David Douglas – President
David is currently a graduate at a leading international commercial law firm. Prior to commencing with Freehills, he completed a Juris Doctor, Bachelor of Arts (Chinese Language, Politics) and a Diploma in Languages (Russian) at the University of Melbourne. He has previously studied in both China and Taiwan on scholarships and has clerked with leading commercial law firms in Hong Kong and Australia. David also has previous work experience at the Australia China Business Council where he was responsible for Business Development.
David has been involved with ACYA since 2009 when he became a committee member of the University of Melbourne Chapter and was President of the Chapter between 2011 and 2014. David served as the National Managing Director in 2015. David has thoroughly enjoyed his longstanding participation in ACYA and has personally experienced the many benefits that being involved with ACYA can bring.
Outside of work and ACYA, David enjoys training in Martial Arts, Golfing and watching his team the Geelong Cats in the AFL.
Victor Luo – Managing Director
Victor Luo (罗福龙) is currently continuing his Masters studies in Law, Accounting and Finance at the University of Sydney and is a junior consultant at a small, boutique firm. He has studied at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and Macquarie University where he completed studies in International Relations, Chinese Language and Culture and has been a scholarship recipient on exchange to Tsinghua University and Beijing Language and Culture University.
Victor has been involved with ACYA since 2014 serving as the President of the UNSW Chapter in 2015 and as the Logistics Manager of the 2015 Australia China Emerging Leaders Summit (ACELS) in Sydney. He has thoroughly enjoyed his involvement in ACYA through developing stronger crosscultural ties, business and economic relationships and various opportunities for passionate students and young professionals in the AustraliaChina space.
A proud Australian born Chinese, Victor has developed a dualistic identity through his regular visits to China and Hong Kong keeping in touch with his ancestral roots through language, culture and food. In between various commitments, Victor enjoys playing the piano, cooking, exploring new places on his travel bucket list and learning the secrets to the perfect “cheung fan” (rice noodle roll). Through his various experiences, Victor aims to use his skills to facilitate further bilateral trade, economic and business activity in both Australia and China.
William Zhao – Australia Manager
William Zhao is under employment for a boutique Corporate Advisory firm as a Cross-Border M&A Analyst based in Sydney and Beijing. His ties to the ACYA National date back to 2014 when he served as the National Vice-President of the Council of International Student Australia, the national peak body representing all international students in Australia. He is the first Chinese student elected to the council since its establishment.
William’s passion for Australia-China bilateral relationship has been fostered through his working experiences with the China Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, Australia China Business Council, and China Australia Millennial Project. That’s the genuine reason why he decided to give back to this economically-vibrant and culturally-dynamic community in 2016.
William has completed a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and also graduated from the University of Sydney with a Master’s degree in Banking where he is proud to be part of the Chancellor’s Committee. In addition to undertaking two exchange programs at the University of Nottingham, UK, and the State University of New York, US, William has been travelling across 5 continents and he is planning to leave nothing but footprints in Antarctica in the very near future.
Theo Stapleton – China Manager
Theo Stapleton (司腾) is a New Colombo Plan Scholar studying in Beijing at Tsinghua University. Before arriving in Beijing Theo was studying Philosophy and Chinese Language at the University of Western Australia. After receiving the New Colombo Plan Scholarship in 2014 he was incredibly excited to immerse himself in Chinese culture and gleam a deeper understanding of the China-Australia relationship.
Since arriving in Beijing Theo became the Vice President of ACYA Beijing and has been playing an active role in building up the chapter. Along with his studies Theo is also an intern at China Policy, a position which has allowed him to better understand the workings of the Chinese political system. Theo has also contributed to the Asian debating circuit while in Beijing, both as a coach, a judge and a competitor.
Theo is also passionate about social justice, previously serving as the Vice President of an educational NGO in Perth, and now is an active member of the Tsinghua Vegetarian Society. In his spare time Theo enjoys riding his bike around Beijing, sharing meals with Chinese friends and practicing Mongolian throat singing.
In 2016 Theo looks forward to managing the Chinese ACYA chapters and helping them flourish.
Scott Gigante – Portfolio Manager
Scott Gigante is in his final year of a Bachelor of Science in Pure Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Melbourne. Scott is also undertaking a Diploma of Languages in Chinese, which he began alongside his degree in 2013 and which sparked his passion for Chinese language and culture. In 2015, as the inaugural New Colombo Plan Fellow for China, Scott embarked upon a year-long exchange at Shanghai’s Fudan University, furthering his language studies and completing an internship with VMware, a multinational computer science company.
Whilst in Shanghai, Scott joined ACYA as the local Chapter Secretary, developing a greater understanding of the bilateral relationship and working to improve cross-cultural ties, and was also the New Colombo Plan Fellow to the Australia-China Youth Dialogue. In his spare time, Scott is an avid cyclist, racing for teams in both Shanghai and Melbourne, and enjoys singing, whether it be on stage or just at KTV with friends!
Jonathon Glindemann – Treasurer
Jonathon Glindemann is currently working for QBE Insurance in their Asia-Pacific Headquarters in the area of Risk Management, based in Hong Kong. He left Australia in 2015 to finish his undergraduate studies at the University of Hong Kong on a New Colombo Plan Scholarship and has remained in the city since.
Before relocating to Hong Kong, Jonathon studied Commerce and Economics at Griffith University in Australia. He has experience in financial management of a private company and has also been engaged as a consultant to start-up businesses in both Australia and Hong Kong.
Jonathon’s involvement with the Australia-China Youth Association goes back for a number of years. He served as the founding Treasurer of the Griffith University chapter and has also been involved in the relaunch of ACYA in Hong Kong as the group’s Treasurer. He has a strong passion for engagement between Australia and China and is keen to share that with others.
Cynthia Yuan – Secretary
Cynthia Yuan (袁迪雅) is currently completing a dual Bachelors in Law and Commerce at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. In 2015, Cynthia was the President of the Macquarie University ACYA Chapter and joins the National Executive Committee in 2016 as the National Secretary.
Growing up as an Australian-born Chinese, Cynthia often felt the pressure to suppress her Chinese roots in order to assimilate to the broader Australian community. It was only through her involvement with ACYA that she was able to reconcile her inner cultural dichotomy and develop a genuine passion for the Australia-China space. She hopes to further encourage involvement in ACYA amongst today’s youth so that those who have faced the same challenges can experience such cultural enlightenment.
Upon graduating in 2017, Cynthia hopes to utilise her ability to navigate the delicate cultural barrier and understanding of the Australia-China business landscape to help facilitate increased bilateral economic activity between Australia and China in the context of commercial law. She also hopes to undertake an exchange program at the University of Hong Kong later this year.
In her free time, Cynthia enjoys wandering around a contemporary art gallery, photographing Sydney’s nooks and crannies, immersing herself in a cult classic or learning a new skill – her latest undertaking being French!
Dan Bishop – Engaging China Project (ECP) Manager
Daniel is an accredited secondary music teacher in NSW. He has a Bachelor of Music/ Bachelor of Arts majoring in piano, French and Mandarin as well as a Master of Teaching (Secondary). Having taught in both China and Australia has made him keenly aware of cultural differences in approaches to learning and social attitudes. Daniel has been a member of ACYA since 2013, being a founding executive member of our Newcastle chapter as well as president in 2014.
In 2015, Daniel took on the role of Engaging China Project director, as he is passionate about creating authentic and engaging learning experiences for Australian students to engage with China. With the increase of globalisation, he believes it is more important than ever that students are taught to engage in meaningful relationships with people outside of Australia if Australia is going to continue to be the “lucky country”.
Aside from trying to drill useful information into young minds, Daniel is an avid reader and can often be found at the piano trying to learn a new song for his repertoire.
Ryan Cunningham – Business Development Director
A student of the University of Adelaide, Ryan Cunningham (康来恩) is spending his final year of a Bachelor of Commerce (International Business) and a Bachelor of Languages (Mandarin and Spanish) at the University of Hong Kong as a New Colombo Plan Scholar for 2016. Ryan first got involved with ACYA whilst on exchange at Tsinghua University where he studied for one year on a Confucius Institute Scholarship in 2014. Since then, he has been involved in Adelaide and is currently the president of the Hong Kong chapter.
Ryan’s business interests include the study of cross-cultural mergers and the creation of shared value within Asia. With a passion for the arts, as well as language and culture, he hopes to bring a new direction to Business Development, in hoping to establish meaningful relationships for ACYA in both Australia and China.
A proud South Australian, Ryan loves spending time with his family wine touring and relaxing on the Murray River.
Jani Song – Alumni Director
Jani Song is currently Co-Founder and Creative Director of creative consulting firm Yu Consultants based in Perth, advising in the areas of Asia Marketing, Business and Creative Strategy. She served as the Person-to-Person Vice President at the University of Western Australia in 2014 and the UWA Chapter President in 2015. Jani also interned with the National Taiwan University as a participant of their ecotourism program in the same year.
Aside from a passion for furthering the Australian-China bilateral relationship, Jani is an advocate for innovation and start-up culture and is currently in the role of Asia Networks for Bloom, a NPO supporting entrepreneurship in young people in Western Australia. Under the new position of Alumni Director, she hopes to use her experience to build engaging initiatives that will facilitate mentorship, partnerships and the cross-pollination of ideas and culture in the Australia-China space.
Outside of her roles, Jani enjoys reading by the beach, going on food safaris and watching China’s cult hit show ‘If You Are The One’. Jani studied a Bachelor of Arts in Music and Japanese at the University of Western Australia.
Careers Director – Annie-Zhou
Originally from Sydney, Annie Zhou now identifies as a proud Canberran. She is in her third year of a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and a Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics at the Australia National University. She has also studied Mandarin at the Beijing Language and Culture University. Annie’s passion for Australia-China relations stems from the 8 years she spent in Beijing whilst growing up and she has thoroughly enjoyed her time on the executive of ACYA ANU for the past two years.
In her spare time, Annie enjoys eating, watching guilty pleasure television shows and travelling. She is obsessed with having pho and watching Friends.
As the Careers Director, Annie is looking forward to expanding ACYA’s Careers Portal in order to cater to a diverse range of interests. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please do not hesitate to reach out – she would love to hear from you!
Josephine Macmillan – People-to-People (P2P) Director
Josephine Macmillan (麦佳慧) is currently completing a dual Bachelors of Arts and Law at the University of Queensland. Her major in Arts is Art History and she recently interned with the Queensland Art Gallery. At the Gallery, Josephine assisted with the launch of a new corporate sponsorship network, the Asia Pacific Council. Following this experience, she has become passionate about cultural diplomacy and its role in the Australia-China bilateral relationship. Josephine sees the appreciation of Chinese art, music, theatre, history and language as key to genuine cultural engagement, which in turn can enhance mutual economic prosperity.
With ten years of French study behind her, Josephine is learning Chinese alongside her studies and work as a Paralegal at Gadens. Josephine is excited to have been recently awarded the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation Asian Exchange Scholarship. The Westpac Scholarship will enable her to volunteer in rural China later this year before commencing a short course at Peking University in Beijing and spending a semester abroad at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. In her role as People-to-People Director, she looks forward to having the opportunity to visit and engage personally with several ACYA branches.
Outside of work and study, Josephine enjoys yoga and vegetarian cooking – she can’t wait to pick up a few more recipes during her time abroad in China and Hong Kong.
Chloe Dempsey – Education Director
Chloe Dempsey (欧阳菲菲) currently studies Law at Tsinghua University in Beijing under the Westpac Asia Exchange Scholarship. In her hometown of Perth, Chloe studies a double degree in Law and Arts/Politics and International Relations) at the University of Western Australia. In 2014, Chloe completed a Diploma in Modern Languages in Mandarin. Most recently Chloe completed internships within top-tier finance and law firms in the areas of strategy (consulting) and litigation respectively. Next semester, Chloe will study at Renmin University, continuing her legal studies under the New Colombo Plan.
Upon returning from a summer school at Zhejiang University in 2014, Chloe became involved in her local ACYA chapter as Secretary, before later moving into the role of VP (P2P). She also held the role of State Manager for the Engaging China Project. Since falling in love with China through the film the ‘Karate Kid’ in 2011, and subsequently spending five months in Sichuan, Chloe has been a passionate advocate for the importance of youth in the Australia-China relationship. Chloe believes ACYA’s strengths are in the diversity, connectedness and mobility of its members.
Olivia Gao – Publications Director
Olivia Gao (高澳丽) is currently a Marketing Executive for Campbell Arnott’s in Sydney, where she supports the brand strategy and development of the Arnott’s portfolio in the highly competitive FMCG market. Prior to her move into marketing, Olivia had worked in the journalism, PR and communications industry for over four years, across the corporate, consumer, not-for-profit and fashion sectors.
Olivia has been involved with Australia-China Youth Association for over two years, and was the Editor of ChinaBites in 2015. She loves keeping up-to-date with the latest China-Australian news and current affairs, but also has a serious soft spot for pop culture, trashy celebrity news, and bizarre food trends. Highlights of her role as Editor included interviewing high-profile members of the Australia-China community, including Jessica Rudd (Founder, Jessica’s Suitcase) and Andrew Hogg (Regional General Manager Greater China, Tourism Australia).
Olivia’s interest in China grew significantly when she moved to Beijing for her gap year, in order to study Mandarin Chinese at Tsinghua and Peking Universities, as well as intern at a bilingual magazine. Her year abroad helped her achieve fluency in Mandarin and experience living in modern day Asia.
Olivia graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications) with an additional major in French.
Wei Wei Shih – Language & Translations Director
Wei Wei Shih (施維) is currently studying a Dual Bachelor Degree in Laws & Arts at the University of Queensland, majoring in Chinese Translation & Interpreting, and Peace & Conflict Studies. Her studies reflect her deep interest in language and international relations, and that is how she finds herself at home in her ACYA role.
Having interned and worked in law firms with international client focus both in China and Australia, Wei Wei enjoys being able to contribute culturally and professionally to the strengthening ties between Australia and Greater China.
Wei Wei is passionate about activism and volunteering. She works with refugees both in her capacity as a law student and as a community member. She is also a classical pianist and has been tutoring piano privately since the age of 15. Her latest endeavours include learning Hindi, campaigning for animal rights and perfecting her vegetarian cooking skills.
Xin Na Zeng – Media & IT Director
Xin Na Zeng (曾欣娜) is currently completing a Bachelor of Commerce (International) degree at the University of New South Wales, majoring in Marketing, International Business and a minor in Chinese Studies. Xin Na joined ACYA in 2013, starting her journey as Visual Stalls Co-ordinator on the Events and Logistics Team for Project Home, an event supported by the City of Sydney to celebrate both Chinese and Australian culture. Enjoying her experience so much, Xin Na went on to serve as the 2014 Secretary for ACYA UNSW Chapter. Last year, Xin Na undertook a one year exchange to Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Whilst there, she served as the 2015 Marketing Director of ACYA Shanghai Chapter.
Xin Na has a huge passion for marketing, media and communications and has completed various local and international internships with Fossil, Jack Morton Worldwide and Export Council of Australia. She is currently interning at Customedia, an independent media agency.
In her spare time, Xin Na is an avid traveller. She has gone horse riding on the grasslands in Inner Mongolia, almost froze to death at the Harbin Snow & Ice Festival, seen the sun rise over Mount Everest in Tibet and gone cycling amidst the Karst Mountains in Yangshuo, Guangxi. She hopes to share her love of China’s beautiful landscapes with others and learn more about the different ethnic minorities and cultures that make China so unique.