Arnold Jorge

Chief Executive Officer

Arnold is a former senior trade official, diplomat and consultant with over 20 years of experience in international trade, aid, entrepreneurship and marketing.

His previous positions included Principal Adviser with the Washington DC based Center for International Private Enterprise, Director of Aid for Trade in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Deputy Head of Mission of the Australian Embassy in Mexico City.

He represented Australia in global forums and trade negotiations, including in the World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, and Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.

He is strategic in his approach and is focused on delivering results through innovation, collaboration, data-informed decision-making, and targeted influence of stakeholders.

He has a degree in Master of Business Administration, and is skilled in lean start-up and agile methodologies, and ‘aid for trade’ project design and management.

Angela Wright

Senior Project Manager, ECA Edge

Angela is Senior Project Manager of ECA Edge, the innovation arm of the Export Council of Australia. As part of this role, she works with women led businesses and Indigenous businesses in building their capacity to undertake international trade. She is responsible for advancing issues in relation to inclusive trade, market diversification, supply chain resilience, and environmental sustainability.

Drawing on her firsthand experience in startup firms in the tourism and food and beverage industries, Angela assists entrepreneurs to be export ready and internationally competitive. She also works with officials to develop and implement programs that have led to practical outcomes. For both industry and government, she helps identify risks and opportunities, and facilitates innovative solutions to international trade challenges.

Angela is skilled in project management, international development, opportunity analysis, identification of market entry strategy, and development of business models. She has degrees in international business and languages. Angela has lived and worked extensively overseas including in Japan, China, and Malaysia. She speaks English, Japanese and Mandarin.

Kristina Hurwitz (ON LEAVE)

National Program Manager

Kristina joined the Export Council of Australia in 2015. Her role includes management of the state’s most prestigious business awards program – the Premier’s NSW Export Awards, as well as supporting NSW exporters through the full range of activities offered by the ECA.

Before joining the ECA, Kristina worked as a project coordinator for a non-profit organisation that focuses on public advocacy in human rights promotion and democratic reform, as well as educating media professionals. Kristina holds a Bachelor Honours degree in journalism from the University of Novi Sad in Serbia.

Tamara Oyarce

National Trade Policy & Research Manager

Tamara joined the ECA in 2020 as National Trade Policy & Research Manager, leading the trade policy and advocacy portfolio of the ECA and leading and managing research projects related to international trade working directly with businesses, Government agencies and broader stakeholders. Tamara was also the Research Manager for the ECA in 2019.

Lawyer by training Tamara brings a unique combination of legal, corporate strategy and international business management knowledge from/to firms engaged in international trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.

Tamara has work and life experience spanning three continents focused in the Asia-Pacific region (Australia, China, Chile and Japan) and has also extensive experience working across industries including professional services, corporate law, higher education and the not-for profit sector.

Tamara has a master’s degree in International Business and Law from The University of Sydney Business School and is also completing her PhD with the University of Sydney Business School.

Shane Styles

National Skills Development Manager

For over 20 years, Shane Styles has been facilitating businesses internationally across a range of industries, cultures and markets. With a successful career in change management, start-up operations and consultancy, Shane has managed all facets of a company’s operational and market activities as well as export market development strategy and brings this experience to the Export Council of Australia as National Skills Development Manager.

Working with members and key stakeholders from government and industry, Shane drives initiatives to educate and build the export capabilities of Australian businesses.

In recent years Shane has travelled extensively in Asia, building his knowledge and networks to further assist Australian companies looking to build export entry strategies and navigate the barriers to entry in this region. He works with Australian companies to adapt their branding, product offering and strategic approach, recognising and highlighting the differences between individual markets in Asia.

Shane has developed extensive personal contacts in over 40 countries and indirect contacts through his network in a further 60 countries. Drawing on his broad range of experience, Shane also mentors industry leaders and business owners on personal and professional strategy both in Australia and around the world.

Paula Jimenez

Marketing Manager

With 20 years of combined domestic and international experience, in both the private and public sector, Paula joins ECA with a strong legal academic background and 15 years in relevant marketing executive positions across different countries and industries. Paula has been responsible for developing and delivering numerous marketing and communication initiatives which have propelled measurable revenue growth, brand exposure and led to market expansion. She is a keen advocate of trust building and fostering a sense of engagement between the parties, with a genuine interest in consumer behaviour. Paula is particularly knowledgeable in customer-driven marketing strategies.

Right before joining ECA, Paula spent 6 years facilitating international partnerships in the Australian higher education sector, engaging key stakeholders and influencers with a strong focus on the APAC and LatAm regions.

For the past 7 years, Paula has been a Board Member of Spanish Community Care Association, a non-for-profit organization focused on providing welfare assistance, health care and support to the elderly, disabled and disadvantaged members of the Spanish speaking Community.

Paula is an eager traveler with a passion for food, people and cross-cultural experiences.

Richelle Ward

QLD State Manager

Richelle joined the Export Council of Australia in April 2014 with more than 10 years’ experience in the field of Corporate Communications. As the State Manager for Queensland she manages the states most prestigious export recognition program The Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards. Richelle also facilitates International Trade Skills education opportunities as part of the Councils key objective.

With a Diploma in Business Marketing and a Degree in Journalism, Richelle has represented one of Australia’s leading online insurance providers as the National Media and Communications Manager. She has also worked for Queensland’s largest electricity distributor Energex, implementing major infrastructure projects with significant community impact throughout South East Queensland. It’s Richelle’s passion for project management that drew her to the Export Council where she enjoys stakeholder and client engagement opportunities across Queensland.

Jun Gao (ON LEAVE)

Membership and Partnership Coordinator

Prior to her time at the ECA, Jun has managed membership services and events at the Australian Finance Industry Association (AFIA). She was involved in managing over 150 members across the finance sector including consumer, commercial and wholesale finance.

In her most recent role at Ashurst, she was responsible for providing a national oversight of the firm’s association memberships and strategic partnerships for over 50 NFP industry associations across 5 different industries and practice groups. Jun holds a Bachelor degree in International relations from Macquarie University.

Stefanie Harter

Administrative Assistant to the Trade Policy and Research and Skills Development Business Units

Stefanie first joined the ECA as a student intern in 2019, where she collected valuable practical experience in international trade and exports enhancing the knowledge gained through a Master of International Business program at the University of Sydney. Shortly after finishing her studies in 2020, Stefanie re-joined the ECA working within the Skills Development and Trade Policy and Research business units. She is now responsible for developing content and interactive learning offerings for SMEs around Australia and conducting research projects on trade and policy related issues.

Specializing in export management and having conducted several international business research projects all over the world, Stefanie is experienced in supporting SMEs who are either currently exporting or are interested in exporting as a future option. Previous projects have allowed her to work closely with professionals in both the private and public sector, including collaborations with industry representatives from KPMG, Austrade, ProChile, and more.

Stefanie’s substantial knowledge in international business has also been influenced by her having worked and lived in North and South America, Europe, Asia, and now Australia. Her cross-cultural experiences and broad market knowledge overall position Stefanie as a valuable source of expertise for any Australian business looking into going global.

Karmen Rai

Graphic Designer

Karmen started off as a freelance graphic designer for the Export Council of Australia in 2017. One year later, she happily finds herself officially joining the team with a part time position.

Her role at the ECA sees her working closely with each of the individual departments developing creative solutions for various mediums across digital and print, publications, logo design, various event collateral/branding and more.

Laura Choo

Export Awards Administrative Assistant

Laura initially joined the Export Council of Australia in 2021 as an intern with the ECA Edge unit. Now, she is responsible for managing the esteemed 2021 Export Awards program in both New South Wales and Western Australia. Through this program, she works with stakeholders in public and private spheres to ensure that exporters receive the recognition they are due.

Prior to joining the team, Laura was actively involved in her university’s student associations, which naturally prompted an interest in not-for-profit organisations in her professional career. Outside of her commitments to the ECA, she is the Head of Publications in the Australia Malaysia Business Council’s NSW Chapter.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Sydney with a double major in Government & International Relations and Political Economy.

Peter O'Byrne

Chair, National Advisory Board, Export Council of Australia

Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Business and Economics, Macquarie University

Member, advisory boards of International Governance and Performance Research Centre (IGAP), Macquarie University Centre for the Health Economy, and South Asia Forum.

As a professional Company Director, Peter is widely involved in Australia’s commercial engagement around the world at a policy and service delivery level. His board roles have included the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade), the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (Efic), the NSW Export and Investment Advisory Council, the Australia India Business Council, Australian Hearing Services and Reckitt & Colman subsidiaries across Asia.

Peter’s executive roles have included Managing Director of Austrade, Chief Executive of Australian Hearing Services (including the National Acoustics Library), Regional Director of Reckitt & Colman Asia as well Strategy Director, Reckitt & Colman PLC. He has worked in London, Jakarta and Singapore, as well as Australia.

Management Team