Professor Admiral Chris Barrie AC, RAN (Ret'd)

After nearly 42 years in the Navy Chris Barrie retired in July 2002 at the end of four years in command of the Australian Defence Force. Since then he has worked on strategic leadership issues as consultant, teacher and mentor: at Oxford University, the National Defense University (NDU) in Washington DC, U.S. Army War College at Carlyle in Pennsylvania, and at the Australian National University (ANU).


At ANU Chris is Chair of the London Foundation, and a Director in the Tuckwell Scholarship Foundation. He teaches on campus and at the Australian Command and Staff College. He has facilitated induction courses for new APS entrants into the
Department of Defence and acted as co-facilitator in executive education courses for the National Security College on risk.

He is Chair - PTSD Australia New Zealand, which has launched FearLess Outreach to assist all Australians and New Zealanders who have post traumatic stress or live with people who have it.


He became very concerned about climate change matters in 2006 after which he taken advocacy action to raise awareness of the potential costs of inaction. In 2015 he was an author of a Report for the Climate Council on “Climate Change, Security
and the ADF”. The launch of this report preceded a conference on the topic which he co-chaired with Professor Will Steffen.


Chris is also a member of the Global Military Advisory Council on Climate Change (GMACCC).

Professor Nick Bisley

Executive Director

La Trobe Asia, La Trobe University


Nick is the Executive Director of La Trobe Asia and Professor of International Relations at La Trobe University. Nick is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the Australian Journal of International Affairs, the country’s oldest scholarly journal in the field of International Relations.


Nick is also a member of the Australian Institute of International Affairs national executive team, the board of the Australia-India Institute, the Council for Security and Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific and is part of the advisory board of China Matters. In additiona he has also been a Senior Research Associate of the International Institute of Strategic Studies and a Visiting Fellow at the East West-Center in Washington DC.


Nick is the author of many works on international relations, including Issues in 21st Century World Politics, 3rd Edition (Palgrave, 2017), Great Powers in the Changing International Order (Lynne Rienner, 2012), and Building Asia’s Security (IISS/Routledge, 2009, Adelphi No. 408). He regularly contributes to and is quoted in national and international media including The Guardian, The Economist, CNN and Time Magazine. Nick also regularly hosts Asia Rising, the podcast of La Trobe Asia which examines the news and events of Asia's states and societies.


Melanie Brock

Managing Director, Melanie Brock Advisory


With over two decades of commercial experience in Japan, Melanie has developed an excellent network of contacts in Japan’s corporate, political and diplomatic sectors. She has played a pivotal role in strengthening Japan-Australia relations,
most recently in the conclusion of the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement.

Melanie also serves as the Chair Emeritus of the Australian and New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Japan, having served as the Chair for six years previously.

She was also the former Chair of the Australian Business Asia (ABA), a group of 16 Australian Chambers of Commerce and Business Councils from across the Asia region that represent Australian business interests in their respective host countries.
Melanie is on the executive of the Australia Business Cooperation Committee and served for five years on the Board of the Australia Japan Foundation.

Her previous roles include Regional Manager (Japan) for Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) in 2010, Director of the Japan office for La Trobe University, as a Board Member for the Australia-Japan Foundation and as a member of the Steering Committee for the Australia-Japan Business Co-operation Committee.


She has also been nominated for the Telstra women’s business award and the NAB Women’s Agenda Leadership Award in 2013.

Melissa Conley Tyler

National Executive Director

Australian Institute of International Affairs


Melissa is a lawyer and specialist in conflict resolution, including negotiation, mediation and peace education. Melissa is the National Executive Director of the Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA), an independent non-profit organisation ranked the top think tank in Southeast Asia and the Pacific in the Global Go-To Think Tanks Index for the last three years. She was previously Program Manager of the International Conflict Resolution Centre at the University of Melbourne and Senior Fellow of Melbourne Law School. She has an international profile in conflict resolution including membership of the Editorial Board of the Conflict Resolution Quarterly.


For more than a decade leading the AIIA, she has edited 50 publications, organised more than 90 policy events, overseen dramatic growth in youth engagement and built stronger relations with other institutes of international affairs worldwide. Her recent research focuses on global governance, Australian foreign policy and changes in diplomatic practice.


She is listed in Routledge’s Who’s Who in International Affairs and International Who’s Who of Women, and was selected as one of the nation’s 1,000 “best and brightest” to participate in the Australia 2020 Summit convened by former-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

Professor Jenny Corbett

Distinguished Professor

Australian National University


Professor Jenny Corbett is Distinguished Professor at the Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University, and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. She was Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Research Training) at the ANU from late 2012 to October 2016. Prior to that, she was the Executive Director of the Australia-Japan Research Centre, at the Crawford School of Public Policy from 2005 to 2012. She also holds the position of Reader in the Economy of Japan at the University of Oxford where she has taught since 1983, and is a Research Fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR, London) and a Research Associate of the Centre for Japanese Economy and Business at Columbia University. 


Professor Corbett has a PhD in Economics from the University of Michigan. Her research focusses on current macro-economic and financial policy issues in Japan, regional financial integration, financial crisis and financial system design since the early 1990s.  Her latest book, Rebalancing Economies in Financially Integrating East Asia edited with Dr. Ying Xu, was published by Routledge/Taylor & Francis in early 2015.


In 2014 she was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon by the Japanese government for services to Australia-Japan relations and research on Japan.

Professor Akiko Fukushima
School of Global Studies and Collaboration

Aoyama Gakuin University

Dr. Akiko Fukushima is a Professor, School of Global Studies and Collaboration, Aoyama Gakuin University with a Doctoral degee from Osaka University and M.A. from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University.


Her career achievements include positions as Adjunct Professor of the Law School at Keio University, Director of Policy Studies at the National Institute for Research Advancement (NIRA), Senior Fellow at the Japan Foundation and a visiting scholar of CSIS, US.

She serves on Japanese Government committees including the Advisory Council on National Security and Defense Capabilities (since 2013) and the Advisory Council of Ministry of Foreign Affairs (since 2014).


Dr. Fukushima is also a Non-resident Fellow of the Lowy Institute, Australia.


Her publications include:


  • Japanese Foreign Policy: The Emerging Logic of Multilateralism (1999) by MacMillan

  • A Lexicon of Asia Pacific Security Dialogue (2003) by Keizai Hyoronsha

  • Human Security (2011) by Chikura Shobo

  • Conflict and Cultural Diplomacy (2012) by Keio University Press.


She has also contributed chapters including:


  • “Human Security and Global Governance,” Security Politics in the

  • Asia-Pacific Cambridge University Press (2009)

  • “Japan’s Perspective on Asian Regionalism,” Asia’s New Multilateralism, Columbia University Press (2009)

  • “Global Merits of Alliance: A Japanese Perspective,” The US-Japan Security Alliance, Palgrave (2011)

  • “Multilateralism Recalibrated,” in Postwar Japan (CSIS 2017).

Peter Hartcher

Political and International Editor

Sydney Morning Herald


Peter Hartcher is the political and international editor of the Sydney Morning Herald – positions he has held since 2003. Peter is the paper’s main commentator on national politics and international affairs. He is also a visiting fellow at the Lowy Institute for International Policy and a regular Sky News commentator.


Peter has been writing about politics, economics and international affairs for more than 30 years, including a decade as a foreign correspondent in Tokyo and Washington. He won the coveted Walkley Award, the Australian Pulitzer, for the best analysis and commentary in all Australian media in 2015. He is a past winner of Australia journalism’s highest accolade, the Gold Walkley Award, given to one journalist a year for the most outstanding achievement across all fields, and the Citibank Award for business journalism. 


Peter is also an award-winning author. His latest book, The Sweet Spot: How Australia Made Its Own Luck And Could Now Throw It All Away, won the main award for business books in Australia, the Ashurst Business Literature Prize, in 2012. His previous books were on Japan’s economy, the US economy and Australian politics. His 2005 book, Bubble Man: Alan Greenspan and the Missing Seven Trillion Dollars, foresaw the collapse of the U.S. housing market and the downturn that followed. 

Jason Hayes

Partner, Financial Assurance; Japan Practice Leader – Asia Pacific (ex-Japan)



Jason is the leader of PwC’s Asia Pacific Japan Practice (ex Japan). In Australia he is supported by a team of 27 Japanese professionals situated across Australia covering the firm’s Deals, Assurance, Taxation and Consulting service offerings.


Jason is a Financial Assurance Partner and has more than 25 years of international experience providing assurance and advisory services to companies in a wide variety of industry sectors, particularly Entertainment & Media, Technology and Retail & Consumer. He has advised Japanese companies on the impact of international accounting principles and reporting standards (IFRS), JSOX requirements, foreign listing requirements and he has extensive experience with financial due diligence and financial investigations in Australia and Japan. Jason has considerable experience assisting Japanese and Australian companies with the implementation and adoption of IFRS.


His Japanese client experience includes working for organisations such as Konami, Sony, Mitsubishi, Mitsui & Co., Dentsu-Aegis, Toshiba, Nippon Steel, KDDI, Konica-Minolta, Hitachi, Kirin and NTT. Jason is the lead author of PwC’s “Japan Rebooted” series and is a regular commentator in the media and presenter at forums on Japanese trade and investment in Australia including seminars organized by PwC in conjunction with Asialink, JCCI and JETRO.


His client experience includes providing services to subsidiaries of foreign public companies, including The Interpublic Group of Companies, IBM, Microsoft, Aristocrat, The Walt Disney Company, Novell, Honeywell, Nokia, and AT&T.


Jason has spent the past 8 years on assignment with PwC in Japan and he is an active member of the Australia Japan Business Cooperation Committee.

Dr. Llewelyn Hughes

Crawford School of Public Policy

Australian National University

Dr. Llewelyn Hughes is Associate Professor at the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University (ANU), where he sits on the Energy Change Institute’s Executive Committee, and convenes its Energy & Security research



Dr. Hughes is also Research Director at GR Japan, a government and public affairs consultancy based in Tokyo, where his advice helps companies in the solar photovoltaic, wind, energy efficiency, and natural resource sectors navigate regulatory affairs in the Japanese market.


Dr. Hughes received a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and holds a Masters degree from the

Graduate School of Law and Politics at the University of Tokyo.

The Honourable Hong Lim MLA

Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs and Asian Engagement (Victoria)


The Hon Hong Lim came to Australia in 1970 as a Colombo Plan scholarship student. He has been extensively involved in ethnic community affairs since the arrival of Indo-Chinese refugees in Australia in 1976, leading to his appointment as a Commissioner of the Ethnic Affairs Commission from 1985 to 1993.


In 1977, he commenced a 20-year career in the Victorian Public Service working in the human resources development and labour market program areas in various government departments. In 1993, he resigned from the Victorian Government and worked as a Youth Employment Counsellor with the Cambodian Association until his election to the Victorian Parliament in March 1996.


Hong is the first and only Cambodian-Chinese to be elected to a Parliament anywhere in the English-speaking world.  He was elected a Member of the Legislative Assembly for Clayton, Victoria, in March 1996 and held that position until November 2014. At the Victorian State election on 29 November 2014, Hong was elected as the new Member for Clarinda and in December 2014 was appointed as the Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs and Asia Engagement.

His Excellency Kazuyoshi Matsunaga

Consul-General of Japan to Melbourne, Australia


His Excellency the Consul-General Kazuyoshi from Japan to Melbourne, Australia was appointed to his current position in 2017. Prior to this appointment, he had a distinguished and outstanding career in the Japanese Foreign Ministry, including positions ranging from secretariat duties in the Japanese embassy in the United States, managerial positions in the science and nuclear and information systems divisions, a counsellor position in Thailand, and a position of Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Japan in Tanzania.


His Excellency Kazuyoshi Matsunaga also has a distinguished academic background, attaining a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in engineering from Keio University, as well as a Master’s degree in science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Beyond his professional and academic activities, he enjoys photography, tennis and yoga.

Murray McLean AO


Australia-Japan Foundation


Murray McLean AO is the Chair of the Australia-Japan Foundation, a role he has held since 2012. The AJF provides grants for high-quality projects that promote the Australia-Japan partnership particularly, but not exclusively, across: Youth; Gender, Diversity and Inclusion: and Innovation.


Formerly a senior officer of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), he retired in 2012 after a 42 year career during which he was Ambassador to Japan (2004-2011) initiating negotiations on the FTA and on growing security cooperation as well as leading Australia’s response to the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters; Deputy Secretary of DFAT (2004); First Assistant Secretary, North Asia Division (2001-2003), High Commissioner in Singapore (1997-2001); Assistant Secretary, East Asia Branch, (1992-1996), and Consul General, Shanghai (1987-1992).


His other postings were at the Australian Embassy in Washington D.C. (1983-1986); the Australian Embassy in Beijing (twice) (1973-1976 and 1979-1983) and in Hong Kong (1971-1973). In DFAT, he was consistently involved in the formulation of Australian policy towards Asia and also served as a special ministerial envoy on North Korean nuclear matters visiting North Korea on several occasions.


He was appointed as an officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the Australia Day Honours list 2013 and in November 2014, the Japanese Emperor presented him with the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun.

Rachel Mealey

Tokyo Correspondent

Australian Broadcasting Corporation


Rachel graduated from the University of Queensland with a double Bachelor Degree in Arts and Economics, where one of her majors was journalism and government. Upon graduation, Rachel pursued her interest in journalism by beginner her career with the Australian Broadcasting agency.


She has held journalist and correspondent positions at the ABC for ABC Radio Current Affairs, ABC TV, ABC News Breakfast and is currently a Tokyo correspondent for the ABC.


Rachel has been the ABC's Tokyo Correspondent since 2015. She has lived in Japan for 7 years and before taking up her current role with the ABC she reported for Al Jazeera from Tokyo. She has reported extensively about politics, economics and culture from Japan.

Greg Muller

Media Advisor

Climate Media Centre


Greg Muller is an award-winning TV, radio and online journalist and producer, with nearly 20 years experience in the Australian media. He is currently working as a media advisor and media trainer for the Climate Media Centre.

Based in Melbourne, he’s worked on ABC TV’s current affairs program 7.30, Network Ten’s The Project and SBS Radio News. Greg worked for many years as a presenter, producer and reporter on ABC Radio National’s Bush Telegraph program and also researcher and producer on ABC TV’s Backroads series. 

And for something completely different, Greg is also an accomplished sound engineer and white water river guide.

Kaoru Nishinakagawa

Chief Operating Officer

Innovation Dojo


Kaoru is an Innovation Consultant/Entrepreneur with over 12 years of international experience focused in developing new business, managing strategic partnerships and data analytics. She is a passionate businesswoman, and believes that customer satisfaction and a consumer-centric approach to business is the key for organisations to achieve long term growth.


She is co-founder of Innovation Dojo, which she helped establish to foster cross-cultural entrepreneurship initiatives between Japan and Australia.

Professor Shirley Scott

Head of School - Professor of International Relations

School of Humanities and Social Sciences

University of New South Wales 

Shirley’s research and teaching focuses on international law as a dimension of global governance, demonstrating the complex interplay between power politics and international law.


Shirley has published on a range of subjects including the use of force, climate change, Antarctica, international law and Australian foreign policy, and the nature of United States’ engagement with international law.


Shirley is the Research Chair of the Australian Institute of International Affairs and a member of the Advisory Council of the Asian Society of International Law. She is currently undertaking a project on the scope for the UN Security Council to contribute to the governance of climate change adaptation.

Professor Scott is the author of a leading textbook in the field, International Law in World Politics: an Introduction and its companion, International Law and Politics: Key Documents as well as The Political Interpretation of Multilateral Treaties, International Law, US Power. The United States' Quest for Legal Security and, edited joint with Professor Rosemary Rayfuse, International Law in the Era of Climate Change.


She is the book review editor and a member of the editorial board of the Asian Journal of International Law. She is also on the editorial board of The Australian Journal of International Affairs and the Journal of International Law and International Relations.


Shirley has a strong interest in aspects of Higher Education learning and teaching and policy and is a Fellow of HERDSA (The Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia) as well as a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Jamie Smyth


Financial Times


Jamie has worked as the Australia and Pacific Islands' correspondent for the Financial Times (FT) newspaper since January 2014. He writes on business, politics, culture and society and has a special interest in Australia’s ties with Asia. Jamie also worked previously as Ireland correspondent for the FT, which was acquired by the Japanese publisher Nikkei in 2015.


A graduate of Trinity College in Dublin, where he studied history, before joining the FT he was the European correspondent for The Irish Times. He spent two years living in Japan between 1996-1998, where he worked as an English teacher and journalist.

Hiroyuki Tahara

Assistant Business Development Director



Hiroyuki was born and raised in Osaka. Since he was in junior high school, his family

has been a host for foreign students from many countries, including Australia, and

promoting international exchange is one of his passions in life.


Over the past 16 years, he has held a variety of positions at the Osaka City Government, including the Board of Education, the City Planning Bureau, and the Economic Strategy Bureau. He was also involved in the re-development of a major land area north of Osaka Station, and assisted in the establishment and operations of Osaka Innovation Hub, a new initiative to support start-ups, entrepreneurs, SMEs and universities.


Hiroyuki was recently seconded to JETRO, working at JETRO’s Osaka branch for a year in the Business Information Division, before being transferred to JETRO Sydney for an additional one year placement. He takes on the role of Assistant

Business Development Director, providing Japanese companies with business

information and promoting Australian companies to expand business to Japan,

particularly for the Kansai region.


Hiroyuki is also an enthusiastic marathon runner, enjoying daily training among Sydney’s scenic running routes, and has already registered for three races in Australia.

Catherine Taylor

Assistant General Manager of Trade



Catherine Taylor was appointed Assistant General Manager of Trade at the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade), from February 2017, leading the Food and Agribusiness and International Health teams nationally for Austrade as part of her role.


Catherine has a background in both the private and the public sectors in Australia and Japan which has included diplomatic roles as well as trade development and marketing positions.


Most recently she was Australia’s Consul General and Senior Trade Commissioner to Osaka for four years, where she was responsible for representing Australia’s interests in Western Japan as well as for achieving business outcomes for Australian businesses in trade, investment and education. Her previous overseas assignments include Trade Commissioner in Tokyo from 2006 – 2010, Consul and Trade Commissioner to Sendai from 2002 – 2006.


From 2010 – 2013 she was based in the Melbourne office of the Australian Trade Commission and worked to assist Foreign Direct Investment to Australia before being posted to Osaka.


She has lived and worked in Japan for 18 years and speaks Japanese. Catherine graduated from Monash University in Melbourne Australia and holds a Post Graduate Diploma, Swinburne University of Technology.

Dr Merriden Varrall

Director, East Asia Program

Lowy Institute


Dr Merriden Varrall is Director, East Asia Program at the Lowy Institute. Before joining the Lowy Institute Merriden was the Assistant Country Director and Senior Policy Advisor at UNDP China, where she worked for the past three years on China's role in the world, focusing on its international development cooperation policy. Merriden has spent almost eight years living and working in China, including lecturing in foreign policy at the China Foreign Affairs University and conducting fieldwork for her doctoral research. Prior to that she worked for the Australian Treasury.


Merriden has a PhD in political anthropology from Macquarie University, Sydney, and the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. Her dissertation examined the ideational factors behind China's foreign policy. She has a Masters Degree in International Affairs from the Australian National University, and completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Technology Sydney.

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