The Asia Options team is a dynamic and talented group of young Australians who span the Asia Pacific. We work out of coffee shops, universities and office buildings all along the east coast of Australia, as well as the hutongs of Beijing, ramen bars of Tokyo and jungles of West Timor. We all believe these experiences should not disappear into our resumes, but be celebrated and used to encourage other young Australians to engage with Asia.

 

Olly Theobald

Olly Theobald

Director

Olly works with Alibaba in Hangzhou and is enthusiastic about entrepreneurship, e-commerce, Asia education, tech and foreign languages. Olly is a graduate from RMIT University and the Hopkins Nanjing Center for Chinese and American Studies. Olly speaks Mandarin and Korean. Olly blogs at www.contentin.asia
Mirai Kirsanovs

Mirai Kirsanovs

Director

Mirai is a classical musician turned international relations student. She has lived and worked internationally with NGOs and start-ups across Asia and the U.S. While building Asia Options over the past four years, Mirai has continued to work with other for-purpose organisations in building bilateral ties between Australia and Asia. She believes spending time working or studying in Asia should be a rite of passage for all Australians.
Nicola Boyle

Nicola Boyle

Team Coordinator

Nicola is a Business Analyst and Senior Consultant at ThoughtWorks. She has studied, worked and travelled extensively throughout Asia and currently works in China. Nicola is passionate about getting more young Australians engaged in Asia.
Dan Poole

Dan Poole

The Fixer

Dan is a student and entrepreneur, currently studying double-degrees in Arts and Law at Monash University. He hopes to contribute to China's social enterprise scene and find market solutions for the country's social issues. He speaks Chinese, French and Spanish.
James Ton

James Ton

Art Director

James is a communication designer based in Melbourne, Australia. James' design philosophy is simple; clear communication is fundamental.



Rucha Bhagat

Rucha Bhagat

Communications Manager

Rucha is a Project Support Officer at the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (and loves her spreadsheets!) She is a graduate of the Master of International Relations from the University of Melbourne and her main areas of specialisation are the Indo-Pacific and Indian Foreign Policy. To this effect, she has interned in the Indian Ministry of External Affairs in Delhi and the Indian Consulate in Melbourne. She has also undertaken study abroad programs in Italy, Israel and Palestinian Territories. Rucha speaks Hindi and Marathi and is currently working on her Spanish and Arabic.
Angus Blackman

Angus Blackman

Social Media Officer

Angus is (almost) a graduate of the University of Melbourne’s Master of International Relations program. He is interested in Australia’s engagement with Asia and, in particular, with India and Indonesia. He works in communications at the Centre for Workplace Leadership and Australia India Institute. He speaks English and Queenslander, and is working on his Indonesian.
James Edwards

James Edwards

India Editor

James works as a policy adviser focusing on engagement with India. He has been to India many times for study, travel and family - including some time at the University of Delhi - and is getting his head around the numerous Hindi consonants. As part of his Master of International Relations, he wrote his minor thesis on the negotiations for an Australia-India FTA.
Felix Pal

Felix Pal

India Correspondent

Felix is finishing an Arts degree at the University of Melbourne majoring in Islamic Studies. Since his first trip in 2008, Felix has been to India and/or Pakistan every year and has travelled extensively through the region. In 2013 Felix moved to India for a Hindi/Urdu language course and hopes to use his knowledge of South Asian cultural and linguistic traditions in the study of Asian Islam.
Nick Metherall

Nick Metherall

Indonesia Editor

Nick is a student at La Trobe University. He is currently conducting research on rural community-driven development and climate adaptation in remote parts of Eastern Indonesia.


Michael Kocken

Michael Kocken

Korea Editor

Michael lived, studied and worked in Korea for 4 years and now currently works for a Korean multinational company in Australia while providing freelance Korea-focused business consultancy to Australian companies. He also runs a blog called “The Sawon” which focuses on Korean business culture and job opportunities for non-Koreans in Korea.
Dan Gardner

Dan Gardner

Korea Correspondent

Dan has been a business and corporate communication coach in Korea for more than six years. He currently resides in Seoul and is a commercial advisor for a major entertainment law firm in Korea. He is currently working with Seoul City Hall to create training programs to assist Seoul employees in dealing with the growing international community in Korea.
Seb Thomas

Seb Thomas

Japan Editor

After living in Japan for a year, Seb fell in love with its unique beauty. Seeking new experiences and challenges, he is already planning his next adventure. Seb is currently studying a Bachelor of Laws/Arts at Bond University.
Tuna Cheung

Tuna Cheung

Japan Correspondent

Tuna is studying Asian Studies and Japanese at the University of Melbourne. Whilst tuna may be delicious, mackerel is by far the best - though salmon isn't lagging in the race either. She is perfecting the art of folding at a Japanese fashion retailer and hopes to go on exchange to the University of Tokyo in 2016. Tuna speaks Japanese, Cantonese and some Mandarin.
Kirrily Zoon

Kirrily Zoon

Japan Correspondent

Kirrily spent her extended gap year collecting Japanese entry stamps in her passport for her work designing itineraries for Australians visiting Japan. In 2016 however, she left the travel industry to study a BA majoring in Japanese at La Trobe University. After representing Victoria at the Japanese Speech Contest, she is now preparing to return to Japan to undertake an internship in Tokyo before embarking on a year of study in Kyoto.
Will Breedon

Will Breedon

Greater China Correspondent

Will graduated from Monash majors in Chinese and Economics. After graduating he spent two years in China, working for an environmental NGO in Beijing and Shanghai, and studying in Suzhou on the Hamer Scholarship. Now Melbourne-based looking to get his Japanese and Spanish up to speed.
Alice Slevison

Alice Slevison

Greater China Correspondent

Alice Slevison is a graduate from the Masters of International Relations (Chinese) at the University of Melbourne, and she holds a BA of International Studies from RMIT University. Alice has also undertaken long term studies in both Hong Kong and China. She has worked as an Intern Researcher at China Policy in Beijing, and as a short term Project Officer for Austrade at the Australian Embassy in Beijing. Most recently, Alice has worked as a Researcher (specialisation in Chinese foreign policy) at Australia’s leading strategic and defence think-tank, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. Alice speaks Chinese
Marie-Alice McLean-Dreyfus

Marie-Alice McLean-Dreyfus

Greater China Correspondent

Marie-Alice is an Honours student at the ANU studying identity and language policy. She speaks Chinese and French.