Three Malaysians receive Australian Award

KUALA LUMPUR 22 NOVEMBER 2013 – The Malaysian Australian Alumni Council (The MAAC) together with the Australian High Commission, Kuala Lumpur recognised three Malaysians with a common bond – they are graduates of an Australian education institution and are successful alumni in Malaysia.

Datin Paduka Dr Khatijah Yusoff, Ms Hong Yi and Ms Lai Tze May were recipients of the 2013 Australian Education Achievement Award, Australian Young Entrepreneur Award and Australian Alumni Chapter Award, respectively. The awards were presented in conjunction with the The MAAC’s annual Australian Alumni Gala Dinner held at the JW Marriott Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.

The awards were jointly presented by the President of The MAAC, Ms Pat PW Yeoh and the Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia, H.E. Mr Miles Kupa. In attendance to witness the presentation were 400 guests, many of whom were graduates of Australian education institutions.

Datin Paduka Dr Khatijah Yusoff, an alumnus of La Trobe University is the former Deputy Secretary-General (Science) at Ministry of Science, Technology & Innovation (MOSTI), Ms Hong Yi is an artist-architect who is known as the ‘artist who likes to paint, but not with paint brushes,’ is a University of Melbourne graduate and Ms Lai Tze May, a University of Newcastle alumni who single-handedly set up her alma mater’s alumni chapter in Malaysia.

“The three are the most deserving candidates in their category. Over 30 nominations were received and The MAAC Executive Committee shortlisted and presented the top 12 to the Australian High Commission, Kuala Lumpur. The finalists were selected by key personnel of the Australian High Commission,” said Ms Yeoh.

The nomination process commenced on 28 September and remained open till 14 October. Only representatives from Australian universities and Australian alumni chapters in Malaysia were eligible to nominate via a PDF link that was available on The MAAC’s website

The Australian Education Achievement Award is the only award that has been presented on an annual basis since the inaugural Australian Alumni Gala Dinner in 2010. This year, in consultation with the Australian High Commission, the awards were extended to include two additional categories. “The Australian High Commission, Kuala Lumpur is the primary supporter of The MAAC Awards. We are very grateful to the Australian High Commissioner and his colleagues who have supported the awards and all of The MAAC’s initiatives,” added Ms Yeoh.

Another highlight at the Gala Dinner this year was the launch of a series of video logs (vlogs) of successful Malaysian Australian alumni. Each vlog featured a successful Malaysian candidly sharing their Australian education experience and how it has helped shape their career. The vlogs can be viewed online on The MAAC’s website in mid December 2013.

The MAAC is the national organisation of Australian higher learning alumni associations based in Malaysia. It is helmed by a 15 member executive committee who are all volunteers. The MAAC’s objective is to serve Malaysia Australian alumni in three core areas namely alumni relations, education and welfare, and bilateral relations. Those interested in finding more about Malaysia-Australia alumni relations are invited to visit The MAAC’s website at

Recipients of the Australian Alumni Award

(L-R) Mr Chris Tan, Vice President (Bilateral Relations), The MAAC, Dr Angelina Yee, Vice President (Education & Welfare), The MAAC, H.E. Mr Miles Kupa, Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia, (back) Ms Karen Welsh, Counsellor, Australian Education International, (front) Datin Paduka Dr Khatijah Yusoff, recipient of The Australian Education Achievement Award 2013, Ms Hong Yi, recipient of the Australian Young Entrepreneur Award 2013, Ms Susan Kahwati, Senior Australian Trade & Investment Commissioner, Ms Lai Tze May, recipient of the Australian Alumni Chapter Award 2013, Ms Pat PW Yeoh, President, The MAAC, Mr Adrian Ong, Vice President (Alumni Relations), The MAAC