About AAS

About AAS

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Australian Alumni in Singapore
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Australian Universities
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Singaporeans studying in Australian Universities annually
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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.

Our history

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.

Our objectives

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.

65th AAS President's Message 2020

65th Annual Report of the AAS

13 May, 2020

Dear AAS Members, Friends and Stakeholders,

AAS AGM has traditionally been held in Mar but 2020 is a special year due to COVID-19. Many activities are cancelled or postponed from Mar onwards, including AAS Inaugural Ambassadors and Captains of Industry Golf Tournament, to comply with Singapore government’s measures to curb the spread of the virus. AAS management committee (MC) deliberated and made a hard decision to delay our AGM. However, when the pandemic continued and circuit breaker was imposed, we felt that we should not delay the AGM any longer and we should hold it with the help of technology so this is the first time in AAS history that the AGM was held virtually. I hope AAS members can understand the reason for the postponement and the need to hold the event virtually.

Time passes quickly and my 1st term as President of Australia Alumni Singapore (AAS) has now come to an end. It has been challenging over the last 2 years, but I am grateful for the opportunity to be of service to AAS. It is also heartening to be serving alongside AAS MC members who have dedicated time and effort to help with the various initiatives by AAS. At this juncture, I believe it is important for AAS to groom new leaders so that the current team can pass on the baton in ensure that AAS continues to grow from strength to strength. I urge passionate Australian alumni to please come forward to volunteer with AAS.

With a total Australian alumni population of 200,000 in Singapore, AAS can be a significant body in Singapore. AAS should continue to reach out and engage with more Australian alumni to continue its mission:

  • To become a leading alumni association in Singapore;
  • To become an effective facilitator to our members, enhancing their professional and business networks;
  • To become the key link promoting and encouraging Australian education to Singaporeans, and Singaporean education to Australians.

AAS held bi-monthly event in 2019 which were well attended by members, friends and stakeholders. These events featured topics that ranges from art investment, digital economy to wine appreciation ending with the 64th Anniversary Gala Dinner, on Fri, 08th Nov 2019, that was attended by more than 450 people. I am grateful for the support of AAS members, friends and stakeholders for attending these AAS events which allows for interesting interaction and networking. Going forward, AAS will continue to organize events that are relevant to members, friends and stakeholders.

2019 has been a challenging year for AAS and the financials does not look as pretty compared to past years. Here is an overview of the financials of AAS over the last 3 years and Hon Treasurer will go through it in details later. In 2019, there was a drastic drop in sponsorships due to the tough economic environment. Many potential sponsors who were approached hesitated despite the effort by the AAS management committee. To mitigate the impact of the lower sponsorships, AAS events and activities had to be run prudently to conserve precious reserves. However, despite the slight profit from events and a reduction in AAS admin and operating expenses, AAS had a deficit of 10,151 in 2019. Looking ahead to 2020, the current Covid-19 situation, AAS will face a tough year again in 2020.

To face with the challenges, AAS cannot function like a solo organization and need to proactively engage strategic partners like Australian Chamber of Commerce (“Austcham”), The Australia and New Zealand Association (“ANZA”), CPA Australia, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (“CA ANZ”), The Alumni International Singapore (“AIS”), EDB Society, Engineers Australia, CFA Society, ambassador/high commissioner of many countries etc . Such engagement allows AAS to partner with them to create platform for AAS members to network among a wider community.

Over the years, AAS has enjoyed the support of Australian High Commission and current High Commissioner, H.E. Bruce Gosper, and his team have played important roles to allow AAS to continue its causes. I would like to specially mention Ms Lauren Hernandez, 2nd Secretary, who has been very supportive. She will join MC meetings occasionally and contribute constructive ideas, effort and ways to help AAS.

Next, I would like to thank AAS Council of Advisors for their support of numerous initiatives of AAS. They are a pillar of strength to AAS and are important to the success of AAS. I hope these highly regarded and successful Australian alumni will continue to provide good guidance and support to AAS.

One key reason for AAS to continue to thrive is the generous financial and non-financial support from our sponsors and partner universities. I would like to express my gratitude to AAS Platinum Sponsor: James Cook University, Gold Sponsor Lend Lease, Silver Sponsor Trust Capital and Official Wine Sponsor Wolf Blass. AAS partner universities, Platinum Partner University – James Cook University and Silver Partner University – The University of Queensland.

Last, but not least, I want to thank all members of AAS MC and Secretariat for their dedication and commitment. As volunteers, they have contributed valuable time and effort to execute AAS initiatives in 2019 and I hope that AAS MC in 2020 will continue with the good work. Mr Davian Sim and Mr Johnny Chee will be stepping down from the AAS MC after this AGM and I wish them well in their future endeavors and please continue to support AAS. For aspiring AAS MC members who will be taking over from them, I hope you can be as passionate and dedicated as them to help build a long term, successful and sustainable AAS.

Yours sincerely,

Joseph Kwok
President
Australian Alumni Singapore
13 May 2020

62ND ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

The 62nd AGM Report is also available at the following locations:

Message from His Excellency Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam

Ex-President of the Republic of Singapore
Patron of the 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

Message from His Excellency Mr Bruce Gosper

Australian High Commissioner to Singapore

Patron of the AAS

I am pleased to be Patron of the Australian Alumni Singapore (AAS). The close partnership that Australia and Singapore share is supported by strong ties across defence, trade, innovation and importantly, people-to-people links. The 140,000 Australian alumni in Singapore act as a reminder of Australia’s deep commitment to and interest in Singapore and the wider region.

The Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan is now in its fourth year in Singapore. As one of the pilot countries, Singapore has seen more than 700 Australian students study here over the last four years, and more than 40 scholars, gaining valuable insights and hopefully a passion for the region which will continue on into their future careers. Many senior Singaporeans, as original Colombo Plan students, have engaged with the program and shared their time, wisdom and passion for the relationship with Australia. This has been an important contribution to our efforts to build leaders with the same affinity with Singapore and the region.

Australia and Singapore’s strong people-to-people links are underpinned by our commitment to invest in our people through skills and education. Under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, we will see increased recognition of Australian tertiary qualifications, an internship pilot program which will enable Singaporean students to access to internships with leading Australian companies, and a dialogue which will promote cultural exchange between Australian and Singaporean schools.

Of importance also is Australia’s Global Alumni Strategy which aims to connect alumni to each other, celebrates their achievements and their two-way links with Australia. Australian alumni who understand the culture of both countries, and have a positive outlook on doing business between both countries can result in more opportunities for collaboration and expansion, an aspect invaluable to the relationship. I believe the AAS has done an excellent job in connecting alumni in Singapore and providing a contemporary and forward-thinking agenda, and I look forward to supporting the AAS in that role.

H.E. Mr Bruce Gosper

Australian High Commissioner to Singapore

Patron of Australian Alumni Singapore

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.

OUR CONSTITUTION

Amended by resolutions passed at the Annual General Meeting on 13 May 2020 and approved by Registrar of Societies on 14 Aug 2020.

Management Committee 2020-2021

THE WAY FORWARD – STRONGER TOGETHER

 
President
Mr. Joseph Kwok
University of New South Wales
CEO at SooChow Securities CSSD (Singapore) Pte Ltd
Vice President
Mr. Rajaneesh Kurup
James Cook University
Equinix Senior Manager - Solution Marketing
Secretary
Mr. Paul Ho
Macquarie University
Founder, Managing Director at Icompare Loan
Treasurer, Chair of Alumni Representative
Mr. Clarence Lee
Bond University
Committee Member, Chair of Events
Ms. Dipanti Das
James Cook University
Senior Solutions Recruiter at VISEO Asia Pte Ltd
Committee Member, Chair of Digital Transformation
Mr. Kevin Dam
University of Technology Sydney
Sales Director at Aemorph
Committee Member, Chair of Sponsorship
Mr. Rennie Sng​
Murdoch University​
Committee Member
Mr. Geoff Howie
University of Queensland
Market Strategist at SGX

Council of Advisors 2019-2020

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
Director

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 holds a Bachelor of Science with First Class Honours in Mathematics from the University of Adelaide in 1964 where he studied in Australia as a Colombo Plan scholar.

He also received a Master of Science (1966) and a PhD (1968) in Mathematics from Australian National University.

Dr Bill Foo
Director

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​
Non-Executive Director

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 Loh Hoon Sun
Managing Director, Philip Securities, Former President AAS

Mr Loh Hoon Sun has been with Phillip Securities since 1990, first as Managing Director and now Senior Advisor. He graduated from The University of Queensland, Australia. He is a Fellow of CPA Australia and ISCA and Member of CFA Society and IBF Distinguished Fellow.

He has served as Chairman, Gold Exchange of Singapore, and Board Member of, SIMEX, Stock Exchange of Singapore, Securities Industry Council, ACRA and GST Board of Review. He is a Past President of Chung Ling Alumni, Singapore, CPA Australia, Singapore Division and Australian Alumni Singapore.

Mr Neil Parekh​
General Manager Asia, National Australia Bank

Neil joins NAB after a career track record in financial services holding Leadership positions for Natixis, DBS, Society Generale and Bank of America in US, Asia, Middle East & India. Neil holds Board Directorships with Nautilus Insurance, The Indus Entrepreneurs (TIE) and as Vice-Chairman for Singapore Chamber of Commerce. He also serves on the governing council of the ABS (Association of Banks in Singapore) and the Advisory Committee of the AICD (Australian Institute of Company Directors). He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, a Master’s degree in Finance and an MBA in International Business.

Mr Mah Bow Tan
Former Member of the People's Action Party

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
Members Vice - Chancellor's Circle,
Swinburne University of Technology

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.

Mr Chia Yoong Hui
Chief Executive Officer,
Ascenz Solutions

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 Jeremiah Huang
Partner,
RHTLaw Asia LLP

Jeremiah is a Partner in RHTLaw Asia’s award-winning Corporate and Capital Markets practice group, where he counsels clients on capital markets, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, and funds. He is also the legal advisor to Singapore’s Association of Listed Companies. 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 The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2020 Edition as a Next-Generation Partner.

Jeremiah commenced his studies in Australia at just 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), at the tender age of 20.

Our alumni partners
Current Patrons
His Excellency Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam
Former President of the Republic of Singapore
His Excellency Mr Bruce Gosper
Australian High Commissioner to Singapore
Honour Roll
Distinguished Australian Alumnus Awards
Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam (2010)
Chairman, Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
Former Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore
AAS Distinguished Alumnus Awards
Dr Anthony Chung Jia Chi (2002)
Past President, 1987 – 1989
Prof Brian Lee (2003)
Past President, 1985 – 1987
Mr Tan Kah Hoe (2004)
Past President, 1993 – 1995
Dr. Geoffrey Chiam Heng Khim (2005)
Past President, 1967 – 1970
Australian Government / AAS Awards
Eminent Alumnus Award
Dr Tan Chin Nam (2012)
Chairman, Media Development Authority International Advisory Panel
Outstanding Young Alumnus Award
Mr Jeffrey Tan (2012)
Head, Commune Participation Program
Singapore Arts Festival
National Arts Council
Outstanding Australian Alumni Association Awards
2013
University of Melbourne
2014
Monash University
2015
University of Melbourne and University of South Australia
2016
Monash University
2017
Monash University
2018
Monash University
Presidents & Vice Presidents
1955 – 1956
Michael Fam Yu Onn (deceased);
Peter Tan
1956 – 1957
Michael Fam Yu Onn (deceased);
Wilfred Anthonisz
1957 – 1958
Michael Fam Yu Onn (deceased);
Tan Sock Kern
1958 – 1959
Peter Tan (deceased);
Choo Chek Juan
1959 – 1961
Choo Chek Juan;
Lee Hong Wei
1961 – 1962
Choo Chek Juan;
Chan Chee Wah
1962 – 1963
Roy S P Soon;
Dr. Benny Foo Cheong Khean
1963 – 1964
Tan Kiong Koo;
Christopher Chee
1964 – 1965
Dr. Benny Foo;
Cheong Khean Dr. J C K Yin
1965 – 1966
Lawrence Mah;
Peter Lim
1966 – 1967
Lawrence Mah;
V T Lingam
1967 – 1968
Dr. Geoffrey Chiam Heng Khim;
Leslie Wong Kok Chin
1968 – 1970
Dr. Geoffrey Chiam Heng Khim;
Ong Teck Joon (deceased)
1970 – 1971
Ong Teck Joon (deceased);
Allen Ng Poh Meng
1971 – 1973
Ong Teck Joon (deceased);
Prof Li Yu Pek
1973 – 1974
Chin Kim Shek;
Prof Li Yu Pek
1974 – 1975
Richard Lee Sian;
Lin Ernest Chen
1975 – 1976
Richard Lee Sian;
Lin Helen Soh
1976 – 1978
Ernest Chen;
Jim Tan
1978 – 1979
Jim Tan;
Helen Soh
1979 – 1981
Tan Keng Tat;
Helen Soh
1981 – 1982
Helen Soh;
James Chin Kwok Wing
1982 – 1984
Leslie Wong Kok Chin;
James Chin Kwok Wing
1984 – 1985
James Chin Kwok Wing;
Dr. Anthony Chung Jia Chi
1985 – 1987
Prof. Brian C L Lee;
Dr. Anthony Chung Jia Chi
1987 – 1988
Dr. Anthony Chung Jia Chi;
Ong Tiong Wee
1988 – 1989
Dr. Anthony Chung Jia Chi;
Alfred M A Chung (deceased)
1989 – 1990
Alfred M A Chung (deceased);
Dr. Philip S M Chin
1990 – 1991
Alfred M A Chung (deceased);
Michelle Tan
1991 – 1992
Alfred M A Chung (deceased);
Dr Ting Seng Kiong
1992 – 1993
Theodore Tan;
Teo Keng Hoe
1993 – 1995
Tan Kah Hoe;
Tan Swee Keng Peggy
1995 – 1996
Dr Ting Seng Kiong;
Tan Swee Keng Peggy
1996 – 1997
A/Prof Lawrence Chia;
Alwyn Lim
1997 – 1998
A/Prof Lawrence Chia;
Dr Mark Goh Keng Hock
1998 – 1999
Dr Ting Seng Kiong;
Dr Mark Goh Keng Hock
1999 – 2001
Tan Swee Keng Peggy;
Dr Patrick Fernandez
2001 – 2002
Dr Patrick Fernandez;
Dr Anthony Chung Jia Chi
2002 – 2003
Dr Patrick Fernandez;
Alfred Shee Ping Fatt
2003 – 2004
Alfred Shee Ping Fatt;
Dr Patrick Fernandez
2004 – 2006
Alfred Shee Ping Fatt;
Dr Lim Shun Ping (deceased)
2006 – 2006
Dr Lim Shun Ping (deceased);
Simon Ho
2006 – 2009
Simon Ho Khee Lim;
Tan Swee Keng Peggy
2009 – 2014
Loh Hoon Sun;
Tan Swee Keng Peggy
2014 – 2015
Christopher Cheah;
Tan Swee Keng Peggy
2016 – 2017
Christopher Cheah;
Paul Chia
2017 – 2018
Christopher Cheah;
Joseph Kwok
2018 – 2019
Joseph Kwok;
Geoff Howie
2019 – 2020
Joseph Kwok;
Geoff Howie