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.
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 hon Will Hodgman
Australian High Commissioner to Singapore
Patron of the 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
66th AAS President's Speech
8th April, 2021
65th AAS President's Message
66th Annual Report of AAS
24 March, 2021
Dear AAS Members, Friends and Stakeholders,
Time passes quickly and it has been 3 years since I took on the role as the President of Australia Alumni Singapore (AAS). I am grateful for the opportunity to be of service to AAS and is heartening to be serving alongside dedicated AAS MC members. At this juncture, I would like to
announce that I will be stepping down as President but will continue to
contribute to AAS in other ways. This will enable AAS to groom new leaders who are younger, more dynamic and more tech savvy. Only through constant leadership renewal can AAS grow from strength to strength. I urge Australian alumni to come forward to volunteer in AAS to make this community even stronger moving forward.
With a total Australian alumni population of 200,000 in Singapore, AAS is a significant association. With the help of technology, AAS can reach out and engage more Australian alumni so that AAS can:
Ø cement its position as a leading alumni association in Singapore.
Ø help enhance Australian alumni’s professional, business and social network.
Ø be the key driver in promoting and encouraging Australian education to Singaporeans, and Singaporean education to Australians.
Covid-19 pandemic made 2020 a challenging year. AAS were able to hold only 1 physical networking event on the 16th Jan 2020 in collaboration with Macquarie University Alumni Association Singapore.
Subsequently, no physical events were held and AAS had to cancel the Inaugural Ambassadors and Captains of Industry Golf Tournament and also our annual key event, AAS’ Annual Gala Dinner.
To keep up with engagements of members and friends, AAS had to leverage the power of technology and held a series of virtual events
in 2020 with good participation:
1) AAS first virtual AGM on 13th May 2020
2) The New Normal Work-Life on 17th Jun 2020
3) Investing in 2020 on 29th Jul 2020
4) Aim For Digital Transformation on 26th Aug 2020
5) Relaxation & Meditation Workshop on 21st Oct 2020
6) Thriving During Challenging Times on 2nd Dec 2020 in
collaboration with Swinburne Alumni and TCFA
AAS also embarked on a few CSR initiatives by raising S$16,864 to help with the Australia Bush Fire in Jan 2020. This was followed by a Kopi for Front Line Worker Campaign in Feb 2020 to provide coffee to healthcare workings in NUS Hospital and Singapore General Hospital.
2020 has also been a challenging year for AAS in terms of financials with sponsors being hesitant to come onboard with the tough economic environment and lack of physical events. The saving grace is that costs to hold virtual events are minimal and AAS was able to conserve precious reserves until times get better.
Going forward, AAS will still 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. Only when we work together as a group can AAS
emerge stronger after the pandemic with a platform for AAS members to network productively among a wider community.
I am grateful for the support that Australian High Commission in Singapore has given to AAS over the years. H.E. Bruce Gosper who just left was incredibly supportive since the start of my term and he and his capable team played an important role in helping AAS carry out our missions and objectives. I am sure the new Australian High Commissioner to Singapore, H.E. Will Hodgman, will continue to be
supportive and AAS looks forward to working with him and his team.
A pillar of strength for AAS is the Council of Advisors which comprises of highly regarded and successful Australian alumni. I would sincerely like to thank all our advisors for their support towards AAS and without you, AAS will not be the same. Other than giving invaluable advice, advisers have also generously donated significant amount to AAS CSR initiatives in 2020.
The ability of AAS to continue thriving is due to the generous financial and non-financial support from our sponsors and partner universities. I would like to express my deepest 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.
Lastly, I would like to thank all members of AAS Management Committee (MC) and Secretariat for their dedication and commitment. As volunteers, they have contributed precious time and effort to AAS in 2020 and I hope that the new AAS MC will continue with the good work in 2021. Other than myself, Mr Paul Ho will also be stepping down from the AAS MC after this AGM and I wish him well. For aspiring AAS MC members who will be taking over, I hope you will be passionate and dedicated like past and current MC members so that AAS will continue to grow and prosper.
AAS Immediate Past President
Australian Alumni Singapore
24 March 2021
62ND ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
The 62nd AGM Report is also available at the following locations:
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 on 14 Aug 2020.
Management Committee 2021/22
THE WAY FORWARD – STRONGER TOGETHER
Social Media Manager at Mediacorp Pte Ltd
Council of Advisors 2021/22
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 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.
James Cook University, Singapore
Andrew is Chief Commercial Officer and a key member of Executive Management at James Cook University (JCU) in Singapore. He is responsible for commercial strategy, marketing and growth of the organisation including the Departments of Student Recruitment, Branding, External Relations, Continuing Education, Research and Enterprise, and Special Projects. Research and Enterprise focuses on partnerships and funding opportunities with eventual downstream commercialisation including spin-off companies. Special Projects include business development and expansion in the region coordinated with James Cook University Australia. As part of OneJCU, he shares responsibility for James Cook University Australia’s international offshore marketing.
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 the Chair of the Marketing Interest Group, Singapore International Chamber of Commerce (SICC), and a member of the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Singapore (AustCham).
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).
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
AAS legal advisor 2021/22
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).