Australia Korea Business Council of WA

The Australia Korean Business Council of Western Australia (AKBCWA) was established in 2010 and is dedicated to assisting Australian enterprises to develop and maintain open and co-operative relations between businesses in Australia and Korea. Korea is one of WA's largest bilateral trading partners and the opportunities for deepened engagement and economic success are increasing.

The AKBCWA provides its members with a forum for social and business networking and facilitates exchange of the latest information on economic, financial and commercial developments in Korea and Australia. Chaired by Tommy Shin, the AKBCWA works closely with senior business leaders in Australia and Korea, governments in Korea and Australia and business communities to enrich relationships, promote understanding of opportunities and ultimately, further increase trade and investment.



The Australia Korean Business Council of Western Australia (AKBCWA) is dedicated to assisting Australian enterprises develop and maintain open and co-operative relations between businesses in Australia and Korea.


AKBCWA Mission

The AKBCWA’s aim is to provide a national focus in encouragement and support to Australian enterprises in their pursuit of opportunities for bi-lateral trade and investment with Korea. AKBCWA will do this by seeking to influence relevant policy makers in Australia and Korea and by sharing promotion and support for Australian business enterprises through creation of opportunities for linkages and networking.

Tommy Shin, Chairman

Tommy has over 15 years’ experience in business development, marketing, raising capital, running businesses with multiple successful exits and acquisitions in multiple industries. In 2016, Tommy was a winner of the prestigious 40 under 40 award that recognises and celebrates Australia’s 40 leading business entrepreneurs under the age of 40.


Tommy currently holds the office as CEO of Lateral Capital Ventures, Group CEO of the National Currency eXchange Group Limited, Non Executive Chairman for Lateral and is a council member for the Australian Digital Commerce Association and Association of Cryptocurrency Enterprise and Start Ups Singapore.

He has also held board seats for ASX companies and other technology companies and actively advises corporate and start ups in Australia and Singapore.

Peter Grant,  Honorary Life Member  
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Don Kim, Treasurer

Don is a lawyer based in DLA Piper's Perth office who practises primarily in the areas of construction and commercial litigation.  He is a native Korean speaker and has acted for a number of major companies in Australia and Korea.


Before joining DLA Piper, Don worked at one of the largest law firms in Korea, representing both Korean and multinational clients in connection with cross-border commercial disputes, corporate transactions, corporate rehabilitation and general corporate matters.  Prior to that, Don served as a judge advocate of the Republic of Korea Army where he advised on numerous international legal issues, including North Korea's artillery attack on Yeonpyung Island and the sinking of the patrol ship Cheonan in 2010

Young Chan Yu, Board Member

Mr. Grant holds a B.Sc. (Hons.) in Geology from Nottingham University and has over 40 years’ experience in global exploration. He first worked in seismic exploration and then worked as a senior geophysicist for BG out of UK before moving to Australia to work for BHP Petroleum who he worked for 13 years in Australia, Africa and Middle East as an Exploration Manager.


He joined Woodside Energy Limited in 1995 in Perth and led Woodside’s International expansion from 1998 to 2013, as General Manger International Exploration. He has worked in most hydrocarbon basins around the world and has enjoyed considerable success in finding and developing hydrocarbons on most continents.

Young is a professional business adviser with private and public sector experience in finance, consulting, trade, mining, energy resources and international business in both Australia and Korea. Young Specializes in international business development, cross cultural communication and stakeholder engagement advice between Australian and Korean organisations


Young is currently managing director of MGM O’Connor Corporate Advisory focusing on Korean market opportunities. Also, Young is a non-executive director of ASX listed companies Protean Energy Ltd and Peninsula Mines Ltd.

Young previously served as Regional Director at WA Government Office in Korea and a Trade Commissioner in Austrade Seoul.

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Fay Duda, Ex-Officio Board Member
Brian Evans, Board Member

Fay was appointed Honorary Consul for the Republic of Korea in Western Australia on 6 May 2016.  She is actively engaged with the AKBCWA and supports Western Australian Korean groups such as the Korean Association and Korean Veterans Association as well as the Korean Language Teachers Association WA.  Fay is a Deputy Chair of the Perth Korean War Memorial Committee and a Member of the Advocacy and Advice Board, Korea Research Centre of WA.


Between 2006 and 2020, Fay represented a diverse range of multi‑national and West Australian companies in the areas of government relations advocacy, business development and community engagement. Clients operated predominantly in the energy, mining, construction, technology and training sectors. From 1996 until 2006, Fay worked for Ministers in both Federal and State Governments and has experience across a range of areas including the administrative processes of government and the work of government agencies in the implementation of policy initiatives.  

Brian is a John Curtin Distinguished Professor involved with the oil and gas industry over the last 50 years, he has more recently turned to medical research and development of a smart stem at Curtin University using drilling technology. Trained as an electrical engineer, he started his career as a control design engineer with GEC-UK, developing into a reservoir geophysicist in the oil and gas sector - North Sea/India/Middle East/S.E. Asia and Australia. He has authored two books, one on seismic acquisition and the other on Data Analytics.


A developer of technologies over the years, he holds five patents and has published over 200 journal articles with international awards from SPE, SEG and SEA societies as well as the 2016 US National Instruments Energy Award. He has strong links with PNU in Busan, and was responsible for developing geophysics, petroleum engineering, subsea engineering and predictive analytics Master’s programs at Curtin.

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Jo Elfving-Hwang, Board Member

Dr Jo Elfving-Hwang is an Associate Professor and Director of Korea Research Centre at the University of Western Australia where she teaches and researches contemporary issues relating to Korean society and culture. She has published on and does consultancy work on Korean beauty and cosmetic industry, sociology of ageing, as well as Korean popular culture and cultural industries.


An enthusiastic ‘Koreanist’, she has served in a number of elected positions to promote Korean Studies both in academia and in the industry. Jo serves on the Board of the Australia Korea Business Council of WA is the current Vice President of the Korean Studies Association of Australasia (KSAA) and was the immediate past President.

Nigel de Silva, Board Member

Nigel de Silva has significant experience at Curtin University in leadership roles developing and managing commercial strategic partnerships across the globe.


He has responsibility for a large portfolio of partnerships spanning operations in Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, China, Mauritius, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Australia.  He has skills in
the development of strategic alliances involving partners, industry and government to develop research and academic programs.


Nigel has a broad knowledge of the various elements of internationalisation in a University context, including transnational teaching partnerships, offshore branch campus development and governance, onshore student recruitment, agent management and relevant government policy applicable to international higher education.        

Sam Clark, Board Member

Sam has 15 years of oil and gas experience including roles in accounting, economic analysis, project management and marketing.


Sam worked in Korea for two years during the construction of the North Rankin B platform in Hyundai Heavy Industries’ Ulsan shipyard. He is currently responsible for marketing Woodside's LNG and new energy products to Korean buyers.


Sam is a Chartered Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Curtin University. A recipient of Yayasan Sarawak Foundation Reverse Colombo Plan and Curtin Business School Study Abroad scholarships, he also completed studies at Copenhagen Business School and Curtin Sarawak Malaysia.

Gordon Flake, Board Member


Professor Gordon Flake is the founding Chief Executive Officer of the Perth USAsia Centre at The University of Western Australia.

Professor Flake is one of world’s leading authorities on strategic developments in the Indo-Pacific. Having spent twenty-five years in the US foreign policy community focused on the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia and now seven years in Australia’s Indian Ocean capital he is an expert on key strategic relationships in the broader Indo-Pacific. He has authored many scholarly and policy studies on security developments in the region, and their policy implications for the US and its regional partners.

Professor Flake has led the growth of several major international conferences in Australia and the region; and established a range of high-level diplomatic and policy dialogues on issues of shared concern for the Indo-Pacific.

Professor Flake holds a number of strategic leadership roles and is a sought-after media commentator, particularly on issues to do with US politics and foreign policy and strategic developments in the Indo-Pacific. 

He was the Executive Director of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation, an Associate Director of the Program on Conflict Resolution at The Atlantic Council of the United States, and Director for Research and Academic Affairs at the Korea Economic Institute of America.

Hon Eric Ripper
2nd Patron (2017 - )

Mr. Ripper had a long and distinguished career in the WA Parliament over 25 years as a member of the Australian Labor Party, including time as Deputy Premier; Treasurer; Minister for Energy; and Minister for State Development, as well as Leader of the Opposition.


Mr. Ripper has strong links to Korea and during his time as Minister for State Development set up the WA government’s office in Seoul which has been an integral part in building the WA – Korea relationship.

Richard Court AC
Founding Patron (2010 - 2016)

Richard Court was Premier and Treasurer of Western Australia from 1993 to 2001 and retired from Parliament after 19 years as the Member for Nedlands. His government led the way into new LNG markets, the successful deregulation of the Western Australian gas markets and the successful privatizations of the SGIO, BankWest, Alinta Gas, Westrail Freight and the DBNG pipeline.


Richard is the founding Patron of the AKBCWA and has been a pioneer in WA - Korea relations. 

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