The newly appointed Australian Consul-General, Mr Graeme Swift, said it was an honour for him to meet and congratulate the winners of the Australia Alumni Awards at the award ceremony in Ho Chi Minh City on 21 November.
The Consul-General said: I am very pleased to support this initiative of the VGAC and I was very impressed with the high quality of nominations. These awards recognise the contribution that the recipients have made to Vietnam, and it is clear that their education in Australia has played a significant role in their personal and professional development. The award recipients, and so many other talented alumni, are a testament to the benefits of studying in Australia and I hope this encourages even more Vietnamese students to follow their example.
Below is a full list of awardees in 2008 which were selected by the panel which consisted of representatives from the VGAC, Australian Embassy in Hanoi and Australian Consulate-General in Ho Chi Minh City.
Special Award for Outstanding Achievement
Mr Michael Mann
This award was decided after considering the significant and long-lasting contribution Mr Mann has made to the Australia-Vietnam bilateral relationship. It recognises achievements across a broad range of activities and is a testament to the legacy of Mr Mann’s commitment to Vietnam and the affect this has had on the lives of so many people.
Australian Alumni Award for Culture, Arts and Education sponsored by AEI
Dr Luu Tien Hiep
Mr Hiep is one the of earliest alumni, as he was one of the original Columbo Plan students in the 1960s with a relationship with Australian spanning over 40 years. He has a long history of working in education including in important areas such as establishing credit systems and international cooperation in higher education. He has also been recognized by the Vietnamese government for his contributions.
Australian Alumni Award for Sustainable Social Development sponsored by AusAID
Ms Nguyen Que
Ms Que works is the co-founder and leader of the volunteers’ group ‘Making Dreams Come True’. She works in some very difficult and challenging areas such as children with cancer. She combines full time work with a range of voluntary activities. She demonstrates strong personal commitment and passion to her community services work. She has put her experience and education gained in Australia to impressive use working with disadvantaged and disabled people.
Australian Alumni Award for Entrepreneurship sponsored by University of South Australia
Dr Ly Qui Trung
Mr Trung is well known for being for his outstanding contribution to the relationship between Vietnam and Australia over many years. He is a leading member of the Ho Chi Minh City business community and known for his dynamic and innovative approaches to business including being a leader in establishing the franchise model in Vietnam.
Australian Alumni Award for Research and Science Sponsored by University of La Trobe
Dr Tran Thanh Be
Mr Be is a driving force behind the sustainable agricultural development in the Mekong Delta region. Leading the Mekong Delta Development Research Institute and teaming up with Australian colleagues, Mr Be has an invaluable input into rice, fish and shrimp farming research projects while addressing arising bio- and socio-economic issues in the region. His contribution has been recognised by Vietnam Prime Minister as well as by the Minister of Education and Training.
Ms Marlo Rankin
Ms Rankin is a former youth ambassador in Vietnam and has shown determined and ongoing commitment through her professional and voluntary efforts to help Vietnam to develop, particularly at the community level in the Mekong area. She has used her academic achievements, including learning Vietnamese, to strengthen the bridge between the two countries. In the spirit of the friendship award, her youth, vitality and long-standing commitment is a beacon for all those people – Australian and Vietnamese – that want to make a difference..
The Australian Alumni Awards is the first initiative of its kind in Vietnam by the Vietnamese Graduates from Australia Club (VGAC). The Australian Alumni Awards’ objective is to recognise Vietnamese graduates whose talents and contributions have enriched and benefited our community. During the more than 34 years since the first official Vietnamese students arrived in Australia, we have seen many come back and demonstrate their success in various fields, whether it be art, technology, business or general science.
2008 is the year chosen to inaugurate this exciting program as Australia and Vietnam are celebrating their 35th anniversary of diplomatic relations. The program is a part of a series of events being held by the Australian Consulate General and VGAC to cerebrate this important milestone.