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2023 Australian Ambassador’s Award for Women in Leadership

Australian Ambassador’s Award for Women in Leadership

This award is designed to celebrate and honour a woman who not only inspires others but has also proven herself a leader in her field. 

Opened to female alumni only, nominees may come from any sector, including business, government, non-profit and academia and should have demonstrated a commitment to the Australia-China community in China.

All nominees should have made significant strides and accomplishments in their work life, either in the public or private sector.

To view the finalists of other categories, please click HERE

Cathy Yang
University of Melbourne
Grace Li
Wendy Mao
Macquarie University
Margarita yao
University of Southern Queensland and La Trobe University
Shuo Wang
Macquarie University
Irene Bain
Australian National University
Amanda Liu
University of Melbourne
Ying Hou
University of Melbourne
Honghong Fang
Torrens University
Angela Shi
University of Sydney
Vy Vu

Cathy Yang
Managing Partner
Mindspace Consulting
University of Melbourne Alumna



Cathy Yang is an exceptional leader in mental health commercialization and multicultural psychology, and the driving force behind Mindspace Consulting. Cathy and her esteemed partner, clinical psychologist Dr. Queenie Wu, have transformed this venture from a small private practice in 2019 into a fast-growing innovative company with a presence in Melbourne, Adelaide, and Brisbane.
Under Cathy’s leadership, Mindspace Consulting has expanded its services across multiple sectors of the mental health industry, providing culturally informed counselling services and assessments; offering tailored educational programs for international psychology students in Australia; and incubating several digital mental health initiatives that adapt clinical grade tools into smart, self-help services. In 2022, Cathy spearheaded the Mental Health Symposium for the Chinese Community in Australia, sponsored by the City of Melbourne. The event’s success garnered media attention with an interview of Cathy and Dr Queenie by SBS and was celebrated by the Chinese community across Australia.
Cathy Yang’s remarkable achievements in multicultural mental health services make her a deserving finalist of the Women in Leadership Award from the Australian Embassy. Her leadership, innovation, and dedication have reshaped the landscape of multicultural mental health support in Australia, making her a true leader in her field.
杨芳达是一位资深的心理健康商业化专家,并为推动澳大利亚的多元文化心理服务做出了杰出贡献。作为思维心理(Mindspace Consulting)的管理合伙人,杨芳达及创始人邬金媛博士共同将思维心理从2019年成立的本地心理机构,发展成为一家快速成长的创新心理公司,业务遍及墨尔本、阿德莱德和布里斯班。
杨芳达在多元文化心理健康服务方面取得的卓越成就使她当之无愧地入围澳大利亚大使馆颁发的Women in Leadership奖项。她的领导力、创新和奉献精神深刻地影响了澳大利亚心理服务的产业格局,并为澳洲多元文化社区的心理健康做出了杰出贡献。

Grace Li
Associate Dean (Internationalization) UTS Law
University of Technology Sydney
University of Technology Sydney Alumna

It is a challenge for me to list my “achievements” because I perceive my life’s journey as a serendipitous voyage rather than a collection of personal triumphs. Instead, I believe I’ve been fortunate. I’ve travelled from being a humble Chinese international student who could barely construct a sentence in English 25 years ago to becoming a confident law professor passionate about globalizing legal education and supporting international students in every possible way.
In my current position as the Associate Dean (International) at UTS Law Faculty, I’ve had the privilege, courtesy of my good fortune, to take the lead and contribute to meaningful educational initiatives. These initiatives not only enhance the learning experiences of Chinese students in Australia but also enable many Chinese universities to gain insights into how Australian legal education is designed and delivered; how lawyers and judges can collaborate with law schools in education, and how law schools can actively engage with and benefit our society.
I hope that my work over the past 25 years has, in some small measure, made the study of law less intimidating for Chinese students, more valuable for the legal industry, and more beneficial to our communities both in Australia and China.



Wendy Mao
Founder of Swan Wine Group
Macquarie University alumna

Wendy, the founder of Swan Wine Group, has achieved significant success in the wine industry, with Swan Wine Group becoming one of the top 3 exporters to the Chinese market in 2019. Wendy’s efforts have also led to the establishment of Auswan Creek as a renowned Australian wine brand in China. Additionally, Swan Wine Group has generously sponsored various art and sports activities, including the Australia Yellow River Choir and boxing events and AFL Shanghai games. Swan was also a patron for NSW Art Gallery. In addition to her contributions to the business and cultural sectors, Wendy is also actively involved in charity work. She established the Alice In Wendyland Charity in 2022 and organized the Wendy Mao Charity Concert at the Sydney Opera House, becoming the first Chinese Australian entrepreneur to have a personal solo concert at this iconic venue. The concert’s success allowed for a generous donation to children’s charities. Continuing her philanthropic endeavours, Wendy established Swan Culture Media Group in the same year and organized the Sleepless Tonight 2023 Australia Lunar New Year Gala. This gala, which included 620 actors and attracted diplomats from 12 countries, 15 current and former MPs, showcased Australian multiculturalism and promoted harmony among different communities. The proceeds from the gala auction, totalling AUD140,000, were all donated to various charities. The event received coverage from China CCTV News Channel, further amplifying its impact. Additionally, in February 2024, Wendy has planned a prestigious Australia Lunar New Year Tour across Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, and Adelaide, which is expected to attract nearly 10,000 attendees to strengthen Australia China cultural communication and Australian multiculture . As part of this grand event, the galas will include auctions to further support charitable causes for children. Wendy strongly believes in the philosophy of achieving personal success while making meaningful contributions to society. By insisting that an entrepreneur can also excel as an artist, she strives to enhance and support the world of art in a truly impactful manner
天鹅酒业集团创始人温迪在葡萄酒行业取得了很大的成功,天鹅酒业集团成为2019年出口中国市场排名前三的澳洲出口商之一。Wendy的努力也使Auswan Creek成为澳大利亚在中国的知名葡萄酒品牌。此外,天鹅酒业集团还赞助了各种艺术和体育活动,包括澳大利亚黄河合唱团和拳击比赛,澳大利亚AFL在上海的比赛。天鹅集团也是新南威尔士州美术馆的赞助人。除了对商业和文化领域的贡献外,Wendy还积极参与慈善工作。她于2022年创立了爱梦慈善机构,并在悉尼歌剧院举办了个人慈善演唱会,成为第一位在这个标志性场地举办个人独唱音乐会的澳籍华裔女企业家。音乐会的成功使人们能够慷慨地向儿童慈善机构捐款。为继续她的慈善事业,Wendy于同年成立了天鹅文化传媒集团,并组织了”相约今宵  2023澳大利亚春节联欢晚会。这场晚会包括620名演员,邀请了来自12个国家的外交官,15位现任和过去的议员,展示了澳大利亚的多元文化精神,促进了不同社区之间的和谐。晚会拍卖的收益总额为140,000澳元,全部捐赠给各种慈善机构。此次活动得到了中国中央电视台新闻直播间的报道,进一步扩大了其影响力。此外,2024 年 2 月,Wendy 计划在布里斯班、墨尔本、悉尼和阿德莱德举办四场”相约今宵 2024澳洲春晚”巡回演出,预计将吸引近 10,000 名现场观众和演员,加强澳中文化交流,促进澳洲多元文化。作为这一盛大活动的一部分,晚会将包括慈善拍卖,以进一步支持儿童慈善事业。Wendy坚信个人成功必须建立在为社会做出有意义的贡献的基础上,企业家也可以成为一名出色的艺术家,她努力以真正有影响力的方式支持艺术领域。

Ms Margarita Yao
General Counsel/ VP of legal affairs, Trina Solar
University of Southern Queensland alumna
La Trobe University alumna

Have been recognized by peers and legal industry at large and won Outstanding Energy In House Attorney 2021, Excellent Performer in Dispute Resolution and Excellent Performer in Cross Board Deal Attorney awards, organized by China Commercial Business Law Journal (CBLJ) – a notorious legal journal for Asia based out of Hong Kong.
Won Top 15 In House Lawyer hosted by Reuter Thomson Asia Business Law (ABL)- this award is the Oscar equivalent of our legal industry. This award carries extreme weight in the industry.
(1) Setting up legal practice qualification within Trina, enabling us to practice as private attorneys – by pushing to improve the quality of in-house team and having a qualification as our requirement increased exponentially our hiring difficulty. By creating a valued and dynamic team to ensure we can attract the best and most suitable people to join.
(2) Having legal department taking initiative into business dealing and heading litigation team recovered debt that is beyond status of limitation, and contributing over 90Mm RMB profit to the company bottom line, making legal department a profit center- the process is a uphill battle that is challenge our perseverance and intelligence. The team does not
(3) Revolutionized how in-house legal team as run; and rolled out billing system within the company to record and allocate legal value creation benchmark- this change is significant and extremely difficult to roll out from both internal resistance from legal staff and company business department. But our communication and persistence and most of all, our quality of support and value has made this possible.
(4) Turning legal department into true counsel instead of risk control personnel; using our industry knowledge and our legal expertise to generate solutions and ensures company reaching profit and turnover target Revolutionized how in-house legal department is run.

姚子然女士拥有佛罗里达大学国际金融学士和法学博士(Judicial Doctor; J.D)双学位,以及澳大利亚南昆士兰大学MBA(贸易法类)硕士学位。2000年初随欧洲老牌律师事务所回到中国开始在其在中国的执业生涯,拥有18年的国内国外职业诉讼经验,以并购交易和资本市场白领犯罪诉讼为其专业领域。现任天合光能股份有限公司总法务顾问一职。



Irene Bain
Head, Evaluative Learning
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
Australia National University Alumna

Irene Bain heads the learning and evaluation function at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), This is part of an independent Board-reporting unit, where Irene co-developed its first Learning and Evaluation Policy (2021). Before joining AIIB in 2017, Irene worked in the Beijing Resident Missions of the Asian Development Bank, as a social sector specialist, and the Ford Foundation, as an environment and development program officer. She began living and working in China in 1990, initially helping build the local field offices and rural poverty reduction programs of two international NGOs and taking part in one of the earliest Australian government funded rural poverty reduction projects. Thereafter, Irene participated in the design, implementation and review of United Nations multilateral, bilateral and NGO-supported projects, including for the then AIDAB and later AusAID. Irene holds a PhD. in Human Geography and a bachelor’s degree (Hons.) in East Asian Studies and Human Geography from the Australian National University, where she remains an honorary senior lecturer.

白爱莲目前领导亚洲基础设施投资银行的学习和评估部门。该部门是一个独立的报告给银行董事会的单元,在这里,Irene于2021年与他人共同制定了亚投行的首个学习和评估决策。在2017年加入亚投行之前,Irene曾在亚洲开发银行北京代表处担任社会发展专家,并在福特基金会担任环境与发展项目官员。自1990年起,她开始在中国生活和工作,最初协助建立了两个国际民间组织的当地分支机构以及农村扶贫项目,并参与了最早由澳大利亚政府资助的农村扶贫项目之一。此后,Irene参与了联合国多边、双边和民间组织支持的项目的设计、实施和审查,包括当时的澳大利亚国际发展援助局和后来的澳洲开发署。Irene 拥有人文地理学博士学位以及澳大利亚国立大学的东亚研究及人文地理学学士学位,她目前在该校担任荣誉高级讲师。

Amanda Liu
Executive Director
Marketing Strategist, Investment Bank, UBS
University of Melbourne Alumna

Amanda has a strong track record in branding and communications for international financial institutions such as BNP Paribas and Morgan Stanley in China. Prior to the financial industry, she was the Head of Corporate Communications at eBay China. Before moving to Shanghai, Amanda spent 6 years at international agencies, Burson-Marsteller and Ogilvy Group in Beijing.
On top of her responsibilities in brand and communications, Amanda has been working closely with international and local NGOs for MNC’s philanthropy and CSR programs during her more than two decades of professional life. In addition to developing and leading projects through partnerships with reputable organizations, including WWF, Habitat for Humanity, and One Foundation, she successfully introduced several global philanthropy programs to China to extend global brands’ commitment and improve employee engagement. She has also liaised with government agencies on MNCs’ disaster relief efforts and community activities.
As the Vice Chair of the bank’s China Charity Committee, Amanda led several charity programs and Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) activities through partnerships with local and global NGOs such as Adream, BeBetter, Shanghai Young Bakers, Plan Global, etc.
Amanda graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Master’s Degree in Applied Commerce. Her connection with the university and the faculty continues till nowadays. She has been a member of the FBE (Faculty of Business & Economics) Alumni Council since 2017 and nominated the Vice-Chair International in 2023.

Ying Hou
Asia Pacific Brand Director
AGATHA Paris (French Fashion Jewellery Brand)
University of Melbourne Alumna


Ying Hou (Olivia), currently Asia-Pacific Brand Director at AGATHA, a French fashion jewelry brand. For 50 years, the brand has been bringing accessible fashion and a chic lifestyle to women around the world. AGATHA is part of THOM GROUP, a leading affordable jewelry group with 4200+ global stores. 
Since taking up her position, Olivia has had a transformative effect, building a high-performing team from scratch, leading the team’s collaboration with the French headquarter in upgrading the brand and achieving industry leading triple-digit growth. This year, working with headquarter, she also helped launch the first global lifestyle flagship store in Shanghai
Olivia holds a Master of Management from the University of Melbourne after gaining engineering bachelor degree with top honors in China. Over the past decade, Olivia has cultivated extensive experience in the industry, demonstrating her versatility and expertise. She provided professional services at Deloitte and transitioned into fashion startups and digital marketing company. Along the way, she led her teams to earn multiple prestigious industry awards, such as BrandStar Award and Golden Craftsman Award etc. As a respected industry figure, she has been invited to various retail forums as a guest speaker and served as a mentor for university graduates and professionals within the industry. 
Olivia passionately supports Chinese-Australian multiculturalism. She was the first Chinese ambassador for the Australian Women’s Cancer Foundation to advocate for women’s health. As the Chinese female commentator for AFL, she brought a fresh perspective to live commentary for the Chinese community, helping them understand Australian football through media channels such as Channel 7. She has served as a member of a council of the Inner Mongolia Association of Australia to promote multiculturalism in the Chinese community in Australia.
侯莹目前担任法国时尚珠宝首饰品牌AGATHA瑷嘉莎亚太区品牌总裁。50年来,品牌为全球女性带来触手可得的时尚与生活乐趣。AGATHA隶属于欧洲大众轻奢珠宝领导集团THOM GROUP,集团全球超4200家门店。
侯莹积极推动中澳多元文化。在澳期间,她曾是澳大利亚妇女癌症基金会首位华人大使,组织和参与多个慈善活动筹集善款,倡导女性健康。作为AFL华人女性解说员,为澳洲华人带来别开生面的现场解说,在澳洲channel 7等多家媒体的传播下,使华人更了解澳式足球。她还曾担任澳大利亚内蒙古同乡会理事,推动在澳华人社区多元文化。

Honghong Fang
National Principal
Nord Anglia School-Shenzhen
Torrens University Alumna


I have almost 22 years of experience in education, especially almost 20 years in international education. I started my international career as an ESL teacher in Dalian Maple Leaf International Educational Systems since then I have had many opportunities that lead me to grow and develop myself from a teacher, an ESL director, founding principal and K12 school principal. During my 17 years at Maple Leaf Educational Systems, I have led the team to successfully set up an ESL program framework for over 50 new campuses across China.
My success in leading the team to achieve the outstanding Maple Leaf English strengths has won me the title of “National Excellent Foreign Language Teacher” and “Maple Leaf Medal of Excellence and Honour” (2016).

 As a leader in international school, I have always been committed to dedicating my experience and passion in international education. Through my leadership, I strive to broaden students’ international perspectives, improve their critical thinking abilities, and cultivate their lifelong learning ability. To achieve this, I enrolled myself in the Master of Education (Leadership) program at Torrens University Australia and have applied the concept and pedagogy learnt from the course to improve the curriculum and the students’ learning experience at Nord Anglia Bilingual School in Shenzhen.
Shuo Wang
Program Director
Beijing Tongren hospital, Capital Medical University
Macquarie University Alumna

Professor WANG Shuo is the Research Leader of the “Auditory Speech Perception Mechanism” section of Beijing Institute of Otorhinolaryngology, Beijing Tongren Hospital;
Office Director of China’s National Technical Steering Group for the Prevention and Treatment of Deafness under the National Health Commission of China; Office Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Deafness
Director of the undergraduate program of “Hearing and Speech Rehabilitation” of Capital Medical University.
Prof Wang is committed to clinical and scientific research work such as the evaluation of hearing loss, the intervention and effect evaluation of artificial hearing aid technologies (hearing aids, cochlear implants, etc.), and the hearing loss and speech perception impairment caused by aging. She has undertaken 9 national, provincial and ministerial projects, including more than 60 articles in Chinese and English as the first or corresponding author. Prof Wang also served as the chief editor of the “Audiology Training Course” —”13th Five-Year Plan Textbook for Undergraduate Hearing and Speech Rehabilitation of the National Health and Family Planning Commission”;
Prof Wang’s expertise has been widely recognized. She has won a series titles and awards:
· Discipline Lead in the 2022 Second Batch of High-level Public Health Technical Talent Construction Project
· 2020 Capital Medical University Teaching Award
· 2019 Capital Medical University Youth Teaching Award
· 2019 Beijing Tongren Hospital Young Outstanding Talent Program
· 2017 Beijing Dongcheng District Outstanding Talent
· 2015 Beijing Health System High-level Talent-Discipline Backbone, and
· 2012 Beijing Science and Technology Rising Star.


Angela Shi
Co-founder and CEO of Empathetic AI
Empathetic AI的联合创始人和CEO

Angela Shi is the co-founder and CEO of Empathetic AI. Empathetic AI is dedicated to providing communication and knowledge distribution solutions for businesses using generative AI technology. Empathetic AI is a member of the Australian National Artificial Intelligence Centre and is proudly supported by tech giants such as Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services, and Microsoft, as well as collaborating with leading international strategic consulting firms. Empathetic AI has been nominated for the 2023 Business NSW Technology Innovation Award. 
 Before founding Empathetic AI, Angela worked in the fintech sector for 14 years, serving as APAC CFO at Capital.com and as the Australian CFO at Plus500. She used to be the youngest and the only Asian female C Suite at Plus500, where she led teams in seven countries, managed users from over 40 countries, and oversaw annual revenues exceeding nine figures in Australian dollars. Angela has extensive experience in technology, finance, strategy, and compliance. 
Angela is a graduate of the University of Sydney and has pursued further studies at Harvard University. She currently serves as the leadership team at Harvard Alumni Entrepreneur Australia Chapter, a member of the United Nations Australia NSW Division, a Business Partner at University of New South Wales Business School, a committee member at the international think tank AI4Diversity, and a member of several international charitable organizations such as SheEO, Women in AI, and Women in Voice. 
Angela frequently speaks at various conferences, including the CFO Summit and Money 20/20, and has been featured in influential media outlets, including Yahoo Finance, FinanceMagnite, and FS Sustainability. She has also received multiple award nominations. 
Angela Shi是Empathetic AI的联合创始人和CEO. Empathetic AI致力于利用生成式AI技术为企业提供沟通和知识分发的解决方案。Empathetic AI是澳洲国家人工智能中心成员,并得到科技巨头例如谷歌云,亚马逊云,微软的支持,并与国际领先的战略咨询公司合作。 Empathetic AI 获得2023 Business NSW 科技创新奖项提名。 
在创立Empathetic AI之前,Angela在金融科技领域工作了14年,曾任Capital.com担任APAC CFO和Plus500的澳洲CFO,作为全球最年轻且唯一的亚裔女性C suite,领导过7个国家团队,管理超过40个国家的用户,以及超过9位数澳币的年营收入额,在科技,金融,战略和合规方面经验丰富。 
Angela毕业于悉尼大学,并去哈佛大学进修。目前担任哈佛大学企业家协会澳洲分会,联合国澳洲新南威尔士州委员会,新南威尔士大学商学院导师,国际智库AI4Diversity担任委员,并是多个国际公益组织如SheEO,Women in AI和Women in Voice的成员。 Angela经常在各类会议发表演讲包含CFO Summit, Money 20/20,被多个有影响力的媒体包括Yahoo Finance, FinanceMagnite,FS Sustainability,并拥有多个奖项提名。
Vy Vu
Co-founder and Executive Director

FitFam Global
RMIT alumna

Vy Vu, an RMIT University (Melbourne) graduate, has spent the last eight years dedicated to supporting and growing FitFam, a not-for-profit, free-to-participate fitness community. The community originated in mainland China and has expanded globally. Vy co-founded FitFam in 2015 whilst living in Shanghai as a way to keep herself and her friends active. Built on the pillars of connection, wellness, accountability, and accessibility and fueled by the energy of over 100 volunteers, the community experienced steady growth over the past few years. Today, FitFam has reached over 110,000 participants in mainland China alone. Free workouts are available to participants in 20 cities across APAC, Europe and the US, with the largest concentration of locations — 9 cities — in mainland China. FitFam offers over 70 free workouts a week to keep the diverse collective of fitness enthusiasts healthy and active. Vy navigates multiple roles within the organization, including fitness leader, operations manager, event organizer, and so on — above all, carefully assessing opportunities and challenges to ensure the brand ethos and purpose are never compromised.

Vy Vu,毕业于皇家墨尔本理工大学(RMIT University),过去八年间一直致力于支持和发展 FitFam,一个非营利性、免费参与的健身社群。该社群起源于中国大陆,现已扩展至全球各地。Vy 作为联合创始人,于2015 年在上海生活时创办了 FitFam,旨在让自己和朋友们保持活跃。在过去几年中,该社群在建立连接、健康、责任感和可达性等的基础上,在 100 多名志愿者的推动下,实现了稳步增长。如今,仅在中国大陆,FitFam 的参与者就已超过 110,000 人。参与者可在亚太地区、欧洲和美国的 20 多个城市进行免费健身,其中核心集中在中国大陆的9个城市。FitFam 每周提供 70 多次免费健身活动,让不同的健身爱好者保持健康和活力。Vy 在组织内身兼数职,包括健身指导、运营经理、活动组织者等;最重要的是,她会谨慎评估机遇和挑战,从而确保品牌精神和宗旨不妥协让步。