Inaugural Director

Professor Naren Chitty A.M.

Foundation Chair in International Communication


Professor Naren ChittyProfessor Chitty began his career as an academic in 1989. He introduced masteral (1991), doctoral (1992) and undergratuate (2003) degrees in International Communication at Macquarie and headed the Media and International Communication departments until 2003 and 2008 respectively. He was the Deputy Dean and Associate Dean of Higher Degree Research and Internationalisation of the late Division of Society. Culture, Media and Philosophy until 2008.


  • Chitty started The Journal of International Communication in 1992 and continues to be the Editor-in-Chief of this journal which is now published by Routledge.
  • He served as the Secretary General of the International Association for Media & Communication Research (IAMCR) from 1996 to 2000.
  • Prior to joining Macquarie University, he had a distinguished career as a public diplomat in Washington DC, a policy planner in the area of national television, a deputy director of an NGO in community development, starting as a UNDP Young Professional. He was also a free lance newspaper columnist. All these areas contribute to his teaching of Public Diplomacy and International Public Relations as does his academic training.
  • Starting out as a member of the team that brought national television to Sri Lanka in 1982, Chitty was soon posted in Washington DC to work as a counsellor in the Sri Lankan Embassy during the Reagan years. Much of his work in Washington focused on public diplomacy, however he was also a commissioned to join delegations to CHOGMs in Nassau and Vancouver as well to be a representative at the Assembly of Parties of the International Telecommunication Satellite Organization (INTELSAT).
  • He completed a PhD in international relations at the School of International Service of American University in Washington D.C.
  • He was awarded the Order of Australia on Australia Day 2009 'for services to education particularly in the field of international communication as a researcher and academic and to a range of professional associations'.
  • He teaches and researches in the area of soft power and public diplomacy.

Honorary Professors

Professor Jayantha Dhanapala

SPARC-People-Jayantha Dhanapala Jayantha Dhanapala was invited to manage the peace process by the government in mid-2004 after a distinguished career as a national and international   diplomat, peace-builder, disarmament expert and articulate champion of non-discriminatory global norms, the rule of law, the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and general concerns of developing countries in the collective interest of the international community. He functioned as Secretary General of the Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process till the end of November 2005.He relinquished duties to devote more time to bid for the post of Secretary General of the United Nations which concluded with his withdrawal from the vote to facilitate a consensus decision in favour of an Asian Candidate.

Dhanapala has continued to be active internationally through his membership of several international groups such as the International Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission; the Governing Board of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI); the International Advisory Group of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) 2003-2007; the United Nations University Council till 2010 (Chairman for the year 2007-8); the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces; the Advisory Council of the Stanford Institute for International Studies; the International Board of the Bonn International Center for Conversion; the International Advisory Board of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey Institute of International Studies; and as Honorary President of the International Peace Bureau (2003-2007). In November 2007 Dhanapala was unanimously elected President of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs. He is the eleventh person to hold this position following in the footsteps of founder Bertrand Russell, Dorothy Hodgkin, Sir Joseph Rotblat and Dr.M.S.Swaminathan. From January to April 2008 Dhanapala became the first Simons Visiting Professor in International Law and Human Security in the School of International Studies of the Simon Fraser University.

Dhanapala has had a distinguished career spanning the private sector, government, the United Nations and academia from 1962-2004 interacting with different levels of society including Heads of State and Government and a wide diversity of nationalities. Following a stint in the private sector in Sri Lanka, he ranked first in seeking entry into the Sri Lankan Foreign Service in 1965 and served thereafter in diplomatic postings in London, Beijing, Washington D.C., New Delhi and Geneva, culminating in Ambassadorial appointments in Geneva (1984-87) accredited to the UN and in Washington D.C. (1995-97). During his diplomatic career he engaged pro-actively and innovatively in political, disarmament, economic, trade, human rights and cultural matters in both bilateral and multilateral contexts. He represented Sri Lanka and chaired groups in the Non-aligned Movement and SAARC Conferences, Commonwealth meetings, the Conference on Disarmament and disarmament treaty related meetings, UNCTAD, the Commission on Human Rights and other human rights bodies, ILO, WHO, WIPO, and WMO amongst others. Dhanapala was widely acclaimed for his Presidency of the 1995 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review and Extension Conference, a landmark event in disarmament history, because of his crafting of a package of decisions balancing the twin objectives of nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament and the concerns of the nuclear weapon states and the non-nuclear weapon states which was adopted without a vote. He was later invited by the Australian government to serve as a member of the Canberra Commission together with a Group of 17 eminent international personalities publishing an influential report on nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation in 1996.

Schooled and experienced in corporate management, Dhanapala has integrated these skills and experiences into successful governmental, diplomatic mission and international organizational administration. He has an in-depth knowledge of the United Nations, gained from ten years of exposure in working in a senior management capacity in the United Nations. As an efficient and effective senior manager he gained valuable experience in human resource and budgetary management working smoothly with staff representatives and delegations of member states. First, he served as Director (D2) of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) in Geneva (1987-92) directing policy oriented research in an autonomous think-tank broadening the financial base through fund-raising with a wider group of countries and foundations. He acted to expand the area of research to include non-military threats to security, handbooks to assist delegations to the Conference on Disarmament, providing opportunities for training of researchers from developing countries, networking of research institutes in regions and increasing the volume and impact of UNIDIR publications.

Later, Dhanapala was hand picked by Kofi Annan to take on the challenging job of Under Secretary General to re-establish the Department of Disarmament after the UN reforms of 1997 (1998-2003). During his tenure he piloted the UN role in arresting the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, anti-personnel landmines, conventional weapons, and weapons of mass destruction while reinforcing existing norms and norm-building in other areas such as missiles. He also broke new ground both in-house in taking managerial initiatives in gender mainstreaming and in work-life issues, as well as in the disarmament field by innovating the exchange of weapons for a development programme in Albania and other areas, and also in the cross-sectoral linking of disarmament with development, the environment and peace education programmes.

Dhanapala has had a solid education in the humanities obtaining a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree from the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka and a Master of Arts (International Studies) degree from the American University of Washington D.C. in the USA. He studied Chinese at the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London. He has also had work-experience in academia as Diplomat-in-Residence in 1997 with the Centre for Non-proliferation Studies of the Monterey Institute of International Studies in the USA researching and writing on a non-discriminatory global approach to disarmament. He has published four books and several articles in international journals, and has lectured in many countries. He was awarded a MacArthur Foundation grant to research and write his book on "Multilateral Diplomacy and the NPT: An Insider's account" published by UNIDIR, Geneva in 2005. His contributions towards the international community have been widely recognized through the receipt of several awards including: Georgetown University, Washington D.C., the Monterey Institute of International Studies, the Ploughshares Fund and the School of International Service of American University, Washington D.C. for his work in diplomacy and disarmament, and was the Global Security Institute's first recipient of the Alan Cranston Peace Award in 2002. He was nominated Sri Lankan of the Year 2006 by the Sri Lankan business journal 'Lanka Monthly Digest'. Dhanapala has also received several honorary degrees including Doctor of Letters (honoris causa) by the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka (2000), Doctor of Humane Letters Honoris Causa by the Monterey Institute of International Studies, U.S.A. (2001), Doctor of Science in the Social Sciences by the University of Southampton, U.K. (2003), Doctor of Letters (honoris causa) by the Sabaragamuwa University, Sri Lanka (2003), and in 2009 he was awarded a honorary Doctorate (Doctor Honoris Causa) from the Dubna International University of Nature, Society and Man in Russia. In November 2007 the International Peace Bureau awarded Dhanapala the Sean MacBride Prize.

As an effective and eloquent communicator to a wide variety of audiences, Dhanapala has been invited to deliver several keynote lectures that include the Olof Palme Memorial lecture at SIPRI in1999 and the Dorothy Hodgkin Memorial Lecture to Pugwash in 2003. He has also published op-ed articles in international newspapers such as the International Herald Tribune and the UK Financial Times.

Jayantha Dhanapala was born on 30 December 1938 and is married with two children. He speaks fluent Sinhala and English, and is proficient in both French and Chinese.

Professor The Hon. Gareth Evans AC QC

Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC has been Chancellor of the Australian National University since January 2010, and is President Emeritus of the Brussels-based International Crisis Group , the independent global conflict prevention and resolution organisation which he led from 2000 to 2009. 

SPARC-People-Gareth Evans He previously spent 21 years in Australian politics, thirteen of them as a Cabinet Minister. As Foreign Minister (1988-96) he was best known internationally for his roles in developing the UN peace plan for Cambodia, concluding the Chemical Weapons Convention, and initiating new Asia Pacific regional economic and security architecture. He has written or edited nine books - most recently The Responsibility to Protect: Ending Mass Atrocity Crimes Once and for All, published by the Brookings Institution in 2008 (paperback edition 2009) - and has published over 100 journal articles and chapters on foreign relations, human rights and legal and constitutional reform.

He has co-chaired two major International Commissions, on Intervention and State Sovereignty (2000-01), and Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (2008-10) whose report Eliminating Nuclear Threats was published in December 2009. He was a member of the UN Secretary General's High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change (2004), the Blix Commission on Weapons of Mass Destruction (2006), the Zedillo Commission of Eminent Persons on The Role of the IAEA to 2020 and Beyond (2008) and the UN Secretary-General's Advisory Committee on Genocide Prevention. He is Co-Chair of the International Advisory Board of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect.

Gareth Evans was made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) on 11 June 2012 for "eminent service to international relations, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, as an adviser to governments on global policy matters, to conflict prevention and resolution, and to arms control and disarmament." In December 2011 Foreign Policy magazine cited him as one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers for 2011 "for making the responsibility to protect' more than academic". In May 2010 Gareth Evans was awarded the 2010 Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute.

Professor Murray Green

Dr Murray Green is a media development and legal policy researcher and consultant, with a particular interest in the Asia Pacific.   

SPARC-People-Murray Green Murray was Director International of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation from 2007 until March 2012. In this role he was responsible for Australia Network television, Radio Australia and ABC International Development, a group working in the Asia Pacific on communication for development. Murray for six years was on the Council of the Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) and in 2012 was recognised by the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association for service to public broadcasting.

Murray was formerly Director Corporate Strategy and Governance at the ABC. He has also worked as State Director Victoria and as Local Radio Manager Perth. Prior to the ABC, Murray worked as Manager of Curtin University's community radio station. He also was President of the Public Broadcasting Association of Australia (now Community Broadcasting Association of Australia).

Murray has a doctorate in law from the University of Melbourne. His thesis was on election communication law and practice in Australia, the UK and the US. Murray also is an honors graduate in Pacific and Asian history from Victoria University of Wellington and is also a graduate of the Australian Film and Television School. His graduate studies in law were at the University of New England and the Australian National University.

Murray is admitted as a barrister and solicitor to the Supreme Courts of the Australian Capital Territory and Victoria and as a barrister in the High Court of Australia. He is also a Research Associate at the Communications Law Centre, University of Technology, Sydney.

Professor The Hon. John Howard OM AC

John Howard became the 25th prime minister following a decisive Federal election victory for the Liberal Party-National Party Coalition. He replaced Labor's Paul Keating.

SPARC-People-John_Howard Member of the Liberal Party of Australia.

Main achievements (1996 to 2007)

Strong economic growth, low inflation and interest rates, lowest unemployment in 30 years, creation of around two million new jobs, and wage increases.

Introduced gun control with a federally-funded buy-back scheme in 1996.

Goods and Services consumption tax (GST) July 2000. GST revenue of around $40 billion per annum granted to the States and Territories.

Reform of industrial relations system. Replacement of award wages with direct employer- employee enterprise agreements. Introduction of WorkChoices 2006.

Gradual privatisation of Telstra, with initial billion dollar proceeds going to environmental funding.

Introduced principle of mutual obligation to social policy.

Committed Australian troops to international coalitions led by the United States in Afghanistan and Iraq as part of the 'War on Terror'. Took a leading role in United Nations peace enforcement in East Timor which enabled the independent democratic state of East Timor to be proclaimed in 2002.

Adopted an 'Asia-plus' diplomacy, focusing on relations with Australia's Asian neighbours while maintaining and developing traditional links with Britain and other Commonwealth nations and the United States.

Record health funding of $47.6 billion in 2006-07.

Member of House of Representatives for Bennelong (NSW) 1974-2007, Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs 1975- 77, Minister of State for Special Trade Negotiations 1977, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister 1977, Treasurer 1977-83, Minister for Finance 1979.

Howard's Coalition was re-elected in 1998, 2001 and 2004.

Howard's term of office ended after the Liberal-National coalition was defeated at the general election by the Australian Labor Party led by Kevin Rudd. Howard became the second sitting Prime Minister to lose his seat at an election. Increased family assistance payments from $14 billion in 1996-97 to nearly $27 billion in 2005-06. Increased funding for state schools and higher education and vocational and technical training.

Program to extend broadband internet and mobile phone connections to regional and rural areas.

Personal life

Born on 26 July 1939, Earlwood, New South Wales.

Educated Earlwood Primary 1946-51 and Canterbury Boys High 1952-56. Graduated from University of Sydney with Bachelor of Laws 1961. Admitted as a solicitor 1962 and became a partner in a Sydney law firm.

Married Janette Parker at Watsons Bay, Sydney, 4 April 1971.


Howard's personal story is that of a survivor, the defier of odds, the man who never gave up... Apart from tenacity, central to Howard's mature political persona has been a commitment to the ideology of economic reform, spliced with pragmatism, an acute sense of tactics, and an ordinariness that, while ridiculed by critics, enabled him to tap into 'mainstream' voters. By the mid to late 1990s he had turned this 'ordinariness' into a political virtue and claimed, as had Hawke before him, a special relationship with the Australian people... He entirely lacked the larrikin streak that made Hawke so popular... But he had no tickets on himself: he was the man next door, except for voters living in 'yuppie' suburbs. (Source: Michelle Grattan, 'John Winston Howard' in Grattan, Michelle (ed.), Australian Prime Ministers, New Holland, Sydney, 2000, pp. 438-9)

Did you know?

John Howard joined the Young Liberal Movement at the age of 18.

He was given his middle name after the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

He is the only Liberal Party prime minister to be educated in a state school.

On 21 November 2004, he became the second longest-serving prime minister, the longest serving being Sir Robert Menzies.

He is an avid, life long, follower of cricket. He likes to play tennis and golf and also keeps fit by power-walking every morning. He supports St. George Rugby League football team.


Grattan, Michelle, 'John Winston Howard' in Grattan, Michelle (ed.), Australian Prime Ministers, New Holland, Sydney, 2000, pp. 436-63.

National Archives of Australia: Parliament of Australia: 

Further reading 

Barnett, David and Goward, Pru, John Howard: Prime Minister, Viking Press, Melbourne, 1997. Manne, Robert (ed.), The Howard Years, Black Ink Agenda, Melbourne, 2004.

Singleton, Gwynneth (ed.), The Howard Government, UNSW Press, Kensington, 2005.

Professor Maurice Newman AC

Mr Maurice Newman AC was appointed Chairman for a five year term commencing 1 January 2007. 

SPARC-People-Maurice Newman He retired as Chairman of the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX Limited) on 24 September 2008.

His career spans forty years in stockbroking and investment banking, including as Managing Director in 1984, and Executive Chairman from 1985 until 1999, of what is now the Deutsche Bank Group in Australia. He was Chairman of the Deutsche Bank Asia Pacific Advisory Board and a Director of Deutsche Bank Asia Pacific from 1999 to 2001. He was also Chairman of Deutsche Asset Management (Australia) Limited from 1997 until 2000.

Mr Newman retired from Deutsche Bank in July 2001.

Mr Newman has chaired a number of Asian business alliances including the East Asia and Oceania Stock Exchange Federation, and the Australia Taiwan Business Council.

Mr Newman has been an adviser to Australian governments, as a member of the Consultative Committee on Relations with Japan (1984-1987); a Commissioner of the National Commission of Audit (1996); a member of the Business Advisory Panel established by the Minister for Multicultural Affairs (1997 - 2002); Chairman of the National Judging Panel for Innovation in Local Government (1997-1998); Chairman of the Commonwealth Government's National Year 2000 Steering Committee (1997-2000) and the Business Mature Age Workforce Advisory Group (2000-2001); Co-Chair of the Singapore Australia Business Alliance Forum (1999 - 2002); Chairman of the Federal Treasurer's Financial Sector Advisory Council (1998 - 2007); Member of the New South Wales Premier's Major Events Board (2002 - 2004); Chairman of the Sydney Convention & Visitors Bureau (2001 - 2007); and Chairman of Tourism NSW (2002 - 2007).

In 1997, he was Australia's Private Sector Representative to the First Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting Business Forum held in London; and in 1999 led a delegation of senior Australian executives to New York promoting "Australia, the Dynamic Success Story of the Asia Pacific - A Centre for Global Financial Services".

Mr Newman was the Chairman of Acrux Limited (1999 - 2003); Chairman of the Sydney Legacy Citizen's Committee (1998 - 2004); Member of the Advisory Committee of Australasian Medical Insurance Ltd (January to August 2003); Member of the Advisory Council of the Asia Society AustralAsia Centre (2001 - 2004); Member of the Business Council of Australia's Chairmen's Panel (2003 - 2007); and Civil Patron, Royal Australian Naval Reserves, Professional Studies Program (2005 - 2009).

He served as Chancellor of Macquarie University from 2002 to February 2008; and as a Director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation from 2000 to 2004.

In 2002 Mr Newman was appointed an Advisor to the Marsh Group of Companies. In June 2004, he was appointed a Director of the Queensland Investment Corporation.

Professor Joseph Nye

Joseph Nye Joseph S. Nye, Jr. is University Distinguished Service Professor at Harvard University and from 1995 to 2004 was dean of the Harvard Kennedy School. Prior to assuming the deanship he served as U.S. assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, in which position he won two Distinguished Service medals, and was chair of the National Intelligence Council. Dr. Nye originally joined the Harvard faculty in 1964, serving as director of the Center for International Affairs. In a 2008 poll of international relations scholars, he was rated the most influential scholar in the field on American foreign policy, and in 2011 Foreign Policy named him one of the top 100 global thinkers. From 1977 to 1979, Dr. Nye was deputy to the undersecretary of state for security assistance, science, and technology and chaired the National Security Council Group on Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Nye's most recent books are Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics (2004), The Power Game: A Washington Novel (2004), The Powers to Lead (2008), and The Future of Power (2011). Nye received his bachelor's degree summa cum laude from Princeton University. He did postgraduate work at Oxford University on a Rhodes scholarship and earned a Ph.D. in political science from Harvard. He is a member of the American Academy of Diplomacy, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an honorary member of The British Academy. Dr. Nye is North American chairman of the Trilateral Commission.

Research Community

Eminent Scholar

Professor Daniel Druckman 

Department of Public and International Affairs, George Mason University, Virginia. 

Research projects: (1) civil war, durable peace, negotiation, procedural justice, distributive justice; (2) Explaining international negotiating behavior: Adherence to justice principles in arms control, trade and environmental negotiations. Funded by Swedish Research Council. (March 2013 - March 2015).

Visiting Professor

Professor Zhang Yuqiang

Professor of International Communication and Journalism and Director of China Institute of International Communication Strategy, Communication University of China, Beijing.

Research Project: Australia-China Soft Power Relations. Funded by China Scholarship Council. (September 2013 - September 2014).

Centre members

Dr Alison Broinowski

Researcher, College of Asia and Pacific, ANU, ACT

Dr Caitlin Byrne

Assistant Professor, International Relations,  Bond University, Queensland 

Professor Jocelyn Chey

Visiting Professor, University of Sydney

Dr Guo Qin

Senior Lecturer, Macquarie University

Professor Stephanie Lawson

Macquarie University 

Dr Li Ji

Lecturer,  Macquarie University

Professor Nicholas Jase

Professor of English and Creative Writing, University of Adelaide

Dr Andrew Mack

Honorary Fellow, Macquarie University

Professor Daya Thussu

Professor of International Communication, Westminster University, England

Professor Gary Rawnsley

Professor of Public Diplomacy in the Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth University, Wales

Professor Philip Seib

Professor of Journalism, Public Diplomacy and International Relations at University of Southern California, California.

Dr Andrew Simpson

Senior Lecturer, Macquarie University

Dr Ying Jiang

Lecturer, University of Adelaide, South Australia


Researchers currently being supervised by SPRG members

  • Nicholas Dynon (PhD Candidate) - Researching Chinese soft power
  • Dr. Dianlin Huang (PhD completed in 2012) - Framing Migrant Workers: News Media and Discursive Construction of Citizenship in Transitional China.
  • Mei Li (PhD candidate) - How China's Image in CCTV News Affects Overseas Viewers' Perception of China
  • Dr. Li Ji (PhD completed in 2012) - Image and Cooperation in the climate change context: Australia frames China as an environmental actor
  • Dr. Leah Li (PhD completed in 2011) - Reading the contemporary giant: The Australian media representation of China based on the ABC's current affair program in the 21st Century
  • Mirko Pavlovic (PhD Candidate) - Framing and international conflict: Issues of power, foreign influence, demands and leadership
  • Twediana Hapsari (PhD Candidate) - Audience segmentation Indonesian Muslim society related to Australian issues
  • Dr. Annekaryn Tiele (PhD completed in 2011) - News factors in international news flow: An analysis of the global foreign press coverage
  • Dr. Longqing Wang (PhD completed in 2011) - Journalists, media diplomacy and media-broker diplomacy in relations between Mainland China and Taiwan from 1987 - 2009.
  • Janet Xue (PhD candidate) - A Place to Hide: Internet Governance on Privacy Issues on Social Media Sites.
  • Hongyu Ye (PhD Candidate) - A comparison of developments in Chinese and Australian public diplomacy in the 21st Century.

Visiting scholars

Song Qi

Postgraduate student, Communication University of China, Beijing.;
Research project: "Chinese soft power development through Confucius Institutes" (June - October 2012. Completed)

Malene Mortensen

Postgraduate student, Department of Political Science, University of Denmark, Copenhagen
Research project: 'How are Nollywood films viewed by members of the African diaspora in Sydney'? (August - December 2013).

Eléonore Coeuret

Aix-Marseille University, Law School
Research Project: Articulation between Soft Power, Whale Protection International Law

SPARC members

Original members of the Soft Power Research Group include:

  • Gill Boehringer
  • Naren Chitty
  • Rhonda Davis
  • Kristina Everett
  • Qin Guo
  • Gina Hammond
  • Lyn Hicks
  • Li Ji
  • Andrew Mack
  • Paul Mazaros
  • Maya Ranganathan
  • Andrew Simpson
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