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Governance and management

Meet the people who steer our governance and lead our work
The staff and board members of The Confucius Institute are committed to promoting ongoing cultural engagement between Australia and China

Our board

Our board members are acclaimed scholars and higher education leaders who are committed to promoting engagement between Australia and China through language and culture programs and community outreach activities.

Current board members

Professor Duncan Ivison is the current Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) of the University of Sydney. Prior to this, he was dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (2010-15). He has been chair of the Confucius Institute since 2013.

Professor Ivison completed his BA at McGill University in Montreal, and his MSc and PhD at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has taught at the University of Toronto (Canada) and the University of York (UK) and has been Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Fellow at Princeton University (2002-03) in the United States. He was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities in 2009. He is currently Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of Sydney.

Professor Katherine Belov is the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement) at the University of Sydney. In this position she takes responsibility for managing the development and execution of the University’s global engagement strategy. Her main priorities are developing the capacity of academic and professional staff to support international student learning, as well as developing international research collaborations and achieving educational excellence in the international arena.

Professor Belov’s research is based in the Sydney School of Veterinary Science and her focus is on comparative genomics and immunogenetics of Australian wildlife. Her team studies Tasmanian devils, koalas, wallabies, platypuses and many other species. She has received two Eureka awards – the Crozier Medal and the Fenner Medal for her research.

Professor Yixu Lu is Head of the University's School of Languages and Cultures.

After obtaining her BA from Peking University, Professor Lu spent seven years as a postgraduate at the Universität Regensburg, Germany, specialising in German literature and Modern European history. She came to Australia as a postdoctoral fellow, and has taught at the universities of Adelaide and Melbourne and the University of Technology, Sydney.

She has been a research fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation (2002, 2008, 2012) and held a guest professorship at the Chinese Ocean University, Qingdao (2007-09). She was awarded the Jakob und Wilhelm Grimm-Preis by the German Academic Exchange Services (DAAD) for her distinguished contribution to research, teaching and international collaboration in German studies in 2014.

Professor Zhimin Chen is Vice President (International Affairs) at Fudan University. He is also a Changjiang Scholar and a Jean Monnet Chair of European foreign policy. He is Vice President of the Chinese Association of International Studies. He serves as editor-in-chief of the Chinese Political Science Review. His research interests include international relations theory, diplomacy studies, Chinese foreign policy and EU studies.

Professor Chen received all his degrees from Fudan University. He was a visiting fellow at Harvard University (1996-97) and visiting scholar at Queen’s University, University of Durham, Lund University, Sciences Po and Keio University. He was made a Chevalier dans L’Ordre des Palmes Academiques by the French Government in 2006.

Professor Lian Lu is Director of the Foreign Affairs Office and the Confucius Institute Affairs Office at Fudan University.

She is also Professor of English Literature at Fudan University and has been the Associate Dean (Research) of College of Foreign Languages and Literature at Fudan University since 2014. Professor Lu is interested in identity politics and the formation of subjectivity. Her research areas include Anglo-American Literary Modernism, Feminist Literary Criticism and Women's Writing, H.C. Andersen and the rise of China’s Modern Children’s Literature.

Professor Lu received her BA from Chengchi University; her MA from the University of Edinburgh; and her PHD from the University of Glasgow.

Jeffrey Riegel is retired from professorial positions at the University of California, Berkeley (1979-2007), and The University of Sydney (2007-2017). His most recent appointment was as Director of the China Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, a position he retired from in January 2017, having departed from his positions of Professor and Head of School in the School of Languages and Cultures at the University of Sydney in January 2015. 

Jeff has published widely on early Chinese thought, literature, and archaeology, has been a visiting professor at Fudan University, Renmin University, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and still occasionally gives talks in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Australia, and North America. Jeff spends most of his time at his homes in Siem Reap, Suzhou, and Palm Springs, California.

Our management committee

Our management committee is comprised of senior academic and professional staff. It has oversight of the Institute’s programs and provides supervision and support to the Institute’s operation.

The committee is chaired by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Global Engagement, University of Sydney, and meets six times per year to:

  • Ensure the Institute’s program and activities meet its mission 
  • Contribute to the development of strategic plans and directions for the Institute
  • Assist in the implementation of program plans
  • Advise on policy related to the Institute. 

Current members

Professor Katherine Belov is the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement) at the University of Sydney. In this position she takes responsibility for managing the development and execution of the University’s global engagement strategy. Her main priorities are developing the capacity of academic and professional staff to support international student learning, as well as developing international research collaborations and achieving educational excellence in the international arena.

Amanda Sayan is the Director of Partnerships in the Office of Global Engagement at the University of Sydney.

She has worked in international education for more than 15 years and is responsible for managing the implementation of the University’s international partnership strategy.  A key objective of her role is to help the University build and monitor alliances with leading universities around the world, bringing together researchers to work on collaborative projects and creating innovative education opportunities. She is a regular presenter at the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) and the Asia Pacific International Association for International Education (APAIE).

Amanda is an active member of the University’s India Advisory Group and has been responsible for leading the University’s engagement with prominent institutions in India. She holds a Master’s in Comparative Religious Studies from the University of Sydney.

Associate Professor Wei Wang is Chair of the Department of Chinese Studies at the University of Sydney. He is an expert in the fields of Chinese discourse studies, sociolinguistics, translation studies, and language education. 

Helen Brown has been employed as a solicitor in the Office of General Counsel since 2011, advising on contractual arrangements for research and education and activities in Australia and internationally and legislation impacting research and intellectual property issues.

Our teaching team

Our teaching staff are experts across all fields of Chinese language and culture. They offer their expertise through high-quality teaching programs, study tours, scholarships and community outreach initiatives.

Current teaching members

Yu Fang has extensive international teaching experience, which includes previous postings with the Confucius Institutes at Ricardo Palma Universidad, Lima, Peru (2016–18), Stockholm University, Sweden (2015), and Auckland University, NZ (2012). Her classes are described as open and inclusive, where students are encouraged to apply what they have learnt to real-world situations.

Yu graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Teaching Chinese as a Second Language from Zhengzhou University. She also gained a Master of Arts in Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages, from Fudan University. Yu has been a full-time Chinese language teacher at Fudan University in Shanghai since 2015, and is currently on secondment at the University of Sydney Confucius Institute.

Dr Cheng-Wei Wang has gathered broad experience teaching Chinese in tertiary institutions. He holds a PhD in Applied Linguistics from the University of New South Wales (UNSW), specialising in the field of Second Language Acquisition. He also possesses a master’s degree in cognitive psychology from Ball State University in the United States. He has been teaching at the Confucius Institute since 2010, and now also lectures on Chinese language at UNSW.

Cheng-Wei’s dynamic and engaging teaching style is based on his training and ardent belief in communicative language learning. He is sensitive to learners' zones of proximal development and alters his teaching style accordingly. His students are therefore able to strengthen their language competence and keep motivated to continue learning Chinese in the long run.

Stella Wang joined the Confucius Institute in 2014. Stella is an enthusiastic teacher who has taught Mandarin in a number of language schools throughout Sydney, as well as in several international schools in Beijing. Her years of teaching experience cover all levels, all ages, and include professional corporate training. Stella works hard to make her classes interactive and relevant, going above and beyond to ensure that her students can apply their knowledge to everyday situations.

Stella holds both a Bachelor of Law and a Master of Law from Renmin University in Beijing, China, plus a Master of International Communication from Macquarie University. She obtained a Certificate IV in LOTE Teaching (Languages Other Than English – Mandarin) from UNSW. 

Fasen is a passionate and devoted Chinese language teacher with extensive experience in teaching different levels of Chinese courses to adults and university students across China, Cameroon, Ecuador and Scotland. He has great insight and ability to encourage active participation from the students and to create a fun learning environment to improve the student performance. Fasen is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, UK and has a Masters Degree in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics from Zhejiang Normal University, China.

Dr Fu Xie received her PhD in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics from the City University of Hong Kong in 2014. Over the past fifteen years, Fu Xie has taught all levels of Chinese language in Chinese linguistics and culture in tertiary institutions in Australia, Hong Kong (SAR) and China. Fu Xie's research interests are in applied linguistics, especially second language acquisition (SLA) and language pedagogy, discourse pragmatics, and Chinese linguistics. She published several journal papers and textbooks, and doing research helped her appreciate the intricacies of the subjects, which made her always seeking inspiration to improve her teaching strategies. Her students are therefore able to strengthen their language competence and keep motivated to continue learning Chinese. 

Anny Wang is a qualified Mandarin teacher with NESA accreditation who specialises in teaching Chinese to speakers of other languages. She is an enthusiastic educator with extensive teaching experience which includes previous postings with the Confucius Institutes in the NSW Department of Education (2013-2016), Kensington Public School and some of the high schools in NSW. Her classes are inclusive and creative. By using a student-centred teaching method, she encourages students to be creative and integrate the knowledge into their real life. Anny gained a Master of Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages from Nanjing Normal University; She also graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Chinese Language and Literature from Fujian Normal University; As a lifelong learner, Anny is also currently studying Master of Teaching at Charles Darwin University. Anny was a part-time Chinese language teacher at Nanjing Normal University in 2012.

River Torrington holds a B Asia-Pacific Studies (Chinese) and a BA (English) from ANU, as well as a Grad Cert of Counselling from Monash University. They have studied Mandarin at the National Taiwan University, and enjoy tutoring Mandarin and Humanities subjects at Macquarie University (Walanga Muru). River began their Mandarin studies as an adult in 2014, so they are well positioned to guide adult learners through the unique challenges of beginning their Mandarin studies. River’s areas of special interest are Chinese idioms and Taiwanese spiritual practices.