Bananas New Zealand Going Global International Conference 2007

Speakers 2007

MR BROWN  (Bananas NZ Going Global Conference (2007))
Mrbrown, aka Kin Mun LEE, is the accidental author of the popular Singapore website, , and has been documenting the dysfunctional side of Singapore life since 1997. Affectionately known as the Blogfather of Singapore, his early work was a series of writings entitled Singapore National Education which poked fun at politics, current affairs and life in Singapore. It was extremely popular and was circulated via email and Usenet.

He also started writing a weekly humour column for TODAY newspaper in July 2003, which ended abruptly in July 2006 when the newspaper suspended it indefinitely, following a strongly-worded letter from the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts (MICA).

mrbrown also hosts the mrbrown show ( ), a comedy podcast he started with Mr Miyagi, another famous Singaporean blogger who has moved on to other projects. The podcast airs 5 days a week and is downloaded on average 10,000 times per show. mrbrown currently runs King Content Pte Ltd, with two other partners, producing new media content like the mrbrown show, a movie/tv/dvd review podcast (See What Show) and a games/gadget/technology video podcast (The WTF! Show).

LYNDA CHANWAI - EARLE (Bananas NZ Going Global Conference (2007))
As a poet, performance artist, filmmaker, playwright and actor, Lynda has performed her work for over 15 years. She has produced various award winning performance pieces and her poems have been published widely in journals and anthologies. A collection Honeypants (AUP) was published in 1994. Honeypants was selected for the 1995 Penn Book Awards and New Zealand Book Awards.

Lynda toured with Te Rakau Hua O Te Wao Tapu and has been involved as a script co-ordinator, drama facilitator and performer for dramas created by women in prison.

Lyndaís groundbreaking one-woman play Ka Shue (Letters Home) is the first authentically New ZealandñChinese play for mainstream audiences and is semi-autobiographical. It has toured New Zealand and overseas. Together with her second play, Foh-Sarn (Fire Mountain), it was published by The Womenís Play Press in 2003. Both plays are prescribed texts in New Zealand Literature at the University of Auckland. Her play Monkey, premiered at the 2004 International Festival of the Arts and toured as part of Capital E National Childrenís Theatre Programme. Her other new play, Heat, a Circa Theatre Commission, will be scheduled for production soon. She has worked as a journalist for the television programme Asia Down Under (TVNZ Channel One).

Lynda represented New Zealand at the inaugural Hong Kong Literary Festival in 2001, the 2002 Philippines AsiañPacific Poetry Conference, was Trans-Tasman writer at the 2003 Queensland Poetry Festival and attended the Shanghai Literary Festival in March 2005 as guest writer.

Lynda has a B.F.A. from Elam, Auckland and an MA in scriptwriting with Victoria Universityís International Institute of Modern Letters. Lynda currently lives in Wellington with her partner and child where she is developing a feature film-script with the NZ Film Commission.

SOU CHIAM (Bananas NZ Going Global Conference (2007))
LLM (Cambridge)
Sou was born in Malaysia. She migrated to New Zealand 10 years ago with her family from Hong Kong.

Sou was the Senior Legal Counsel and Head of the Human Rights Policy Team at the Human Rights Commission. There she advocated strategies to deal with systemic discrimination of vulnerable groups. She ran a successful proactive ìPink Stickerî Campaign to rescue Thai village girls tricked into prostitution in New Zealand.

For the past 5 years, she was in the financial services industry.

Sou is a trustee of the Auckland Regional Migrant Services Trust (ARMS) and she advises on the REACTNOW programme to mentor refugees into employment. She is a mentor to a young woman from Myanmar/Burma.

Sou is passionate about human rights.

FRANK CHIN (Bananas NZ Going Global Conference (2007))
I am a writer. I have written short fiction, plays, non-fiction, reviews, essays, opinion, and research pieces on Chinese and Japanese America. I have also written the backs of bubble gum cards, "stupid" radio contests, documentary films on fishing and boxing, and hacked.

I am the son of a Chinese immigrant father and a fourth generation Chinatown mother whose father had worked in the steward service of the Southern Pacific Railroad.

I am the principal editor and author of the introductory essays of "Aiiieeeee!: An Anthology of Asian American Writers," the most influential critical work in Asian American literature, and "The Big Aiiieeeee!" "Big Aiiieeeee!" explores Chinese and Japanese American history and stereotyping through the history of western Christian thought and writing, Chinese and Japanese American writing, and the Asian fairy tales and childhood literature that informed the immigrants and the structures of their political and artistic institutions from tongs and tanemoshi to railroad building and music.

Coffee House Press, a small press working in Minneapolis published a collection of my short fiction, "The Chinaman Pacific & Frisco R. R. Co." in 1988; a novel "Donald Duk" in 1991; and "Gunga Din Highway," a novel, in 1994. University of Hawaii Press, published a collection of my essays, ìBulletproof Buddhistsî in 1998.

KENDA GEE (Bananas NZ Going Global Conference (2007))
Kenda Gee is a producer, director and non-fiction writer whose family origins in Canada go back to the turn of the century. In 2005, he was named a Finalist of the 2005 National Producer Apprenticeship Programme by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television (sponsors, Genie Awards), and currently works as Director of Development of Clearwatermedia, Inc. with acclaimed documentarian Tom Radford. He is also President of ACMI ñ Asian Canadian Multimedia, Inc..

In 2004, the year prior, Kenda was chosen as a candidate for the AMPIA (Alberta Motion Picture Industry Association) Producers Programme at NAIT (Northern Alberta Institute of Technology) in its inaugural year from which he graduated among the top three. He is also a graduate of the ARIA (Alberta Recording Industries Association) Business of Music Program.

A graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto and the University of Alberta in Political Science and English, Kenda has distinguished himself as the recipient of a United Nations Secretariat graduate internship in New York with the Offices of Political and Legal Affairs. He is currently the Chair of the Chinese Head Tax and Exclusion Redress Committee, a co-founder of the Asian Heritage Month Festival in Edmonton, and a graduate of the Documentary Production Workshop at Ryerson University Radio and Television Arts Department, Rogers Communications Centre, through the generous support of the National Film Board of Canada.

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CHARLOTTE GLENNIE (Bananas NZ Going Global Conference (2007))
Charlotte Glennie joined the ABC's Beijing Bureau as China Correspondent for the Australia Network in 2006.

Previously she was based in Hong Kong where she set up an Asia Bureau for Television New Zealand and worked as the organisation's first Asia Correspondent.

Charlotte has travelled extensively throughout the Asia region covering news and current affairs. She has reported from some of Asia's most remote places, Far west of Mongolia and among the hilltribes of Northern Laos. She has covered stories as varied as floods in Bangladesh, political rallies in Taiwan, street children in Vladivostok and the HIV-AIDS crisis in the minority Xinjiang region of China.

Charlotte also covered the Indian Ocean Boxing Day Tsunami, travelling to Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka. She was awarded New Zealand's Supreme Award for Television Journalism for her Tsunami coverage and her general contribution to coverage of news in Asia.

Charlotte also received New Zealand's Senior Television Reporter of the Year for her Tsunami coverage and a Special Service medal from the New Zealand Government.

Charlotte has worked as a journalist in radio and television. Early in her career she worked as a Political Reporter in New Zealand's Parliamentary Press Gallery, covering two general elections and a by-election.

Charlotte has a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Drama.

MANYING IP (Bananas NZ Going Global Conference (2007), Crouching Tiger, Hidden Bananas (2005))
Manying Ip came to New Zealand in 1974 from Hong Kong where her family lived for five generations. With her strong classical Chinese education at home and colonial English education at school, she grew up sharply aware of the challenges of being cross-cultural.

Her interest in Maori-Chinese interactions started from the mid 1980s when she conducted extensive qualitative interviews among the pioneering Chinese families, which grew ever stronger with the immigration and ethnic identity debates of the recent decade.

She is Associate Professor in Asian Studies at The University of Auckland and the author of several critically acclaimed books on Chinese in New Zealand. These include: Aliens At My Table: Asians as New Zealanders See Them (2005), Unfolding Identity, Evolving Identity: The Chinese in New Zealand (2003)as well as numerous journal articles and book chapters on issues pertaining to recent Asian immigrants.

She is a respected advocate for Chinese communities living in New Zealand. Manying was awarded a Suffrage Centennial Medal in 1993 and was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 1996.

In 2004 she co-directed New Faces Old Fears, a documentary exploring racism, multiculturalism and social cohesion in New Zealand.

ADAM LAM (Bananas NZ Going Global Conference (2007))
Dr Adam Lam received comprehensive tertiary training in classical and modern Chinese literature, language and culture at Lingnan University (then Lingnan College) in Hong Kong and was awarded a Higher Diploma with distinction. He was fascinated by the contemporary cultural and literary theories when he was doing his B.A. in comparative literature at Monash University in Australia. This explains why he was particularly interested in comparative analysis between Chinese and Western thoughts when he was doing his M.A. at the University of Hong Kong. His PhD thesis, completed at the University of Auckland in 2000, is on the shifting of cultural identity of mainland Chinese film in the age of globalization.

Adamís research interests include comparative and cultural studies as well as Chinese (including Hong Kong and Taiwan) popular culture (cinema, TV, the Internet and literature). He also researches and composes reading texts for teaching Chinese as a second language.

Dr Lam is currently a Senior Lecturer in Chinese at the School of Languages & Cultures, University of Canterbury.

JAMES LIU (Bananas NZ Going Global Conference (2007))
Dr James Liu received his PhD in social psychology in 1992 from UCLA. He is an Associate Professor in Psychology at Victoria University of Wellington (VUW), where he has worked since emigrating to New Zealand in 1994. He is currently Deputy Director of the Centre for Applied Cross Cultural Research (CACR) at VUW, Secretary General of the Asian Association of Social Psychology (AASP), and he is author of more than 70 publications.

Dr. Liu was born as Liu Hou-fu (¡?ªÌ?Ú) in Taiwan. He emigrated with his parents to the United States at the age of four, where he grew up in Carbondale, a small town in the Midwest with railroad tracks through the centre of town dividing whites from blacks, and almost no Asians. He wishes he had a dollar for every time someone asked him whether he knew kung fu while growing up. He grew up wanting to assimilate as an American, chasing the American dream to California, where he got his PhD and married his wife, Belinda Bonzon; they have a daughter, Brianna Cai-lin Bonzon-Liu. He attended the inaugural meeting of AASP in 1995, where he co-authored a paper on identity and history with his father (Liu Shu-hsien), an eminent neo-Confucian philosopher. Since then, he has slowly moved towards integrating his Chinese and Asian identities with his Westernized identities (American and New Zealander) in his life and his work.

His research interests are in intergroup relations, particularly involving identity and history. He has written extensively on the identity of overseas Chinese, on the bicultural identities of Maori and Pakeha, and has recently completed a chapter on historical conflict and reconciliation between Chinese and Japanese. He co-edited an interdisciplinary book on New Zealand Identities, published by VUW Press in 2005, and currently is editing a special issue of the Asian Journal of Social Psychology on past contributions, current status, and future prospects for Asian social psychology.
MARGARET MUTU (Bananas NZ Going Global Conference (2007))
Margaret Mutu is of Ngati Kahu, Te Rarawa and Ngati Whatua and Scottish descent. She is the Professor of Maori Studies at the University of Auckland, and the chairperson of her tribal authority, Te Runanga-a-Iwi o Ngati Kahu, in the Far North and her two marae, Karikari in the Far North and Kapehu in the Kaipara.

Her interest in conducting research into Maori-Chinese interactions was prompted by Manying Ipís work in the area. Recently her work has been on how Chinese have been depicted in media that targets Maori.

Margaret has published two books, one on the history, traditions and customs of her hapu, Te Whanau Moana, of the Karikari peninsula in the Far North, the other on the grammar of a dialect of the Marquesan Language.
PAUL SPOONLEY (Bananas NZ Going Global Conference (2007), Crouching Tiger, Hidden Bananas (2005))
Professor Paul Spoonley first began research on immigration in the mid-1970s. Since then, he has been an author or editor of 24 books, the majority of which have been concerned with migration, cultural identity and ethnic relations.

He is Professor of Sociology and Regional Director (Auckland) for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Massey University. In 2005, he was elected Chairman of the Asia-Pacific Migration Research Network, a region-wide network that researches and provides advice on migration and settlement issues.

He is also involved with Metropolis, a Canadian-based network that is concerned with migration and cultural diversity policies. Recently, he authored a report on the media and immigration issues in New Zealand over the last decade, another report on social cohesion and immigration as policy goal and co-edited a book, Tangata, Tangata. The Changing Ethnic Contours of New Zealand (2004). He is currently writing a biography of Professor Ranginui Walker.

LI TAO (Bananas NZ Going Global Conference (2007))
Li Tao was born in 1973 in China. She received her B.A. in Chinese Literature from Zhejiang Teacherís University, then worked in Wenzhou TV Center for 6 years as a journalist and documentary producer. From 2000-2001 Li studied in Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. She graduated with a Post Graduate Diploma of Arts in Film Studies. She then went on to train as a teacher.

While Li worked as an international student advisor and teacher in Wellington, she undertook intensive research on the lives of teenager international students. This led Li to produce the documentary ìWaves: The Diaries of Chinese International Students in New Zealandî. Waves premiËred at the Telecom 2006 New Zealand International Film Festivals with critical acclaim. It returned to the 2007 World Cinema Showcase. The Chinese version of Waves screened on the Shanghai Documentary Channel earlier this year.

Li currently teaches film production at the Shanghai Institute of Arts, Fudan University, China. She has published three books: ìNew Zealand: The Untouched Worldî (Jinan University Press, 2005); ìThe Diaries of Chinese International Students in New Zealandî (Jinan University Press, 2006) and ìLi Tao: A New Zealand Journeyî (Jinan University Press, 2007).

CARLA VAN ZON (Bananas NZ Going Global Conference (2007))
Carla van Zon was the Artistic Director of New Zealandís biggest cultural event, the New Zealand International Arts Festival. Involved in the Festival since 1989, Carla took on the role of Artistic Director, in April 2000 having successfully led the Festival as Executive Director since 1996.

The 1996, 1998 and 2000 Festivals thrived with Carla in the role of Executive Director when she led it into the black for the first time, earning the Festival the Dominion Gold Award 2001 for outstanding contribution to the Wellington economy.

She is now a freelance consultant on a range of projects, creating and managing arts and cultural events and producing New Zealand work. She is also the Director of the New Caledonia New Zealand Season 2007.

Carla was made an Officer of the Order of New Zealand for services to the arts in 2001 and Arts Wellingtonian of the Year in 2005.

ROBYN WONG (Bananas NZ Going Global Conference (2007))
Mountain Bike Olympian
Athens 2004 was the realization of a dream for Robyn Wong. It was the culmination of great dedication, hard work and resolve and it is the hard earned pinnacle to her mountain biking career to date. Robyn advanced in leaps and bounds, racing for eight seasons in New Zealand and four summer seasons overseas. Robyn had a gutsy race at the Olympics finishing 16th and was proud to be the first New Zealand born Chinese to compete at an Olympic Games.

After graduating from Victoria University with a Commerce degree, Robyn spent a few years working in London and then returned to settle in Wellington, when she took up the sport of Mountain Biking. From social and recreational enjoyment she quickly moved to cross country racing, proving very competitive straight away posting outstanding results. In the first year, she won the national championship in the Womenís Expert Class and continued this winning way by becoming Womenís Pro Elite champion twice. Seven times, Robyn has represented New Zealand in the Oceania Championships and six times at World Championship level. Last year Robyn gained 6th at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. Robyn also represented New Zealand in France in road cycling.

Robyn is a qualified Accountant and works as a Management Consultant in Wellington. Though recently retired from international competition Robyn is keeping a hand in the sport by managing, coaching and mentoring. She is taking up new challenges including running her first marathon in the 8th Annual Great Wall Marathon in China on 19 May 2007.

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LOONG WONG (Bananas NZ Going Global Conference (2007))
Loong Wong is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Business and Government at The University of Canberra, Australia.

His research and teaching interests range across management theory and practices, e-commerce and soci-political change in the Asian region. He has published in Peace review, journal of Contemporary Asia amongst others and current research interests revolve around the issues of the digital divide in Asia, entrepreneusrhip, corporate governance and GATS.

He also works with local communities in Australia and elsewhere to promote human rights and democracy, and is currently actively involved with the local Chinese communities in Sydney to create a more meaningful and empowering social practice.

LIU SHUENG WONG (Bananas NZ Going Global Conference (2007))
Wong Liu Shueng was born in Carterton. This turned out to be a motivating factor to see the rest of the world. A person with a whole repertoire of work experiences, her interesting and varied life has seen her trained as a teacher and teaching fro pre school, primary, secondary, polytech and university.

Teaching skills turned into starting her own business as a Cultural Diversity Consultant for 8 years, before employment at the Office of the Race Relations Conciliator, Human Rights Commission and recently at the Office of Ethnic Affairs.

She has recently reorganised her knowledge to restart her business as Director of Intercultural Works, offering mentoring, life coaching, workshops and courses to sharpen skills for effective intercultural communication.
ALISON WONG (Bananas NZ Going Global Conference (2007))
Alison Wongís poetry collection, "Cup" (Steele Roberts, 2006), is shortlisted for the 2007 Montana NZ Book Awards NZ Society Authors Best First Book for Poetry. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in Best NZ Poems 2006, Dear To Me: 100 New Zealanders Write About Their Favourite Poems, and various other journals and anthologies.

She was the 2002 Robert Burns Fellow at Otago University and a founder of Poriruaís Poetry CafÈ. She lives in Titahi Bay, Porirua, where she is completing a novel.

JILNAUGHT WONG (Bananas NZ Going Global Conference (2007))
Jilnaught Wong is the Professor of Financial Accounting and Head of the Department of Accounting and Finance at The University of Auckland Business School. Jilnaught worked in Chartered Accounting and Investment Banking in New Zealand and the United States prior to taking up an academic career.

Jilnaught has taught at the undergraduate, post-graduate, and MBA levels and is rated one of the top teachers at The University of Auckland Business School. He was the recipient of the Schoolís Teaching Excellence Award in 2006.

He has published research papers in many international refereed journals. From 1996 to 1999, he was the Editor of Accounting and Finance, the leading academic refereed journal in accounting and finance in Australasia.

Jilnaught is married to a third-generation
ìbananaî and they have two grown-up ìbananaî children.

RICHARD C L YAN (Bananas NZ Going Global Conference (2007))
Richard Yan is founder of the Richina Group of companies. He is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Richina Group, and Chief Executive of the New Zealand arm of the operation - Richina Pacific Limited, a publicly listed New Zealand company. Prior to his appointment as Chief Executive of Richina Pacific, he was Deputy Chairman, a position he held for four years.

Richard began his association with New Zealand in 1981, when he came from China on a Rotary Scholarship to study at Auckland Grammar School. Richard then went on to the University of Auckland where he graduated with BA and BCom degrees. He also has an MBA degree from the Harvard Business School. Before forming Richina, Richard worked in the investment banking industry and held a number of positions with Westpac Banking Corporation and Bankers Trust Company.

JACK YAN (Bananas NZ Going Global Conference (2007))
Jack Yan founded Jack Yan & Associates (, one of the worldís first virtual firms, in 1987. He founded Lucire as New Zealandís first commercial online fashion magazine in 1997. Since then, itís become the countryís only fashion magazine thatís published internationally.

In addition to his fashion media work, Jack is one of the leading brand consultants in the country, co-author of Beyond Branding (Kogan Page, London, 2004) and author of Typography and Branding (Natcoll Publishing, Christchurch, 2005). He is the only antipodean member of the high-level branding think-tank, the Medinge Group ( , in Sweden, known for cutting-edge thinking. He was also New Zealandís first digital typeface designer in the 1980s.

Each of Jackís businesses has been known internationally, often associated with New Zealand itself, and he was profiled most recently in Idealog (march-April 2007) on his exporting. His personal site is at , and features a highly regarded blog.

SONIA YEE (Bananas NZ Going Global Conference (2007))
Sonia Yee is a Wellington based actor and writer. She graduated from Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School. She also has a degree in American Studies (Popular Culture, Film and Media studies) from Canterbury University.

Sonia is in the midst of piecing together a documentary called The Foreign Skin which delves below the surface of NZ-Chinese historical and contemporary perspectives. This project followed on from a recent trip to Beijing in 2006 to gain an insight into craft of Peking opera.

Her solo play The Wholly Grain received critical acclaim in Auckland and Wellington. Sonia has many radio credits to her name, and will soon appear in a TV episode of Investigator. She recently wrote, directed and performed in Gold Mountain Story for the NZCA Easter Tournament (cultural production) 2007.

Sonia works at Access 783AM as a Project Manager (events management, special projects, marketing), and is also the host and producer of the stationís hot new arts show The Zone.

Listen on demand
More about Sonia and her various projects:

ANTONY YOUNG (Bananas NZ Going Global Conference (2007))
Antony was born in Wellington. Like many Kiwis he has found his way around the world. His career has taken him across four continents, with stints in Hong Kong, London and New York where he currently resides heading Optimedia International US, a media & marketing communications company.

He disappointed his dad by getting into advertising with Saatchi & Saatchi, not quite the profession a son from a Chinese family aspired to be back in those days, but a lot of fun nonetheless. He later redeemed himself by marrying Nancy an accountant from Levin.

In 1995, he relocated to Hong Kong as Saatchi & Saatchi Asiaís regional media director responsible for planning the use of broadcast, print and outdoor media for marketing campaigns. In 1996 he was appointed chief executive of Zenith Media (a sister company of Saatchi & Saatchi) launching the media communications agency network across Asia. In 2003, Antony transferred to London as the CEO of ZenithOptimedia in charge of its UK operations. In July 2006, he relocated to New York to take on the role of President of its US company, Optimedia International.

His role in Asia saw him travel and work extensively in 13 countries across the region. Under his leadership, Zenith Media became the #1 media agency in China. His current role in New York has him employed by companies such as LíOrÈal, NestlÈ and British Airways and working with the likes of NBC, Fox and Time Warner to develop integrated multi-media advertising campaigns for the US market.

He also is a regular commentator on media trends, co-founded a digital marketing company and co-authored a book on marketing titled ìProfitable Marketing Communicationsî which was published in May of this year.