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 quarterly.
  • 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 Susan Dodds, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research and Industry Engagement) - from 1 June Chair
  • Professor Chris Pakes, Dean Graduate Research School
  • Professor Simon Evans, Pro Vice-Chancellor College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce
  • Kelly Smith, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International)
  • Professor Rachel Huxley, Pro Vice-Chancellor Research, College of Science, Health and Engineering
  • Dr Sonia Reisenhofer, Acting Pro Vice-Chancellor Partnerships, 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 2018 Annual Report [PDF 670KB]

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:

  • Rowan Callick
  • Dr Meenakshi Gopinath
  • Linda Jakobson
  • Emeritus Professor Robin Jeffrey
  • Mark Laurie
  • 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 Centre, and of La Trobe Asia. He has been appointed an honorary fellow of the Australian Institute of International Affairs. He became in July 2018, Industry Fellow at the Asia Institute of Griffith University.

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 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.

Mark Laurie

Mark Laurie is an experienced Senior Partner and Non-Executive Director. He was formerly a Managing Partner at PwC Australia in the Defence Practice and has 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.

He is currently advising in several sectors and is on the Board of two companies.  He was a Lieutenant in the Australian Army Reserve (Infantry – Assault Pioneer) and presents an annual paper on Aspects of the American Civil War.

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

·        Harvard Kennedy School – Art & Practice of Leadership Development Program

·        Graduate AICD

Dr Geoff Raby

Dr Geoff Raby was Australia’s Ambassador to China from 2007 to 2011. Dr Raby also served as Australia’s Ambassador to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and to APEC.

Following completion of his Ambassadorial term to China, after 27 years in the public service, mostly with DFAT, he resigned to establish Geoff Raby and Associates Ltd a Beijing-based business and strategic advisory consultancy.

Dr Raby is also a non-executive, independent director of ASX-listed companies Yancoal (YAL) and OceanaGold (OGC). He has previously been an independent non-executive director Fortescue Metals Group (FMG), iSentia (ISD) and Chairman of SmartTrans(SMA). He is Co-Chair of Corrs Chambers Westgarth’s China practice.

Dr. Raby is a member of the non-for-profit Advance Global Advisory Board, University of Sydney’s China Studies Centre Advisory Board, and La Trobe University’s Asia Advisory Board.

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.