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Honoring shared values

by Michèle Nardelli

Worthy recipient: Happy Chow (centre) With Dr Anna Ciccarelli and Prof Michael Rowan at the Hong Kong ceremonyIn what was the last international graduations trip for retiring Chancellor David Klingberg and the first for new Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Høj, more than 1000 students received awards in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore in July.

It was also an opportunity to acknowledge the work of Hong Kong philanthropist and former Adelaide resident, Yuanlian Lee, who was made an honorary fellow of the University of South Australia at the July 21 ceremony at Hong Kong Baptist University.

Known locally and by her friends as Happy Chow, Lee and her husband Zhou Kang lived in Adelaide for 10 years, where their three children were educated, two graduating from UniSA.

Educational opportunity is at the hub of Lee’s contribution to her community. She has dedicated herself to social and volunteer work and is an active campaigner for improving education facilities particularly for poorer rural and remote communities in the south-western provinces.

One of the founders of the Grace Charity Foundation Ltd in HK, she has worked tirelessly to raise funds for the development and upgrade of schools and improved educational opportunity in the poorest and most remote areas of China’s Guizhou province.

To date the Grace Charity Foundation has supported or built more than 600 primary and secondary schools. In addition more than 10,000 students receive funding annually from the foundation. Since 2004 when Lee approached the Tsinghua University, the foundation has helped to further the goals of that University’s anti-poverty project by supporting the foundation of three Tsinghua Long Distance Learning Centres.

In the citation, UniSA Pro Vice Chancellor International and Development Dr Anna Ciccarelli said the University was extremely proud to acknowledge Lee’s contribution to society and humanitarian goals.

"Her contribution to improving the social and economic wellbeing of deprived communities is strongly aligned to UniSA’s own strong access and equity values," Dr Ciccarelli said.