Stephen FitzGerald began professional life as a diplomat. He studied Chinese, became a China Specialist, and an advocate for public policy reform. As China Specialist he has been a diplomat, academic, think tank director and expert consultant to government and business. He was China Adviser to the former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, and later became Australia’s first Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China.
He founded the Asia-Australia Institute, dedicated to making Australia part of the Asian region, and has been advisor to the Australian and Northern Territory governments, and the governments of Britain, Denmark and others on governance-related aid in China and Southeast Asia.
Stephen FitzGerald is currently a Board Member of China Matters, an independent policy initiative dedicated to raising the quality of public discussion of China and Australia’s relations with it.
He is also a Friends’ School Old Scholar, and attended Friends’ for eight years from the age of four.