On an annual basis, The Malaysian Australian Alumni Council (The MAAC) will organise an Alumni Heads Gathering, a private event, for its members and invited guests. The event which is a core component of the Alumni Relations portfolio within The MAAC, is held, with an objective to enable The MAAC to present its strategic plan and its events calendar for the year to all its members. This year, the event was held on Friday, 17 May 2013 at Picknik Comfort Food Café.
Over 30 members attended the Alumni Heads Gathering and Ms Susan Kahwati, the Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner, Australian Trade Commission, Australian High Commission, Kuala Lumpur was the guest of honour. Also in attendance on that night was Puan Sri Datin Seri (Dr) Susan Cheah, The MAAC’s Advisor and past president. Alumni members included presidents and representatives from Murdoch University, James Cook University, Monash University, Sydney University, Swinburne University, Deakin University, University of Southern Queensland, Bond University, Charles Sturt University, University of Western Australia, La Trobe University, University of Newcastle, University of New England, Curtin University, Sabah Australian Alumni Association and in country representatives from Victoria State Government Office, Victoria University, University of South Australia.
During the event, each division within The MAAC namely, Alumni Relations, Bilateral Relations and Education & Welfare, presented its strategic plans and events for year March 2013 to March 2014. Among items presented were events such as the Go-Kart Challenge (24 August), Golf Interalumni Challenge (October) and The MAAC’s Gala Dinner (22 November). Other highlights were the roll out of the 2014 Malaysia Australia Colombo Plan Commemoration Scholarships (MACC Scholarships) and two new projects i.e. the development of video logs featuring up and coming Malaysians who are Australian alumni and the set-up of a LinkedIn profile.
The guest of honour, Ms Kahwati presented a speech and members were heartened to hear her acknowledge Austrade’s strong support to The MAAC and all individual Australian alumni chapters in Malaysia. Ms Kahwati, who arrived in Malaysia in October 2012, thanked The MAAC for providing a platform for her to meet The MAAC members and expressed the important role that alumni play in sustaining the Australia-Malaysia bilateral relationship.
As Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s said ‘None of us is as good as all of us,’ the President of The MAAC, Ms Pat PW Yeoh acknowledged the hard work, dedication and volunteerism, and proudly introduced each of her executives and councillors who make up The MAAC Executive Committee for the 2012-2014 term.
Ms Yeoh encouraged members to promote their events on The MAAC’s social media platform as it serves a larger audience of Australian alumni in Malaysia. In fact, it draws audiences from the region as The MAAC has developed strong strategic partnerships with alumni associations in the region and in Australia.
Formalities aside, everyone was free to network and enjoy the delicious comfort food served by the co-owner himself, Dato’ Nik Ezar Nik Bolia. Picknik Comfort Food Café is owned by Dato’ Nik, a very proud University of Queensland alumnus, and his celebrity chef son, Nik Michael Imran.