China cityscape

How education fostered an international business career with Asia

30 August 2023
Damian Meduri, Master of International Business (2023)
Not everyone decides on their dream job early in life, but Damian Meduri, the Associate Director of the NSW Government’s Global Markets (Greater China) team, had some early clues that he’d end up working in the intricate world of international relations.
Damian Meduri headshot

Damian Meduri, Master of International Business graduate (2023)

Damian Meduri is the Associate Director of Global Markets (Greater China) within the NSW Government where he leads the Greater China team in Sydney. This work sees him coordinate and advise on NSW’s trade, economic, and government-to-government relationship with mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

From advising Premiers and Ministers on economic and political matters to developing and maintaining relationships with consular officials, business leaders and industry associations, Damian says no two days are the same.

“You get to meet and work with some of the most talented individuals and amazing global organisations. It’s both humbling and energising.”
Damian Meduri

An interest sparked at an early age

Damian was drawn to all things international from a young age – a passion that was encouraged by his school and family.

“My interest in China and international matters started broad, but got defined over time,” he recalls. “I grew up in an area of Western Sydney, out near Kurrajong, that had little exposure to Asian culture, yet it was compulsory to learn Mandarin Chinese at my primary school. This helped kickstart my interest in international matters.”

When Damian got to high school, he had the opportunity to represent the school in China, which deepened his interest. It was this moment when he knew he wanted to build a career in international business. 

Damian Meduri and Australian Ambassador to China, Graham Fletcher

Damian Meduri and Graham Fletcher, Australian Ambassador to China

Supported by a rich educational experience

Upon graduating high school, Damian began an undergraduate degree in international studies, where he went on exchange to Shanghai, supported by a Westpac Asian Exchange Scholarship. After returning, Damian interned with the Australian Institute of International Affairs which helped launch his career to where it is today, initially securing him a graduate role within the NSW State Government. One year later, he found himself on the China desk. 

Wanting to develop his knowledge and skills further, he commenced a Master of International Business (MIB) at the University of Sydney.

“The MIB added theories and frameworks to conceptualise the practice I see every day,” he says. “I work with both domestic exporters and foreign investors, and the MIB helped me to better understand the logic of their business decisions and enable me to give better advice.” 

Overall, Damian remembers his experience at the University as being positive, challenging and insightful.

“I enjoyed the support of the teaching staff throughout my experience,” he recounts. “I had a great chance to work with Dr Wei Li on the capstone project for the MIB with a Chinese investor based in Sydney.” 

Beyond gaining professional skills, Damian found his time at the University also encouraged personal development. He recalls the robust discussions with lecturer Julian James about ethics and how it relates to his role as a public servant.

“International business is prone to tough questions regarding ethics and how they impact the decision-making process. In my role, it’s important to understand and justify decisions that will be in the public good.”
Damian Meduri

An unyielding commitment to international relationships

Now, Damian combines his professional experience, knowledge gained through his MIB, and strong passion for his field each day. 

“I’m deeply dedicated to fostering a productive relationship between Australia and Asia,” he says. “I have a great appreciation of Chinese language and culture, and I speak and read Chinese at home, with plenty of room for improvement. I’ve also lived and travelled in China over the years and look forward to doing more. It motivates me because there is still so much more to unpack and understand. I’m determined to ensure I continue learning, so I can provide the best advice possible.”

Damian Meduri presenting to an audience

Damian Meduri

Damian Meduri’s top reads

War And Peace – Tolstoy

“I’ve only read it once, it took me six months, I probably will never read it again, but I loved every page of this classic. From the imperial balls of the Russian Empire, the brooding self-examination of Pierre and his philosophy, to the deconstruction of Napoleon. Not many other works of fiction manage to balance world events and interpersonal stories so well.”

笑傲江湖 (The Smiling, Proud Wander) – Jin Yong 

“An absolute classic of the Wuxia genre by the legendary Jin Yong. This took me a long time to read but I was captivated all the way through this epic tale centred around the drunken antics of Linghu Chong (令狐冲), the all-powerful “Bixie Manual”, and the lengths the crazy cast of characters will go to obtain it.”

三体 (The Three Body Problem) – Liu Cixin 

“A great science fiction novel! The first in the series is a little more subdued, with an underlying constant sense of dread and horror.”

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