nicholas Yuen (阮澤欣) is currently completing undergraduate degrees in Arts, majoring in Chinese Studies and Government and International Relations, and Law. He intends to undertake honours in Chinese Studies next year.

Nicholas' interests lie mainly in Chinese history, particularly that of colonial Hong Kong and post-Imperial China, but also the political and legal transitions of Hong Kong from British to Chinese rule. He experienced the latter first-hand as a child living, albeit briefly, in Hong Kong.

Nicholas is currently in the employ of a Federal Member of Parliament. In this capacity, he has occasionally met with Chinese dignitaries.

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.


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.