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2019 Australia China Alumni of the Year Award

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. 

To view the 2019 finalists of other categories, please click HERE

Ms Celina Chew


Prof. Qiyong Liu



Mr Brett Salt


Ms Leonie Valentine


Ms Celina Chew
    (Former) President of Bayer Greater China, Bayer (China) Limited
    University of Western Australia Alumna
    Shanghai based

As President of Bayer Group for Greater China (2014 to 2019), I was responsible for Bayer’s operations in Greater China, Bayer’s third largest market with sales exceeding Euro 3 billion in 2018, approximately 10% of global sales. In this period, my achievements include:

– Leading Bayer’s operations in Greater China during a period of growth across all businesses and overseeing significant portfolio and organizational transformation
– Actively supporting multiple initiatives on innovation, digitalization, culture change, people strategy, diversity and inclusion, female leadership, sustainability, corporate social responsibility

– Actively participating in the Boards of Bayer companies in China, global Bayer committees on various topics (digitalization, culture change, people strategy, innovation) as well as external Boards and advisory positions (eg European Chamber of Commerce China Shanghai(EUCCC) Board member, Enactus China Board member, Advisor to Ladies Who Tech supporting women in STEM)

– Driving the establishment of G4A Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Bayer’s digital health incubatorsfor external start-ups, in collaboration with HKSTP in Hong Kong and H Spectrum in Taiwan

Magnolia Award from Shanghai Government (2015)

– Forbes China Top 100 Businesswomen in China List (2017 and 2019)

– International Friendship Award from IESE Barcelona, presented by the Queen of Spain (2018)

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Winner of 2019 Australia China Alumni of the Year Award

Prof Qiyong Liu

    Chief Scientist for Health and Climate Change

    Executive Chair, the IFSVM 2020, Suzhou, China

    Head, WHO Collaborating Center for Vector Surveillance and Management

    Dean, Dept. of Vector Bio and Control, ICDC, China CDC

    Griffith University Alumnus
    Beijing based

Professor Qiyong Liu has become a renowned influential public health leader of global significance, and this exceptional achievement is in no small part attributed to his Australian education. With a solid background in zoology, microbiology and epidemiology, Professor Liu’s chosen profession is public health, specialising in communicable disease prevention and control. A Griffith University alumnus, he completed a Master of Sciences in Public Health (2004-2006) then a PhD (2013-2014) on climate change and health.

His remarkable achievements and sustained successes in public health, including building and leading a team to produce over 400 publications, has earned him international acclaim and global recognition. Apart from having won numerous national and international awards and serving as chair or an executive member in a range of professional bodies, he has demonstrated global leadership in two areas: 1) vector-borne disease surveillance and sustainable management and 2) human health and climate change.

Professor Qiyong Liu holds several job titles and is currently the Chief Scientist for Health and Climate Change; Professor & Dean for Department of Vector Biology and Control, National Institute for Communicable Disease Control and Prevention (ICDC); Chief Expert for Vector Control for Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC); Head for WHO Collaborating Center for Vector Surveillance and Management; Director for Shandong University Center for Climate Change and Health.


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Mr Brett Salt
  General Manager Strategy and Development, Rio Tinto 
    Curtin University Alumnus
    Shanghai & Singapore based

BRETT SALT is a senior executive with significant experience both as a Board Director and Company Officer within publicly listed companies and in Private Equity. He has held a wide variety of commercial and financial leadership roles covering diverse markets for more than 24 years globally and specifically in China. Brett has had the privilege to have both lived and worked in China from the early 2000’s, building strong networks and valuable partnerships there.  


Brett is proud to have left businesses substantially better off through the development and execution of strategic roadmaps that grew value, building lasting stakeholder relationships, and consistently improving the commercial acumen, deal making capability and strategic awareness of his people, with organisational cultures based on purpose, accountability and agility.

Brett currently leads a team of 40 people across the Asia Pacific and in China and to translate market and customer requirements into strategy, partner with key stakeholders through technical engagements and research and development projects and driving market development opportunities and joint ventures. Previous to this role he has held commercial leadership accountability for many multibillion dollar turnover businesses and transactions globally and in China.

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Ms Leonie Valentine
    Managing Director, Sales & Operation, GOOGLE HK
    University of Technology Sydney Alumna
    Hong Kong based

Leonie Valentine is the Managing Director, Sales & Operations of Google Hong Kong, and has been based in Hong Kong since 2011. She has nearly 30 years of experience in sales, marketing and operations, with 20 years spent in the Tech and Telco industry. Before joining Google in 2014, Leonie was Executive Vice President, Customer Service & Operations at CSL Limited (a Telstra company).

Leonie is a board member for Pro-Pac Packaging Limited (ASX: PPG), Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB HK), and Save The Children HK, a Governor for the American Chamber of Commerce HK, as well as an advisor to CUHK’s EMBA Program. She actively supports The Women’s Foundation in Hong Kong, serving on the Women on Boards Advisory Panel (30% Club) and the Girls Go Tech Advisory Committee from 2013-2019. Previously she was a board member for HandsOn Hong Kong from 2014-16.

Leonie holds an Executive Certificate in Business Administration from the Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship of Swinburne University, a Master’s Degree in Communication Management from the University of Technology, Sydney, and a Bachelor of Science from Melbourne University. She is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

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