La Trobe Asia Annual Reports

Each year, La Trobe Asia produces a report to provide an overview of their work.

These are available for download:

2020 [PDF 1.7MB]

2019 [PDF 4MB]

2018 [PDF 670KB]

2017 [PDF 701KB]

2016 [PDF 600KB]

2015 [PDF 555KB]

2014 [PDF 616KB]

La Trobe Asia Advisory Board

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

Members of the Advisory Board are:

  • Rowan Callick
  • Dr Meenakshi Gopinath
  • Emeritus Professor Robin Jeffrey
  • Tuanh Nguyen
  • Dr Geoff Raby
  • Dr Kristen Sadler

Advisory Board Members - brief biographies

Rowan Callick bioRowan Callick

Author and columnist Rowan Callick graduated BA Hons from Exeter University, before running a publishing business in Papua New Guinea and then moving to Australia. He has three times worked as a China Correspondent, once for The Australian Financial Review (four years) and twice for The Australian (five years in total), completing his last posting in April 2018 before returning to Melbourne. He has written three books on contemporary Chinese subjects (including Party Time for Black Inc, published as The Party Forever by Palgrave Macmillan), published in both English and Chinese. He has won two Walkley Awards for coverage of China and has won the Graham Perkin Award for Australian Journalist of the Year. He was a member of the Australian Foreign Minister’s Advisory Council. He is a member of the advisory boards of La Trobe University’s China Studies Research Centre, and of La Trobe Asia.  He is also member of the National Foundation for Australia China Relations Advisory Board and the Australia China Relations Institute at the University of Technology Sydney.  He has been appointed an honorary fellow of the Australian Institute of International Affairs and in July 2018, Industry Fellow at the Asia Institute of Griffith University.  Rowan was awarded an OBE on the advice of the Papua New Guinea government for services training PNG journalists.

Dr Meenakshi Gopinath

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 Chair, Board of Governors, Centre for Policy Research (CPR) and Principal Emerita of Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi where she served as Principal for 26 years from 1988-2014. She has been a member of the University Grants Commission (UGC), India.

Dr Gopinath was the first woman to serve as member of the National Security Advisory Board (NSAB) of India. She is a member of multi-track peace initiatives and people-to-people dialogues in South Asia. 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. She also headed the Task Force of the SAKSHAM Report of the University Grants Commission that initiated several policy reforms on Gender Equity on Higher Education Institutes in India

In recognition of her contribution to the field of women’s education and empowerment, she has received several awards including the Padma Shri Award, Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi Award, the Rajiv Gandhi Award for Excellence in Education and the Mahila Shiromani Award and the Delhi Citizen Forum Award and Qimpro Platinum Standard Award for Education and Celebrating Womanhood South Asian Recognition Award for Social Harmony and International Lifetime Achievement Award – 2009 for outstanding work in the field of justice, Equity, Peace and Progress and the L.M. Singhvi  fellowship Award at the David Davies Memorial Institute of International Studies (DDMI), University of Wales, Aberystwyth, Award of the Honorary Doctorate Degree of Letters (Honoris Causa) for significant contribution to the education of women and the commitment to fostering global peace through Conflict Resolution, La Trobe University, Australia, Distinguished Alumna Award, by Lady Shri Ram College for Women, University of Delhi for meritorious contribution in the field of Education and Nirbhaya Puraskar 2017, by OYSS Women for exemplary courage and accomplishment in the field of Education.

Dr Gopinath serves on the Governing Boards of research institutes, NGOs, educational institutions and corporate bodies. She also is a member of the Nonviolent Peaceforce - International, on the Council of UPEACE– a UN Mandated University,  Asian University for Women, Shri Ram Foundation, Track Two initiatives in the South Asian region, Editor in Chief, Peace Prints- A South Asian Journal of Peacebuilding, New Delhi, the Editorial Team, International Feminist Journal of Politics (IFJP) (Cardiff), Welham Girls School, Shri Ram School, Shiv Nadar School and others. 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. She was Distinguished Visiting Scholar 2015, School of Social Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia and Honorary Adjunct Professor, La Trobe Asia, La Trobe University, Australia

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 Australian National University, is Waste of a Nation: Garbage and Growth in India (Harvard University Press, 2018). Together they previously co-authored The Great Indian Phone Book (C. Hurst and Harvard UP, 2013), published in India as Cell Phone Nation (Hachette India).

His current research interest is on the development of the printing industry in India.

Tuanh Nguyen

Tuanh Nguyen is a Director in the corporate law practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers.  She has nearly 15 years’ experience providing legal advice to Australian and international clients on corporate transactions, including capital fundraisings, private and public mergers and acquisitions, private equity transactions, joint ventures and corporate restructuring. She has extensive experience advising on cross-border corporate transactions in a wide range of industries, including financial services, agriculture, mining and construction services, manufacturing and retail as a well as a broad range of countries, including across Asia, Europe and the United States.

Tuanh is also the current Head of PwC Australia – Vietnam Desk, which is focused on facilitating inbound and outbound investments between Australia and Vietnam.

She is the legal adviser to the Vietnamese Community Association – Victoria Chapter, Inc. (Association), providing support on all legal issues affecting the Association. Tuanh is currently providing advice and support to the Association on its plans to develop the Vietnamese Australia Museum to connect the Australian community with the stories of Vietnamese migrants to Australia and celebrating the history of the Vietnamese in Australia, a significant project for the Association.

Tuanh is a member of the Governance Committee for Birdlife Australia, a board sub-committee advising Birdlife Australia board on risk management and governance issues.

Tuanh is a strong advocate for cultural diversity in the law and more broadly.  Until late 2018, she was the National President of the Asian Australian Lawyers Association (AALA), being the first Australian law association focused on promoting Asian cultural diversity in the Australian legal profession.  She was primarily involved in engaging with key stakeholders (including State and Commonwealth Attorney Generals, politicians, members of the judiciary and heads of top tier law firms) to advocate for greater cultural diversity, as well as public speaking engagements on topics relevant to the promotion of cultural and gender diversity in the law.

Even having stepped down as National President, she has continued her work in promoting cultural diversity through her involvement in a number of initiatives, including as Immediate Past President and Executive Committee Member of the AALA and as part of the Project Steering Committee for the Asian Australian Leadership Summit.

Tuanh holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce from Monash University and a Masters of Laws from the University of Melbourne.

Dr Geoff Raby AO

Dr Geoff Raby was Australia’s Ambassador to China from 2007 to 2011. After 27 years in the public service, he completed his Ambassadorial term and resigned to establish Geoff Raby and Associates in 2011.

Dr Raby serves as an Independent Non-executive Director of ASX-listed companies, Yancoal and Oceanagold.  Dr Raby also served as an independent director with Fortescue Metal Group.

Before China, he was Deputy Secretary in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT),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 (2002-2004). He was head of the Trade Policy Issues Division in the OECD in Paris during 1993-95.

He is also Chair of the Murdoch University’s Vice Chancellors Advisory Board, Western Sydney University’s Australia-China Institute of Arts and Culture and VisAsia at the NSW Gallery, he is also a member of the board of the Garvan Foundation.

In recognition of his contributions to advancing relations between Australia and China and his contribution to multilateral trade diplomacy, Dr Raby was awarded the Order of Australia in June 2019.

Dr Kristen Sadler

Dr Kristen Sadler is currently on an intercontinental sabbatical to further her learning on the interplay between exponential technologies, knowledge and truth, decentralisation, the future of leadership, and ‘society 5.0’. For more details please visit

With an early fascination of the natural world, Kristen fortunately had the opportunity to translate her curiosity into training and fellowships in life sciences research, culminating in a faculty position in one of the top universities in Asia. Kristen then took up positions in management and leadership in the international university environment where her ambition to have impact intersected with a greater sphere of influence across higher education, academic research, government and corporate sectors.

Formally trained in biomedical sciences, Kristen completed her PhD at the University of Melbourne in 2000. She took up a postdoctoral position at Vanderbilt University and then Nanyang Technological University developing synthetic peptides as HIV vaccine and anti-viral candidates. In 2005 Kristen was appointed Assistant Professor (at NTU) and combined research and teaching with the Assistant Chair (Academic) position. She made the transition from faculty member to university leadership in 2011, being appointed Deputy Director then Director of Student Life in the President’s Office. She was part of the team which devised and implemented strategy and policy impacting 34,000 students annually.

In 2016 Kristen moved to a new portfolio as Research Director (Strategy and Biosciences) in the President’s Office at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, until 2018. This role involved coordinating and implementing the University’s research strategy through interactions with the component colleges, schools and institutes as well as national and international corporate, academic and governmental organisations. Kristen held a co-appointment as Coordinating Director of the NTU Global Dialogue Institute, from 2015 to 2018. The Institute aspired to be an Asian interdisciplinary hub for sharing knowledge, generating and growing ideas, and initiating action. In addition she worked directly with the NTU President on a range of projects requiring discretion, diligence and sensitivity.

Throughout her career Kristen has worked within international teams, initiated and nurtured international partnerships, and developed intercultural competencies. She is a global citizen and ‘multi-local’ having lived and worked in different global locations. Kristen is an active member of the TED, TEDx, DLD and Falling Walls communities and has held various voluntary positions in Australia, the USA and Singapore including as captain, president and board member.