Celebrating the launch of Advance in Japan

WATCH > We celebrated the launch of Advance in Japan with inaugural Advance Ambassador Melanie Brock. Chairman Yasmin Allen joined the Hon. Richard Court AC, Australia’s Ambassador to Japan and Melanie Brock, the inaugural Advance Ambassador in Japan to launch the Advance chapter in Japan.

Melanie Brock is one of Japan’s most respected APAC specialists. She uniquely combines practical commercial business leadership and language skills to consistently deliver on business, regulatory and partnership outcomes for Japanese and foreign corporations both on global and domestic levels. Melanie has an excellent network in Japan’s corporate, political and government sectors – her network of senior Japanese politicians and executives is unique.

Melanie’s company represents leading Australian companies looking to gain access and invest in Japan. In recent times, Advisory has been engaged to support Japanese companies in Australia, and in Asia more broadly, as they expand their M&A presence. Melanie is Chair Emeritus of the Australian and New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Japan having completed over six years as Chair. She is a member of the ‘Australia Japan Business Co-operation Committee’ (AJBCC). Melanie was appointed as a non executive director to the board of Sega Sammy Holdings in June 2019. Other positions include five years on the Australia Japan Foundation, Regional Manager, Meat & Livestock Australia – Japan.

Melanie remains passionate about assisting with reconstruction activities in areas of Japan effected by the earthquake and tsunami in 2011. She was awarded an honorary ambassadorship in several towns in the Tohoku area for her work in Tohoku post 3.11. Melanie was born in Albany, Western Australia, is a graduate of University of Western Australia and has a Masters Degree from University of Queensland. Melanie is a mum and a grandmother and has lived and worked in Japan for 25 years > More

Meet the diaspora in Japan


Paul Chapman co-founded Moneytree KK in 2012. Originally from Melbourne and now based in Tokyo, Paul attained a Bachelor in Business, Banking & Finance and a Diploma in Language (Japanese) from Monash University. Prior to starting Moneytree, Paul served as IT Director at En World and, in 2009, he started Long Weekend LLC, a software development firm focused on creating products for the emerging mobile market > More


Dr Weeks moved to Tokyo to take up a professorial position in the Department of Political Science, Faculty of Law at Musashino University in 2016. She is responsible for undergraduate courses in Japanese politics and peace studies and readings in political science in both Japanese and English. Her areas of expertise include Japanese politics and foreign policy, Australia–Japan relations and teaching Japanese language > More


As the Director of Food Program for Real Estate and Workplace Services, Malcolm Omond leads Google’s renowned food at work program in Asia-Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa. Omond and the team working with him are focused on providing an integrated Food Program that enables Google to thrive. Since 2012 Omond has led Google’s Food Program in APAC adding the EMEA region in 2016. He works supporting all food program related activities and initiatives for the region as well as developing internal and external partnerships to explore and tackle the challenges and opportunities in the broader food systems > More


Cristina Merino is head of customer relations at STH Japan and is skilled in corporate communications, customer relations, international business, event management, public speaking, and team management. She holds a Masters degree in Intercultural Communication from Kyushu University, Japan; and a degree in International Business from QUT, Australia. Cristina is a Monbukagakusho Scholar and is fluent in English, Spanish and Japanese > More


ECN Hospitality is a Tokyo based hospitality company, which was set up by Matthew Crabbe and his founding partners Eddie Baffoe, and Nathan Smith. Since 2009, they have been providing high standard food and beverages, warm hospitality and sophisticated surroundings using our rich experience and specialty in each department > More


Elizabeth Cox immersed herself in the Japanese culture at the age of 12 when she learned the hiragana script. This was a small but significant step paving the way for her leaving Australia for Japan to start her career, which later turned into a destination she’s called home over three stints in the past 20 years. Elizabeth is now the Head of Government Relations, Asia at Macquarie Group, helping the organisation to connect and build relationships with stakeholders, local government and wider community > More


Joshua is now CEO of Rainmaking Innovation Japan and has 20 years of global business experience including launching a publication in Japan with 480K circulation, designing and delivering programs that take startups into global markets like Silicon Valley, China and Japan, and building innovation networks in the UK, US and Asia. He has worked work in Asia including 7 years in Japan and 7 doing business with China > More


Sally leads an organisation that is co-located in the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) Embassy in Tokyo. The South Australia Trade and Investment office covers the North East Asian region, including Korea, and focuses on expanding South Australian trade and investment activity in these regions > More


Benjamin Holt is the Director of Regional Marketing & eCommerce (Japan, Korea & Micronesia) at Hilton and has over 20 years’ track record in business development and marketing across a number of private industry sectors and government in Japan, Australia and throughout the Asia region. He has experience managing and leading teams and large budgets together with diverse stakeholders to deliver high-profile outcomes. Benjamin is cross-culturally savvy and fluent in Japanese > More


Erica graduated from the University of Technology Sydney, Bachelor of Health Sciences and the Nature Care College (Nutrition). She is a member of the Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS), has worked with a doctor in Australia to treat patients suffering from allergies, autoimmune diseases, lifestyle-related diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, and skin conditions. Erica came to Japan in 1985 and studied abroad at a high school in Oita for one year. She has lived in Japan for 20 years and loves traditional Japanese food and culture > More


Dominic Carter is the Representative Director and CEO of the Carter Group, a consumer insights practitioner and entrepreneur. He has devoted his career to assisting international clients plan successful strategies to address the opportunities they have in Japan. Dominic has lived and worked in Japan since 1999. He has launched and nurtured several successful businesses in the market on his own account and worked as a key consultant on numerous large-scale launches and business expansions for his clients > More

Further information

  • Corporate Japan: Pioneering diversity and inclusion, by Melanie Brock > More
  • AFR Postcards from Japan, by Melanie Brock > More
  • Smashing the glass ceiling in Japan, with Melanie Brock > More
  • Should Australia and Japan set up a ‘business bubble’? with Melanie Brock > More
  • Seeking Sustainability Live in Conversation with JJ Walsh and Melanie Brock > More