The team

Mark Thirlwell - Chief Economist

Mark Thirlwell

Appointed as Austrade’s Chief Economist in September 2013, Mark has been tracking global economic trends since he joined the Bank of England’s International Divisions in 1990, where he worked as part of the Whitehall Economists Subgroup, coordinating the forecasting of major emerging markets across the Bank, Treasury, the FCO and other stakeholders. Mark later joined J P Morgan in London as a Vice President in Economic Research with responsibility for Central and Eastern Europe.

After moving to Australia, he served as Senior Economist at Australia’s Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (Efic), working on sovereign risk with a particular focus on East Asia.

Before joining Austrade, Mark was the inaugural Director of the Lowy Institute’s International Economy Program and also a Fellow at the Institute’s G20 Studies Centre. He was one of the original research team that helped establish the Lowy Institute as one of Australia’s leading think tanks.

Mark is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University’s National Security College.

He has degrees in economics from Cambridge and Oxford Universities and a postgraduate qualification in applied finance from Macquarie University.

Dr Matthew Durban – Manager Research & Analysis

Matthew Durban

Dr Matthew Durban manages Austrade’s Research & Analysis team based in Canberra and Sydney. He has extensive experience in economic research and analysis, international business development, marketing and high level representation initially in London and then in Australia from 1991 working for a variety of multinational and local enterprises. Between 1997 and 2000, Matthew consulted to business and government on direct investment projects between Australia and South Africa. From 2001, he was the Research & Planning Manager for a leading Australian law firm. Matthew joined the Australian Commonwealth Public Service in 2006 and was posted to Indonesia December 2013 – January 2018 as Trade & Investment Commissioner with a team in Jakarta and Surabaya covering agribusiness, food & beverage, education and investment.

Matthew has degrees from Wales, Warwick, Macquarie and La Trobe Universities. He speaks English, Indonesian and French.

Edmund Tang - Economist and Head of Benchmark Research

Edmund Tang

Edmund Tang is the author of Austrade’s flagship annual publication, Why Australia Benchmark Report. He also produces a series of Data Alerts and Investor updates that are designed to update, revise and support the key messages of the Benchmark Report.

Prior to joining Austrade in 2008, Edmund was Senior Economist at Efic (1998-00) and the Head of Research – financial services team in Invest Australia and Axiss Australia (2001-08). Edmund previously held several key research roles in private sectors: deputy Head of Research/senior regional economist – Fixed Income and Currency Unit – in Chase Securities (now part of JP Morgan Chase, 1993-97, Hong Kong); and research economist in ANZ Banking Group (1985-93, Melbourne).

Edmund’s other achievements include Austrade’s Client Service Award (2010), the Federal Government Financial Services Medallion (2006), Commonwealth Postgraduate Scholarship (1998), University Medal (top of the first-class Honours student, 1985) and Australian and New Zealand Economics Prize (1984).

Edmund speaks English, Chinese Mandarin, Cantonese, Hainamese and Vietnamese.

Divya Skene - Economist

Divya Skene

Divya’s research at Austrade focuses on Australia’s bilateral trade and investment relationship with major trading partners. This includes trends in goods and services trade, two-way investment and the profile and perceptions of Australian companies doing business in key markets.

Divya brings an operational perspective to her analysis having previously worked in international business development with businesses and industry stakeholders. Before joining Austrade, Divya worked in the private sector with IMA Asia and Asean Focus Group, and in economic teams at the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet, and the Department of Industry in Canberra. Between 2005 and 2009 Divya was a national executive member of the Australia India Business Council.

Divya holds a degree in Economics (Asian Studies) from the University of NSW, and a Masters degree in Public Policy from the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo.

Matthew Murphy - Senior Information Analyst

Matthew Murphy

Matt joined Austrade’s Research & Analysis team from the EMDG team, where he was the senior information analyst responsible for all data-related tasks from 2010 to 2018, including reporting and data modelling and forecasting.

At EMDG, Matt developed data models that produced automated risk analysis reports on all claims received by the EMDG team (approximately 3,500 per year). He has also produced data, maps and data visualisations for publications such as Austrade’s annual report and the 2015 Lee Review of EMDG (Certainty and Confidence).

Matt joined the Australian Public Service in 1998. He has worked as a quarantine and export inspector for the Australian Quarantine and Export Service, a GIS specialist for Geoscience Australia and an information analyst for the Murray-Darling Basin Authority.

Matt holds degrees from the University of Sydney, University of New England and Charles Sturt University.

Amy Godfrey – Adviser, Research & Analysis

Amy Godfrey

Amy joined Austrade’s Research & Analysis team from the International Education division in 2018. She is responsible for managing international education data reporting and analysis, including the Market Intelligence Package (MIP) Orbis data visualization tool, the data component of the ‘Where to Compete’ market selection tool, and also contributes to other projects under the Australian International Education 2025 strategy. Prior to working in Austrade’s International Education division, Amy spent four and a half years in Tourism Research Australia working on the International Visitor Survey, Destination Visitor Survey and managing the ‘Statsline’ enquiry service; and before that had two and a half years’ in National Accounts at the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Amy holds a Diploma in Accounting and a Bachelor of Business.