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.

 

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.

Kate Kalinova
Director / Korea Correspondent

Passionate about International Relations and East Asian politics, Kate is currently interning at the Australian-Chamber of Commerce in Korea. 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.

Duncan Evans
Indonesia Editor

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.

Tyson Mauk
Japan Editor

As a current Master of Diplomacy student at ANU, Tyson is an avid follower of East Asian politics, business and culture. Having recently completed a fellowship which saw him working for two different politicians in the Japanese Diet, he is extremely passionate about Japanese domestic and foreign policy. He holds a BA in Japanese and Asian Studies from the University of Adelaide, and completed an exchange to Osaka’s Kansai University, where his proudest achievement was being voted best dancer at a traditional Japanese dance performance. Having completed internships in Australia, Bangkok and Japan, Tyson will continue to explore opportunities to expand his knowledge and experience in the region while helping other students and young professionals to do the same.

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.

Olly Lees
China Correspondent

Oliver Lees is a recent graduate of La Trobe University, having completed a Bachelor of International Relations with a Diploma of Languages in Mandarin Chinese. He has travelled to China numerous times for study and work opportunities. He is passionate about writing and has plans to return to China in the near future.

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.

Ashley Eadon
India Correspondent

Ashley Eadon is a New Colombo Plan Scholar which is an initiative of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs. Ashley has previously held the role of ‘Youth Advocate for the United Nations’ in Bangkok, Thailand. She is a Youth Citizen of the Year (Macedon Ranges Shire), co-founder of community education project ‘Dear CRIS’ and studies a Bachelor of Laws and Psychological Science at La Trobe University. As a youth leader, she has spoken at the United Nations Conference Centre in Thailand, Australian Parliament House and the Australian-Indian High Commission).

Nick Metherall
Indonesia Advisor

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

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.

Brendan Considine
Japan Correspondent

Brendan is currently completing a Master of International Relations at the University of Melbourne after graduating with a B.A. in History and Japanese. He has studied at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto and participated in the JENESYS programme in Japan. Brendan has spent many years travelling up and down Japan, getting to know the people and culture and mastering the language. He has devoted his life to studying the Asia-Pacific Region and is working to help strengthen the relationship between Australia and Japan.

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.

Yasmin McGarva
Japan Correspondent

Yasmin is in her final year of a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne, majoring in Japanese and Media and Communications. She has undertaken a semester exchange at Hokkaido University and volunteered with ISA Australia as a group leader teaching English in schools throughout Japan. With a deep interest in cultural exchange, Yasmin aspires to work connecting Australia with Japan and the Indo-Pacific region.

Varsha Patil
Japan Correspondent

A Monbukagakusho scholar in Tokyo and an ex-intern for the Ministry of Economy, Trade and
Industry (Japan) in Kyoto, Varsha is a Japan enthusiast. She holds a BA (Hons.) in Japanese language,
literature and culture from Jawaharlal Nehru University (India) and a masters in Asia Pacific Studies
from the Australian National University (Australia). She is multilingual in Japanese, Hindi and basic
Korean while continuing to explore the current affairs of the region and promoting the growing
potential of the Asia-Pacific. She is fluent in Japanese, Hindi and is learning Korean.

Rhiannon Arthur
Indonesia Correspondent

Rhiannon is a recent Master of International relations graduate from the University of Melbourne. Previously she completed a Bachelor of Arts (Asian Studies) degree and a Diploma in Languages (Indonesian). She first visited Indonesia on a New Colombo Plan scholarship to Yogyakarta in 2015, and has since undertaken two study tours to Jakarta, Indonesia (2018) and Bengaluru, India (2019) and was a Diplomacy intern with Asialink in 2019. Currently she is working in editing. She is passionate about strengthening Australia's relationship with Asia and deepening Australia’s understanding of Asian languages, cultures, politics and societies.