People Watch: January / February 2013


Australia China Connections announces the latest people movements in the Australia China community.

Dr Kenneth Chern has been appointed as Professor of Asian Policy and Executive Director of the Swinburne Leadership Institute. Previously, Dr Chern was a Professorial Research Fellow at Murdoch University in Perth, Western Australia, following a career in the United States Foreign Service.He served as United States Consul General in Perth from 2007 – 2010.

His immediate prior assignment was as Deputy Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; before that, he served as Deputy Director of the Office of Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, and Singapore Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

Focusing on East Asian and Pacific affairs, he has also been posted to Beijing, Taipei, Hong Kong, Manila, and Cebu.
Dr Chern speaks Chinese, Vietnamese, and French.

alistair_nicholas_thumbnailWeber Shandwick has announced the relocation of Alistair Nicholas, executive vice president, Corporate & Public Affairs, from the firm’s Beijing office to Sydney.

As senior adviser, Alistair will continue to provide counsel to public affairs clients across various industries and contribute to business growth opportunities for the firm. He reports into Jacquelynne Willcox, senior strategic counsel and head of the firm’s Public Affairs and Crisis practice in Sydney.
Alistair joined Weber Shandwick in early 2011 after forming his own consulting firm, AC Capital Strategic Consulting, in Beijing in 2003. He previously served as Australia’s Trade Commissioner to the World Bank and the United Nations in Washington, D.C., and as communications adviser to several Australian government ministers.
pp_ross_bundey-_black_and_white_2_thumbAustCham Beijing has appointed Ross Bundey as its new General Manager. Ross brings to the role many years of experience in senior management positions in Australia, Asia and London, most recently as Executive Director and Group General Counsel of Whittington Group based in Singapore. Prior to that he was Chief Operating Officer of a major gas transmission company and General Manager of an Australian-based Asian owned telecommunications company.
Ross has also worked as a senior corporate lawyer for international law firms in Melbourne, London and Singapore. Ross’ appointment follows the departure in September of former General Manager, Ms Dalywn Bateson who served the Chamber for more than five years.
pp_cheryl-siow-image_thumbBESydney has appointed Cheryl Siow as Director of Chinese operations. Cheryl brings to the role more than 12 years’ experience working in the MICE industry with a diverse stakeholder base including Chinese government, universities and the corporate sector, in particular pharmaceutical companies.
The Shanghai office has been a fixture of the BESydney global network since 2010. Cheryl joins Justin Jia, Business Development Manager China to manage and grow BESydney’s extensive client networks throughout mainland China.
In addition to this development in China, BESydney’s Hong Kong office, which has been securing business from the Asian region since 2004, will re-locate at the end of 2012. Sinead Yeo, BESydney’s Regional Director – Asia, will move to establish BESydney’s Singapore office.
pp_tim_chen2_thumbTelstra has appointed a new President & Group Managing Director for Telstra International Group. Mr Tim Chen, is an internationally recognised technology executive with major global firms in China and the United States and reports to CEO David Thodey.
Born and raised in Taiwan, Mr Chen is the first Chinese national to hold a CEO Leadership Team position at Telstra. He will hold offices in Hong Kong and Beijing.
He replaces Tarek Robbiati, who last month announced he would leave Telstra to take a CEO role in the Australian financial services industry.
Mr Chen was previously a Beijing-based partner with international private equity firm GL Capital Group. He held senior executive roles for international firms including Microsoft, Motorola and AT&T Bell Laboratories.
He was the CEO for National Basketball Association China from 2007 to 2010, including management of all television and digital media partnerships.
Prior to 2000, Mr Chen spent eight years in China with Motorola, including serving as general manager responsible for sales and marketing for the Greater China Cellular Infrastructure Division. Mr Chen also spent nine years at AT&T Bell Laboratories in the United States.
He holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Chicago and Masters degrees in both Computer Science and Mathematics from Ohio State University.
pp_tourism_victoria_li_wei_thumbTourism Victoria has welcomed new Regional Manager – Greater China, Ms Li Wei based in Shanghai.  Li Wei has previously worked at Tourism Victoria’s Head Office in Melbourne as the Group Manager – International Marketing from late 2007 until mid 2010.

Li Wei returns to Tourism Victoria after two years with Tourism Australia in Sydney as the Head of Asia Development. Li Wei has an MBA from the University of Wales and Bachelor of Arts from Peking University.

Li Wei will have accountability for Tourism Victoria’s operations across China, Taiwan and Hong Kong and leading the Greater China team based in Tourism Victoria’s offices in Shanghai and Guangzhou.


Ben Coxon has been appointed as the new Country Manager for China and Hong Kong for Aurecon, a global engineering, management and specialist technical services company. Based in Hong Kong, Ben will focus on supporting growth in both regions and will spend significant time in Shanghai and Beijing.
“One of the most exciting opportunities of my new role is to be able to work closely with our clients to devise solutions to the challenges they face, no matter what areas of expertise is needed to bring these solutions to fruition. This is the excitement in Aurecon’s offering and how we deliver it,” Ben said.
Ben has been with Aurecon for 23 years and was previously Global Building Structures Leader, during which time he was instrumental in supporting innovation and skill development in Aurecon’s global building structures team.

Thomas Day
is the new Director of Communications and Development (North China) for the Australia China Alumni Association. Thomas has been in Northeast Asia for over four years having spent time working and studying in Mainland China, Taiwan and Japan. He has previously worked for the Australia China Business Council in Victoria and for the Australian Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo. 

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


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