The CDU Confucius Institute is led by a CDU Director, with a Chinese Deputy Director on secondment from our Chinese partner universities, and an administrative officer appointed by CDU to facilitate daily administration. The team also includes full-time and part-time teaching staff in various roles.
Board of Directors
The CDU Confucius Institute is guided by a Board, comprising members from the Australian and Chinese university partners, and a local Advisory Board, comprising Northern Territory business and government representatives.
Mrs. Amy Yu-Vatskalis
Amy Yu-Vatskalis was an Associate Professor teaching English language at the College of Foreign Languages, Fujian Normal University, China from 1989 to 2012. She was the Director of the College English Language Proficiency Training Centre at Fujian Normal University during 2003-2005, before being seconded to the Northern Arizona University, USA, in an exchange program between the two universities, to teach Chinese language at the Department of Modern Languages during 2005-2006, before she returned her position in Fujian Normal University, China.
In 2012 she was seconded by the Office of Chinese Language Council International to Charles Darwin University to teach Chinese language and culture in the College of Indigenous Futures, Arts & Society.
She is the Chinese language lecturer at CDU from 2012 – to date. She holds a degree in Master of Education and a Graduate Certificate of University Learning and Teaching from CDU.
Amy has more than thirty years of teaching experience in the tertiary education sector in China, the US and Australia. She has more than twenty publications in China in her field of expertise and a recent publication in Chinese language teaching and linguistics in Australia.
Amy was appointed as the Coordinator of the Confucius Institute at CDU in 2022 and the Director of the CI in March 2023.
Dr. Zhiqing Zhao (Jackie)
Dr. Zhiqing Zhao was the Chief of the Chinese Department in the School of Humanities at Hainan University.
She obtained her PhD from Peking University in 2012 in Teaching Chinese as a Second Language and became a college teacher at Capital University of Economics and Business. In 2014, the College of Education, University of Oregon, USA, invited her to be a visiting scholar. She transferred to Hainan University in 2017.
Besides teaching, she also does research in linguistics and pedagogy and has over ten publications.
She is also very experienced in administrative work, especially in teaching and international student management. She was Deputy Director in the School of International Education of Hainan University in 2018 and Chief of the Chinese Department in the School of Humanities of Hainan University from 2019 to 2022.
She was appointed as the Chinese Director of Confucius Institute at Charles Darwin in May, 2022.
The CDU Confucius Institute teaching team is composed of professional Chinese language teachers and volunteer Chinese teachers from our partner universities in China, and local teachers studying the CDU Master of Teaching.
Mr Lei Shangguan
I am a father of two, a family-oriented person, an enthusiastic educator and a crazy soccer fan.
I am currently teaching senior level Chinese as a Second Language at Haileybury Rendall School, along with an adult Chinese beginner lesson at Darwin Language Centre.
Together with my teaching experience in both public and private school settings, I have developed pedagogical strategies to teach and develop exciting and innovative curriculum programs for Chinese as well as STEM subjects.