|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.
To view the finalists of previous awards, please click HERE
|Mr Chamber Yang||Mr Joseph Kwan, MH
|Dr Michael Ling
|Ms Sally Begbie (AO)
|Ms Susan Heffernan
|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 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”.
|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’.
|Ms Susan Heffernan|
|Founder, CEO & Creative Director, Soozar|
|Deakin University Alumna|
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.