The University of Newcastle, Australia

China Business Forum

Friday, 6 September from 2:00 pm to 5:30 pm (AEST)
Oaks Cypress Lakes Resort, Pokolbin

Event details

The beautiful Hunter Valley region will set the scene for the Business Forum drawing acknowledgement and discussion around China’s surge for Australian Wine demands and the Chinese tourism boom. The Hunter Valley region has enormous potential for growth in these areas with the Forum being perfectly convened in the prestigious Oaks Cypress Lakes Resort.

China Week 2019 is excited to include a food and wine pairing session with MasterChef 2018 Australia top 6 contestant, Reece Hignell, who will treat visitors’ taste buds with an Asian infused canapé selection.

The Forum will host internationally recognised speakers and panels to share insights and expertise. The aim is to prepare and support the industry for better engagement with China, as well as education of the growth of China e-commerce in trade and tourism.

Oaks Cypress Lakes Resort are pleased to offer the following rates for accommodation for the Newcastle China Week Business Forum:

  • 1 Bed Villa or Two Bedroom Lockoff villa @ $259 per night (full buffet breakfast for 1 person).
  • 2 Bed Villa @ $359 per night (full buffet breakfast for 2 people).

Book now with the promotion code CHINAWEEK

The audience will learn about:

  • the growth of China e-commerce
  • use of social media
  • useful tips to do business in China for the wine industry
  • Chinese consumer trends
  • cultural intelligence to engage with Chinese tourists
  • wine and food pairings

Purchase tickets

About the location

Oaks Cypress Lakes Resort, an iconic 300-acre resort with a golf and country club. It is an ideal venue for the Business Forum where interesting topics on ‘Wine and Tourism’ will be presented by leaders in the industry, and closed with a great food and wine pairing session.

Address: Oaks Cypress Lakes Resort
15 Thompsons Road, Pokolbin,
NSW 2320, Australia.


2019 Speakers

Professor Kevin Hall

Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor and Vice-President, Global Engagement & Partnerships, University of Newcastle

Professor Kevin Hall has hadProfessor Kevin Hall a distinguished academic career holding senior academic leadership roles in universities in Australia and Canada. Professor Hall studied a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science at Queen's University in Canada and completed his PhD in Civil Engineering at the University of New South Wales, Australia.


Professor Hall has spearheaded UON’s entrepreneurship and innovation initiatives, leading the establishment of the Integrated Innovation Network (I2N) of five innovation incubators across the Hunter region. He was also instrumental in state funding for the Hunter Innovation Project, including UON’s new Innovation Hub.


A highly respected leader in the Australian higher education sector, Professor Hall has been appointed to the Australia Research Council Advisory Council. He has also taken on a national role in developing industry and innovation policy, serving as an invited member of the Australian Research Council’s steering committee for Industry Engagement and Impact Metrics. He is also a founding board member of the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship and a member of the NSW Minister for Health’s China Advisory Committee. Professor Hall has been a board member on 18 state and national corporations and not-for-profit entities.


MC Drew Waters

Head of Partnerships and Development, AsiaLink

Following a long career in sales, Mr Drew Watersbusiness development, training, consulting, and design in Australia and New Zealand, Drew led AustCham Hong Kong & Macau, the peak body for Australian businesses in Hong Kong and southern China, as CEO.

Drew previously established his own company specializing in c-suite and board placements across the region, and has created and led teams of senior specialists within major regional recruiting companies.

He has strong links to some of the region’s largest financial institutions, multi-national commercial organisations, regional service providers, Government and political offices, trade professional bodies, and non-Government organisations. Drew is based in Sydney.


Ms Bonnie Shekimage of Bonnie Shek

Director, Australia/New Zealand, of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council

Bonnie has extensive marketing, business development and management experience in Asia/Pacific. Before joining the HKTDC, she spent over ten years in the telecommunications industry, being responsible for developing marketing strategy and leading the Asia/Pacific consumer team.


Sharon Foster

Senior Export Adviser/Tradestartimage of Sharon Foster Adviser, NSW Government

Sharon is a Senior Export Adviser in the NSW Government (Trade and Investment), and a TradeStart Adviser within the TradeStart Network (Austrade), and is based at Ourimbah, at the University of Newcastle, Central Coast Campus. Sharon works with potential, new and existing exporters providing them with a range of export development advice, services and tools. Sharon has a diverse background and experience including working offshore in international markets. She has a Science Degree from the University of Newcastle, and Graduate Diplomas in Business, and International Business.


Dr Luca De Leonardis

Head for Australia and New Zealand, Invest Hong Kong The Government of
the Hong Kong Special Administrative RegionLuca headshot

Dr Luca De Leonardis is the Head for Australia and New Zealand at Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK), the Government Department responsible for attracting and facilitating foreign direct investment into Hong Kong.

With senior management experience in both the private and public sectors, Dr De Leonardis’s work experience combines international marketing, economic and business development and investment promotion.

Prior to joining InvestHK, Dr De Leonardis spent five years as Deputy CEO of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Australia. He also worked in New Zealand, Canada and South Africa for private companies and trade organizations and in Brisbane as Adjunct Senior Lecturer at Griffith University.

Dr De Leonardis holds a Ph.D. In Economics, a Master in Management & Strategy and a Master in International Trade from Bologna University and two advanced diplomas in Business and Management and Economics.


Mark Davidson

Managing Director, Tamburlaine Organic Wines

Since a stint of external studiesMark Davidson Headshot in viticulture and wine science at Riverina College NSW (now Charles Sturt Uni) in the 1970s, Mark’s enthusiasm for the industry has never waned. It was not, however, until 1985 that a door opened.


Having grown up in Newcastle, Mark was well familiar with the local Hunter producers, and when the founder of Tamburlaine, Dr Lance Allen decided to sell his 19yo boutique winery, Mark pulled together a group of investors and bought the business. His first vintage was 1986 – just under 2000 dozen bottles from the 10ha vineyard on the Pokolbin property. The following years saw the development of a very successful DTC business model, capitalising on the explosion of Hunter wine tourism. The direct sales model has evolved but is still a pillar of the operation.


Dr Peter Cock

Chief Executive Officer, Newcastle AirportPeter Cock

As Chief Executive Officer of Newcastle Airport, Dr Peter Cock brings a breadth of experience to the role in a range of disciplines.

With more than 15 years of aviation experience, Peter has held senior executive positions at both Newcastle and Perth Airport.

Under Peter’s leadership, Newcastle Airport has achieved record passenger throughput and record profits, which are delivered back into the community through dividends to Newcastle Airport’s Council owners, City of Newcastle and Port Stephens Council. Committed to working closely with Department of Defence, airlines, industry, and stakeholders, Peter strives to achieve the vision of providing the region with the airport it deserves.


Dr Paul Stolk

Lecturer, Newcastle Business School, The University of NewcastlePaul Stolk

As graduate from the University of Newcastle, Paul began his professional career as policy officer for the Commonwealth Department of Transport and Regional Services (1997-1999), and later the NSW Environment Protection Authority (1999-2000). Returning to higher education, Paul completed his PhD at the University of Newcastle in 2009, and from 2009-2011 was employed as a lead researcher for sport and tourism with Substance, a leading social research cooperative in Manchester, UK. Since returning to Newcastle in 2012, Paul has been employed as a lecturer by the Newcastle Business School, where he teaches, researches and publishes in the tourism, sport and marketing disciplines.

From 2012-2015 Paul was the primary researcher and project manager for the Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Association (HVWTA) 'Tourism Monitor' project, which worked closely with leaders in the Hunter Valley wine industry and generated local market intelligence for HVWTA tourism businesses. More recently Paul was the co-convenor and scientific committee chair for the 28th annual CAUTHE conference 2018, an international conference for tourism, hospitality and event educators hosted by the Newcastle Business School.


Program Coming Soon