Adjunct Professors and Key Researchers

Adjunct Professors


Jocelyn Chey AM FAIIA

Professor Jocelyn Chey AM obtained her PhD in the history of Chinese philosophy from the University of Sydney. For more than 20 years she was a senior official in the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, where she was instrumental in helping to lay the foundations for trade and cultural relations between China and Australia. Her many diplomatic appointments include as Cultural Counsellor in the Australia Embassy in Beijing (1975–1978); Senior Trade Commissioner in the Australian Embassy in Beijing (1985–1988) and Consul-General for Australia in Hong Kong (1992–1995). Since retirement from the public service, she has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Sydney and was the foundation Director of ACIAC (2016-2017). Her research interests include Australia-China relations, cultural diplomacy, international relations and humour studies. She was awarded the Australia-China Council Medal for contributions to the development of relations between Australia and China in November 2008, was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in January 2009, and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of International Affairs (FAIIA) in November 2009.

A black and white portrait photo of Jocelyn Chey. 

Stephen FitzGerald AO FAIIA

Stephen FitzGerald began his professional career as a diplomat, studied Chinese and became a China specialist. As China specialist he has been diplomat, academic, think tank director and expert consultant to government and business. He was China adviser to Gough Whitlam in opposition and as Prime Minister, Australia’s first ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, and later, at the beginning of China’s opening to the outside world, established the first private consultancy for Australians dealing with China, which he ran until 2008.

He chaired the 1980s committee of the Asian Studies Association of Australia which shaped the Association’s policy for Asian Studies and Languages in Australian education and later became chair of the government body established to address that policy, the Asian Studies Council. This Council wrote a strategy for Asia in Australian education. He subsequently founded the Asia-Australia Institute, dedicated to making Australia part of the Asian region through think tank activities and ideas-generation by regional leaders meeting in regular forums in the region’s capitals. He chaired the government’s Committee to Advise on Australia’s Immigration Policies, which wrote the landmark report, Immigration. A Commitment to Australia. He has been advisor to the Federal and Northern Territory governments, and the governments of Australia, Britain, Denmark and others on governance-related aid in China and Southeast Asia.

He is currently a Distinguished Fellow at the Whitlam Institute at Western Sydney University, a Board Member of China Matters, an independent policy initiative dedicated to raising the quality of public discussion of China and Australia’s relations with it, and Vice President of the organizing committee for a Museum of Chinese in Australia.

Steve Fiz 

Carrillo Gantner AC

ACIAC Adjunct Professor Carrillo Gantner studied at University of Melbourne, Stanford University, and Harvard University and later became a professional actor. He was the Cultural Counsellor at the Australian Embassy in Beijing from 1985 to 1987, and served as Chairman of The Asialink Centre at the University of Melbourne from 1992 to 2005. He served as a founding Advisory Board member for The Centre of China in the World at ANU from 2011 to 2013. He was the President of The Myer Foundation from 2005 to 2009 and has been the Chairman of Sidney Myer Fund since 2004. He is the godfather of the new Asia Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts (‘Asia TOPA’) in Melbourne.

In 2006, the University of New South Wales awarded Professor Gantner an Honorary Doctorate of Letters for services to the arts and the community. In 2008, he was elected an Honorary Fellow of The Australian Academy of the Humanities. In 2014, the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China awarded Professor Gantner their highest honour for foreigners: “The Cultural Exchange Contribution Award” for his outstanding contributions to China’s cultural exchanges with the world. This Award was presented by a Vice Premier of China in a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Carrillo has written for various journals and other publications, always working to enhance Australia’s reputation as a constructive partner in the Asia Pacific. In April 2017, he was appointed Adjunct Professor of the Australia-China Institute for Arts and Culture, Western Sydney University, and in January 2019, he was appointed to a Companion in the Order of Australia (AC).


Michael Williams

Michael Williams obtained his doctorate from the University of Hong Kong in 2003. Michael has taught at Beijing Foreign Studies and Peking Universities and is currently the historian on the team of Western Sydney University’s China-Australia Heritage Corridor project researching the historical connections between the built environment of the ancestral villages of people from Zhongshan County, Guangdong Province China and Australia.

Born in Sydney, previous to attending HKU Michael had lived in Japan and Taiwan before taking up his studies of Chinese Australian history and heritage and Chinese immigration history. After publishing his Chinese settlement in NSW – a thematic history for the Heritage Office of NSW in 1999, Michael worked with the late Henry Chan to found the Chinese-Australian Historical Society of which Michael is currently the historical consultant. A strong believer, like Henry Chan, in the importance of community research and involvement Michael is also the author of Returning Home with Glory (HKU Press, 2018). This work utilises oral interviews and other research in the villages of south China to trace the history of peoples from China’s Pearl River Delta around the Pacific Ports of Sydney, Hawaii and San Francisco.

Michael has had a life-long and wide ranging interest in history. In addition to his research of Chinese-Australian migration history and a thematic study of the history of the NSW town of Dungog, Michael has also done a number of histories for heritage and archaeological assessments. His published books include a unique social history of Australia’s oldest cinema, and in 2019 he was instrumental in Sydney University Press’s bilingual publication of a translation (by Ely Finch) of the first novel of Chinese Australian literature, The Poison of Polygamy.

Continuing his conviction that history should not be confined behind academic firewalls or restricted to lovers of footnotes Michael is working on a web based project entitled Chinese Australian history in 88 Objects which takes 88 random objects and explains in 500 words or less their connection to the wider history of Chinese Australia. Michael’s current research also includes a history of the White Australia policy’s Dictation Test, an investigation of the long history of Chinese Opera in Australia, and a general history of the Chinese in Australia.

Michael W bio B&W

Labao Wang

Professor Labao Wang had an MA in American literature from Fudan University, China, and a PhD in Australian literature from the University of Sydney, Australia. He was for about twenty years Professor of English at the School of Foreign Languages, Soochow University, China, where he also served as Director of Australian Studies Centre, Deputy Dean and Dean from 2002-2017. He was appointed Director of the Australia-China Institute for Arts and Culture in 2017.

Professor Wang's research interests include Anglo-American literature and postcolonial literatures in English, Australian literature, literary criticism and theory, short fiction as a literary genre, literary semiotics and language teaching.

Professor Wang has published widely in China and overseas. He has worked on national research projects like “Traditions in Australian Literary Criticism” and “Postmodern Experiments in Australian Fiction”, and his books include A History of Australian Literary Criticism (China Social Sciences Press, 2016, included in China’s 2015 National Achievements Library of Philosophy and Social Sciences), Australian Short Fiction in the 1980s: Continuity and Change (Soochow University Press, 2000) and The Purest Art: Euro-American Theories of the Short Story as a Literary Genre (Southeast University Press, 2006). He’s also the Chinese translator of John Crowe Ransom’s The New Criticism (with Zhang Zhe, Jiangsu Education Press, 2006) and Jeffrey Archer’s novel, Sons of Fortune (Yilin Press, 2002). He taught for the Chinese Ministry of Education an online course called “Classical English Essays: from Francis Bacon to Virginia Woolf” (2012).

Professor Wang is currently Vice President of the Chinese Association for Language and Semiotic Studies, the Chinese Association of Australian Studies in China, and the Chinese Association for Studies in World Literatures Written in English. And he was also the founding editor of the international English language journal Language and Semiotic Studies (2015-16).

Key Researchers


David Cubby

Dr David Cubby (opens in a new window)is an artist, photographer and Senior Lecturer within Communication Studies at Western Sydney University. David is the editor and chair of the editorial board of the International Journal of the Image and chair of the newly formed China-Australia Cultural and Creative Industries Association. He has photographed, exhibited and published with a particular interest in China for over sixteen years, taken groups of photographers and students into numerous provinces as well as taught photo-media within PR China.

Black and white photo of David Cubby.

Associate Professor Denis Byrne

Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Culture and Society

Dr Denis Byrne (opens in a new window) is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University, where he is convenor of the Heritage & Environment research program. He is an archaeologist whose work has mostly been in the fields of Indigenous and migrant heritage in Australia as well as in the cultural politics of heritage conservation in Southeast Asia. His current research is centred on the ARC-funded China-Australia Heritage Corridor project which, focussing on the period from the mid-1800s to mid-1900s, investigates connections between the built environment of migrants from Zhongshan (Guangdong) in Australia and that of their ancestral villages in China. He is also researching the history of coastal reclamations in the Asia-Pacific as examples of Anthropocene heritage. His books Surface Collection (Rowman & Littlefield 2007) and Counterheritage (Routledge 2014) challenge western-derived heritage practices in Asia and explore new approaches to the writing of archaeology and heritage.