The Australian Universities International Alumni Convention (AUIAC) 2008 started off with a simple yet impressive Welcome Dinner held at the SUNTEC Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre Ballroom on 10 June 2008 attended by 360 participants. Senior Minister, Mr Goh Chok Tong was the Guest-of-Honour. Among the VIP guests, were Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan, Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak; HE Mr Miles Kupa, Australian High Commissioner to Singapore; Dr Tony Tan, AUIAC 2009 Patron; Mrs Goh Chok Tong; Mrs Tony Tan; dignitaries from Sarawak, Australian University Chancellors and Vice Chancellors.
In his Welcome speech, SM Goh touched on the bilateral relationship between Australia and Singapore, the regional landscape, Australia’s relationship with the region and the closer ASEAN-Australian cooperation. He concluded with a reminder to the two countries that, “in a world of rapid change and uncertainty, we need to remain nimble, alert and creative to keep our countries and economies moving forward”, “ the need to work closely with like-minded friends who share common interests” and “in this regard, the good relations and close partnership between Singapore and Australia will contribute significantly to enhancing security, growth and well-being of our two countries and region”.
After the opening speeches, good food, fun and entertainment followed. More importantly, reunion and warm fellowship among alumni members and friends and informal bantering soon filled the ballroom. Indeed, we have good friends from Australia and the region, particularly the Executive Committee and members of Australian Alumni Associations from Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Dhaka.