ACFA Board Members

Chairman: Joseph de Varda

March 2005 was a turning point for the Australia China Foundation Association when it invited a non-Chinese member, Dr. Joseph de Varda, to assume the role of patron taking over from Mr. Daniel Chen, Chairman of the Board of Danchen Group, one of Australian wealthiest businessman.

In 2006, Dr. Joseph de Varda was appointed Chairman of ACFA to better serve the needs of the Foundation.

Dr. Joseph de Varda as Chairman of the board of Australia China Foundation Association Ltd. comes to this position with a wealth of experience in international business, trade and commerce.


Dr. de Varda has been involved in Photovoltaic technology, the conversion of sunlight (photons) into direct current of electricity using solar cells and has developed an innovative advanced solar energy technology combining organic and inorganic solar cells with nanotechnology trapping and absorbing photons of the solar light spectrum with the highest solar cell conversion efficiency rate between 90% and 95%  at low cost.  The electromagnetic photon energy radiated from the sun and absorbed by the solar cell materials is adapted to liberate electrons (donors) and create holes (acceptors) by the process of nanostructures of complex interactions and photon-intensifier into usable direct current of electricity.   This breakthrough in solar cell efficiency can convert between 90% to 95% of the sunlight photons into direct current of electricity, therefore the use of solar cells comprising of nanoparticle arrays of hybrid organic and inorganic materials provide higher energy reliance.

Dr. de Varda advises that the current commercial solar cell efficiency produced in the world is limited by its ability to convert the sunlight photons into usable direct current of electricity and the process has its own inherent limitations with the existing techniques.


Dr. de Varda pioneered the production of Vitamin E (alpha tocopherols) in Australia in 1971, with the cooperation of Dr. Shute of the Shute Foundation of Canada.  As a scientist, Mr. de Varda promoted healthy living and natural remedies through his manufacturing of therapeutic supplements.  He expanded his research in alternative medicine by applying his theories in cancer treatments.  During his extended stay in India, with the courtesy of the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, he was provided with a team of medical experts to further research his findings which he completed with success.

After impressive results from patients successfully treated with alternative therapies, the late Gandhi ratified the use of crown land for the establishment of a cancer hospital in the Kandala region.   Dr. de Varda remains resolute in his research and promotion of natural therapies, believing that the human body can be greatly assisted with natural remedies that can enhance the body’s natural defences and the autonomic ability to repair itself.

Dr. de Varda discovered a totally new hormone produced in the pineal gland, the small endocrine gland in the brain the size of 5 mm.  This new hormone consists of one small chain of amino acids linked in a primary characteristic sequence of proteins and because of its minute size this new hormone has not been identified until now.  It is an essential hormone because it stimulates and regulates through receptors the secretion of two protein hormones Ghrelin and Leptin.  Ghrelin is mainly produced in the human stomach and pancreas to stimulate feelings of hunger by increasing food consumption and fatty acid deposits.  Over production of Ghrelin contributes to over eating and suppression in the utilisation of fat causing an increase in the storage of glycogen and body weight gain which can lead to obesity.   Leptin, in contrast to the functions of Ghrelin, is mainly produced by the adipose tissues and stomach to decrease feelings of hunger, reduce food consumption and control metabolic rate which contributes to low body fat and loss of stored glycogen causing body weight loss.

Prior to his appointment as Chairman, Dr. de Varda had been working in his humanitarian endeavors in scientific research.  In particular his latest venture is aimed at lobbying for changes to ensure the growth of healthy chicken product by the abrogation of the current methods adopted by the poultry industry where increased production yields are accomplished through the indiscriminate use of either antibiotics, growth hormones or chemicals as growth promoters.

His project also works toward the eradication of the Avian (Bird) Influenza A virus subtype H5N1. He has discovered some naturally derived anti-viral compounds, capable of swift destruction of the virus, negating the standard treatments currently used to prevent the onset of Avian Flu.  He has conducted scientifically controlled testing for the eradication of the virus in the poultry population and is endeavoring to introduce his new anti-viral agent into feeding processes, globally.

Dr. de Varda has been an advocate for peace and is negotiating on behalf of Australia China Foundation Association (ACFA) with the relevant authorities in conjunction with United Nations delegates for a World Peace Conference to be held in China to promote better relations between nations and World Peace.

China recognizes the importance of international cooperation for the successful outcome of global peace and has indicated its willingness to accept the invitation to host the World Peace Conference.

As Chairman, Dr. de Varda aims through ACFA to enrich trade relations and promote goods and services between Australia and China by providing opportunities for business expansion including the promotion of joint venture partners with China. These aims serve to strengthen economic relationships and ultimately enhance productivity and profitability for both Australia and China.

Dr. de Varda is the Australian coordinator, delegated to present business opportunities to the Chinese government for development approval.

tags:  Joseph de Varda, solar energy, semiconductors, photoelectrons, photomultipliers, innovative advanced solar energy, silicon

Other Board Members

Director:  Yanina Jane Sheng

In 1997, Mrs. Yanina Jane Sheng with a group of reputable Chinese individuals established the Foundation.

At the last annual general meeting the following individuals were elected as board members.

  • Mr. Ric Vatner, Chief Executive Officer and Publisher of eSocial TV,
  • Mrs. Philippa de Varda, Director of Fact Finders International Pty Ltd
  • Mr. Kevin Lee, Permanent President of Chinese Masonic Society.

Director:  Ric Vatner

Ric Vatner founded BAC Insurance Brokers in 1973 a successful insurance brokerage still operating and now owned by his brother.

Ric Vatner was instrumental in developing the personal computer market in Australia during the early 1980’s, his company designed and manufactured one of the first Australian made PCs and he was a foundation board member of the NEC Dealers Association in the 1985.

In 1985 he started one of Australia’s first software houses developing software for organisations such as:

  • NSW State Rail
  • AMP
  • H & R Bloch

and many small to medium sized companies.

Ric Vatner has been

  • A founding director of the Australian Small Business Association
  • A founding Board member and President of ESBEC
  • A Board member of the Water Safety Council of Australia
  • A Board member of the NSW Department of Education – Eastern Suburbs Education Board

Mr. Vatner founded the BAC to Business small business enterprise organisation (pronounced Back to Business) in 1991. BAC to Business had branches in every capital city in Australia as well as many country towns.

His BAC to Business audio magazine had subscribers in many countries around the world and the launch of the BAC to Business True Rewards programme was attended by two Astronauts who had been to the Moon, Paul Scully Powers and John Young who brought with them the first piece of Moon Rock that was donated to the Australian Government at the True Reward launch in Martin Place Sydney.

Director:  Philippa de Varda