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Australia's China connection going strong

by Katrina Kalleske

Luqiang QiaoTwo UniSA alumni were among the winners at the Australia China Alumni Awards in Beijing last month.

The Australia China Alumni Association (ACAA), which is an inclusive organisation for all China-based alumni of Australian universities, held the annual awards for the first time this year.

UniSA was the only Australian university with two winners, including the top award – the CPA Australia Alumni of the Year to Hui Wing Mau. Mr Hui, who is the Chairman and Executive Director of Shimao Property Holdings, graduated with a Masters of Business Administration in 2003.

Mr Hui founded the Shimao Group in the 1980s, focusing on the development of high-end residential and business properties and luxury hotels. Under his leadership, the Shimao Group has not only changed the landscape of urban China, but also injected new vitality into urban living.

The Award citation also states that “apart from being a generous donor to charities, education and social welfare establishments, Mr Hui has always been the first to react to any relief effort for natural disasters. His generous offers during the Sichuan Earthquake made him a stand-out philanthropist.”

UniSA’s other award winner was Luqiang Qiao who took out the award for culture and arts. Mr Qiao’s association with Australia has stretched over 20 years.

In 1997 he was granted a scholarship to study a Graduate Diploma of Arts Management at UniSA. Mr Qiao said that at that time, there were no arts training courses like it in China. After completing that course, he stayed on to undertake a MBA.  While he was in South Australia, he was involved with several cultural and arts events including the World Music Festival (Asian Theme), in 1999.

“The skills and knowledge, especially the way of thinking I obtained through the courses of arts management and the MBA, have been very beneficial to life and work,” Mr Qiao said.

Mr Qiao is now the Deputy Director of General Office at China’s National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing. In this role he has made extensive contributions to cultural exchanges between Australia and China.

“My job for the past nearly 20 years can be considered a bridge between the two countries. I believe that each Chinese graduate from Australia can be considered a part of the big bridge.

“China-based Australian alumni are a great help in setting up a platform for graduates to make closer contacts with Australia, and at the same time help the development of the relationship between the two countries.”

Congratulations also go to Dr Hao Yalei who was a finalist in the Austrade Award for Entrepreneurship.  A 2009 PhD graduate of UniSA, he has worked for major corporations and made significant progress in the exploration of natural gas, and currently works for PetroChina as the Deputy Director of the Foreign Cooperation Administration Department.

UniSA alumni living in China are encouraged to join the ACAA network.  The ACAA run monthly social and professional networking events in Beijing and Shanghai, and regular events across a number of other cities in China. For more information, visit the ACCA website.