Asia Savvy 2020


Marie Ysabel Landingin – Committee Lead

I am a Philippines-born Kiwi, West Aucklander, and final-year Bachelor of Urban Planning (Honours) student. Through growing up in cosmopolitan Auckland, reconnecting with my Filipino background, working in Tokyo, and undertaking opportunities to work in the Asian space, I have developed a deep interest in urban development in the Asia-Pacific space. Last year I had the privilege of being part of the Asia Savvy committee, and I am delighted to be back to help shape this year’s milestone conference. I look forward to working with our awesome team to deliver this inspiring and invaluable platform to embrace our exciting future in the Asia-Pacific region.

Jennie Zhang – Registrations Lead

As a New Zealand born Chinese, I am incredibly fascinated with how cross-cultured individuals operate in a multicultural society. Having interned in Hong Kong and then work in Australia directly after, has shown me the contrast within the business world of how different markets hold certain expectations, work cultures and values. I study a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Commerce and am passionate about the social sciences and the state of affairs of our humanity within all backgrounds, whether it be about the socio-political structure of our society or the business world in Asia. Being a part of the Asia Savvy team this year, I hope to inspire and set a reminder on the importance of communication and human connectivity as we continue to grow in a world of increasingly advanced technological influence and progression. We need to look beyond the given status quo and reach above the glass ceiling.


Joshua Murphy – Ambassador Lead

I’m a Danish-Kiwi. I was born in Denmark, raised in South Auckland, New Zealand, and learning Mandarin. I’m a third year student studying Computer Science and Mandarin. I’ve always been a naturally curious person. I always wondered what the world was like outside the New Zealand bubble and how to break out of the norms of being a Kiwi. In high school I started to learn Mandarin as well as about the rich culture and history that accompanied the language. I think that learning a language is the closest thing possible to a super power.

I became involved in Asia Savvy conference because of my curiosity and passion to get more involved and learn more. I hope to help organise and run an amazing event as well as working with like-minded students. I’m passionate about the importance of being Asia Savvy, and looking forward to being involved in the 2020 committee in the role of Ambassador Lead.


Deepika Jindal, Project Manager

I am a Professional Teaching Fellow at the University of Auckland’s Graduate School of Management. I earned my Phd in May 2018. My thesis focused on the impact of implementation of human resource management (HRM) practices, by the supervisors, on work engagement, job crafting, and job performance of the employees. Prior to my doctoral studies, I have worked for a large Indian manufacturing conglomerate (Trident Ltd.) for around 10 years in the HRM area. I have been working at the University of Auckland Business School since February 2014, on various courses related to business, general management and HRM. I have also been involved with various research projects related to HRM and organisational behaviour in the past years. I am the project manager for the Annual Asia Savvy conference (2019). My role is to manage different activities related to the conference, provide support to the committee and organise sponsors/speakers. I look forward to meeting a diverse set of participants at the conference and engage in meaningful discussions around this year’s theme: building a successful career in the Asian century.

Debora Cheng – Communications Manager

I am currently in my fourth year of studying a Law and Arts conjoint majoring in Japanese and Korean. I am a New Zealand born Chinese, who grew up while experiencing and embracing both Asian and Kiwi culture, with a deep passion for learning various Asian languages. I am excited to join the Asian Savvy team this year and work with other like-minded individuals to take part in shaping New Zealand’s multicultural and diverse urban future with Asia through this conference. I hope that we can create another amazing Asia Savvy this year where all participants can be inspired and become more aware of the opportunities involving Asia. I look forward to meeting all of you.


Dinah Towle, Adviser

My role in the University of Auckland is Coordinator for New Zealand Asia Institute. I have been involved with the Asia Savvy conference since its inception in 2011, mostly in the role of project management. I work on development of annual themes and innovating formats for the Asia Savvy annual conference as well a providing administrative support. I enjoy working with an energetic team of students who are clearly passionate about the importance of being Asia Savvy, crafting a topical conference and bringing our audience a relevant, innovative and thought-provoking event.


Chantelle Tan – Communications Manager

Hello! I’m a second-year student studying a BBus and Communication Studies degree majoring in International Business and Public Relations at AUT and truly excited to be part of the planning team! With rising interconnectedness within our world, understanding different cultures and the diversity surrounding them is important in communication, whatever you do for a career and wherever you work! I’m fascinated with the textile industry within Asia and its great significance at a global scale, I dream to one day travel all around Asia, especially in Japan and Indonesia. I hope to bring together my experiences and past involvement with Asia Savvy in collaboration to create an insightful and ‘savvy’ opportunity for you all!


Vicky Hu,
University of Auckland

Hi everyone! I’m a Taiwan-born New Zealander in my third year of Bachelor of Urban Planning (Honours). My experience studying in Taiwan and Japan have inspired my interest of the intricate urban fabric of Asian cities; weaving together the formal and informal, traditional and modern. I believe Asia can bring so much value to New Zealand’s already vibrant cultural landscape in our globalised world.

Coming from a bi-cultural background and building strong relationships with diverse cultures is something very close to my heart I am so excited and privileged to be part of this inspiring conference. I hope to help create meaningful opportunities and networks for you all to have an Asia-savvy future. Can’t wait to see you all there!



Iona Sammons,
Victoria University of Wellington

Kia ora! I am a born and raised New Zealander and have made my home in Wellington for the past eight years. I am in my final year of studying Management, Information Systems and Data Science, and have delved into the world of our Asia neighbours through electives and extracurricular events – including going to South East Asia for a market immersion programme.

I attended Asia Savvy last year because the theme piqued my interested (building a career for the Asia century). It ended up being a fantastic experience; I gained some insights about having a career in Asia; insights about myself; and met awesome people who I still stay in contact with.

I look forward to another wonderful conference!


Amy Lee,
University of Auckland

Hey everyone! I am currently completing my postgraduate studies in Bioscience Enterprise. Growing up in a small city in New Zealand really immersed me into kiwi culture and I always thought about the importance of going back to my roots, embracing Chinese culture and cross-cultural competency. My travel experience in Asia have broaden my horizons and has inspired me to open up opportunities for others. With the ever-growing global village, I am passionate about helping others to become more asia savvy. I hope to raise awareness around the amazing opportunities in Asia and help students make the most of the Asia Savvy Conference.

I’m excited to see how the conference goes this year and I am looking forward to meeting you all!

Lydia Joyce,
Victoria University of Wellington

Hello! I’m a British Singaporean who has made windy Wellington my home. One of my favourite things about New Zealand is that it’s such a melting pot of diversity and I hope to help to make new cultural experiences even more accessible to everyone through my involvement in Asia Savvy this year. Having studied in Japan and worked in China I can’t wait to share the cultural lessons I’ve learned from those experiences with all of you. I study a Bachelor of Law and a Bachelor of Music, so my passions span across a variety of disciplines. The arts are an excellent starting point for anyone to learn more about a new culture and I can assure you the rabbit hole only grows deeper from there.

If you’re from outside of Auckland as well, please don’t hesitate to get in touch! I’d love to see more students from across the country getting involved in the conference.

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