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|People Watch: April May 2012|
Michael Clifton's appointment as Austrade China Country Manager is one of a number of significant moves in Shanghai.
In December, The Australian Trade Commission appointed Michael Clifton as the organisation’s new Senior Trade Commissioner, Shanghai and Country Manager for China. Most recently Michael was chief of staff to the Hon. Simon Crean and formerly Senior Trade Commissioner Osaka and Senior Trade Commissioner Hong Kong. Michael speaks Mandarin Chinese and Japanese.
With China making up Austrade’s largest international presence, Michael is responsible for overseeing the organisation’s 12 offices across Mainland China.
Under new directives put forward by Austrade Chief Executive, Peter Grey, in 2011, Michael is also responsible for a stronger focus in China on market development including key marketing strategies such as China 2.0 (encouraging Australian businesses to look beyond China’s tier one cities), a greater role marketing Australian education through the Future Unlimited – Brand Australia initiative and a greater push into western China (as growth and wealth increases inland, Australian business needs to keep abreast of that).
“For me, the greatest change has been placed on Austrade’s market development role – from market facilitation and helping companies strike a deal, to doing the deal.”
This includes market development in new areas including auto and green sectors with Austrade business development managers now being responsible for identifying new opportunities and then relaying them back to a team in Australia.
After five years as the Executive Director for AustCham Shanghai, and steering the Chamber to double its membership base in that time to 435 members, Kate Pollitt is moving into the new role of Marketing and Business Manager, China with Allied Pickfords.
During her time with the Chamber, Kate has worked alongside three Chairs and numerous board directors. She has been responsible for growing the organisation’s secretariat, overseeing five landmark Aussie balls – a highlight of the Australian community’s Shanghai calendar, hosting the 2010 Westpac Australia China Business Awards and steering the Chamber’s involvement during the Shanghai World Expo in 2010 which welcomed more than 70 million visitors through its doors.
She was also part of the Chamber’s push to move its offices from the long-established residence on Yan’an Road to its current iaction designed office near Shanghai’s Times Square. “This moved us into professional offices befitting of an international business community.”
Kate says the secret to success of doing business in China is “planning, research and joining the AustCham network!”
Kate, who is originally from Sydney, remains based in Shanghai.
Derek Morris has joined China Southern Airlines’ regional sales and marketing department in its Sydney headquarters. Derek joins China Southern after 27 years with Cathay Pacific Airways, the past 15 years as its sales and marketing chief in Sydney. Derek began his career with British Airways in Perth. Derek will be responsible for further consolidating China Southern’s expansion into the Asia Pacific region and helping the airline introduce its new ‘Canton Route’ – Australia to the UK and Europe via the airline’s Chinese hub in Guangzhou.
China Southern operates the largest airline fleet in Asia, carrying more than 80 million passengers in 2011. It is the third largest carrier in the world.
Minter Ellison law firm has appointed Elisabeth Ellis as its first representative in its new Mongolia office in Ulaanbaatar.
Elisabeth (Lis) is recognised internationally as a pre-eminent energy and natural resources lawyer, with expertise across several industry groups and legal areas. Her practice focus is on corporate and commercial transactions, advising leading international and local organisations on private equity, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and corporate restructurings, as well as general corporate advice in Asia.
Lis has detailed understanding of Asian markets having worked in the region for many years, first in Thailand, and since 1999, in Hong Kong. Lis is named ‘one of the world's leading energy and natural resources lawyers’ in Expert Guides and ‘a leading lawyer’ in Chambers Global. She is admitted to practice in New South Wales and Hong Kong.
Businessman and philanthropist Mr William Chiu has made a A$500,000 donation to the University of Western Sydney to help students learn more about Chinese culture and society. Mr Chiu was born in Malaysia and educated in Australia and New Zealand, and has a long history as a benefactor.
Mr Chiu said he hoped his donation would help the growing relationship between Australia and China, and also the rest of Asia.
“One of the great joys of my life is helping people with their education and medical expenses,” he said.
*Pictured: UWS Vice-Chancellor Professor Janice Reid with Mr William Chiu.
Amanda Duggan has moved into a new role with Telstra International Group (TIG) in Hong Kong after three years as GM, Strategy and Business Development based in Beijing. Amanda’s role as Global Lead, Business Development will identify inorganic growth opportunities to support TIG’s ambitious Asian growth strategy. These may include acquisitions, direct investments, alliances and partnerships to strengthen TIG’s offer to global multi-national companies across the region.
Owen Caterer has opened a new office on Shanghai’s Bund for financial planning and consultancy CatererGoodman Partners. The new venture is different from the industry norm in Shanghai – being fully transparent with a client driven approach to avoid high commission driven “offshore” products which are inappropriate for Australian expats.
Owen has been in financial services since returning to Shanghai at the beginning of 2005, most recently as Chief Investment Officer for Austen Morris Associates and is a member of FINSIA who recognize Owen as a Fellow of Finance. Owen is originally from the Sunshine Coast in Queensland and speaks fluent Chinese.
Sharon Carr has recently joined Management Development Services China as an Associate Director in Beijing. MDS China specializes in leadership development and blended learning solutions. Building on her experience in Channel and Sales Management with organizations including Apple Computer and Coca Cola in Australia, Sharon’s new role is to both grow and manage the MDS business in Mainland China as well as managing a team of executive coaches, trainers and sales people. Sharon is originally from Perth.
Susan Clear has recently transferred from Beijing to Hong Kong, with PricewaterhouseCoopers. She has transferred with the Corporate Communications team, looking after communications primarily across China and Hong Kong, as well as a broader Asia Pacific coordination role. Before joining PwC in 2011, Susan lived in Beijing for more than four years, working primarily with AustCham Beijing, as well as project roles with UNFPA, Austrade and AusAID. Susan is originally from Sydney.
The Opposite House in Beijing’s Sanlitun Village has welcomed Darren Greenwood as the New Chef de Cuisine of Village Café. Darren has trained professionally in Melbourne and has extensive experience in five-star hotels, prestigious restaurants in Australia and China, most recently serving as the Executive Chef for the Australian Pavilion during the Shanghai World Expo. Darren was also Group Head Chef for Slice Deli & Restaurant in Shanghai, part of the famous David Laris and Three on the Bund brands.
The Beijing Bombers have farewelled star Chinese recruit Zhang Hao as he prepares to leave Beijing to pursue career opportunities. Over the years Zhang Hao represented and captained China in the International Cup in Australia as well as playing on tour with the Beijing Bombers in the Asian champs. “The Beijing Bombers will greatly miss him. He has been an absolute asset to the club both on and off the field.,” said Beijing Bomber President Mic Mittasch. ■