© 2016 Australia–Japan Youth Dialogue Limited

ABN 37 614 763 218

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David Lang


David is the Founding Director of the Australia-Japan Youth Dialogue.


He is based in London where he leads UK public policy and government relations for Square, the California-based payments company owned by Jack Dorsey. Between 2017 and 2018 he served as an adviser to the former Foreign Minister of Australia, the Hon Julie Bishop MP. Between 2014 and 2017 he worked as analyst and managing editor of The Strategist at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, an independent, non-partisan defence and security think tank in Canberra. He has also served stints with the National Institute for Defense Studies in Tokyo and the Australian Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva.

David has been a young leader with Pacific Forum CSIS, a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community and was a delegate to the Australian American Young Leadership Dialogue 2016–17. His work has been published in The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian Financial Review, The Japan Times, The Diplomat and The National Interest, among others.

David holds a Bachelor of Business Management from The University of Queensland and a Master of International Relations from Griffith University.

Cristina Merino 

Cristina is the Japan Lead for the Australia-Japan Youth Dialogue.


She currently serves as Head of Customer Relations for Rugby World Cup 2019, Official Hospitality Programme.  Previously she worked as Executive Director of the Australian and New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Japan where she focused on strengthening the commercial links between Australian / New Zealand and Japan, and raising awareness about the opportunities for Australian businesses in Japan.


Over her career, she has worked at Meat & Livestock Australia’s Japan office, the Australian Embassy Tokyo, and for a Japanese company in the construction of a Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC) project in Central America. 


Cristina first came to Japan in 2001 as a Researcher under the Japanese Government’s Monbukagakusho Scholarship Programme. She holds a Bachelor of International Business, specialising in Japanese, from Queensland University of Technology; and a Master of Arts, Intercultural Communication, from Kyushu University.


She is fluent in English, Japanese and Spanish.

Kevin Placek

Kevin is a policy graduate at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in Canberra, Australia.


Previously, he was a senior program assistant at the Social Science Research Council (SSRC). Kevin has interned for the Japan Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC and for Kono Taro, a member of the House of Representatives, in the Diet in Tokyo.


He holds a B.A. in international relations and a Master of International Relations from the University of Melbourne.

Erin McCullagh

Erin completed a Bachelor of International Relations/Bachelor of Languages at the Australian National University, primarily studying Japanese and Mandarin. She undertook a semester exchange at Akita International University in northern Japan in 2014. She has also completed numerous short Japanese language programs, an internship in China and fieldwork examining Japanese war museums for her Honours project.


During her time at university, Erin also spent two years working with the ANU Za Kabuki Club as President, helping to organise tours to Japan in 2016 and Melbourne in 2017. In 2018, she participated in a Graduate Development Program with the Australian Public Service, and in 2019 will embark on a work placement in Awajishima, Hyogo Prefecture, to work on regional revitalization projects.

D'Arcy Butler

D’Arcy grew up in country Victoria and had his first encounter with Japan and its culture on a three-week trip at the age of 10. His family was a regular host for Japanese student teachers and when he selected a language to pursue at University, Japanese seemed the natural choice.


D’Arcy was employed at the Consulate-General of Japan in Melbourne, working in the Information and Culture section for 6 years. He is now launching a start-up to promote the delivery of language and culture education in Victorian schools whilst completing a Masters of Education. He is the Co-Vice-President of the Australia Japan Society of Victoria, where he has served as a committee member since 2010; he is also a committee member of the National Federation of Australia Japan Societies. In his spare time, D’Arcy is a keen ice hockey player and is a defenceman in the Jets Phantoms team.

Eve Bentley

Originally from Melbourne, Eve has been living, studying and working in Tokyo for five years. Passionate about the Australia-Japan bilateral relationship and the future of the Asia Pacific, she began her studies at the Australian National University before moving to Tokyo to pursue a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) at the University of Tokyo. She has gained valuable experience through internships at the Australia New Zealand Chamber of Commerce (ANZCCJ) and the British Embassy, and has served in the Public Diplomacy team at the Australian Embassy in Tokyo.


In January 2018 Eve co-founded ANZCCJ’s Youth Empowerment Programme, which aims to connect young people in Tokyo with professional mentors in order to foster closer links as well as share valuable knowledge and experiences.


Eve works as a paralegal at an international law firm in Tokyo, and continues to chair the Youth Empowerment Programme.

David Hiroyuki Murakami

David was born and raised in Perth, Western Australia, and is passionate about economics, technology, and contemporary social issues in Asia. He holds a Master of Economics degree from Keio University, and a Bachelor of Economics (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Australia (UWA).


After graduating from UWA, David was employed by Western Australia’s Department of the Premier and Cabinet. In early 2016 David left Perth to take part in the inaugural National Parliamentary Fellowships Program between Australia and Japan, which involved a three-month stint in Japan’s Diet facilitated by the Australian National University and Japan Center for International Exchange. During his studies in Tokyo, David also served as a Research Assistant for the Bank of Japan’s Price and Statistics Division.

David continues to reside in Tokyo where he works for Apple. He intends to pursue a PhD in economics in the future,

Jesse Tucek

Jesse is from Perth, Western Australia, and is currently studying a double degree in chemistry and Japanese at Curtin University. Through studying Japanese and an exchange experiences in high school, Jesse has developed a keen interest in Australia’s relationship with Japan and the broader Indo-Pacific region.


In 2017 Jesse travelled to Japan under the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s New Colombo Plan Scholarship to develop his language skills and network, and gain valuable work experience. Jesse interned with Mitsubishi Corporation, JR Central, and worked closely with the Australian Embassy in Japan and the Australia New Zealand Chamber of Commerce of Japan.


Since returning to Australia, Jesse has attended the Australia - Japan Future Leaders Roundtable in Sydney, has joined the Australia Japan Youth Society, and was recently selected as the New Colombo Plan Alumni Ambassador for Curtin University.

Yuma Osaki

Yuma is currently pursuing his PhD at the Crawford School of Public Policy of the Australian National University. His research explores the development of international trading systems, with a particular focus on the advent of Asian regional economic integration frameworks.

He holds an MA in Comparative Political Studies at Doshisha University, and an LLM in International Law and Global Justice at the University of Sheffield. He graduated from Waseda University with a BA in Global Political Economy. Prior to commencing his postgraduate studies, Yuma worked as an analyst at Marubeni Corporation.

In 2016, prior to beginning his PhD studies, he visited Canberra to take part in the inaugural National Parliamentary Fellowships Program between Japan and Australia.

Akari Yoshida

Akari was born and raised in Tokyo, holds a BAN in International Business from Rikkyo University, and is currently a Consultant at RGF Professional Recruitment Japan.

During her undergraduate studies, Akari undertook a study abroad exchange program at Queensland University of Technology. Akari’s experience in Australia was a big turning point in her life, and it sparked her passion and interest in the friendship between Australia and Japan.

After she returned to Japan, Akari worked at the Australian and New Zealand Chamber of Commerce as an intern, with particular focus on its Youth Empowerment Program.

In her spare time, Akari is especially passionate about foods and drinks, and she often explores restaurants and cafes around Tokyo focusing on Australian grown produce.