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Brumby to lead ACBC into new era

27 November 2014

Media release

27 November 2014


Brumby to lead ACBC into new era

The Australia China Business Council (ACBC) is pleased to announce the election of The Hon John Brumby as its new President following the national AGM today, Thursday 27 November.                                                   

The election results announced at today’s AGM also saw Mr Sean Keenihan (currently the President of ACBC’s South Australia Branch) elected to the position of Vice President and Mr Tim Hogan-Doran (a former ACBC Treasurer) as National Treasurer.

“I have been very heartened by the support for my candidacy shown across each of the state bodies and am looking forward to leading the organization into the new era of China-Australia FTA relations.  The new board is united in its drive to expand the role of the ACBC through improved services to members and strong advocacy on Australia-China issues,” Mr Brumby said.

“Recent developments in Australia-China relations – including the Free Trade Agreement – mean we can take our relationship to the next level, with major new opportunities in traded goods and services, as well as investments and R&D partnerships.

“Although China is already our largest trading partner, there are still huge opportunities for companies involved in the Australia-China relationship to expand existing businesses or create new ones.  With Sean, Tim and our national board colleagues, plus the focused activities of the State branches and their committees, we want the ACBC to play a central role in driving access for ACBC members to these opportunities.

“We look forward to working with the Federal Government as well as State and Territory Governments and industry associations to promote and expand Australia-China trade and investment and create new opportunities for Australian businesses,” Mr Brumby said.

Vice President Sean Keenihan said he was honoured to have the broad support of the membership to work with John Brumby and Tim Hogan-Doran, the board and State committees to do more for the SME sector.

“The Australia-China Free Trade Agreement will lay the foundation for what could be unbridled growth between our two countries.  Working with John and Tim and the rest of the State ACBC committees, the ACBC will be a strong presence in the Australia-China dialogue,” Sean said.

“I look forward to working with all members of the ACBC, from SMEs to multinationals, in creating new opportunities for trade and commercial development between China and Australia.”

The Office Bearers said they looked forward to working with National CEO Ms Martine Letts to achieve these goals.



The Hon John Brumby biography

Sean Keenihan biography

Tim Hogan-Doran biography


Media enquiries:

Ms Martine Letts, National CEO, Australia China Business Council

T: + 61 2 9252 4277, E:

Ms Jette Radley, Communications Officer, Australia China Business Council

T: + 61 2 9247 0349, E:


The Hon John Brumby

The Hon John Brumby was the former Premier of Victoria (2007 – 2010) and has immense experience in public life serving for more than 10 years as Treasurer and then Premier of Victoria, 6 years as Leader of the Victorian Opposition and 7 years as Federal MHR for Bendigo during the period of the Hawke Government.

During his time as Treasurer and then Premier, Mr Brumby also forged closer links with China, releasing Victoria’s first ever China Strategy, visiting China on numerous occasions and opening new trade and investment offices in Nanjing and Shanghai.

Since retiring from politics, Mr Brumby has accepted a number of board positions as well as a joint appointment as a Professorial Fellow at both the University of Melbourne and Monash University.  He is Chairman of the Motor Trades Association of Australia (MTAA) Superannuation Fund, an Independent Director of Huawei Technologies (Australia) Pty Limited and a Director of Citywide Solutions Pty Ltd.

In addition, Mr Brumby is also involved in a range of other organisations.  He is Chair of the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute, Chair of the Advisory Board of the National Centre for Workplace Leadership based at the University of Melbourne, a member of the Leadership Advisory Board of the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI) at Monash University and a Director of the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney.

Mr Brumby is a regular speaker at forums in Australia, New Zealand, China and the United States of America on issues such as the global economy, innovation, superannuation and regional development.

Mr Brumby is also actively involved in a range of community and not-for-profit organisations through his work as the Chairman of Trustees of the Joe Welch Bursary Trust, a board member of the Fred Hollows Foundation, a member of the Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee for Victoria and an Australia Day Ambassador.


Sean Keenihan

As the South Australian Government’s Strategic Adviser for China, Sean advises the government on its engagement with China and chairs the South Australia China Council, responsible for overseeing the implementation and refinement of the South Australia-China Engagement Strategy. Sean is the President of the SA branch of the Australia China Business Council and is committed to supporting the provision of information and programs for South Australian businesses seeking to do business with China. Sean is also a Director of the Australia China Business Council Ltd, serving as the Chair of the Council’s SME Committee.

The recipient of an Australia China Council scholarship in the late 1980s, Sean is a highly competent Mandarin speaker and works closely with government and industry to facilitate closer bilateral links between South Australia and China. Sean graduated from Adelaide University with a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts in 1994. Sean has worked in Australia and Indonesia during his practice as a legal practitioner advising government bodies, international corporations and high net-worth individuals on major mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance transactions. Sean is currently the Chairman of Partners at Norman Waterhouse Lawyers and specialises in commercial, infrastructure, and property law. He has a particular interest in local government and is recognised as one of the State’s leading practitioners in this area. Sean regularly presents to business, government, education and community groups on Australia’s bilateral relationship with China. Sean sits on the University of Adelaide Confucius Institute Advisory Board, the board of the Australian Centre for Asian Business, and the Languages and Linguistics Advisory Panel. In 2013, he was recognised as one of South Australia’s 50 most influential people by the Advertiser newspaper.

Tim Hogan-Doran

Tim Hogan-Doran, a Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers, has over 15 years experience providing corporate taxation advisory services to listed and privately owned Australian and foreign invested multi-national companies. As a member of PwC Australia's China Practice, he is heavily involved in advising his clients on strategic business initiatives, investment planning and advising on M&A transactions between Australian and Chinese businesses. Tim is an Asia-Pacific editor and regular contributor to industry and country specific publications for PwC. Tim is a Director on the ACBC National Board and National Treasurer of the ACBC, having previously served as the National Treasurer from 2012 to 2013. He is also the Treasurer of the ACBC NSW Branch Executive Committee and has fulfilled that role since 2011. Tim holds a Masters of Law from Sydney University, as well as a Bachelor Degree in Economics (Social Sciences).

See the documents below:
  • Copy2Media_release_-_Brumby_to_lead_ACBC_into_new_era.pdf