Ms Maree Ringland | Counsellor, Public Affairs and Culture, at the Australian Embassy in Beijing
Ms Maree Ringland took up her role as Counsellor, Public Affairs and Culture, at the Australian Embassy in Beijing in February, 2016.
This is her second time living and working in China. She first came to Beijing in 1999 as a language trainee preparing to work on energy and resources issues in the Economic Section at the Australian Embassy (2000-2004).
In her 12 years in between stints in China, she worked on bilateral trade negotiations with China (2005-2008), served as Deputy Head of Mission at the Australian Embassy in Chile (2009-2012), edited the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Annual Report (2013) and returned to trade negotiations, this time with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) (2013-2015).
She has a Masters in International Relations from Monash University and a Combined Asian Studies/Law Degree (with honours) from the Australian National University. She speaks Mandarin, Japanese and Spanish.
Mr Paul Jaroslav Sanda | Deputy Consul-General, Australian Consulate-General,Guangzhou | Senior Trade Commissioner, Austrade Guangzhou
Paul Sanda commenced his posting as Deputy Consul-General and Senior Trade Commissioner at the Australian Consulate-General in Guangzhou in March 2017 .
He was previously Manager, Media and Communications, Australian Trade and Investment Commission based in Sydney.
In this role Paul managed a team responsible for coordinating Austrade’s corporate communications requirements and engagement with media. The team also works to enhance Austrade’s reputation and minimise reputational risk.
Paul served four years from 2008 to 2013 as Counsellor (Commercial) and Senior Trade Commissioner at the Australian Embassy in Warsaw, Poland.
Paul has previously completed two postings in China, as Consul (Commercial) in Shanghai from 1998 to 2003 and Counsellor (Commercial) in Beijing from 2003 to 2008.
Ms Sara Cheng | Head of China Practice, Australian Business Solutions Group / Australian Business Chamber | Vice President, Australia China Business Council NSW Branch
Sara is a well-respected writer, thought leader and most sought-after China business expert in Australia. She actively promotes bilateral trade and investment between Australia and China, and co-authored the book Engaging China-The Realties for Australian Businesses.
Sara has over 20 years experiences in China and Australia, specialising in China business strategy development, distribution channel management, and merger & acquisition. She held senior management roles with a large Chinese international trade company and an international organization in China before she migrated to Australia 16 years ago.
As Head of China Practice of Australian Business Solutions Gorup, Sara manages the China team in both Australia and China to assist Australian businesses to trade or invest in China. She has personally assisted over 1000 Australian businesses including some icon brands across a broad range of industry sectors to do business with China successfully. Currently, she manages Export Growth China program (exportgrowth.com.au) on behalf of all chambers across Australia to assist Australian businesses to enter and expand in China market.
Sara has also managed and run various federal and state government programs including Stepping Up, Instilling International Entrepreneurship in Emerging Enterprises, Women Going Global, etc.
Dr Tan Eng Han | Country Manager (China) Educational Testing Service (ETS) Global
Dr Tan has been with ETS China office since 2006, and is responsible for the marketing and services of all ETS products in China, including TOEFL, TOEIC, GRE family of assessments. Prior to ETS, he spent 12 years in Shanghai heading the China operation of a Singapore publicly listed education institution. In between 2000 and 2003, Dr Tan co-founded and led an e-learning startup, 12Learn which focused on corporate-based online learning solutions.
Dr Tan holds an undergraduate qualification in Accountancy from Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), and MBA (Finance and Investment) from University of Hull (UK) and a Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) from the University of South Australia.
Mr Curt Shi | Founding Partner, Imprint Capital Partners & Follow [The] Seed | 2016 Winner of CPA Australia - Australia China Alumni Award for Banking and Finance
A veteran in the telecom, media and technology space, as well as in the action sports sector, Curt Shi is an experienced early stage investor and VC fund manager, focusing on the complex but massive opportunities in China. One of his recent successful cross-border investments is Catapult Sports which was listed on the ASX (CAT) Dec 2014 (20X return in 18 months). Currently Curt is the founding partner of two VC funds: Imprint Capital Partners in Beijing and Follow [The] Seed in Sydney. Through these two venture capital vehicles, Curt’s main focus is to support its Australia partners and portfolios find suitable Chinese partners, build their businesses and achieve financial market exits through IPO and M&A.
For his prominent performance, Curt was the 2016 winner of “CPA Australia - Australia China Alumni Award for Banking and Finance” by Australia China Alumni Association and a finalist for the “Innovation and Entrepreneurship Alumni Award” by Western Sydney University for 2017.
Dr Chao Zhao|Head of Industrial Design Department,Director of Healthcare Design Innovation Lab,Tsinghua|Deputy Secretary General,Tsinghua Education Foundation|Founder & Director of Industrial Design Center, Beijing Collaboration Innovation Institute
Dr. Chao Zhao is currently Head of Industrial Design Department, Director of Healthcare Design Innovation Lab in Tsinghua University, Deputy Secretary General of Tsinghua Education Foundation, Founder and Director of Industrial Design Center in Beijing Collaboration Innovation Institute. Dr. Zhao has closely involved with theoretical modeling, design practice, and design evaluation of product/service design projects as a practitioner, researcher and trainer. Dr. Zhao’s design works have been featured in a number of international exhibition and gallery collections. He has patents existing on several of his product/service designs. Due to distinguished achievement in the research, practice, and teaching areas, Dr. Zhao wins Top Ten Chinese Young Designer Award by Chinese government, and Australia China Alumni Award for Research and Innovation. He also has been selected as The Chinese Ministry of education program for New Century Excellent Talents, and Outstanding Professor Awards by Beijing Government. The wide-scope of product design has won Dr. Zhao numerous awards in his design career, including international renowned design award 'Red Dot Award', 'Red Star Design Award', National Significant Product Design Award, and Excellence Design Award in the China National Art and Design Exhibition. Dr. Zhao also has an extensive and distinguished industrial design related publication record in international journals and conferences.