People Watch: May / June 2011



The Australian government has announced the appointment of Frances Adamson to replace Australia’s long-standing Ambassador to China, Dr Geoff Raby.

Ms Adamson will take up the key post in August. It will be her first head of mission position. She is the first woman to be appointed as an Australian Ambassador to China. Previously Ms Adamson has served at an ambassador level in Taiwan and worked for four years as deputy high commissioner in London before taking up the role as Chief of Staff to former Australian foreign minister, Stephen Smith in early 2009. Ms Adamson speaks Mandarin and holds a degree in economics from the University of Adelaide. She has held various diplomatic postings including a posting with the United Nations.


Dr Sun Dali is the new Chinese Consul General to Queensland. Dr Dali replaces former Consul General of China in Brisbane, Mr Ren Gongping who has returned to Beijing.

BHP Billiton has appointed Mr Chai Tan as its new China head. Mr Tan, a Malaysian Chinese who migrated to Canada as a student, takes up the position of Country President, China and will report to Singapore-based BHP Marketing chief Mike Henry. Mr Tan replaces Ben Williams who left the company after 18 months in the top job at the end of last year to join Anglo American. Mr Tan joined BHP after the mining giant took control of his former employer, Western Mining in 2005.

Joanna Correa has recently been appointed as the Head of Marketing at International SOS China, based in Beijing. Joanna is responsible for the strategic market development and promotion of International SOS as they expand their operations and customer base in China and assisting Chinese companies’ operations overseas. Joanna joins SOS after seven years working for Shell in Australia and China in a variety of Marketing Strategy and Marketing Manager roles and is originally from Melbourne.

ABF media

zhang_li_bin_thumbWell-renowned Chinese roboticist, Professor Zhang Li-Bin has received an honorary doctorate from Murdoch University for his contribution to agricultural engineering. Professor Zhang Li-Bin is president of Zhejiang University of Technology, Murdoch’s sister university in Hangzhou. Professor Zhang was recently awarded the Special Allowances of State Council and several other state honorary titles for his service to mechanical engineering education and research. Professor Zhang has been praised for his contribution to the design architecture of small agricultural machinery and modern robot technology for use in agricultural, forestry and stockbreeding, leading to a significant contribution to agricultural research and development in China.

Michael Sheng has joined Blake Dawson as a partner in its Shanghai office, practicing in the areas of Corporate / M&A China Client Services. Before joining Blake Dawson, Michael was a senior associate in the Shanghai office of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP and before then, an associate with a top-tier law firm in Australia. Michael speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese and Shanghai dialect.

AC Capital Strategic Consulting’s founder, President and CEO, Alistair Nicholas has been appointed as Executive Vice President Asia Pacific with InterPublic Group companies, Weber Shandwick and Powell Tate. Based in Beijing, Alistair will be responsible for Weber Shandwick’s China reputation management practice, and he will take regional responsibility for the public affairs firm Powell Tate. Alistair will continue to service clients under existing contracts with AC Capital and the firm’s popular China Global speakers bureau will also remain unchanged.

The City of Brisbane has announced the appointment of 29 new Brisbane International Student Ambassadors from 24 countries including China. University of Queensland’s Doris Yang Zhang and Queensland University of Technology’s Vivian Yeting Xiao will represent China when they take up their new roles as Brisbane International Student Ambassadors. Doris is undertaking a Masters of Public Relations and Professional Communication and Vivian is undertaking a Bachelor of Business. The ambassadors will use a variety of tools to communicate their real life experiences in Brisbane, including Facebook, Twitter, blogs,, YouTube and other social media sites.


james_oloughlin_thumbJames O’Loughlin has joined AustCham Shanghai as the new Membership Manager. James is responsible for further developing the Australia-China business community’s engagement throughout the Chamber and its activities. He has more than 20 years experience in customer account management across small dynamic enterprises and large international companies, and has recently moved to Shanghai with his family from Brisbane.

Cockram Projects (China) has welcomed several new appointments to its China team to enhance the firm’s in-house design and validation capabilities. Orla Brady is Cockram Projects (China) Design Director and is based in Shanghai, Ken Pearson is the new Senior Mechanical Services Engineer and is also Shanghai based and Peter Barnes is the new Validation and Process Specialist. Cockram Projects has also welcomed a growing number of local Chinese designers and engineers.

xiaowei_chen_telstra_thumbTelstra International has announced the appointment of Ms Xiaowei Chen to the role of Chief Executive Officer, Telstra China. Ms Chen will be responsible for driving continued growth and shareholder value from Telstra’s business interests in China. Born in China and educated in China and America, Ms Chen has more than 15 years experience in the media and information technology industry. Prior to joining Telstra, Ms Chen was CEO for Orange Sky Entertainment Group. Ms Chen is former President for The9 Limited and President of, a consultant with McKinsey & Co, in New York, and was Anchor and Executive Producer for China Central Television. Ms Chen will be based in Beijing and will report to Group Managing Director of Telstra International Group, Tarek Robbiati. Ms Chen holds a PhD from the University of Pittsburgh.


*If your company or organization has any Aust-China HR related announcements to make or you know people on the move, send details to


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