People Watch May / June 2010


Lyndall Sachs, the Commissioner General for Australia and Executive Director of the Shanghai World Expo Unit for DFAT has formally relocated to Shanghai where she will remain posted for the duration of the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. Lyndall joins Deputy Commissioner General Peter Sams who relocated to Shanghai in November 2009. The Australian pavilion team will also include Assistant Commissioners General Adam Coin and Leilani Bin-Juda. Adam will oversee Australia’s business program during Expo, Leilani is managing Australia’s cultural program. Evelyn Killick also joins the team in Shanghai as Assistant Commissioner General for communications.

Tal and Karen Surmon have recently returned to China from Adelaide. Tal is the new Head Chef at Mesa & Manifesto in Shanghai where he manages a team of chefs producing contemporary Australian and European cuisine. He was previously the Head Chef at Beijing’s Café Europa in Soho. Karen continues to work for the University of South Australia working for the university’s International Graduate School of Business. Previously, Karen was a Senior Associate with the Beijing Consulting Group.

Amanda Barry, the former Communications Manager at the Australia China Alumni Association, is now the Australian Embassy’s Senior Public Affairs and Cultural Officer. Amanda replaces Hannah Skrzynski who recently returned to Australia after spending three years in China. Katie Tian has started as the Embassy’s Senior Cultural Affairs Project Officer, working on the Year of Australian Culture in China “Imagine Australia”. Katie has lived in Beijing and Hong Kong for the past five years and has worked in events management and marketing. Katie speaks fluent Chinese and is originally from Sydney.

Shanghai long-timers, Ross McGregor, Todd Pearson, Stephen Read and Tony Finocchiaro are the founding partners of the new Camel Sports Bar located in the heart of Shanghai’s former French Concession on Yueyang Lu. Australian Steve Cliff, previously from the popular Kommune Café, is the Camel’s new general manager. The bar prides itself on Australian beers and bar food as well as live NRL and AFL feeds every weekend.


The World Economic Forum has announced that Beijing-based Australian chief investment officer for Peony Capital, Mina Guli, is a Young Global Leader for 2010. The award recognises the outstanding leadership, professional accomplishments, commitment to society and potential to contribute to shaping the future of the world. Mina is one of almost 200 global recipients and is originally from Melbourne. Mina is also an AustCham Beijing Board Director.

AustCham Beijing has welcomed several new staff to the office. Garth Wilson is the Chamber’s new Business and Membership Manager having last year moved to Beijing from Guangdong. Garth is originally from Sydney and managed EU funded trade facilitation projects before joining the Chamber. Kate Hayes is AustCham Beijing’s new Events Manager. Kate has a strong background in event management, most recently working with Very Special Kids, a non-profit organisation based in Melbourne. Wei (Vicky) Zhang, joins the Chamber in the newly created position of Business and Finance Analyst. Wei is a recent graduate of Cardiff University in the UK.

University of Queensland’s Professor Peter Gresshoff is the recipient of the prestigious Chinese Academy of Sciences Senior International Scientist Professorial fellowship, and will travel to the Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences in June to work with Professor Da Luo on the environmentally friendly benefits of soybeans. Professor Gresshoff is director of UQ’s Australian Research Council Centre for Integrative Legume Research and Professor Luo is an eminent scientist and pioneer in the field of floral structure control.

If your company or organisation has an Aust-China HR related announcement to make or you know of people on the move, send details to


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