Our team

The La Trobe Asia Team

Our office is in Room W104
Level 1, David Myers Building West

T: +61 3 9479 5414
E: asia@latrobe.edu.au
TW: @latrobeasia

Associate Professor Bec Strating -  Director

La Trobe Asia’s Director, Associate Professor Rebecca (Bec) Strating, is an expert on the international politics of maritime disputes in the Indo-Pacific. Bec has extensive networks in the field of Politics and International Relations in Asia and Australia, particularly in maritime security. In 2020 and 2021, she was a Visiting Fellow at the Australian War College and a Non-Resident Fellow at the Perth US-Asia Centre. In 2019, she was an Affiliate researcher, Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies at Georgetown University, Washington DC, a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore, and an Asian Studies Visiting Fellow, East West Center in Washington DC. In 2019, she was also selected as one of the Top 25 Young Women to Watch in Australian International Affairs.

Bec received her PhD in politics from Monash University in 2013, and in her academic career has published high quality research on the South China Sea disputes for academic and policy audiences. She has recently published a monograph Defending the Maritime Rules-Based Order: Regional States and the South China Sea disputes, East West Center (2020); “Norm contestation, statecraft and the South China Sea: defending maritime order”, The Pacific Review (2020); and “Strategy at sea: A Plan B for Australian Maritime Security?”, Security Challenges (2020). On the topic of maritime security and regional order, she has also published "Small power foreign policy in an era of Great Power Politics: testing the influence of China’s energy diplomacy in Southeast Asia", Asian Studies Review (2020); “East Asia’s Contested Security Order”, Australian Journal of Politics and History (2019, with Professor Nick Bisley); “Maritime disputes, sovereignty and the rules-based order in East Asia”, Australian Journal of Politics and History (2019); and “Maritime Territorialization, UNCLOS and the Timor Sea dispute”, Contemporary Southeast Asia (2018). She has also contributed to media discussions and public debates about maritime security issues and in 2019 was a keynote speaker at the Royal Australian Navy’s Seapower Conference, Sydney. In 2018, she won the Boyer Prize for best original article in the Australian Journal of International Affairs for her contribution on maritime disputes between Australia and Timor-Leste in the Timor Sea.

Bec contributes regularly to public debates about politics and foreign policy, writing for policy forums such as Lowy InterpreterAsia Maritime Transparency Initiative and Australian Strategic Policy Initiative, and is a commissioning editor for the Australian Institute of International Affairs’ publication Australian Outlook. She has provided expert comment for global and Australian media organisations including the ABC, The Age, BBC and Reuters, and has testified as an expert witness in Australian federal parliament. She is regularly invited to present at public and academic seminars and conferences, and is an advocate for greater diversity in Australian International Relations debates and discussions.

She tweets @becstrating.

Bec is available for research supervision in Australian politics, Australian Foreign Policy and International Relations of Asia.

T: +61 3 9479 6671
E: B.Strating@latrobe.edu.au
: @becstrating

Professor Vivian Lin - inaugural Adjunct Professor

Professor Lin has a long history of public health service and research in a number of countries across the Asian region. She is currently the Executive Associate Dean of LKS Faculty of Medicine and Chair of Public Health at Hong Kong University, one of the highest-ranked universities in Asia.

Her previous roles include the Head of the School of Public Health (2000-2005) and Chair of Public Health (2000-2013) at La Trobe University, and she was the Director of Health Systems Division for the World Health Organization (WHO) for the Western Pacific Region from 2013-2018, where she led on the global priorities of universal health coverage and sustainable development goals.

E: vklin@hku.hk

Kate Clayton

Research Officer

Kate Clayton is a Research Officer at La Trobe Asia and a graduate research student in International Relations at La Trobe University. Her research areas include Australia, China, the Pacific Islands and the United States. Her focus is on security, geopolitics, international relations theory, climate change, gender and sexuality. Kate's work has been published in The Conversation, Crikey, Lowy Institute Interpreter, China Story Blog, 9Dash Line, Perth USAsia Centre, ABC News and Junkee. She is Chief Operations Officer at Young Australians in International Affairs, a not-for profit fostering the next generation of Australian perspectives and leadership in international affairs. Kate has a Master of International Relations (International Security) from the University of Melbourne, a Bachelor of International Relations (Asian Studies) from La Trobe University and has studied at Chongqing University in China.

E: K.Clayton@latrobe.edu.au
TW: @kateclaytn

Diana Heatherich

Program Manager, Global Research

Diana Heatherich has been Senior Project Officer (now Program Manager - Global Research) for La Trobe Asia since 2014.  In this role Diana manages the administration for the team, organising anything from a small welcome morning tea for a visiting academic to a large conference and everything in between.

Previously, Diana worked in La Trobe International as International Visits and Delegations Coordinator and prior to that, in the education sector for over 18 years as a Kindergarten Teacher in Victoria and South Australia where she earned a reputation as an innovator in early childhood education.  She was active in an executive capacity in the Association of Graduates in Early Childhood for many years and contributed to early childhood teacher education at Victoria and RMIT universities.  Her quality contributions to the field were recognised in 2004 when Diana was named Victorian Kindergarten Teacher of the Year.

T: +61 3 9479 5414
M: 0402 019 615
E: d.heatherich@latrobe.edu.au
TW: @woodworkgirl

Matt Smith

Senior Communications Co-ordinator

Matt Smith is a communicator at La Trobe Asia and has worked in a variety of roles at the institution previously. He primarily writes and edits text and publications, manages social media and produces multimedia. He hosts and produces La Trobe Asia’s podcast Asia Rising, as well as La Trobe University’s popular podcast Emperors of Rome.

Outside of La Trobe University you can occasionally hear his work on ABC Radio National. His favourite dinosaur is the Stegosaurus.

T: + 61 3 9479 5513
E: matthew.smith@latrobe.edu.au
TW: @nightlightguy