The MAAC successfully hosted yet another Annual Australian Alumni Gala Dinner 2017 on 01 December 2017 at the Mayang Sari Grand Ballroom, JW Marriott Hotel Kuala Lumpur. This dinner is in its 8th year since 2010 with the presentation of prestigious alumni awards to recognise outstanding Malaysians who are graduates of Australian Universities and Institutions of Higher Learning. Amongst the 390 people who attended the dinner were the Guest of Honour, The Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia and Patron of The MAAC, His Excellency, Mr Rod Smith. Also in attendance were the Deputy High Commissioner, Mr Michael Growder; Austrade Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner, Mr Daniel Havas, Counsellor for Australia Department of Education & Training, Ms Sylvia Schmidt; Deputy Director for Australia Department of Education & Training, Ms Petronilla Maurice; Chairman of the MABC, Mr. Leigh Howard; other prominent Australian Alumni, corporate sponsors and representatives of Australian Universities from Australia. The major sponsors for this event were:
YTD Private Limited
Axiata Group Berhad
Mulpha International Bhd
Meat & Livestock Australia
Ms Ng Mun Foong
Mr Raymond Tanuwidjaja
Ms Mina Lim
PM Resources Sdn Bhd
Hanbul Cosmetics Sdn Bhd
Chew & Associates Chartered Accountants
Other and Raffles Prize Sponsors include PM Resources Sdn Bhd, Hanbul Cosmetics Sdn Bhd, Body Perfect Sdn Bhd, Amoy Canning Beverages Sdn Bhd, Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel, Charmante, JW Marriot Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Royal Selangor International Berhad, Ms Nicole Lim, Datin Nora Abu Hassan, Eka Roots, Ms Hilda Looi and Bonzour Home.
The main highlight of the event was the presentation of three awards to deserving Alumni of Australian Universities and one award to an Australian University Alumni Chapter in Malaysia that contributed significant roles to the society while promoting excellent education in Australia. Award finalists were given an opportunity to meet with Australian High Commissioner before the start of the dinner. It was also a pleasant surprise to all award finalists when a new award was presented to a young but distinguished alumnus who has excelled in his/ her field or expertise. The Australian High Commissioner, accompanied by Mr Daniel Havas; Ms Sylvia Schmidt; Ms Petronilla Maurice; The MAAC President, Ms Pat PW Yeoh; Vice President of Alumni Relations, Mr Adrian Ong; Vice President of Bilateral Relations, Ms Nicole Lim and Vice President of Education & Welfare, Ms Jane Teh, presented the 5 awards to the following:
Distinguished Alumni Award 2017:
Datuk Mah Weng Kwai
(The University of Sydney)
Distinguished Young Alumni Award 2017:
Professor Dr Leong Wai Yie
(The University of Queensland)
Young Entrepreneur Award 2017:
Mr Mohd Tawfique Hidayat Roseli
(University of Southern Queensland)
Community Achievement Award 2017:
Ms Angelia Chin Tsun Ping
(Curtin University of Technology)
Alumni Chapter Award 2017:
Murdoch University Alumni Malaysian Chapter
In her speech, The MAAC President, Ms Pat PW Yeoh spoke about The MAAC’s 2017 milestones and achievements in all three portfolios, that is, Alumni Relations, Bilateral Relations and Education & Welfare. She also thanked the Australian High Commission, Australian Universities, The MAAC Executive Committee and others for their continuous support towards The MAAC and its projects. After her speech, Ms Pat PW Yeoh presented a Certificate of Appreciation to each Executive Committee that has served for the term of 2016/ 2018 as their term will be coming to an end in March 2018 followed by a video summarising The MAAC activities 2017. As everyone was about to return to their seats, The MAAC Vice President of Alumni Relations, Mr Adrian Ong caught everyone by surprise, especially The MAAC President, by taking the stage to present an appreciation speech in dedication to Ms Pat PW Yeoh, The MAAC President from the time she took office in year 2011. After his short speech, Mr Adrian Ong invited His Excellency, Mr Rod Smith, who is also The MAAC Patron, to present Ms Pat PW Yeoh an Award of Prestige, which is the highest recognition The MAAC has given to any individual with extraordinary contribution to the Council. The High Commissioner in his speech thanked The MAAC for playing a crucial role in uniting all Alumni Chapters in Malaysia, fostering alumni relations amongst all Malaysian graduates from Australian universities and for being the main contact point to fulfill Australia’s new global Alumni engagement policy initiated by the Australian Minister of Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hon, Ms Julie Bishop. He spoke about the importance of alumni and the role they play in creating the awareness that an Australian education is a world class education. His Excellency also acknowledged and thanked The MAAC for its annual organised events and another successful Gala Dinner this year.
The guests were treated to a sumptuous five course western meal and beverages, with special performance that featured the Muzika Jazz Project, which was founded just for this Gala Dinner. Main performance also featured solo violinist performance by Mr Julian Lee, final year medical student from the University Malaya, who also performed a song on Er-hu. After the awards presentation, The MAAC President, accompanied by all 3 Vice Presidents, presented the Australian High Commissioner with a token of appreciation on behalf of the Council, as this will be his last year in Malaysia as High Commissioner. The MAAC Administrator Ms Hilda Looi, an alumnus of La Trobe University also surprised the audience with a farewell song entitled “All of Me” on behalf of the Council to the Australian High Commissioner.
Towards the end of the Gala Dinner, everyone waited for the raffles draw where many great prizes were to be won. Among the raffles draw prizes that were sponsored were The Grand Prize, a 2 night stay for 2 at the Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel with return air tickets for 2 to any destination in Australia; followed by the first prize of a Tod’s Python Leather Bag and 2nd prize of a 4 Days 3 nights stay at the Intercontinental Hotel Sanctuary Cove, Gold Coast, with buffet breakfast for 2. Other prizes include products from Royal Selangor Pewter, JW Marriott Hotel, Skin care products, homecare products, etc. For those who would like to view the photos from the gala dinner, please click here. For the gala dinner short video, please click here.