People

Positioned within Western Sydney University, the Institute consolidates and builds on a wide range of existing teaching and research expertise in Chinese literature, translation, interpretation, music composition and history within the Institute for Culture and Society, School of Education and School of Humanities and Communication Arts.

The Australia-China Institute for Arts and Culture had Professor Jocelyn Chey AM as its Founding Director. The institute is supported by Research and Postdoctoral Research Fellows, Key Researchers and Professional Staff. The broad connections made by successive Directors in both Australia and China will help attract world class research teams and expertise to the Institute.


Director: Professor Jing HanJing updated photo

Professor Jing Han is a leading expert in translating Chinese culture, intercultural communication, audiovisual translation and media accessibility. She is highly regarded for her significant and original contributions to the field and industry. Jing is also known for intercultural competence, strong leadership and innovative thinking.

Jing received her PhD in English literature from the University of Sydney in 1995. In 1996 she joined the public broadcaster SBS TV Australia as Mandarin subtitler. Since 2006 she has been the Chief Subtitler and Head of the SBS Subtitling Department, leading the Department to a great international success and fame. Over the last 23 years, Jing has subtitled over 300 Chinese films and documentaries including Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Lust, Caution, Wedding Banquet, Hero, Under the Hawthorn Tree, Not One Less, Ash Is the Purest White, I Am Not Madam Bovary, Let the Bullet Fly, Sacrifice, The Blue Kite, Crazy Stone, Shanghai Dream, A World without Thieves, Springtime in a Small Town, Beijing Bicyle etc. In the last six years, Jing has been the leading subtitler of the most popular Chinese TV show If You Are the One. Her critically acclaimed English subtitles have played a key role in creating a cult following in Australian audiences and setting the record of the longest showing non-English series in Australian broadcasting history. The show’s cultural impact and influence on Australian audiences is also unprecedented. So far Jing has subtitled over 400 episodes of the show as well as other Chinese TV series. Jing has been frequently invited to speak at conferences and has delivered lectures at over 30 universities across the world. In recognition of her outstanding contributions to the cultural exchange between Australia and China, she was included in the 45 Stories published by the Australian government. She is the executive producer of the English edition of 100-episode documentary series A History of China commissioned by CGTV China.

Jing joined Western Sydney University in 2006 and has been a key faculty member in its flagship program, Translation & Interpreting, in the School of Humanities and Communication Art. She has designed and taught a range of translation and interpreting courses including Audiovisual Translation and Literary Translation for postgraduates. She is a PhD supervisor, supervising PhD candidates in a range of research areas including translation and interpreting studies, multimodality and media studies, Chinese culture and literature translation, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) translation and intercultural communication. Jing has been Associate Dean for International at School of Humanities and Communication Arts and played a pivotal role in establishing partnerships with many universities in mainland China, Taiwan and Europe. Jing is the English translator of a modern Chinese classic Educated Youth by multi-award winning author Ye Xin, published by Giramondo in 2016. She is also a highly accomplished professional interpreter for live interpreting at significant cultural and literary events.

Speech by Professor Jing Han: Don’t Take Yourself for a Shallot (opens in a new window)


Founding Director & Adjunct Professor Jocelyn Chey AM FAIIA

Black and white portrait photo of Jocelyn Chey.

Australia-China Institute for Arts and Culture Foundation Director, Professor Jocelyn Chey AM, has already made an outstanding contribution to Australia's diplomatic service and to academic life.

For more than 20 years she was a senior figure within the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, where she was instrumental in helping lay the foundations for trade and cultural relations between China and Australia.

Professor Chey began her career as lecturer in Chinese studies at the University of Sydney. She then moved to Canberra in 1973, when Australia first established diplomatic relations with China.

Holding numerous roles within the Departments of Trade and Foreign Affairs, she worked to further Australia-China relations and was posted three times in China and Hong Kong.

Professor Chey's many distinguished diplomatic appointments include 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).

Professor Chey was also the key administrative officer in the Australia-China Council at the time it was founded in 1979. From 1988–1992 she worked outside the public sector, as Director of the China Branch of the International Wool Secretariat.

Now retired from the public service, Professor Chey lives in Sydney. Her most recent role before joining Western Sydney University, was Visiting Professor at the University of Sydney, where she was a consultant on Australia-China relations.

Professor Chey is a frequent speaker and lecturer on Chinese affairs and history, and speaks fluent Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese.

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 Institute of International Affairs (FAIIA) in November 2009.


Postdoctoral Fellows

Xiang (Tony) Ren

Dr Xiang (Tony) Ren is working in the ACIAC research theme of 'Communication and Culture'. His research fields include digital publishing, creative industries and open cultures in Australia and China. Ren completed his PhD at Queensland University of Technology, receiving the University's Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award. Prior to joining ACIAC, he worked in Australian and Chinese universities as a research fellow and lecturer and spent more than a decade working in the Chinese media industries.

Dr Ren's Profile Photo

Nicholas Ng

Dr Nicholas Ng is an ethnomusicologist as well as a musician with special expertise in traditional Chinese music and Australia-China music exchange. He obtained his PhD on diasporic Chinese music from the Australian National University. He was formerly a Research Fellow at Queensland Conservatorium and Chinese Music Ensemble Coordinator at Sydney Conservatorium of Music. A practice-led researcher specialising in composition and performance, Nicholas curated the festival Encounters: China (2010) and has appeared at a number of prestigious international festivals and conferences. His life as a researching artist has been documented on SBS Mandarin Radio, ABC Music Show, and in the ABC Compass program, Divine Rhythms (2018).


Adjunct Professors

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).

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

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 a PhD in Australian literature from the University of Sydney, Australia. He was 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 Director of the Australia-China Institute for Arts and Culture from November 2017 to June 2019.

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. He 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 co-translator of John Crowe Ransom’s The New Criticism (Jiangsu Education Press, 2006) and Jeffrey Archer’s novel, Sons of Fortune (Yilin Press, 2002).

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

Adjunct Fellow, Western Sydney University

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.

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.


Project Officer/Executive Assistantlindsay photo update

Lindsay Liu is the Projector Officer/Executive Assistant at the Australia-China Institute for Arts and Culture. She holds the degrees of Master of Media Practice and Master of Publishing from the University of Sydney. Lindsay has experience working in public service institutions including the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) and the Australian Embassy in Beijing.