The Asia Options Team

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.

 

Kate Kalinova
Director / Korea Correspondent
Passionate about international affairs and sustainability, Kate is currently working as a researcher with a Korean NGO, Solutions for Our Climate (SFOC) in Seoul. She holds a Bachelor of International Studies (with Honours) from the University of New South Wales in Sydney and a Master Degree from the China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing. 
 
Having completed numerous internships in Australia, China and South Korea, Kate is continuing to explore further opportunities in the region and share her experiences with fellow students and young professionals.
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Alexander Ekkel
Director / Korea Editor

Alexander previously studied and travelled extensively in South Korea for over two years. As part of his enthusiasm for increasing international ties with the nation, he actively keeps up to date with the goings-on in the country and is eager meet and share the stories of like-minded individuals and organisations. During the day, Alex works as a data analyst in the technology sector.

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Sinead Simpkins
India Correspondent

Sinead has graduated from a Bachelor of International Studies at Western Sydney University and a Graduate Diploma in International Relations at Macquarie University. Currently a Master of Arts student at the University of New England, Sinead has worked and volunteered at NGOs and Government departments. She first went to India on a New Colombo Plan scholarship in 2017, undertaking a two-week study tour. Since learning from her classes and her study tour of India, Sinead loves what India has to offer.

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Duncan Evans
Indonesia Correspondent

Duncan holds a B.A. in English Literature and an M.A. in United States Studies, both from the University of Sydney.

In addition to Asia Options, Duncan is presently employed as a commodities journalist with the Australian Mining Review, and volunteers once a week as an English teacher with the TAFE-run Adult Migrant English Program.

Following university, Duncan spent over three years living and working in Indonesia, including some two years working as an editor, translator and writer for the Jakarta Post, an English-language daily. His fascination with Indonesia developed almost immediately. With Asia Options, Duncan hopes to introduce other young Australians to the country in the hope that they too will experience the same awe and exhilaration he felt living and working in this beautiful, complex and majestic nation.

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Jake Black
Korea Correspondent

Jake is currently studying in the University of Melbourne's Master of International Relations program and interning at the Australian Institute of International Affairs Victoria and the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Melbourne. Having previously undertaken two exchange semesters in Korea and two intensive overseas subjects in Indonesia, Jake is passionate about the Indo-Pacific region and strengthening Australia's ties with Asia. He is seeking to further engage with the region through future academic and professional opportunities.

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Lucia Kim
Korea Correspondent

Lucia is currently studying Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Arts at Monash University, majoring in Marketing Science and Chinese Language Studies and minoring in International Relations. As an individual who grew up in South Korea, Lucia is passionate about promoting Korea’s culture and lifestyle to Australians. Additionally, she has experience in teaching the Korean language to university students at Monash University.

Ben Barron
India Correspondent
Ben loves India and is endlessly fascinated yet perplexed by its vibrant and diverse society. He has engaged with India through backpacking, hiking, interning, volunteering, and studying Hindi. He has also spent time in the broader South Asia region, including a research internship with the Institute of National Security Studies Sri Lanka. Ben is currently pursuing an MSc in Modern South Asian Studies at St Antony's College, Oxford and holds a Bachelor of International Security Studies from the ANU. Additionally, he completed a summer diplomacy programme at King's College London.
Nick Metherall
Indonesia Advisor

Nick is currently conducting research on rural community-driven development and climate adaptation in remote parts of Eastern Indonesia.

Darcy Moore
China Correspondent
After more than five years in China, Darcy has returned to Melbourne, Australia. His time in Sichuan Province, Beijing and Guangzhou have left him with a single pressing question: How in the blazes do we sustain our engagement with China? In exploring this question, Darcy seeks to introduce fellow Australians to the practicalities, challenges and little triumphs which make engaging with China entirely worthwhile.
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Diandra Priambodo
Indonesia Correspondent

Diandra graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Medical Science and is currently completing her medical studies at Universitas Indonesia. She spent a year living in Melbourne where her active involvement in local youth-led organisations opened her eyes to the high interests of Australian youths to engage with Asia and particularly with Indonesia, her home country. Diandra is enthusiastic to promote Australia-Indonesia engagement through her perspective as an Indonesian.

Zach Eggleston
China Correspondent
Zach works in communications at both the Australia China Business Council and the Australia China Youth Dialogue. A Mandarin speaker with an Asian Studies major from La Trobe University in Melbourne, he has spent extensive time studying in Shanghai, Chongqing and Taiwan. An avid language learner and Indo Pacific affairs buff, Zach has proficiency in Korean, Bahasa Indonesian, Te Reo Māori and Auslan. Zach is passionate about inclusivity and believes forming meaningful, transnational connections is the best start to gaining a better understanding for both social and international policy.
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Max Stella
Indonesia Correspondent

Max Stella has a keen interest in Indonesian society and politics, having worked and studied extensively in Bali. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Indonesian Language and Philosophy from the University of Melbourne, and is currently undertaking the Melbourne JD.

Carmen Chung
Japan Correspondent
Carmen is currently studying a Bachelor of Commerce (majoring in economics) and a Diploma in Chinese at the University of Melbourne, also undertaking a breadth track in Japanese. She is passionate about Asia relations and public policy and aspires to work in policy-making and international relations.
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Shuchi Ganesh Athreya
India Correspondent
Shuchi is in her final semester of studying History at Curtin University. She loves volunteering and is actively involved with Curtin Volunteers and as Appeal Ambassador at Curtin University. Shuchi is originally from India and is extremely interested in South Asian history. She believes that the alongside India's rapid growth, their contributions to the world will only increase and thus wants to be a part of ensuring Australia engages with India at every opportunity.
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Katherine Durban
Indonesia Correspondent

Katherine is studying a Bachelor of International Relations and Diploma of Languages (Indonesian) at La Trobe University. She plans to study Honors later this year. Katherine has participated in a number of programs aimed at strengthening Australia-Indonesia relations including the virtual Indonesian Language Short Course and Campus Ambassador program run by the Australian Consortium for 'In-Country' Indonesian Studies (ACICIS). She aspires to work in international development and will continue searching for professional opportunities in Asia.

Lydia Ridley