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TOEFL® – Australia China Alumni of the Year Award

Celebrate the Success of Australian Alumni in China

Sponsor

TOEFL® – Australia China Alumni of the Year Award

This prestigious award celebrates all-round distinction in work, life and community service and aims to recognize an alumna/alumnus who has demonstrated excellence in her/his professional career and/or through charitable activities. 

All nominees for this award will have established themselves as leaders in their chosen fields, and will also have made significant contributions to strengthening the relationship between Australia and China. 

Mr Chamber Yang

UTS

Mr Joseph Kwan, MH

QUT

WINNER

Dr Michael Ling

UTS

Ms Sally Begbie (AO)

Macquarie

Ms Susan Heffernan

Deakin

To view the finalists of other categories, please click HERE.

Winner of TOEFL® – Australia China Alumni of the Year Award
   Mr Joseph Kwan, MH
    Founder & Managing Director, UDA (Universal Design & Accessibility) Consultants 
    Queensland University of Technology Alumnus
    Hong Kong Based

Joseph Kwan has practiced architecture in Australia, United Kingdom and France; and was the Director of an access advisory service in Hong Kong from 1987 to 2005. He founded the practice UDA Consultants Ltd., a specialist consultancy on Universal Design and Accessibilityin 2005. 

He has over 40 years’ experience in architecture, of which 30 years has been focused entirely on projects in universal design and accessibility to the built environment, transportation and inclusive tourism.

He is the current Deputy Vice-President of Rehabilitation International for Asia Pacific and was the RI-ICTA Global Chair from 2006-16. He was the inaugural Chair of the ARCASIA Committee on Social Responsibility from 2011-14.

He is a member of theHong Kong Government’s Rehabilitation Advisory Committee and the Convenor of RAC-Subcommittee on Access. He served on the Building Committee of the Housing Authority, the Buildings Department, and the Equal Opportunities Commission Hong Kong. He was the Vice-President of the Hong Kong Institute of Architects and the Vice-Chair of the Architects Registration Board Hong Kong. He also served as the Chair of the Quality Building Award 2004.

He has lectured globally in 34 countries on universal access and inclusive design.

He is a Recipient of The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Hong Kong Citation and was awarded the Medal of Honour(MH) by the Hong Kong SAR Government “for his valuable contributions in improving a built environment that caters for the needs of people with disabilities”.

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Mr Chambers (Chunbao) Yang
    Senior Partner, Dentons
    University of Technology, Sydney Alumnus
    Shanghai Based

Chambers (Chunbao) Yang, senior partner of Dentons Shanghai, member of International Bar Associations. Mr. Yang has been successively identified by China Business Law Journal as one of China’s A-List 100 Lawyers, awarded many times as Finance Monthly’s Award on TMT Lawyer of China and Award on M&A Lawyer of China as well as the other professional awards, listed as “Recommended Lawyer” by Asia Pacific Legal 500 and Asia Law Profiles for many years; in addition, he is Qualified Independent Director for listing company, the Off-campus Supervisor of Law School of Fudan University and the Off-campus Post-graduate Supervisor of East China University of Politics & Law, the team leader of TMT Sector in Dentons Shanghai. He has published 13 law books on investment, M&A and PE fund, including Perfect Winning of Capital II: An Operation Guide for Investment & Financing: Models & Processes, Legal Risk Control through Company Life:Practice & Case Analyses, and Private Equity Fund: Practice on Risk Management, etc. His practice area including Corporate, Investment, M&A and VC/PE; TMT; Real Estate and Construction; Dispute Resolution.

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Dr Michael Ling
    Corporate Advisor, DeMatteo Monness
    University of Technology, Sydney Alumnus 
    Shanghai Based

Dr Ling is a seasoned senior advisor and business executive with a successful track record in leadership, management consulting and business management across the Asia Pacific. He has been engaged by Fortune 500 companies to pursue business initiatives within the areas of digital innovation, emerging technologies and business transformation.

Dr Ling completed his higher education in Australia, which served as the foundation and launchpad for his impeccable record of success and accomplishments over a period of twenty years. Having a global mindset and a passion for cross-cultural collaboration, Dr Ling has established a career which upholds a high reputation and which includes consulting to some of the world’s largest multinationals, including Europe-based PA Consulting Group, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Citibank, HSBC, Optus, Oracle, SAP, Telstra and Telecom New Zealand.

In addition to his business engagements, Dr Ling has been actively participating in educational initiatives. He places great emphasis on the value and the provision of good education to the younger generation. During the period 2014 to 2018, he held a Visiting Professor position with the SHU-UTS Business School, a joint venture between Shanghai University and UTS, in which he espoused the belief of diversity and social responsibility through higher education and made a contribution to China’s internationalization program.

Dr Ling has recently been involved in mentoring programs and initiatives that are structured to help young students prepare for work and life challenges during and after their studies. “Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for this child was born in another time” is, perhaps, a good way to succinctly put Dr Ling’s expectation in perspective as he offers students inspiration, encouragement and advice.

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Ms Sally Begbie (AO)
    Co-Founder, Crossroads Foundation
    Macquarie University Alumna 
    Hong Kong Based

In 1995, Sally, with her husband, Malcolm, started the NGO, Crossroads Foundation. Over the years, it developed four services.

Global Distribution: Initially, Crossroads focused on giving quality surplus goods, to people in need: 50% to 500 charities & Social Welfare agencies in Hong Kong and the balance to over 90 countries.

Global Hand:  In time, donors in other countries wanted to give so Sally and her team developed Global Hand, an online ‘matching’ service. The UN asked her to adapt this for its own interaction with companies. They built www.business.un.org

Global Handicrafts: Sally and her team then opened a marketplace to sell goods, on a fair trade basis, generating income for people in need. 

Global X-perience:  Knowing that ‘life has dealt many of us a kind hand’, they began experiential programmes to simulate world need and deepen empathy. These invite people to step, briefly, ‘into the shoes’ of those facing war, poverty, HIV, blindness, hunger, and more. 200,000 school and business participants have taken part. These include world leaders, over the past decade, at the World Economic Forum.  

Sally, along with all 70 staff at Crossroads, has never had a salary for this work. They run, she says, ‘on inspiration and perspiration’.

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Ms Susan Heffernan
    Founder, CEO & Creative Director, Soozar
    Deakin University Alumna 
    Shanghai Based

Susan Heffernan arrived in China in 1991 on an Australian Government language scholarship. She has studied at graduate level in both Australia and China with degrees in Design, Business and Chinese language.

In 2004, Susan launchedSoozar, a full-service, “Visual Design, Creative and Production Agency”, that specialises in the conception, development and manufacture of quality bespoke art pieces, sculptures, props, visual display accessories and furnishings for international clients. 

Susan started her business without any external capital and grew it organically. Her track recordas an effectiveand trusted China partner has won her global contracts with corporate clients such as Moncler, Marni, Loro Piana, Cirque du Soleil & Marvel. 

Susanhas a well-respected profilein the Australian community in China as an old China hand . She has been honoured withthe AustCham Westpac Australia-China Business Award, “Entrepreneur of the Year” in 2007 and the “Judges’ Award” in the Australia-China Business Awards in 2010.

In addition, Susan has regular invitations to share her story to visiting students, academics, business and government people. Her desire to share her experiences and knowledge is reflected in her membership of the Australian China Chamber of Commerce where she is serving her 5thyear as a Board Member.  

Her interest in leveraging her hard-won experience to assist others to succeed in China has logically progressed to the establishment of a business consultancy, with a particular focus on women doing well in China.

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To view the finalists of other categories, please click HERE.