Sydney Speakers



Mr Paul Nicolaou

Paul Nicolaou BA, MCom (UNSW) FAMI CPM  is currently the Director of the Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry Business Leaders Council and Director of Corporate & Community Solutions a private company specialising in strategic advice, marketing, fundraising, media, public relations and event management.

Paul sits on the Board of The Gut Foundation, which conducts research & education campaigns on bowel cancer, The Estia Foundation, which provides support services to children with disabilities and as a Non-Executive Board Member of Group Colleges Australia which is a well-established, professional Registered Training Organisation (RTO) that provides support services to educational and associated institutions, such as marketing, financial and technological support services.

In addition, Paul is an ambassador of Start Up Australia which is an entrepreneur-led not for profit organisation that wants to create a strong Australia for the future, through the creation of more entrepreneurial ventures. Paul is a Member of the Association of Independent Schools of NSW Institute which is a high-level think-tank that assists Independent Schools to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing educational environment. Further Paul is a Non-Executive Director of Dymocks Children’s Charities. This entity is an Australia-wide, tax-deductible charity providing high quality books to pre-primary and primary school age children in schools in lower socio economic areas.

Paul was the former Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Hotels Association of NSW (AHA). The AHA is one of the largest industry associations in Australia representing 1,700 pubs and 100 accommodation hotels in NSW.

Prior to the AHA, Paul was the Executive Chairman of the Millennium Forum, which was the fundraising and business engagement arm of the Liberal Party of Australia NSW Division.

Paul was formerly on the Board of The Centennial Parklands Foundation, which is a charitable organisation that has been established to ensure the Centennial Parklands environment and heritage value continues to be enjoyed now and by future generations. In addition Paul was on the Bill Crews Trust which exists to encourage and develop new and innovative projects aimed at alleviating poverty in Australia and in third world countries.

Paul was also the former NSW President of the Marketing Institute of Australia for 4 years, a member of the Council for ten years and is currently an Associate Fellow and Certified Practicing Marketer of the Marketing Institute of Australia.

In the early years, Paul was the former Chief Executive Officer of the UNSW Foundation, which was responsible in raising $10-$12million a year for providing important medical research and scholarships for disadvantaged students at the University of New South Wales. At the same time he was the Director of Public Affairs & Development at the University. Paul served as the Deputy Director of Public Affairs and Development at UNSW as well.

Prior to his senior roles at the University, Paul was Marketing Manager at the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife. Prior to that Paul was the Manager of Fundraising at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead and Camperdown. Every year, Paul and his team raised between $12-$14 million per annum for vital research and lifesaving equipment for the sickest children in the state.

Ms Winnie Chan

Ms Chan joined the Administrative Service of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in 2006.  She was appointed in March 2017 as the Deputy Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (HKETO) in Sydney, which represents the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in Australia and New Zealand.  In January 2021, Ms Chan assumed the current position of Director (Representative to Australia and New Zealand) of HKETO.

Ms Chan has previously served in various government bureaux and departments, including the Labour and Welfare Bureau, the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau, the Tourism Commission and the Labour Department.

Ms Chan is married.  She received her bachelor’s degree in social sciences (major in psychology) from The University of Hong Kong and later her Juris Doctor degree from the Faculty of Law of The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Mr Stephen Phillips

Mr Stephen Phillips is the Director-General of Investment Promotion at Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK), the Government Department responsible for attracting and facilitating foreign direct investment into Hong Kong.

Mr Phillips has served in senior positions in a number of private and public organisations. He lived and worked in Hong Kong from 1989 to 2004 holding senior investment banking positions with Deutsche and BZW/Barclays Capital before co-founding a Hong Kong-based group of
companies providing IT, financial and consultancy services across Asia. In 2004, Mr Phillips joined UK Trade & Investment (now the UK’s Department of International Trade) before becoming the Chief Executive of the China Britain Business Council in 2006, as well as Chairman of the EU China Business Association.

Mr Phillips holds a BSc in Chemistry and Law from the University of Exeter.

Mr Edward Yau

Mr Yau assumed the post of the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development on July 1, 2017. His portfolio covers policy areas from trade, commerce to telecommunications and broadcasting, and from promotion of creative industries, intellectual property and consumer protection to boosting inward investment and tourism development.

Mr Yau has his full career in the public service.  Before taking up the current post, Mr Yau was the Director of the Chief Executive’s Office  from 2012 to 2017, assisting the Chief Executive in formulating policies and setting policy goals and priorities. He was the Secretary for the Environment from 2007 to 2012, overseeing policies on environmental protection, energy, nature conservation and sustainable development.

Mr Yau started his civil service career as an Administrative Officer in 1981. During his long service as a civil servant, he held various positions, including Director of Information Services, Deputy Secretary for Education and Manpower, Deputy Director-General of Trade and Industry as well as Director-General of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Washington, DC, USA.

Mr Yau graduated from the University of Hong Kong. He received further education at Oxford University and at Harvard University.

Mr Tommy Yuen

Graduated from the University of Hong Kong, Mr Yuen joined the Administrative Service of the then Hong Kong Government back in 1985.  He has served in a number of different policy bureaux and departments including the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Washington DC, the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau, the Development Bureau, the Beijing Office and the Government Property Agency. 

He was the Government Property Administrator for three years from 2015 and became the head of the Greater Bay Area Office of the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau since January 2019.

Ms Marisa Mastroianni

Marisa Mastroianni is Managing Director and Group CEO of UOW Global Enterprises, a global higher education organisation.   Marisa leads an international team of some 1500 staff, with 17,000 enrolled students at its campuses.   Marisa led the global expansion into Asia, with campuses now in Hong Kong and Malaysia as well as campuses in Dubai and Australia.  As a subsidiary of the University of Wollongong, UOW Global Enterprises exports and delivers world class higher education.

Ms. Mastroianni has specific expertise and interest in effecting organisational and cultural change particularly in a global context.

Ms Mastroianni holds a Bachelor and Master of Commerce, is a Harvard Alumnus, a Fellow of CPA Australia, Associate Fellow IML and GAICD. Ms Mastroianni holds a number of external board and committee appointments.

The Hon Warwick Smith AO

Warwick is Chairman, Advisory Board – Australian Capital Equity, holders of interests in Seven Group Holdings of which he is a Board Director, Seven West Media, Coates Hire, Beach Energy, WesTrac and Caterpillar industrial services and equipment in Western Australia and New South Wales.  He is a Board Director at Estia Health Ltd; SGSPAA and Jemena Gas Pipeline.  He is the Chairman of Ord Minnett.

With the Business Council of Australia, Warwick is Chairman of the Global Engagement Committee.  He has served as Chairman of the Australia–China Council for over 8 years and was the inaugural Chair of the National Foundation for Australia-China Relations.  In addition, he is current Global Trustee of the Asia Society, headquartered in New York and Chairman Emeritus of the Asia Society in Australia.

For ten years, Warwick was an Executive Director with the Macquarie Bank Group; Chairman New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory and former Senior Managing Director for the ANZ Banking Group Limited for more than a decade; Chairman of E*TRADE Limited; Chairman of the Australian Sports Commission and an Australian Federal Government Minister with a parliamentary career spanning 15 years.  He was also Australia’s first Telecommunications Ombudsman and has received a Centenary Medal and has twice been awarded an Order of Australia.

Mr Robin Khuda

Robin Khuda is the Founder & Chief Executive Officer of AirTrunk, Asia-Pacific’s (APAC) leading hyperscale data centre provider, enabling the growth of cloud in the region.  

A visionary entrepreneur, Khuda observed the emerging growth of internet and cloud adoption in APAC and anticipated the need for a local and independent hyperscale platform to support the growing capacity requirements of large technology companies.  

AirTrunk was the pioneer of hyperscale data centres in APAC, focusing on delivering scale, speed and flexibility for its customers. Since opening Australia’s first and largest hyperscale data centres in Sydney and Melbourne in 2017, AirTrunk quickly announced new data centres in Sydney North, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan. The company has well-developed expansion plans in other APAC markets. 

Khuda has led AirTrunk to be one of the fastest growing technology companies in the world and has received global recognition for his leadership, entrepreneurialism, and influence. He was named as one of 2019’s ‘Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs’ by Goldman Sachs; 2020’s ‘Outstanding CEO’ at the Pacific Telecommunications Council Awards. Prior to founding AirTrunk, Khuda held leadership roles at both large and high-growth technology companies including: NEXTDC, PIPE Networks, Fujitsu, SingTel Optus and Cheung Kong Communications Group. 

LinkedIn Profile: 

Mr Darren Bowdern

Darren is a partner in KPMG’s Hong Kong tax practice. He has more than 25 years experience of serving institutions in a wide range of industries in Hong Kong and Asia Pacific.

Darren heads up the Alternative Investments and M&A Tax practice in Hong Kong. He has been advising on transactions in Asia Pacific with respect to tax matters. Many of these projects comprise of tax effective regional planning including consideration of direct and indirect taxes, capital and stamp duties, withholding taxes and the effective use of double taxation agreements.

Darren also advises on establishing direct investment, private equity and other investment funds in Hong Kong and advises clients in a wide range of industries. Darren has extensive experience in working with the mainland Chinese market, including structuring acquisitions of investments in China.

Darren is the Director of the Australian Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong and Macau (AustCham) and the Vice-Chair of the Finance, Legal and Tax Committee of The AustCham. He is currently a Vice Chair of the Technical Committee of the Hong Kong Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (HKVCA) and the Tax Committee Member of the Alternative Investment Management Association Limited (AIMA). Darren graduated from the University of Melbourne and is a fellow of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants and a member of the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

Mr David Olsson

David Olsson is the National President of the Australia China Business Council, Australia’s leading business organisation focussed on Australia China trade and investment.  He has extensive executive and board experience with professional services firms (legal), corporates, business associations and government.

He is currently an International Director with global law firm King & Wood Mallesons, based in Hong Kong/Shenzhen where he focusses on the Greater Bay Area, cross-border trade and investment and financial markets. Prior to this he was a Partner of the firm, having held key practice and management positions including as a managing partner, Australia from 2004 to 2007 and as senior partner based in Beijing from 2008 to 2013.

He leads several industry working groups that focus on financial market connectivity between Australia and China, is a business champion for the Australian Government’s New Colombo Program, a member of the Council of the Australian National University Foundation and the advisory board of ANU’s Australian Centre for China in the World.

Mr Michael Allen

Michael is Director of Philanthropy & Government Relations for The Fred Hollows Foundation, one of Australia’s largest NGOs. Named after the late Professor Fred Hollows, The Foundation works to end avoidable blindness in over 25 countries around the world including Asia, East Africa and the Middle East.

In his role Michael has led the setup of new offices in Hong Kong, Dubai, New York, and Singapore and has a critical understanding of the cultural, commercial and personal opportunities and challenges that exist when working across jurisdictions.

Michael is focused on the future of philanthropy and its relationship with government and the private sector. He is active across various social justice issues, is a non-executive Director at Youth Law Australia, a national online legal service for young people, and has previously served in senior political roles in both Australia and in the United States.