People Watch: September October 2012


A number of new appointments within the Australian Trade Commission form part of this issue’s people watch, in line with the organisation’s China directive to include a separate “West China” portfolio.

Ms Liu Bing
is the new Trade Commissioner / Commercial Consul for the Australian Trade Commission / Australian Consulate General Shanghai. Previously, Bing worked in similar roles with the Australian Consulate Guangzhou and Australian Embassy in Beijing.

Ms Liu joined Austrade in 2001 at the Austrade Beijing office and was later in charge of the Invest Australia Beijing office as the Senior Investment Director. She has broad industry experience having worked with companies in mining, building and construction, agribusiness, ICT, education and training, biotech and clean technologies.

With her role in Shanghai, Ms Liu will assist Austrade China Manager, Michael Clifton, in managing the Austrade East China network, providing business opportunities and services for Australian entities in trade, education and inward investment. Ms Liu is also the team leader for the Austrade China marketing and Communications team, working on enhancing the awareness towards Australia and Australia industry capabilities in China.

Liu Bing is replaced in Guangzhou by Dr Chuyang Liu. Dr Liu is a specialist in international trade and transport policies, with extensive experience in China, Europe and Australia. She is an expert in legal issues in international economic law and maritime law. Dr Liu has previous experience working for Austrade in the Dalian office and the Australian Industry Group in Canberra and Melbourne, in roles advising Australian government and private corporations on their overseas business development, in particular in China. Dr Liu is currently working as a senior policy adviser in the Department of Business and Innovation for the Victorian State Government. She will take up her position as Trade Commissioner, Austrade Guangzhou in September.
Meanwhile, David Dukes, Trade Commissioner, Austrade Beijing, has been appointed to lead Austrade’s West China Initiative. In this role, Mr Dukes will oversee Austrade’s interests in Western China, incorporating the key Austrade offices of Chengdu and Kunming. The initiative consists of the preparatory work Austrade is undertaking in order to raise its profile in south-west China prior to the opening of Australia’s consulate-general in Chengdu next year. Mr Dukes will remain based in Beijing.
The Victorian Premier has reappointed Mr Charles Curwen CVO OBE Official pw_charles_roderick_curwen_thumbSecretary to the Governor, as a Melbourne-based Domestic Commissioner for China. Mr Curwen will work closely with the new Victorian DPC International Engagement Group, the Department of Business and Innovation and Victoria’s Commissioner in China to further Victoria’s important commercial, economic, cultural, educational, scientific and technological relations with China.

Mr Curwen has extensive links to China – in 2008 he was awarded Honorary Citizenship of Jiangsu Province, and in February 2009 he was inducted as an Advisory Professor at Southeast University, Nanjing. Since 2004 his position as Official Secretary was enhanced to provide an advisory and “Ambassadorial role” to the Premier and Government in trade, investment and biotechnology, especially in North Asia and the United States of America. Mr Curwen has been a Director of the Australia China Business Council (Victoria) since 2009.

pw_bin_jun_bj_zhuang_thumbSince March, Mr. Bin Jun “BJ” Zhuang has been Group Manager (Business Development) for Fortescue Metals Group and is based in Shanghai. Mr Zhuang holds an MBA from The University of Western Australia.


He has three decades of dedicated public service including time with the Australian Consulate in Shanghai in 1984, working for the Western Australian Government, initially as an advisor to the Overseas Relations Office, and then as Manager at the China Desk, eventually becoming Regional Director of the Western Australian Trade Office in Shanghai. In 2004, Mr Zhuang was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia.


Nathan Backhouse
replaced Mr Zhuang as Regional Director of the Western Australian Trade Office in Shanghai, also in March, after relocating from Perth.
Mr Backhouse was formerly Director, International Trade and Investment at the Department of State Development, and has previously served in China with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Alice Leake
has joined W and B International as a Graduate Landscape Architect, in the firm’s Shanghai office. Prior to moving to Shanghai Alice was studying a bachelor of Design Landscape Architecture and Bachelor of Applied Science Planning at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Melbourne.
pw_rob_sutton_thumbIn July, Xstrata officially opened an office in Shanghai, its first in Mainland China, which will operate under the name of Xstrata Commercial Services (Shanghai) Co. The office will be responsible for assisting the company to better source high quality mining equipment from China and other Asian countries for its global coal, copper and nickel businesses.
The new Shanghai office will facilitate Xstrata’s procurement activity in Asia and complement its extensive ongoing sourcing activity in the countries where it operates mines.
China is a major destination for the commodities that Xstrata mines in countries such as Australia, Chile, Peru and South Africa.
Xstrata Technology plans to open second office in Beijing and has an alloys business currently operating out of Hong Kong.

Rob Sutton
was appointed Xstrata’s China General Manager in March 2011.
Originally from Melbourne, Rob’s China experience includes time in Beijing as BHP Billiton’s Olympics Project Manager in 2008, and in Shanghai from 2009 as
IVG’s Business Development Manager.
Xstrata is one of the world’s largest mining and metals companies operating in more than 20 countries and employing more than 70,000 people globally. 
*If your organisation has an HR related announcement to make or you know of people on the move, please send details to the editor:


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