Board of Directors
Board Member
Mr. Eric Chow
Mr. Eric Chow is the Executive President of the ACFEA.

Mr. Eric Chow is the Chief Executive Officer of the Kingold Group, overseeing a wide spectrum of businesses from the real estate, hospitality, education, and healthcare.

He is also the Patron to the UTS South China Alumni Network, which encourages graduates to share their knowledge and experience so as to generate business opportunities in the Southern China.

As an Australian citizen with over a decade-long involvement in the corporate world, Mr. Eric Chow has a solid understanding of the importance of the Australia-China relationship, and the opportunity for growth in business and job opportunities across both countries.
Board Member
Mr. Jim Harrowell AM
Mr. Jim Harrowell AM is a specialist commercial and litigation lawyer for more than 30 years. As a Director and former Chairman of Interlaw and through his wide network of contacts in more than 115 major global cities, Jim has provided commercial advice to clients for over 20 years ranging from negotiating joint ventures and resolving disputes, to mediation, litigation and arbitration.

In 2006, Jim was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for service to international relations, particularly the development of legal and business links with China. He is one of seven Australians appointed to the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) panel of arbitrators, and is the only Australian appointed to the Shanghai Arbitration Commission. Plus, he regularly presents seminars on China and assists Austrade programs in Beijing and China.

Currently Jim is the managing partner with the Hunt & Hunt Lawyers, the exclusive Interlaw member firm of Australia.
Board Member
Mr. David Thomas
Mr. David Thomas is well known in the Asia Pacific region for his experience, credibility and passion for identifying, building and facilitating business and investment relationships between developed and emerging countries, notably the “BRICs” (Brazil, Russia, India and China).

Over the last 25 years, he has worked with entrepreneurs, investors and business leaders from companies of all sizes, and from many different sectors, seeking to expand their global footprint by leveraging business and investment networks in Australia, Asia and throughout the world.

He is President of the Australia China SME Association (www.acsme.com.au), and the Chair of Australia China Business Week (www.acbwchina.com.au).

In 2009, David Thomas was awarded the prestigious Australian Thought Leaders “Expert of the Year”.
Board Member
Dr. Frank Alafaci
Dr Frank Alafaci BA (Hons), MA (Hons), Dott, Lett., PhD is an academic who lectures undergraduate and masters degree students in Business Studies at UBSS, one of the premier higher education institutions in Australia.

He is also the President of the Asian Australian Business Council Inc. and the President of the Rotary Club of Five Dock, NSW as well as the National Deputy Chairman of the Australian Fabians.

He is an article contributor on economics and finance to the Fortune Weekly magazine published in the weekend edition of the Australian New Express Daily, one of the largest selling Chinese Australian newspapers in circulation and was recently appointed as an editorial contributor to the ongoing four-volume History of the Chinese in Australia.

He was instrumental in convening and moderating the 2015 Korean Australian Forum on East Asian Sovereignty Disputes (with official support from the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea) and was the keynote speaker on “South Korea: Asia’s Economic Miracle”, invited by His Excellency Mr Whie Jin Lee (former Consul General of the Republic of Korea) at the Korean Australian Friendship Luncheon (Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney) in 2015.

More recently, he was one of the keynote speakers with his address on “The Australia China Economic Relationship” at the Fifth China Beijing International Fair for Trade in Services Roadshow (Rydges World Square Hotel, Sydney) in 2017.
Board Member
Ms. Katie Grubb
Katie Grubb has worked with China and Australia in the business and education sector since 2000. Her experience has included positions such as Business Development Manager for the South Australian Government office in Shanghai and current roles as NSW Department of Education learning and innovation team and Chinese language teacher.

In 2003, Katie won the Queensland State Government International Business Cadetship, in 2009 the Asia Education Foundation Chinese Teacher Fellowship and in 2014 the NSW Premier’s Kingold Chinese teacher Award. Katie’s work has led her to many parts of the world where she engages with community to deliver sustainability focused education programs.

Some of these include working with the Australian Marine Debris Initiative, doing beach clean-ups in Sri Lanka, China and in remote parts of Australia. Katie’s passion is to use technology for collaboration to create positive changes to global issues and is the founder of the Connect with China Collaborative and organises inbound study tours from China to Australia.
Board Member
Mr. Guy Elron
Guy Elron is the Director of Major Gifts at the Heart Foundation of Australia. Prior to this, Guy represented the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute as Head, Philanthropic Partnerships, between 2015 and 2018, where he built and maintained productive relationships with principal stakeholders including board members, faculty and major donors. Earlier, Guy had commenced his career supporting philanthropists at the University of Sydney (the Conservatorium of Music and Sydney Law School), before assisting other ventures including Sydney Youth Orchestras, and the South Australian Museum.

Prior to becoming a professional philanthropic adviser, Guy spent 11 years as a legal practitioner with leading Australian commercial law firms, Blake Dawson Waldron (now Ashurst) and Spark Helmore.

Holding formal qualifications in music and law, and seeking to enhance his knowledge base, Guy undertook a Master of Arts Management at the Australian Institute of Music and Sydney Opera House. Guy possesses valuable capabilities including strategic planning and partnerships, marketing, accounting, organisational leadership, policy and event management.

Guy speaks fluent Romanian and has reasonable conversational skills in French and German. A formally trained violinist, Guy enjoys classical music and travel, and has an avid interest in current affairs. Guy also competes and coaches rowing at a state and national level.
Chief Executive Officer / Public Officer
Michael W. Harkins MVO PSM KSJ
Michael W Harkins MVO PSM KSJ has been the Chief Executive Officer /Public Officer of the ACFEA since July 2014.

Before joining the ACFEA, Michael had worked with the Australian NSW public sector for 35 years. During this period, he worked in the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet and was also seconded to the Premier’s Private Office, supporting nine Premiers in providing critical, timely and appropriate protocol advice.

Michael has extensive experience, skills, knowledge and sound judgment in whole of Government activities at a senior level including Parliamentary and Government operations in Australia, specifically in all State, Commonwealth, ceremonial, diplomatic and consular protocols and related activities. Also, he has sound knowledge of international relations through a close liaison at a senior level with the Diplomatic and Consular Corps. Michael has been trained in the principles of international relations by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra Australia.

*MVO: Member of the Royal Victorian Order from Her Majesty the Queen in 1992.
*PSM: Public Service Medal (Australian Honours) for outstanding Public Service to the New South Wales Government and Australia.
*KSJ: Knight of Honour- Order of Saint John of Jerusalem.