Australia-China Council

Australia-China Council Board Members


The Hon Warwick Smith AM

The Hon Warwick Smith AM

Appointed Chair 9 September 2011 for a period of five years.

Mr Smith brings extensive experience in business, and a wealth of knowledge and linkages with China to the role. The new Chair, appointed for a term of five years will further the vital work of the Council in enhancing "people-to-people" relations between Australia and China.

Mr Smith is currently the Chairman for Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (NSW and ACT), and Chairman, Advisory Board of Australian Capital Equity, which holds diverse interests in broadcasting, mining, construction machinery and investments across Australia and Asia.

Prior to his current roles, Mr Smith was an Executive Director at Macquarie Bank (1998–2006), Deputy Chair of Asia Society (2003–2009), Chairman of the Australia-China Business Council (2003–2006) and a member of the Federal Parliament from December 1984 to March 1993 and 1996 to October 1998 when he was Minister for Sport, Territories and Local Government and Member assisting the Prime Minister for the Sydney Olympics (1996–1998) and Minister for Family Services (1996–1998).

Mr Smith was Australia's first Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (1993–1996). In 2008, Mr Smith was awarded as a Member of the Order of Australia for service to the Parliament of Australia, to the telecommunications industry as a contributor of reform and debate within the sector, to the promotion of international trade and tourism, and to philanthropy through a range of charitable and community organisations.

Deputy Chair

Professor Stephanie Fahey

Professor Stephanie Fahey

Appointed 1 January 2013 for three years

Professor Fahey is currently Oceania Education Lead Partner for Ernst and Young. Until recently Professor Fahey was a Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement), Monash University, responsible for the University's international engagement strategy. Professor Fahey's previous roles include Director of the Research Institute for Asia Pacific and Acting Assistant Pro Vice-Chancellor (International – Asia Pacific) at the University of Sydney. Professor Fahey holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honours from the University of Sydney, and a PhD from the Australian National University. She has been appointed to the Foreign Affairs Council, the National Board of the Australia China Business Council, Australia Korea Foundation, European Australia Business Council, and a subcommittee of the Prime Minister's Science, Engineering and Innovation Committee.


Mr David Olsson

Mr David Olsson

Appointed 1 January 2013 for three years

David Olsson is a senior partner in the Beijing office of King & Wood Mallesons (KWM), a leading international law firm that was created in March 2012 by the combination of Australia's Mallesons Stephen Jaques and China's King & Wood law firms. Mr Olsson was formerly a Managing Partner of the Australian operations of Mallesons and headed up its Hong Kong, Beijing and Melbourne offices. He holds a Bachelor of Laws from the Australian National University and leads the firm's banking and finance practice in China. Mr Olsson gained an international reputation as a finance and debt capital markets specialist with over 25 years' experience working in the Australian and international markets. Mr Olsson is the current Chairman of the China – Australia Chamber of Commerce in Beijing (AustCham), a position that he has held since July 2010, and has been a lead participant in numerous Australia – China bi-lateral dialogues and initiatives over many years. He is a former Chairman of Melbourne Affordable Housing.

Suhanya Raffel

Ms Suhanya Raffel

Appointed 1 November 2010 for three years, reappointed 1 November 2013 for three years.

Suhanya Raffel is a Director of Collections at the Art Gallery of NSW. Previously, she was a Deputy Director, Curatorial and Collection Development at the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane and is a member of the executive responsible for the creative and curatorial development of major exhibitions including the 'Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art' (APT). Most recently she was lead curator for the Queensland Art Gallery's exhibitions 'Andy Warhol' in 2007-08, 'The China Project' in 2009, and the 6th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art in 2009-10. Suhanya has been a peer for the Australia Council for the Arts, a member of the Visual Arts Committee for Asialink, The University of Melbourne and is currently a Board Member of Griffith University's Asia Institute. Suhanya has worked with contemporary art projects in the UK, Australia and South Asia, and writes and lectures regularly in Australia and internationally.

Mr Frank Tudor

Mr Frank Tudor

Appointed 1 November 2013 for three years.

Frank Tudor is Managing Director, Horizon Power; Chairman, Board Chair and National President of the Australia China Business Council.

Mr Tudor has held various executive management roles over the last 25 years in the European, Asian and Australian oil, gas and power industries. Before joining Horizon Power he worked with BP managing commercial issues to develop gas interests in PNG for the Chinese energy market. He also worked for Woodside where he was responsible for managing business development activities.

Mr Tudor, for the last 10 years, has also been a part-time lecturer in oil and gas economics, and oil and gas legal frameworks at the University of Western Australia and is also the Vice Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce & Industry's (CCI) Energy & Resources Forum.

Mr Tudor holds first class degrees in engineering, economics and business administration from Curtin University (WA), London School of Economics (UK) and the AGSM (University of NSW). Frank also completed the eight week Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School in September and October 2008.

Mr Tudor has been the Chairman of the Board and National President of the Australia China Business Council since 2008.

Prof Sandra Harding

Professor Sandra Harding

Appointed 1 November 2013 for three years.

Professor Sandra Harding is Vice-Chancellor and President of James Cook University Australia. In this role, she is responsible for ensuring clear and effective leadership and management of the University across all operating sites, including campuses in Townsville, Cairns and Singapore.

Educated at the Australian National University, The University of Queensland and North Carolina State University (USA), Professor Harding is an economic sociologist with a keen scholarly interest in markets and how they work, and organisation survey methodology. She also has a keen professional interest in education policy and management. 

Current roles include: Chair of Universities Australia; Co-chair of the Steering Group for the New Colombo Plan, Director of Regional Australia Institute; Council Member of the Australian Institute of Marine Science; Member of the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) Advisory Board; and the Australian Research Council (ARC) Advisory Council.

Ms Vicki Thomson

Ms Vicki Thomson

Appointed 1 February 2014 for three years.

Ms Thomson is currently the Executive Director of the Australia Technology Network which brings together some of Australia's most innovative universities – Curtin University, University of South Australia, RMIT University, University of Technology Sydney and Queensland University of Technology.

Ms Thomson brings a diverse background and experience in higher education, politics and media to the Australia-China Council Board. In her current role Ms Thomson has been instrumental in building relationships between business, industry and universities, and supporting increased academic and student mobility between Australia and the Indo-Pacific region.

Previously Ms Thomson has held various roles include serving as Chief of Staff to the former Premier of South Australia and has had an extensive career in media in Canberra, Western Australia and South Australia.

Ms Thomson is a member of the New Colombo Plan Steering Group and the RMIT EU Advisory Board, and she was recently named in The Australian's Top 50 most influential people in Higher Education.

Ex-officio member

Gillian Bird

Gillian Bird, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Ms Bird serves as Ambassador to ASEAN and carries responsibility for the East Asia Summit. She represents the department on the Australia-Indonesia Institute, the Australia-Malaysia Institute, the Australia-Thailand Institute, the Australia-China Council, the Australia-Japan Foundation, the Australia-Korea Foundation and the Strategic Policy Coordination Group. She chairs the Pandemic Contingency Task Force and the Department's Audit and Risk Committee. Ms Bird also attends, as required, the National Crisis Committee.

Former ACC Chairs

The Australia-China Council Chair's commitment, guidance and leadership has been invaluable in developing, furthering and maintaining the successful bilateral relationship that Australia and China hold today.

  • Emeritus Professor Mark Wainwright AM FTSE: 2006–2011
  • Dr John Yu AC: 2000–2006
  • Mr Stuart Simson: 1997–2000
  • Acting Chair: 1996–1997
  • Professor Stuart Harris AO: 1991–1996
  • Hon. E G Whitlam AC QC: 1986–1991
  • Professor Wang Gungwu: 1983–1986
  • Professor Geoffrey Blainey AO: 1978–1983