ACAA COLUMN: Celebrating success and getting to know you better

It has been a busy time for the Australia China Alumni Association, with visits by Australian political leaders and an Australian Nobel Laureate, as well as the 2012 Australia China Alumni Awards and conducting a number alumni surveys.

The ACAA has been busy over the last few months collating and highlighting the many new success stories amongst Australian Alumni living in China. This has culminated in the Australia China Alumni Awards – our flagship annual event. We congratulate all of this year’s outstanding Finalists and Award winners!
We’ve also recently grown to 28 University partners strong, with the University of Adelaide joining as our newest partner. We’re now delighted to work alongside all three South Australian based universities as well as seven of the Group of 8 universities.
Over the last two months, we have grown to engage some 7,400+ alumni and on a daily basis reach out to hundreds more through various forms of social media.
Australian Politicians visit China
Recent well-attended UTS events in Shanghai and Beijing in July have highlighted prominent Alumni currently leading the way in their fields. Similarly, StudyAdelaide events held in Shanghai and Beijing in July with SA Premier Jay Weatherill also celebrated the achievements of a number of talented and highly successful graduates coming from South Australian Universities.
The ACAA was pleased to also recently organize for a group of alumni to meet over lunch at the Australian Consul-General’s residence in Shanghai with a group of visiting Australian Senators. Feedback from alumni can make an important contribution through their dual country experience to the Australian education system and to a better understanding of the differences between, and the respective strengths of, the Australian and Chinese education systems.
ANU Nobel Laureate visit
The ACAA and alumni of the Australian National University based in Beijing and Shanghai were fortunate in August to meet with Nobel Laureate, Professor Brian Schmidt. Prof. Schmidt is a Nobel Prize winner and a Laureate Fellow at the Australian National University’s Mount Stromlo Observatory. His work on the accelerating universe was awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics, jointly with Adam Riess and Saul Perlmutter.
ACAA / IELTS 2012 Australia China Alumni Awards
The 4th Annual Australia China Alumni Awards were held on 15th September 2012 at the Hyatt on the Bund, Shanghai. A group of 200+ alumni and friends attended the Gala dinner where nine awards were presented in categories ranging from Alumni of the Year, to Research & Innovation, and Banking & Finance. The ACAA would like to thank all sponsors, finalists and judges for making the 2012 ACAA/IELTS Australia China Alumni of the Year Awards possible. We look forward to bringing China the 5th awards next year and hope that with your continued support, the prestige and reach of the awards will continue to grow.
For a full listing of this year’s winners and stories, click here.
Better understanding alumni in China
In the past, we all knew there must be huge amounts of alumni of Australian universities living in China, but alumni were hard to find and all quietly doing their own thing. Five years later, as the ACAA now moves to engage 10,000 alumni (hopefully reaching this target by year end or early Jan 2013), we’re trying to better understand our alumni members. What do you want, what makes you tick, and how can we better support you?
In 2012 we surveyed alumni for the first time, on two important topics. First we surveyed 450+ graduates and 60+ employers to better understand how alumni get jobs upon graduation, their level of satisfaction with those jobs and the process of finding them. We also spoke to employers to get their views about the quality of Australian graduates – the good news being that most employers are keen to employ more alumni! The survey was funded by long-term partner,
Australian Education International, and the results will be analysed, written up and released in coming months.
We also surveyed 1000+ alumni to better understand the important, but little researched and little understood, role that alumni play in tourism and travel between Australia and China. The raw data clearly shows that many alumni travel backwards and forwards frequently, that alumni encourage others to travel and that alumni are a key segment in the tourism and business travel market. We thank partners Victoria University, the Central University of Finance & Economics (CUFE) and sponsor Qantas and hope to see the results published later this year. We thank all alumni who generously gave up their time and who participated in these surveys – we hope those who won prizes (Qantas tickets, an Apple iPad, stylish Oroton leather goods, bottles of Australian wine, and beautiful coffee table books about Australia) enjoy them! 
To learn more about the Australia China Alumni Association, visit the website:

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