This year, The MAAC 9th Annual Australian Alumni Gala Dinner 2018 was held on 07 December 2018 at the Mayang Sari Grand Ballroom, JW Marriott Hotel Kuala Lumpur. This dinner not only recognised outstanding Malaysians who graduated from Australian Universities and Institutions of Higher Learning but also for Alumni of all walks of life to mingle and meet. Amongst the 380 people who attended the dinner were the Guest of Honour, The Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia and Patron of The MAAC, His Excellency, Mr Andrew Goldedzinowski AM and his wife Ms Lyn Allan. Yang Berhormat, Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs, Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin, an alumnus of La Trobe University made a surprise attendance to the dinner with his wife, along with Honourable Kevin Andrews, MP & Member for Menzies, Victoria. Also in attendance were the Deputy Director for Australia Department of Education & Training, Ms Petronilla Maurice; Deputy Commissioner to Southeast Asia for Victorian State Government Trade and Investment, Mr. Leigh Howard; other prominent Australian Alumni, corporate sponsors and representatives of Australian Universities from Australia. The major sponsors for this event were:
Gold Sponsor: YTD Private Limited
Silver Sponsor: Tourism Australia
Lamb Sponsor: Meat & Livestock Australia
Fish Sponsor: PM Resources Sdn Bhd
Wine Sponsors: State Government of South Australia & Yalumba Wine The University of New England
Door gifts and other Raffles Prize Sponsors include PM Resources Sdn Bhd, Hanbul Cosmetics Sdn Bhd, Wusu Company (Korea), Peninsula International School Australia (Malaysia), Department of Education and Training (Australian Government), Bitdefender, Amoy Canning Beverages Sdn Bhd, Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel, JW Marriot Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Royal Selangor International Berhad, Datin Nora Abu Hassan, AUG Student Services, Body Perfect Sdn Bhd, Bonzour Home, Ms Nicole Lim, Ms Yvonne Kwan and Ms Hilda Looi.
The main highlight of the event was the presentation of five 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. The Australian High Commissioner, accompanied by Ms Melissa Tan; 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 Mina Lim, presented the 5 awards to the following:
Distinguished Alumni Award 2018: Dr Goh Miah Kiat (The University of Sydney)
Distinguished Young Alumni Award 2018: Dr Retnagowri Rajandram (The University Of Queensland)
Young Entrepreneur Award 2018: Mr Mark Chua Yee Kian (University of Southern Queensland)
Community Achievement Award 2018: Ms Sabrina Aripen (Griffith University)
Alumni Chapter Award 2018: University of South Australia Alumni Association Malaysia
In her speech, The MAAC President, Ms Pat PW Yeoh spoke about The MAAC’s 2018 achievements in all three portfolios and hard work of each of MAAC Committee. 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. She also humoured the guests at the dinner about her position as President for the past 8 years. After her speech, Ms Pat PW Yeoh presented a video introducing the 2018/ 2020 MAAC Executive Committee and summarising The MAAC’s activities in year 2018. The emcee then introduced the new MACC Scholarships logo video, which was then followed by a soft launch of a Distinguished Alumni coffee table book that will be produced in 2019 in conjunction with The MAAC’s 20th Anniversary.
The High Commissioner in his speech thanked The MAAC for playing a crucial role in uniting all Alumni Chapters as well as alumni in general in Malaysia, fostering alumni relations amongst all Malaysian graduates from Australian universities and as ambassador of respective Universities. 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 organising the many annual events and congratulated The MAAC for yet another successful Gala Dinner. He then reminded everyone that the next Gala Dinner is to be held on 06 December 2019.
The guests were treated to a sumptuous five course western meal and beverages, with special performance that featured solo violinist Mr Julian Lee, a medical graduate from the University Malaya, who performed the opening for the VIPs’ grand entrance as well as a solo performance. Another third year medical student, Aiza Jasmine performed a few songs to entertain the guests during the dinner. After the awards presentation, the guests were treated to an entertaining magic show by Icelone.
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 1st prize, a Tod’s Pillow Shopping Tote Bag together with a complimentary Diamond Miracle Face Treatment and 2nd prize, Bitdefender Box Office 3-in-1 Small Office Protection Plan for 12 PCs up to 3 years together with a complimentary Diamond Miracle Face Treatment. Other prizes include free stay at the JW Marriott Hotel Kuala Lumpur, products from Royal Selangor Pewter, 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.