After migrating from Lebanon in the 1960s Joseph Assaf became a pioneer of multicultural communication in Australia. He founded and still supports and manages the Ethnic Business Awards, has been advisor to various national and international organisations and has served on many councils, boards and committees. His book In Someone Else’s Shoes (2008) is written from his life experience. He was appointed to the Civil Society 20 group as part of the wider engagement process leading up to the G20 meeting in Brisbane, and was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Australian Migration and Settlement Council in 2014.
Professor Kent Anderson is an international lawyer who specialises in comparing Asian legal systems. He joined the University of Western Australia as Deputy Vice Chancellor (Community & Engagement) in 2014. He has an eclectic background, having completed tertiary studies in US, Japan, and the UK in Law, Politics, Economics and Asian Studies. He also worked as a marketing manager with a US regional airline in Alaska and as a commercial lawyer in Hawaii. Before joining UWA, Kent was Pro Vice Chancellor (International) at University of Adelaide and before that foundational director of the School of Culture, History and Language at the Australian National University. Kent is on the New Colombo Plan Advisory Board, the Board of Canberra Grammar School, and the Board of the International Education Association of Australia.
Mr Don Boyd
Don Boyd is a consultant to the law firm Norton Rose Fulbright having been a Partner of that firm for 40 years, Chief Executive Partner in Australia for nearly 20 years and Global Deputy Chief Executive for three years. As a lawyer he previously practiced in the agribusiness sector and was heavily involved in foreign investment. As an executive he managed and in many cases opened nine offices in Asia including Beijing and Shanghai.
He is currently Chairman of the Rohrig Group, a construction company based in Sydney and Brisbane, national Chairman and member of the international board of the accounting group Moore Stephens, director of a private agribusiness group, director of SunCentral Maroochydore Pty Ltd a company wholly owned by the Sunshine Coast Regional Council responsible for delivering a new city centre to that region and a director of the Asia Society.
Andrew Leigh is the Shadow Assistant Treasurer and Federal Member for Fraser in the ACT. Prior to being elected in 2010, Andrew was a professor of economics at the Australian National University. Andrew holds a PhD in public policy from Harvard, having graduated from the University of Sydney with first class honours in Law and Arts. He has previously worked as a lawyer and as a principal adviser to the Australian Treasury. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences, the only parliamentarian to be a fellow of one of the four national academies. In 2011, he received the 'Young Economist Award', a prize given every two years by the Economics Society of Australia to the best Australian economist under 40. His books include Disconnected (2010), Battlers and Billionaires (2013) and The Economics of Just About Everything (2014).
Professor Brian P. Schmidt was appointed Vice-Chancellor of ANU in January 2016.
Professor Schmidt is the 12th Vice-Chancellor of The Australian National University (ANU). Winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics, Professor Schmidt was an astrophysicist at the ANU Mount Stromlo Observatory and Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics before becoming Vice-Chancellor.
Professor Schmidt received undergraduate degrees in Astronomy and Physics from the University of Arizona in 1989, and completed his Astronomy Master's degree (1992) and PhD (1993) from Harvard University. Under his leadership, in 1998, the High-Z Supernova Search team made the startling discovery that the expansion rate of the Universe is accelerating. Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, The United States Academy of Science, and the Royal Society, he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2013.
Senator Dean Smith was selected to represent WA in the Senate in May 2012.
Following the election of the Coalition Government in September 2013 he was appointed Chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights. He is also Chair of the Coalition Backbench Committee on Communications and the Coalition Backbench Committee on Energy and Resources.
In 2014 he was appointed to the Joint Standing Committee on Northern Australia and the Joint Select Committee on Trade and Investment. Prior to entering the Senate he had previously held senior commercial roles at Australia’s most prominent corporations—Insurance Australia Group (IAG) and SingTel Optus.
His parliamentary experience is complimented by extensive policy experience as an adviser to former Premier of Western Australia, Richard Court, and Prime Minister, John Howard, and other Federal Government Ministers. He is a former Chair of the ‘Australia Asia Young Leaders Program’ and is an alumni of the ‘AsiaLink Young Leaders Program’. He has been a strong and active advocate of Australia’s engagement with China and is a graduate of the University of Western Australia.
Professor Mandy Thomas is Executive Dean of the Creative Industries Faculty at the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane. Professor Thomas is an anthropologist who has undertaken research in both Vietnam and Australia. She has published widely on the lives of Vietnamese people who live under a communist regime and has also worked extensively with migrant groups in Australia on the migration experience.Professor Thomas completed her PhD at ANU and then, on an ARC research fellowship at the University of Western Sydney, she worked closely with different migrant groups to try to understand the issues related to young people growing up in two cultures.
Neil Thompson has over 25 years experience in the aviation, travel and loyalty sectors in Australia, Asia, North America and Europe. During that time he also headed two of Australia's largest loyalty programs, most recently as CEO of Virgin Australia's Velocity Frequent Flyer. Neil is a director of Plan International, a global child-rights based agency, and a strategic advisor to a number of companies. He has worked extensively in China, studied at Beijing University and is a Mandarin speaker. Neil is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Frank Tudor is Managing Director of Horizon Power. Frank joined Horizon Power in 2006 as General Manager Commercial and Strategy, after a long and successful career in the oil and gas industry with BP and Woodside. Frank has been the National Chairman of the Board and National President of the Australian China Business Council since November 2008, and a lecturer at UWA on oil and gas economics and law for the last 10 years.
Professor Wang Gungwu is the Chairman of the East Asian Institute at the National University of Singapore and Emeritus Professor of the Australian National University. His research focuses on Chinese history, and Chinese migrations and diaspora. Prior to his appointment at NUS, he was professor and head of the Department of Far Eastern History and Director of the Research of Pacific Studies at the ANU (19681986) and vice-chancellor of the University of Hong Kong between 1986 and 1995.
Michael Wesley is Professor of International Affairs and Dean of the College of Asia and the Pacific at The Australian National University. He has published on Australian foreign policy, Asia’s international relations and strategic affairs, and the politics of state-building interventions. His 2011 book, There Goes the Neighbourhood: Australia and the Rise of Asia, was awarded the John Button Prize for the best writing on Australian politics and public policy.
Previously Professor Wesley was the Director of the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs at ANU from 2014 to 2016, the Executive Director of the Lowy Institute for International Policy from 2009 to 2012; Director of the Griffith Asia Institute at Griffith University from 2004 to 2009; and Assistant Director-General for Transnational Issues at the Office of National Assessments, Australia’s peak intelligence agency, from 2003-2004. He gained his PhD from the University of St Andrews and his BA (Honours) from the University of Queensland.