La Trobe Asia Steering Committee

The work of La Trobe Asia is overseen by its Steering Committee.

The Steering Committee's Terms of Reference are as follows:

  • It is a strategic and advisory group that will support La Trobe Asia and meet bi-monthly.
  • It will renew, consider and endorse the annual plan prepared by the Executive Director.
  • It will monitor the performance of La Trobe Asia.
  • It will provide internal advice on developments of relevance to La Trobe Asia and facilitate the dissemination of information internally as appropriate, in an advocacy role.

The membership of the Steering Committee is:

  • Professor Keith Nugent, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice President (Research) Chair
  • Professor Robert Pike, Pro Vice-Chancellor College of Science, Health and Engineering
  • Kelly Smith, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International)
  • Dr Catherine Itsiopoulos, Head of School of Allied Health, College of Science, Health and Engineering
  • Professor Helen Lee, Department of Social Inquiry, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce
  • Dr Savitri Taylor, Associate Professor, La Trobe Law School, College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce

Download a copy of the 2017 Annual Report [PDF 701KB]

Download a copy of the 2016 Annual Report [PDF 600 KB]

Download a copy of the 2015 Annual Report [PDF 555KB]

Download a copy of the 2014 Annual Report [PDF 616KB]

La Trobe Asia Advisory Board

La Trobe Asia has an Advisory Board to provide strategic advice to the Executive Director of La Trobe Asia and the University more broadly about its engagement with Asia and developments external to the University.  The Board will provide input into developments in Asia's tertiary sector, opportunities for partnerships with institutions and organisations in Asia and provide external advice on the operations of La Trobe Asia.  The Board will meet annually.

Members of the Advisory Board are:

  • Dr Meenakshi Gopinath
  • Linda Jakobson
  • Emeritus Professor Robin Jeffrey
  • Mark Laurie
  • Dr Geoff Raby
  • Dr Kristen Sadler

Advisory Board Members - brief biographies

Dr Meenakshi Gopinath

Dr Meenakshi Gopinath is currently Founder and Director of WISCOMP (Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace), an initiative that seeks to promote the leadership of South Asian women in the areas of peace, security and regional cooperation. She is also Principal Emerita of Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi. She was the first woman to serve as member of the National Security Advisory Board (NSAB) of India.

Dr Gopinath is a member of multi-track peace initiatives in Kashmir and between India and Pakistan including the Neemrana Peace Initiative and the Pakistan India Peoples' Forum for Peace and Democracy. She has authored among others Pakistan in Transition, and co-authored Conflict Resolution – Trends and Prospects,Transcending Conflict: A Resource book on Conflict Transformation and Dialogic Engagement and has contributed chapters and articles in several books and journals on Gandhi, the politics of Pakistan, the arts Conflict Resolution, Gender and Peace Building et al. Her interests include issues of human rights and gender, conflict transformation and Buddhist and Gandhian philosophy. In recognition of her contribution to the field of women's education and empowerment, she has received several awards including:

  • Padma Shri Award, Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi Award
  • Rajiv Gandhi Award for Excellence in Education
  • Mahila Shiromani Award
  • Delhi Citizen Forum Award
  • Qimpro Platinum Standard Award for Education
  • Celebrating Womanhood South Asian Recognition Award for Social Harmony
  • International Lifetime Achievement  Award – 2009 for outstanding work in the field of Justice, Equity, Peace and Progress
  • L.M. Singhvi  Fellowship Award at the David Davies Memorial Institute of International Studies (DDMI), University of Wales, Aberystwyth,
  • Award of Honorary Doctorate Degree for significant contribution to the education of women and the commitment to fostering global peace through Conflict Resolution, La Trobe University, Australia

Dr Gopinath serves on the Governing Boards of research institutes, NGOs, educational institutions and Corporate bodies. She also is a member of The Club of Rome, member of the UGC, the Indo German Consultative Group and Track Two initiatives in the South Asian region. She has been a Fulbright scholar and has received several fellowships including the Australian International Education Foundation Fellowship (1996-97) and the University Grants Commission Indo-Israel Exchange Fellowship (1994-1996) among others.

Dr Gopinath is an Honorary Adjunct Professor with La Trobe Asia.

Linda Jakobson

Linda Jakobson is the CEO and Founding Director of China Matters, an independent public policy initiative which aims to stimulate a nuanced and informed public discourse in Australia about China’s rise and its implications for Australia. From 2011 to 2013, she served as the Lowy Institute's East Asia Program Director. Before moving to Sydney in 2011, she lived and worked in China for 22 years and published six books on Chinese and East Asian society. Her last position in Beijing was as Director of the China and Global Security Programme at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Over the past three decades she has served as a policy advisor to the governments of seven countries. She is the co-author, with Dr Bates Gill, of a new book China Matters: Getting It Right For Australia (La Trobe University Press / Black Inc., March 2017).

Emeritus Professor Robin Jeffrey

Professor Robin Jeffrey taught school in India from 1967-9 and completed a doctorate in Indian history at Sussex University in 1973. He taught for 25 years in the Politics Program at La Trobe University in Melbourne, worked twice at ANU in Canberra and has lived for six years in India between 1967 and 2015. He is an Emeritus Professor of La Trobe University and ANU, a distinguished fellow of the Australia-India Institute in Melbourne and a visiting research professor at the Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore. His most recent book, co-authored with Assa Doron of ANU, is The Great Indian Phone Book (C. Hurst and Harvard UP, 2013), published in India as Cell Phone Nation (Hachette India). His current research is on garbage in India.

Mark Laurie

Mark is a Managing Partner at PwC Australia with over 35 years of verifiable year on year success collaborating with a range of organisations to achieve their goals.  He has worked across a broad range of industries and geographies, including Australia, China, South East Asia, India and New Zealand.

Mark has advised on many assignments in both the Public and Private Sectors across financial & management reporting, mergers and acquisitions, market entry strategies, the development of new operating models, capital raisings, corporate restructures and associated cultural and behavioural change and risk management.  Mark was the former Head of PwC’s Australia - India desk.

Mark created and has lead "Ascent" – a development program for executives from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.  He was a Lieutenant in the Australian Army Reserve (Infantry – Assault Pioneer) and presents an annual paper on Aspects of the American Civil War.

Topical presentations and papers

  • Trade, Investment, Resources and Asia's Rise” - Australia India Institute & the Institute of Foreign Policy Studies
  • Connecting and growing our economy and integrating with our neighbours” - Global Foundation’s Australia “Asian Century” Summit
  • Opportunities for Victoria in the Asian Century” - Victoria University’s - Victoria & the Asian Century Conference
  • The use of MOOCs in Skill Development” - The Future of Higher Education & Skills Training in the Australasian Region - MOOCs and Digitisation Conference

Current Directorships & Committees

  • Melbourne University’s Asialink Centre
  • La Trobe University Business School Advisory Board
  • Melbourne Commercial Arbitration and Mediation Centre
  • Independent Chairman of South Haven Group Education & training
  • Bachelor of Economics  (La Trobe)
  • Master of Business Administration (Melbourne)
  • Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia
  • INSEAD Advanced Management Programme Oct 2010
  • Graduate AICD

Dr Geoff Raby

Dr Geoff Raby was Australia's Ambassador to China from 2007-2011. Following completion of his Ambassadorial term, after 27 years in the public service, mostly with DFAT, he resigned to establish his Beijing-based business advisory company – Geoff Raby and Associates Ltd.

Dr Raby holds a number of non-executive, independent director positions with ASX-listed companies, including OceanaGold, Yancoal, and iSentia.

In China, Dr Raby serves as Co-Chair of Corrs Chambers Westgarth's China practice.

Dr Raby is a member of the non-for-profit Advance Global Advisory Board, member of the South Australian Government’s Investment Attraction Advisory Board and is an inaugural Member of the La Trobe Asia Advisory Board.

In recognition of his contributions to advancing relations between Australia and China, Dr Raby was made Friendship Ambassador to Shandong Province and an honorary citizen of Chengdu City.

Dr Raby was Deputy Secretary in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) from 2002 to 2006. He has held a number of senior positions in DFAT, including First Assistant Secretary, International Organisations and Legal Division (2001-2002), Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organisation, Geneva (1998-2001), First Assistant Secretary, Trade Negotiations Division (1995-1998), and APEC Ambassador from November 2002 to December 2004. He was head of the Trade Policy Issues Division in the OECD, Paris, 1993-95.

He is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Asia Society.

He holds an Honours Degree in Economics, a Masters in Economics and a PhD from La Trobe University.

Dr Kristen Sadler

Dr Kristen Sadler is the Research Director (Strategy and Biosciences) and a member of the Research Strategy and Coordination Group in the President’s Office at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Kristen is also the Coordinating Director of the NTU Global Dialogue Institute. The Institute aims to be an Asian interdisciplinary hub for sharing knowledge, generating and growing ideas, and initiating action.

Formally trained in biological sciences, Kristen completed her PhD (Synthetic peptides as immunocontraceptive vaccines) at the University of Melbourne in 2000. She undertook postdoctoral positions at Vanderbilt University and Nanyang Technological University focusing on the development of synthetic peptides as HIV vaccine and anti-viral candidates. In 2005 she was appointed as Assistant Professor in the School of Biological Sciences, NTU, and combined research and teaching with the Assistant Chair (Academic) role. Kristen made the transition from faculty member to university management in 2011, being appointed as Deputy Director, then Director of Student Life in the President’s Office (2011 to 2015). Kristen devised and implemented strategy and policy for the student experience ‘beyond the classroom’ particularly in the areas of residential education and orientation.

Kristen is a TEDxNTU Advisor and license holder. She is a Board member of NTU World of Wisdom, a think-tank initiated and managed by NTU graduate students. She is an active member of the TED, TEDx, DLD and Falling Walls communities.