The MAAC 12th Australian Alumni Gala Dinner 2023

Friday, 1 Dec 2023

The 12th Annual Australian Alumni Gala Dinner 2023 hosted by the MAAC took place on December 1, 2023, at the Mayang Sari Grand Ballroom, JW Marriott Hotel Kuala Lumpur. This event not only honoured exceptional Malaysians who graduated from Australian Universities and Institutions of Higher Learning but also provided an opportunity for alumni from various backgrounds to connect and network. Among the 350 attendees were distinguished guests such as the Guest of Honour, Acting Australian High Commissioner, Mr. Simon Fellows, alongside prominent Australian Alumni, corporate sponsors, and representatives from Australian Universities. Notable sponsors for this event included:

Airline Sponsor: Qantas
Travel Partners: Tourism Australia
Corporate Information Travel (CIT)
Event Partner: Camera Works
Wine Sponsor: Swan Wine group
Auswan Creek
Government of South Australia
Lamb Sponsor: Meat & Livestock Australia
Fish Sponsor: C-Food Portions Sdn Bhd
Amoy Canning Beverages Sdn Bhd
Tit-Tar Man
Khee San Food Industries Sdn Bhd
One Two Boost
Hanbul Cosmetics Sdn Bhd
PM Resources Sdn Bhd
Murdoch University
UCSI College
Body Perfect
Galah Gala Seafood Restaurant

Door gifts and other raffles prize sponsors include PM Resources Sdn Bhd, Hanbul Cosmetics Sdn Bhd, Amoy Canning Beverages Sdn Bhd, Blackmores, Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel, JW Marriot Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Spa Village Kuala Lumpur, Royal Selangor International Berhad, Bonzour Home and Body Perfect Sdn Bhd.

The focal point of the event centred on the presentation of 6 awards to distinguished alumni of Australian Universities, along with one award bestowed upon an Australian University Alumni Chapter in Malaysia for their significant societal contributions and promotion of excellent education in Australia. Presenters included Acting Australian High Commissioner, Mr. Simon Fellows; Mr. Adil Akbar, representing Austrade; Ms. Fiona Morris, Counsellor (Education & Science) for the Department of Education Australia; and Ms. Suvika Ambigapathy, Manager for Public Affairs, Alumni Relations & Policy Support at the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade. The awards were presented by key figures including MAAC President, Ms. Pat PW Yeoh; Vice President of Alumni Relations, Mr. Adrian Ong; Vice President of Bilateral Relations, Ms. Jasmin Lim; and Vice President of Education & Welfare, Ms. Mina Lim. These awards were conferred upon the following recipients:

Distinguished Alumni Award 2023: Mr Ang Ker Soon
(Victoria University)
Female Alumnus of the Year Award 2023: Professor Dr Leong Wai Yie
(The University of Queensland)
Young Entrepreneur Award 2023: Mr Melvin Chee
(RMIT University)
Community Achievement Award 2023: Ms Hema Sulakshana Mahadevan
(The University of Tasmania)
Alumni Chapter Award 2023: University of Newcastle Alumni Malaysia Chapter

Following the MC’s introduction, the dinner commenced with a video showcasing the 2022/2024 MAAC Executive Committee and summarising the MAAC’s activities from 2022-2023. During her speech, the MAAC President, Ms. Pat PW Yeoh, reflected on her journey with the MAAC, celebrating shared achievements while contemplating the future. 13 years ago, she assumed the role of President with deep privilege, guided by the wisdom of Lady Puan Sri Datin Seri (Dr) Susan Cheah. Together with dedicated executive committees, they weathered challenges and fostered deep bonds, transcending professional collaboration into lifelong friendships. As her tenure concludes in March 2024, she announced her decision not to seek re-election, believing it is time for new leadership to propel the MAAC forward. The MAAC’s collective accomplishments, from transitioning to the Australian Alumni Gala Dinner to expanding partnerships with international alumni associations and fostering educational initiatives like the MACC Scholarships, showcase the MAAC’s commitment to growth and progress. She expressed heartfelt gratitude to supporters and the Executive Committee. As she bided farewell, she entrusted the MAAC to continue its legacy of impact under future leadership, confident in its ability to inspire and uplift Australian alumni in Malaysia. Pat Yeoh then presented token appreciations to all members of the Executive Committee for the 2022/2024 term.

In his address, the Acting High Commissioner, Mr. Simon Fellows, expressed gratitude to The MAAC for its pivotal role in uniting all Alumni Chapters and alumni across Malaysia, fostering relations among Malaysian graduates from Australian universities, and serving as ambassadors for their respective institutions. He emphasised the significance of alumni in promoting the world-class education offered by Australian institutions. His Excellency also commended the MAAC for organising successful alumni engagement events and congratulated them on another successful gala dinner.

Guests enjoyed a lavish five-course Western meal and beverages, accompanied by a special performance featuring an Elvis Presley impersonator, which captivated the audience. As the gala dinner drew to a close, anticipation built for the raffle draw, with many enticing prizes sponsored, including the Grand Prize – a 2-night stay for 2 at the Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel with a return Ground Experience Voucher worth RM 2,500.00 and an economy return air ticket to Australia. Additional prizes included a Tod’s Bag for the 1st prize, complimentary stays at the JW Marriott Hotel Kuala Lumpur, products from Royal Selangor Pewter, skincare, spa treatments and homecare products, and hampers.