Australian Alumni in Singapore
Singaporeans studying in Australian Universities annually
Australian Alumni Chapters in Singapore
WHO WE ARE
The Australian Alumni Singapore (AAS) is the national umbrella organisation for the 200,000 Singaporean or Singapore-based graduates of Australian universities. With the Patronage of the Australian High Commission and the ex-President of Singapore, AAS aims to promote friendship and goodwill amongst graduates and members of various tertiary and professional institutions from Australia.
Since 1955, AAS has created a platform that forges closer business, social and cultural links between Singapore and Australia – alliances that enhance professional and leadership opportunities for Australian alumnus who are based in Singapore.
In 1955, a small group of returned graduates from Australia, with the esprit de corps to establish a forum to interact and forge a close link between Singapore and Australia, founded the Australian Alumni Singapore under the leadership of the founder President, Mr Michael Fam Yu Onn. Since it’s inception, the Australian Alumni Singapore has grown into a well-established graduate organisation.
Through the years, thousands of students have gone to Australia to receive higher education and returned to join the ranks of successful professionals instrumental to the present development of the Republic into a modern and sophisticated centre of communication and commerce. Many of the returned graduates who, at one time or another, were actively associated with the Alumni are today Government Ministers, community leaders, and prominent figures playing vital roles in Government, Public Service and Private Sectors, responsible for the continued progress of our young nation.
The Australian Alumni Singapore, through the uniting efforts of it founders and successive office-bearers, and the enthusiasm and support of the Australian High Commission, has not only forged a close link to promote goodwill and understanding of each other’s social, economic and cultural values, but also formed an important part of the fabric of relationships between the peoples and professionals of the two countries.
AAS works closely with the Australian High Commission, the office of the President of Singapore, Australian Universities, and their respective Alumni Associations and Chapters in order to achieve these objectives.
Ex-President of the Republic of Singapore
Patron of AAS
Since its establishment in 1955, the Australian Alumni Singapore (AAS) has evolved and grown to be one of the leading alumni organisations in Singapore. Under the competent leadership of its Management Committee and the strong support of the Australian High Commission, the membership of AAS has seen phenomenal growth in recent years and its activities are well attended by members. Through these efforts, the AAS helps promote goodwill and understanding among Singaporeans and Australians.
Singapore and Australia share a special relationship built on long-standing ties and mutual trust. The two countries enjoy strong political, economic and people-to-people ties, which will be further strengthened with the Singapore-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. The work of AAS adds another important dimension to the lasting friendship between Singapore and Australia.
I would like to congratulate the AAS on its many achievements. Starting this year, the AAS will be implementing its new 2017-2019 Strategic Plan and the supporting digital initiatives. I am confident that these plans will bring AAS to the next level.
H.E. Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam
Ex-President of the Republic of Singapore
Patron of Australian Alumni Singapore
Australian High Commissioner to Singapore
Patron of AAS
I am delighted to be a Patron of the Australian Alumni Singapore (AAS). Australia and Singapore’s strong people-to-people links are underpinned by both our countries’ commitments to invest in our people through skills and education.
A significant link between Australia and Singapore is established through Singaporeans studying in Australia. More than 200,000 Singaporeans have studied in Australia, which has given rise to a highly-educated, diverse and globally-mobile alumni cohort who are influencers, innovators, business leaders and – most importantly – friends of Australia.
The Australian High Commission in Singapore values the AAS’s contribution to Australia’s global outlook and relationship with Singapore through seeking to maintain connections between alumni of Australian universities living here.
Even in these challenging times, I am pleased to see the AAS serving Australia’s international alumni in Singapore so well. The Australian High Commission – working with the AAS – will continue to celebrate our alumni’s achievements and expertise in Australia and globally.
I hope to support the work to build AAS to reach out and engage more Singaporean alumni of Australian universities and to forge even deeper links between Australia and Singapore.
His Excellency The Hon Will Hodgman
Australian High Commissioner to Singapore
Patron of Australian Alumni Singapore
8th April, 2021
67th Annual Report of AAS
24 March, 2022
Dear Honourable Chief Guest His Excellency The Honourable Will Hodgman – Australian High Commissioner to Singapore, Members, AAS Council of Advisors, Partners, and Members of AAS Management Committee.
It is my honour to welcome you all to the 67th AGM of Australian Alumni Singapore and the first AGM since I took over as president of AAS in March last year. In the pre-covid days, we were welcome to host our AGM at the residence of the Australian High Commissioner. I believe those days are not far considering the easing COVID restrictions in Singapore.
I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to H. E. Will Hodgman for his presence and for the special address. H.E. Will Hodgman has been a strong supporter of AAS and our objectives to strengthen the business, social and cultural ties between Australia and Singapore.
Founded in 1955, AAS is the umbrella organization representing over 200,000 Singaporean and Singapore based alumni from 43 Australian universities. AAS aims to enhance professional and leadership opportunities for Australian alumnus who are based in Singapore. Over the years, thousands of students have gone to Australia to receive their higher education and have returned to Singapore as successful professionals or entrepreneurs and have played a crucial role in developing this nation into a vibrant modern and sophisticated centre of commerce and technology.
COVID brought us challenges and with those challenges came opportunities for AAS to transform ourselves. With guidance from the AAS Council of Advisors and with a committed Management committee we had the opportunity to build the new better for AAS and be more significant to our ecosystem – Our Members, Our Partners, and Our Community.
- Our Members are our lifeblood. Over the years AAS provided the platform that gave us the opportunity to meet and collaborate with like-minded people which opened doors to a new world of business and professional opportunities. Pre-covid there were around 23,000 Singaporeans studying in Australian universities annually making Australian Alumni an ever growing and strong community. We not only had to cater to a diverse demography of Australian Alumni, but also expand our influence on the future alumni
- Our Partners always played an ever-important role in ensuring our ability to invest in our platform and our members to expand our community further. I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to our long-standing partners – our Diamond Sponsor James Cook University Singapore, Gold Sponsor Lendlease and Victoria Global Trade and Investment Silver Sponsor Trust Capital Advisors and CPA Australia, our official wine sponsor Wolf Blass and our University partners – Partner University Platinum – James Cook University Singapore, Partner University Gold RMIT University and Partner University Silver The University of Queensland and Macquarie University.
- Thirdly, Our Community. Sustainability is a strategic priority for many of Our Members and Our Partners. Hence, we established a new role in our management Committee focused on CSR. The Chair of CSR is responsible for our sustainability goals which are underpinned by broadly 2 aspects – Social and Environmental sustainability. To achieve these goals, we have extended our partnerships with Social Enterprises and charities to provide volunteering and community engagement support.
Our strength and reach are unmatched and so is our ability to influence and impact the world around us. One way to leave an everlasting impact in the world we live in is to contribute back to the society.
While the 12 months were challenging, we focused on investing back into our ecosystem to drive better value for everyone.
- With limited opportunities to meet our members in person, in addition to monthly virtual events, this year we invested further in Digital Engagements improving our online presence and reach, invested into our new Membership App which enabled – ease of management, collaboration between members and membership benefits all at one place.
- We launched our monthly newsletter The Voice to stay in touch and update our members on the latest and the greatest in the AAS community including events, updates from our partners, the growing portfolio of membership benefits and more.
- Social Interest Groups provided our members with opportunities to connect and interact with like-minded people in a smaller group setting which was very beneficial with the ever-changing COVID restrictions.
- We extended support for Australian Alumni small business owners who were impacted by COVID through our platform which also helped us offer improved Membership Benefits for our members.
The biggest challenge faced by any university is alumni engagement. Partner University Program accelerates the university’s ability to reach, connect and engage their alumni network. It also provides an accelerated growth path for students and new graduates through our newly launched Mentorship Program, Internship Opportunities and exclusive job opportunities enabled through our alumni industry networks.
Let me highlight some of the Key Developments over the last 12 months
- On sponsorship front, we have onboarded Victoria Global Trade and Investment as our new term Gold Sponsor and CPA Australia as our newest Term Silver Sponsor
- We have onboarded 2 new partner universities – RMIT University as Partner University Gold and Macquarie University as Partner University Silver.
- We have established partnership with Ocean Purpose Project, a social enterprise founded by an Australian Alumna Mathilda D’silva. Mathilda and her team are driving ocean conservation and plastic pollution prevention via disruptive and creative projects with mass-scale impact. AAS has been collaborating with OPP to help in behavioural change initiatives like beach clean-ups as well as supporting our partner universities through mentorship and internship programs for Aquaculture students.
- We also established a strategic partnership with Ashton Legal an Australian immigration Law Firm to support Australia’s Global Talent Visa Program. AAS and Ashton Legal have been working together to build awareness as well as extend support to our community for those who are looking to tap into the program to expand their reach into Australia.
- We established 6 new Social Interest groups for our members to interact and collaborate on their areas of interest.
- The Council of Advisors have always played a crucial role in helping AAS grow, scale, and transform while staying focused on our objectives and priorities. I am extremely excited to announce that we have onboarded 3 new council of advisors.
- Ms. Rebecca Hall – the Commissioner for Victoria to Southeast Asia. Her role involves managing Victoria’s interests within Southeast Asia by facilitating commercial engagements between businesses, attracting foreign direct investment into Victoria, and strengthening bi-lateral relationships through strategic collaboration. She leads a team of trade, investment and education specialists based in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam.
- Mr. Andrew Chew – Chief Commercial Officer and a member of Executive Management at James Cook University (JCU), Singapore. Concurrently, he is also the CEO and director of James Cook Academy and Chairman of the board of directors of its wholly owned subsidiary, Eagle Infotech. As Chief Commercial Officer of JCU Singapore, he is responsible for commercial strategy, marketing, and growth of the organization.
- Mr. Joseph Kwok is no stranger to AAS community. Joseph was my immediate predecessor and has been a key member of the Management Committee for years before that. He is active in non-profit organizations and is the founding President of Association of Chinese Securities & Futures Industry and President of University of New South Wales Alumni Association Singapore. He is also a member of Asian Advisory Board for Advance, an organization supported by Australian Department of Foreign Affairs.
What we have achieved over the past 12 months wouldn’t have been possible if not for the AAS Management Committee. I would like to acknowledge the AAS Management Committee for their tireless efforts and their commitment to the AAS community. You have taken time out from your family, work and social commitments to volunteer for AAS. I would also like to extend my sincere gratitude to Mr. Sean Lim and Mr. Geoff Howie for their contributions to AAS. Both Sean and Geoff will be stepping down from the Management Committee.
As we navigate through these challenging and unpredictable times, we will stay focused on our members, our partners, and our world we live in and achieve our mutual goals. I would like to humbly request your continued support and partnership in our journey ahead to make a meaningful impact to the social, economic, and cultural fabric of the relationships between the peoples and professionals of both Australia and Singapore.
Thank you for the partnership and the trust you have placed in us.
Australian Alumni Singapore
24 March 2022
OUR CODE OF CONDUCT AND ETHICS
The AAS Code of Conduct and Ethics, adopted at the 62nd Annual General Meeting on the 28th March 2017, outlines the values and behaviours which govern our way of working. It constitutes a reference point covering all aspects of our Representatives working relationships, specifically (but not exclusively) with other AAS representatives, our Members, Universities and Partners, Governments and Regulators, Sponsors, Suppliers, and the broader AAS community.
The objective is to define the way we think, work and act at AAS to ensure we deliver against our vision and mission, in the right way. The AAS Code of Conduct and Ethic sets out the ethical and professional attitudes and behaviours expected of all AAS Representatives. AAS subscribes to this code and is committed to embedding its broad principles into its operations.
Amended by resolutions passed at the Annual General Meeting on 13 May 2020 and approved by Registrar of Societies 14 Aug 2020.
Mr. Rajaneesh Kurup
James Cook University
Head of Healthcare Strategy & GTM @ Equinix Asia-Pacific
Vice President & Chair of Digital Transformation
Mr. Kevin Dam
University of Technology Sydney
Sales Director at Aemorph
Mr. Noel Ng
University of Tasmania
COO at Goodwins Law Corporation
Ms. Nurhidayah Ekbal
James Cook University
Social Media Manager at Mediacorp Pte Ltd
Chair of CSR
Ms. Mathilda D’silva
Chief Purpose Officer at Ocean Purpose Project
Chair of Mentorship Program
Ms. Li Li Kuan
University of Sydney
Independent Director at a few Organizations
Chair of Membership
Ms. Dipanti Das
James Cook University
Regional Recruitment Manager, APJ at VISEO APAC
Chair of Partner University Program & Sponsorships
Mr. Johnny Teng
University of Tasmania
Founder & Executive Director
Chair of Events
Mr. Richard Ngo
University of Tasmania
Principal Engineer at SP Group
Co-Chair of Events
Mr. Rennie Sng
Founding CEO LikeMeetWork.com Innovation Lab & eCoFriendly WorkSpace
Mr Chris Cheah
Chairman of COA
Founder and Joint CEO, TrustCapital Advisors Investment Management Pte Ltd
Chris Cheah is also the Chairman of the Singapore chapter of Diplomatic Council, a unique organisation with consultative status to the United Nations combining a global think tank, a world leading business network and a charitable foundation. Chris is the President of Australian Alumni Singapore from April 2014 – March 2018. Prior to TrustCapital, he was the Head of Property Asia for ANZ Bank. Chris has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from The University of Queensland and is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.
Dr Cheong Choong Kong
Dr Cheong Choong Kong is the Malaysian former Chief Executive Officer of Singapore Airlines and former Chairman of the Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation.
He is a Director of several companies, including Singapore Press Holdings Ltd, Great Eastern Holdings Ltd, Great Eastern Life Assurance Company Ltd and Overseas Assurance Corporation Ltd. He is Distinguished Australian Alumnus Award Winner 2015.
He also received a Master of Science (1966) and a PhD (1968) in Mathematics from Australian National University.
Mr Neil Parekh
Partner and Head of Asia, Australia & New Zealand,
Neil is a Partner and Head of Asia, Australia & New Zealand at Tikehau Capital. Prior to his current position, Neil was General Manager, Asia for National Australia Bank (NAB) where he was responsible for all business, regulatory and governance matters in the Asia region. He benefits from more than 30 years of global experience in the financial services industry in the Asia Pacific region, US and Europe with senior roles with Bank of America, Société Générale, DBS and NAB.
Besides having deep knowledge of traditional players in banking, asset and wealth management, insurance and non-bank finance companies, Mr. Parekh takes an active interest in Fintech and currently serves as a director of Elevandi (established by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to expand its current fintech ecosystem), as a director of AMTD Digital and as a Board Advisor to AFIN-ASEAN Financial Innovation Network (formed by the International Finance Corporation and the MAS). He has been part of the AMTD ASEAN Solidarity Fund (set up by AFIN) and has advised on numerous investments in Fintech companies for that Fund.
Neil contributes his time as the Chairman of the International Advisory Committee for the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Singapore, as a member of the Governing Council of the Singapore Institute of Directors as well as serving on the advisory committee for James Cook University, Singapore. Mr Parekh serves on the Investment Committee for SINDA and SNM and is a former member of the Governing Council of the Association of Banks in Singapore. Previously, he served as a Vice-Chairman of SICCI, as well as a board director of Nautilus Insurance.
A Singapore Citizen, Neil holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, a Master’s degree in Finance and an MBA in International Business.
Ms Rebecca Hall
Rebecca Hall is the Commissioner for Victoria to Southeast Asia. Her role involves managing Victoria’s interests within South East Asia by facilitating commercial engagements between businesses, attracting foreign direct investment into Victoria and strengthening bi-lateral relationships through strategic collaboration. She leads a team of trade, investment and education specialists based in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam.
Rebecca’s career spans international education, economic development and industry programs across local state and federal government. She re-joins the Victorian Government after 5 years leading international education strategy and policy for the Queensland Government and Australian Government (Austrade)
Rebecca is passionate about making a difference through global engagement and the power of trade and education for a better world. She holds holds a Bachelor of International Business Relations and a Masters of International Relations. She is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and in 2017 was awarded the International Education Association of Australia’s (IEAA) Leadership Award for her contribution to the sector.
Mr Andrew Chew
Chief Commercial Officer, James Cook University, Singapore
CEO, James Cook Academy
Chairman, Eagle Infotech
Andrew is Chief Commercial Officer and a member of Executive Management at James Cook University (JCU), Singapore. Concurrently, he is CEO and director of James Cook Academy and Chairman of the board of directors of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Eagle Infotech. As Chief Commercial Officer of JCU Singapore, he is responsible for commercial strategy, marketing and growth of the organisation. He leads JCU’s entry into Continuing Professional Development (CPD) via the set-up of James Cook Academy and its acquisition of Eagle Infotech. Incorporated in 1988, Eagle Infotech is a Registered Training Provider (RTP) accredited by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG). Offering a suite of technology and soft skill courses, Eagle Infotech has helped to equip over 170,000 learners from many different industries with the capability to navigate a rapidly-evolving workplace.
Initially Andrew started his career in Melbourne in financial management consulting and auditing with BDO Chartered Accountants and Consultants. Since then Andrew has worked in a variety of roles in hotel revenue management, property development, and education and training. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Monash University and Master of International Tourism and Hospitality Management from James Cook University with Academic Medal.
Andrew is Chair of the Marketing Interest Group, Singapore International Chamber of Commerce (SICC). He is a member of Singapore Institute of Directors (SID) and the Australian Chamber of Commerce, Singapore (AustCham).
Mr Joseph Kwok
Joseph has more than 20 years’ experience working in the financial services industry holding senior leadership roles with global financial institutions like JP Morgan, UBS, Standard Chartered Bank, SooChow Securities CSSD (Singapore) Pte Ltd (SSCS). He was also on several Singapore main-board listed companies as independent non-executive director.
Joseph is active in non-profit organizations and is the founding President of Association of Chinese Securities & Futures Industry and President of University Of New South Wales Alumni Association Singapore. He is also a member of Asian Advisory Board for Advance, an organization supported by Australian Department of Foreign Affairs unit to engage global Australian alumni. In 2017, he became a Fellow of Institute of Banking & Finance (IBF) and Fellow of Singapore University of Social Science. He was also a Past President of Australian Alumni Singapore and Financial Planning Association of Singapore.
Joseph also adjunct and guest lectures in institutions like Kaplan, James Cook University and NUS LKY School of Public Policy.
Joseph graduated with a Master Of Commerce degree (majoring in advance finance) and a Bachelor of Commerce degree (majoring in Accounting and Finance) from University of New South Wales. He is a certified accountant with CPA Australia and a Certified Financial Planner (CFP).
Mr Mah Bow Tan
Former Minister of National Developement
Mah Bow Tan is a former Singaporean politician. A member of the governing People’s Action Party (PAP), he has been a Member of Parliament (MP) representing Tampines GRC from 1988 to 2015. He was a member of the Cabinet from 1991 to 2011, serving as the Minister for Communications (1991-99), Minister for the Environment (1993-95) and Minister for National Development (1999-2011).
Mr Michael Yap
Michael Yap is the Executive Committee Member of the EDB Society and Lions Club of Singapore. He is an Adjunct Professor at Swinburne University.
Michael has 40 years of elite leadership experience in Non Executive and Executive positions as Director, General Manager and CEO in both the Public and Private sector across the Asia Pacific. He is a Graduate in Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry from the University of Swinburne and a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute of the UK.
Dr Bill Foo
Chairman of Tung Lok Group
Bill is currently a professional director, corporate advisor and chairman of several non-profit, private and public listed entities including SGX listed Mewah, CDL Hospitality and Tung Lok, and IC Power Singapore Ltd. Bill is also a Senior Advisor at Bank of Singapore and Lazard Asia and Non-Executive Director of Tower Capital Asia Pte Ltd(PE) and Unigestion Asia Pte Ltd(Investment Management) and Director of Business Circle Singapore Pte Ltd, in partnership with Trans Tasman Business Circle.
Bill serves on several community and charity organisations including as Chairman of Heartware Network(a youth charity) and Salvation Army South Asia, and as a Director of the International Institute of Strategic Studies Ltd(Asia)/Trustee.
Bill has a B.Admin from Concordia, MBA from McGill and an Honorary Doctor of Commerce from James Cook University where he is Special Advisor to the Chancellor.
Mr Philip Forrest
Philip Forrest is the Non-Executive Director of 7 companies in the Asia Pacific region. He has also served on the Council of the Singapore Business Federation; the Boards of the Australian Chamber of Commerce (former president) and the British Chamber of Commerce; the Council of the Association of Banks in Singapore; and the University of Queensland’s BEL Ambassador Council in Singapore (chairman). He sits on the governing council and several committees of the Singapore Institute of Directors and is a Fellow of that institute, the Australian Institute of Company Directors, CPA Australia, and the Australian Institute of Business and Economics.
Mr Chia Yoong Hui
Chief Executive Officer,
Awarded EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017 – Maritime Technology Solutions. Chia Yoong Hui founded Ascenz and has served as Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Director since the company’s inception in 2008.
Under Chia’s leadership, Ascenz has grown to an award-winning company, well recognized in the industry for its innovation. He has pioneered ship data analytics on the world stage to further the company’s growth.
Chia graduated from the University of Wales with a B.Sc. (Hons) degree in Business Computing with Financial Management, and received his Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) in 2005.
Mr Loh Hoon Sun
Phillip Securities Pte Ltd
Loh Hoon Sun, former Managing Director (now Senior Advisor) of Phillip Securities, a major Singapore stockbroking firm with operations in 16 countries, providing a wide range of financial services. He graduated with a first class honours degree in Economics from the University of Queensland, Australia. He is a Fellow of CPA Australia, Fellow of the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants and a Member of CFA Singapore.
He has had diverse work experience in various industries including auditing, plantation, mining, timber, oil, banking and finance. Before Phillip Securities, he was Executive Vice-President and Head of Overseas Union Bank’s Treasury and Investment Banking and Chairman of OUB Investment Management Ltd. He has served as Chairman of the Gold Exchange of Singapore, Board Member of the Singapore International Monetary Exchange, Stock Exchange of Singapore, Securities Industry Council, Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority and GST Board of Review. He was a Member of the IBF Standards Committee and Chairman of IBF Corporate Finance, Securities & Futures Working Group. He is also a Past President of CPA Australia, Singapore Division and Australian Alumni Singapore.
Mr Jeremiah Huang
Director at ZICO Insights Law LLC
Jeremiah is a Director with ZICO Insights Law LLC (the Singapore office of ZICO Law) where he counsels clients on capital markets, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, and funds. In addition, he advises clients on post-IPO corporate governance and compliance issues. Most recently, Jeremiah was recognised by the Singapore Business Review as one of Singapore’s most influential lawyers aged 40 and under for 2019, and in both the 2020 and 2021 editions of The Legal 500 (Asia Pacific) as a Next-Generation Partner.
Jeremiah commenced his studies in Australia at 16, when he undertook Foundation Studies in Business and Law at the University of New South Wales (2004). He subsequently graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from Monash University (2008).
- To provide platforms for Australian Alumni to meet together
- To strengthen people to people ties between Australia and Singapore
- To further the legitimate and collective interests of its members
- To promote professional growth and development of its members