Today I announce the appointment of the Hon Warwick Smith AM for a second term as Chair of the Australia-China Council.

The Council was established by the Australian Government in 1978. It continues to play a crucial role in promoting cross-cultural understanding and fostering people-to-people links in education, science, economic diplomacy and the arts.

The Australia-China Council provides funding to projects designed to increase understanding in China of Australian society and culture and enhance Australians' capacity to effectively engage with China.

Mr Smith brings extensive experience, networks and knowledge of China. Mr Smith is currently the Chairman, NSW and ACT, for the Australia & New Zealand Banking Group, and Chairman, Advisory Board of Australian Capital Equity Pty Ltd. He also serves on a number of boards in Australia, China and internationally including as a global trustee of the Asia Society.

Mr Smith was previously Executive Director at Macquarie Bank, President of the Australia-China Business Council and Chairman of the Asia Society Australia. He also served as Minister for Sport, Territories and Local Government, Minister for Family Services, and as a Member of the Federal Parliament.

In 2008, Mr Smith was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia and a Centenary Medal.

Other Australia-China Council board members are Ms Anne-Marie Schwirtlich AM, Ms Margaret Jack, Ms Carolyn Kay, Professor Michael Wesley, Mr Dan Ryan and Mr Harold Weldon.

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