The University of Newcastle, Australia

Our Staff

Cher Jones

Cher Jones

Director, Institution Relations (Greater China)

Ms Jones plays a leading role in the development and execution of the University of Newcastle’s Greater China Strategy, Confucius Institute operations management, and industry partnership and engagement.

Ms Jones joined the University from the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet, where she was the Trade and Investment Commissioner and Senior Representative of New South Wales Government for South China and Hong Kong, based in Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China.

She has a wealth of knowledge and expertise established during a diverse 25 -year career in the Australian public sector, international business, and research and development commercialisation.

Prior to her role with the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Ms Jones was the Associate Director of the Australian and New Zealand Banking Group ‘ANZ’ Guangzhou Branch with responsibilities in corporate and institutional banking for large local corporations in South China. She also worked at Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Canberra contributing to the commercialisation of Australian intellectual property in biotechnology.

She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Hong Kong, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Michigan and undertook a Master Degree of Public Policy with the Australian National University

Jonathan Yi

Jonathan Yi

Deputy Director

As Deputy Director Jonathan provides academic leadership to the Institute, overseeing our courses, study tours and schools' program, including the establishment of affiliated Confucius Classrooms in schools. Jonathan is an Associate Professor of English at Central China Normal University, our partner university in China.

Previously he was a visiting scholar and helped establish the very successful Confucius Institute at University of Kansas, USA. Jonathan has a Bachelor degree in English Language and Literature from Central China Normal University, a Masters degree in American Studies from University of Kansas, and 25 years of teaching experiences in tertiary institutions.

Hayley Elliott


Ms Elliott manages the administration of the Confucius Institute and provides strategic support to the Director.

Before joining the University of Newcastle, Ms Elliott worked in Occupational Rehabilitation and Marketing, and prior to that, the not-for-profit sector managing volunteers. Ms Elliott has over 10 years’ experience working within community services, executive boards, education, rehabilitation, charities, business services and local government.

Ms Elliott holds a Bachelor of Arts (International Relations and Linguistics) and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Newcastle.

Lucy Li

Lucy Li

Chinese Instructor

Lucy Li teaches Chinese language at the Confucius Institute. She holds a master of Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages from Central China Normal University. She also has two bachelor’s degrees in Primary Education and Business Administration.

Li Lu has been trained to be a good teacher in Xingzhi experimental class. She has been working as a part-time Chinese teacher in two college schools. Lucy likes making friends with people from different ages and cultural backgrounds. She enjoys Chinese classical literature and also likes sports such as running, dancing, playing table tennis and badminton.

Cherry Zhao

Cherry Zhao


Cherry teaches Chinese language at the Confucius Institute. She has a bachelor's degree in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language from Guilin University of Electronic and Technology and a master's degree in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language from Central China Normal University.

Cherry once worked as an intern Chinese language teacher in Thailand primary school. She loves teaching Chinese language and making Chinese food especially making dumpling. She is also interested in Chinese culture and sports, such as Chinese martial arts, table tennis and badminton, and she enjoys making friends from different countries and cultural backgrounds.