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2018 Australian Ambassador’s Award for Women in Leadership


Australian Ambassador’s Alumni 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 previous awards, please click HERE.

Ms Clara Wang

La Trobe


Ms Heidi Dugan


Ms Julie-Anne Nichols


Ms Pauline Wong


Ms Rachel Wu


Ms Sharon Wan


Winner of 2018 Australian Ambassador’s Alumni Award for Women in Leadership
    Ms Clara Wang
    Founder & CEO, KAI Communications and Global Talent China 
    La Trobe University Alumna 
    Beijing Based

Clara is a MBA graduate from La Trobe University in 2003. She established KAI Communications in 2004 with a vision of strengthening business and communication networks in China and across the world. Clara and her team established the Global Talent China online platform to better support international communities worldwide in find China jobs and business opportunities at their interest. Our motto: “A brand built with trust lasts for generations. Be a voice not echo”.

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Ms Heidi Dugan
    TV Show Host, International Channel Shanghai 
    University of Southern Queensland Alumna
    Shanghai Based

I have lived in China for over 21 years, I was the first foreign TV host and my show You Are the Chef is the longest aired foreign language show with over 6 million viewers. I have launched the first of my collection of in bookstores nationwide.

For the ‘45th Year Celebration of China/ Australia Relations’ the Australian government invited me to be one of the 45 people to share their story and represent the successful relationship the two countries.

My company Chef Mama; which targets local Chinese mothers and families. In cooperation with the Shanghai Government Women’s Association, through training and  events, we have been able to have a positive impact on thousands of women and homes.

As Managing Director of the Food Box, I assist international brands entering the China market. I have locked in deals with Alibaba, Tao Bao Global and large supermarket chains throughout the country.

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Ms Julie-Anne Nichols
    Commissioner, Queensland Government, Trade and Investment Queensland 
    Griffith University Alumna 
    Hong Kong Based 

Ms. Nichols is the Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Hong Kong and Macau. In her role, she advances trade and investment between Hong Kong, Macau and Queensland, with a focus on exports, infrastructure and innovation investment, and regional growth.

Over the past seventeen years, Ms. Nichols has facilitated market strategies, business expansion, negotiation and government affairs, and represented Australian commercial interests with the Chinese government at a senior-level. 

Her career milestones with the Australian Trade and Investment Commission include, Senior Trade Commissioner, Deputy Consul General Commercial; and Trade Commissioner, Consul Commercial and Post Manager East China. In these roles, Ms. Nichols led locally engaged Australian managers based in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Nanjing, and was responsible for attracting investment, promoting Australia’s education and training sectors, and managing Australia’s trade development across five provinces in South China.

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Ms Pauline (Shui Ching) Wong
    CEO, Million Rank (HK)
    University of South Australia Alumna 
    Hong Kong Based 

Pauline completed her MBA Degree at University of South Australia and has since then been applying the modern management theories in her business. With her practical experience, unlimited creativity and abundant stamina, she has established a family culture in the Group. Under her leadership, her loyal team of management staff, together with a thousand employees, have created an image of high quality food and services for the restaurants. While the Group has won many awards, such as the Pokka Café brand “U Favourite Food Award”, the Group “Gold Award in Restaurant Safety”, and the Tonkichi brand the highest ”AAA Award”in the inaugural “Taste Award of Hong Kong 2015”, Pauline herself was conferred by Chinese Female Entrepreneur Association (中國女企業家協會) in 2010 as a “Chinese Creative Female Entrepreneur”(中國創新力女企業家).

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Ms Rachel Wu
    Managing Partner, TidalWave Solutions 
    Monash University Alumna 
    Shanghai Based

Rachel Wu was born in Nanjing China, and completed a Bachelor of Business Administration at RMIT University before graduating with a Master of Applied Finance from Monash University.

Rachel commenced her career as Professional Accountant Consultant and Private Wealth Management expert at Melbourne firms Miles & Co. and Moore Stephens, before moving to Hays, a leading UK recruitment firm, where she commenced a very successful career in recruitment.

During her time at Hays, Rachel formed was a member of the team responsible for setting up the Shanghai office in 2007, then the Beijing office in 2008. Under Rachel’s leadership the Beijing office grew from three full time employees to a practice employing 25 staff. In this role Rachel was also responsible for expanding Hays north region business to Tianjin, and managing Hays Banking and Accountancy & Finance business units across China. In 2013, Rachel moved to Talent2 in Shanghai, where she headed up their Banking and Insurance, and Professional Services functions.

Using the expertise Rachel developed at Hays, and with her significant insights into successful Chinese business models, Rachel set up her own management consulting firm three years ago and focused on senior level recruitment and business consulting. The firm, Tidal Wave Solutions, now employs over 40 people across three offices in Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong. Rachel is an acknowledged expert in the delivery of complex recruitment and business consulting requirements. These typically involve a broad suite of candidate attraction methods, with a national or international scope.

Rachel is a wonderful role model for young women. She is passionate about community service and professional and career development for young people. Even with Rachel’s busy schedule, she makes time to give back to the community. In her spare time, Rachel participates in monthly eldercare activities for a Shanghai retirement home located in the Hongqiao area. Rachel also spends her personal time running career planning and coaching services for Chinese undergraduates from various universities locally and internationally.

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Ms Sharon (Shuang Lian) Wan
    Greater China CEO, Auto and General Holdings 
    Macquarie University Alumna 
    Shanghai Based

Sharon Wan was born and originally educated in China and migrated to Australia in 1990.

After migrating to Australia, Sharon chose to re-educate herself in a totally different discipline, Economics and Accounting.

Sharon commenced her study at Macquarie University in 1991 and earned B of Eco (Accounting) degree. Later she further gained the qualification and status as Fellow CPA.

Commenced as an assistant accountant in 1992, Sharon had a very successful corporate career and held various senior regional leadership role in the fortune 500 companies (EDS, HP, Telstra). Prior to her current role, Sharon held the position of  CFO for the Services Division of Telstra Corp Ltd, where she successfully built up a finance organization to support the key strategic growth business within Telstra.

With an impressive track record of more than 25 years experience in business and talent management, Sharon is also very passionate about mentoring young up-coming professionals. Her extensive working experience in the emerging markets has added value to many organizations ready to expand in that space.

Sharon now holds the position of Greater China CEO for Auto & General Holdings Ltd.

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To view the finalists of previous awards, please click HERE.