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Winners

  • Geng Xia - Vice Governor of Shandong Province, Shandong Provincial People’s Government

    Winner of - ACAA - Australia China Alumni of the Year Award

    Macquarie University Alumnus
    Jinan based

    As the Vice Governor of Shandong Province, the honourable Mr Xia Geng is in charge of a wide range of activities including trade and investment, foreign affairs, commerce and industry, overseas Chinese affairs, provincial legal and financial systems, infrastructure and anti-smuggling activities. Shandong, a key economic powerhouse on China’s eastern coast, had a GDP growth of 9.6% in 2013. With a total GDP of almost 883 billion US dollars, Shandong has the third largest provincial economy in China.

    Mr Xia Geng graduated from Macquarie University with a Master’s Degree in Economics in July 2000. After graduating from Macquarie University, Mr Xia Geng was successfully promoted to a number of key positions including Mayor and Party Secretary of Rizhao, Mayor of Qingdao, and most recently to Vice Governor of Shandong Province.

    During Mr Xia Geng’s tenure as Mayor of Rizhao and Mayor of Qingdao, the municipalities achieved rapid social and economic development. As Mayor of Qingdao, he supported the municipality in reaching an average an annual GPD growth of 14.5%, an import and export volume of 17.9% and a fiscal revenue increase of 21.2%. Mr Xia Geng was awarded the Pierre De Coubertin Medal in recognition of his contribution to the success of the Olympic Sailing Event as the Chairman of Beijing Olympic Sailing Committee.

    Since his appointment as Vice Governor of Shandong Province, he has focused on the integrated development of both domestic and foreign trade and further promoted economic reforms. He has streamlined the industrial and commercial registration process, which has led to an increase of newly registered companies and capital by 50% and 110% respectively since the beginning of 2014. Mr Xia Geng has actively encouraged foreign and private investors to participate in the reforms of financial institutions, characterized by the introduction of private equity funds and he has placed great emphasis on building an inclusive financial system that supports the interests of rural areas, whilst reducing obstacles for small businesses.

    Mr Xia Geng is a strong supporter of economic and people-to-people exchanges between China and Australia. He has visited Australia on several occasions and held meetings with various Australian Ambassadors, senior business leaders, and stakeholders. He has actively encouraged Shandong Province’s deeper cooperation and communications with Australia. During the visit to Shandong of South Australia's Premier, Mr Jay Weatherill, in April 2013, Mr Xia Geng played a key role in strengthening the relationship between Shandong and South Australia, which resulted in the signing of a MOU to enhance communication and cooperation.

    In September 2014, Mr Xia Geng facilitated Qingdao Dance Theatre’s performance in Australia.

    As a result of Mr Xia Geng's and his Australian counterparts’ efforts, Australia has become Shandong’s sixth largest trading partner, its tenth export market, and third importer. As of the end of 2013, there were 139 Shandong companies and institutions registered in Australia with a total investment of 6 billion US dollars, making Shandong Province one of the largest sources of investment in Australia.

Finalists

  • Vincent Lam - Chairman, Asiaray Media Group Limited

    Finalist: ACAA - Australia China Alumni of the Year Award

    The University of Sydney, UNSW Alumnus
    Shanghai based

    Vincent was born in Hong Kong but completed the HSC in NSW, where was accepted to a double degree course (BE and BSC) at the University of Sydney in 1980. While studying Vincent was involved in many University organizations including the University Student Representative Council. He finished the Computer Science Honours program and graduated with Second Class Honours Division One. He also achieved a Master of Commerce majoring in Professional Accountancy from the University of NSW.

    In 2005 Vincent founded the China Alumni Network of the University of Sydney and was elected President of the Network in the same year. He became Patron of the China Alumni Network in 2007. He is currently member of the Alumni Council of the University of Sydney, and UNSW Australia Global Circle of Friends.

    Vincent came back to Hong Kong in 1993 to found Asiaray which is the largest airport media company and the third largest metro media company in the greater China region. Asiaray currently has over 700 staff and 33 offices across China. Asiaray has the exclusive right to operate the media business in 25 airports in China, among which three are considered in the top ten busiest airports in China and seven are ranked in the top 21. Vincent still remains the role of CEO and Chairman of the Board.

    Vincent is very community conscious and regularly devotes his time and energy to help those less fortunate than himself. In 1992 he was appointed Justice of the Peace by the NSW Government and in 1993 he was awarded Honorary Secretary of State by the State of Alabama, USA. In 2010 he was awarded the Austrade Australian Alumni Award for Entrepreneurship. From 2011 until now, he was appointed by the Chief Executive of the HKSAR Government as a member of the Appeal Board (Town Planning). He was appointed a member of the Yunnan Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and a committee member of the National Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese in 2013.

    Having benefited from the development of China and as a way to give back to the community, Vincent formed a charitable organization in memory of his late father (Lam Kwun King Memorial Fund) in Hong Kong in 2004. Currently this charity is directly helping over 300 students in the very poor areas of Shanxi and Yunnan provinces in China. He is also an active member of HK Rotary Club Island West, a committee member of the 2007 Theme Year Working Party of the Hong Kong Management Association (HKMA), an active member of the Bauhinia Foundation in HK (a think tank), a committee member of the Yunnan Overseas Economic Cooperative Organisation, an advisor to the Yunnan Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese, an advisor of the China Advertising Council, a fellow of CPA Australia, and a Class Member and Director of the UNSW Hong Kong Foundation Board.

Finalists

  • Baisha Zhang - Partner, Zhong Lun Law Firm

    Finalist: ACAA - Australia China Alumni of the Year Award

    University of Melbourne, University of Western Sydney Alumnus
    Guangzhou based

    Mr Zhang is a private practice lawyer and specializes in competition law and mergers and acquisitions. He recently joined as partner of one of China’s largest commercial law firms, Zhong Lun Law Firm in Beijing. He is well-known and respected throughout law enforcement agencies and is still involved in the Guangzhou Bar Association.

    Mr Zhang is passionate about ‘pushing the boundaries’ to enhance the rule of law and the professional independence of the legal profession in China. He is also committed to improving the industry’s professional ethics and he actively promotes greater awareness of the need for substantial improvements in corporate governance and corporate social responsibility in the legal profession and more broadly in business practices.

    Having practiced in leading local law firms for almost two decades, Mr. Zhang is experienced in all aspects of anti-trust law practice. He was one of the few lawyers who pioneered China’s Anti-Monopoly Law’s academic research, legislation, and legal practice. He is committed to improving lawyers' and corporate directors’ knowledge of competition law and has published extensively on the topic.

    Mr Zhang has frequently spoken on anti-trust law at local and international seminars and conferences. He was awarded Most Popular Speaker by Duxes Business Consulting for his contributions to their Anti-Monopoly Law Event Series (2007-2014).

    Mr Zhang serves as the Director of Fair Trade Law Commission of Guangzhou Lawyers Association and was voted one of Guangzhou’s Top Ten Lawyers by the Guangzhou Lawyers Association for three consecutive years from 2009 to 2011.

    Prior to his appointment at Zhong Lun Law Firm, Mr Zhang was a Partner in the Guangzhou Foreign Economic Law Office, and in 2010 he was recognized by the Guangzhou Judicial Bureau and Guangzhou Lawyers Association for his distinguished contributions to the 16th Asian Games and the Asian Para Games.

    Mr Zhang graduated from Melbourne Law School with a Masters of Commercial Law in 2004. He also holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Western Sydney and a Master of International Economic Law from the East China University of Politics and Law.

Finalists

  • Marin Burela - President and Chief Executive Officer, Changan Ford Automobile Co, Ltd.

    Finalist: ACAA - Australia China Alumni of the Year Award

    Deakin University Alumnus
    Chongqing based

    Marin Burela has extensive management and leadership experience and is committed to delivering exceptional results. He has worked in China, the United Kingdom and Australia, and has brought a wealth of knowledge to his current role.

    Mr Burela is currently the President and Chief Executive Officer of Changan Ford, a joint venture of Ford and Chinese company Changan.

    Mr Burela believes in community service which he has demonstrated through the organisation of Ford's Global Week of Caring; donations made to the Sichuan Ya'an earthquake this year, and underprivileged family support in the Shanghai Children Hospital for the children's treatment of severe diseases.

    In 2010 Ford identified in a press release that "Ford expects 70% of its growth in the next 10 years to come from its Asia Pacific and Africa region, with a majority coming from China". As the President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Burela had the challenge to make this a reality.

    Mr Burela was quoted in a Ford press release after the Guangzhou Auto Show (GZAS) in 2012 as saying “We are very proud to be introducing ‘Go Further’ to China, our enduring commitment to provide Chinese customers with outstanding new products that lead in quality, fuel efficiency, safety, smart design and great value".

    Mr Burela was recently named on the Engineers Australia 2013 List of Australia's Top 100 Most Influential Engineers. In acknowledging Mr Burela's achievements, Engineers Australia stated that "for the year to May 2013, the company's sales totaled 231,818 units, up 71% from a year earlier".

    From 2010, Mr Burela headed Changan Ford Mazda which was then split in November 2012. At this point Mr Burela was appointed to President and Chief Executive Officer of Changan Ford.

    Previously Mr Burela was President and Chief Executive of Ford Australia between 2008 and 2010.

    In 2004, Mr Burela held the position of Vehicle Line Executive Director, Global Small Car Segment Vehicles at Ford of Europe.

    In 2002, Mr Burela was Director of Manufacturing for Land Rover in the United Kingdom which was part of the Premier Automotive Group. The Premier Automotive Group included global automotive brands such as Volvo, Aston Martin, Land Rover and Jaguar. On a daily basis, Mr Burela was responsible for company assets worth $US16billion.

    Mr Burela has a long history at Ford starting in 1984 as an Engineering Ford College Graduate and has served in a variety of roles including Manufacturing, Marketing and Sales, and Product Development.

    He was recognised at the Deakin University Alumni of the Year Awards 2012 for outstanding leadership and management. He has also been presented with the Distinguished Alumni Award for Excellence in Industry and Commerce by his secondary school Western Heights College and is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia (FIEAust).

Finalists

  • Saitan Hui - Vice-Chairman, Board of Directors, Shimao Property

    Finalist: ACAA - Australia China Alumni of the Year Award

    University of Technology Sydney and University of South Australia Alumnus
    Hong Kong/Shanghai based

    Mr. Sai Tan Hui is the Vice-President of Shimao Group which was founded by Mr Hui’s father, Mr Hui Wing Mau. Before his appointment as Vice-President, Mr Hui was Group Sales Controller of Shimao from 2000 to 2013 and was responsible for the sales, marketing, management and design of the Group’s projects.

    He has over 14 years’ experience in the property development industry and has presided over the sales and marketing of Shanghai Shimao Riviera Garden which boasted top sales among residential projects in Shanghai for four consecutive years from 2001 to 2004.

    Under his strong leadership, Shimao Group’s property development revenue increased by 50% for two consecutive years in a row and was ranked as one of the top 10 property companies in China. Shimao Group’s sales revenue for 2014 is estimated to be have grown from 80 billion to 150 billion.

    Mr Hui has ambitious plans for continued growth and has played a major role in shaping the future direction of the company, responding to changing market demands and future needs. Most notably, the innovative development of up to 30 new ‘mini-malls’ linked to residential developments is his response to increased on-line shopping and the need for access to local food and beverage outlets. This concept also extends to mini hotels, resort and gyms – all linked to residential developments.

    Under Mr Hui’s leadership, the company is also building a theme park in Nanjing and has plans to build a university in Shanghai. He has also developed an innovative approach to Human Resource Management at Shimao, resulting in high levels of performance and employee satisfaction.

    He is passionate about supporting philanthropic causes. The Hurun Report philanthropy list estimates the philanthropy of Shi Mao (under the direction of Mr Hui and his father) at US$18.9m for disaster relief in 2009, and a total of US$36.5m to various causes (including education and arts) since 2004.

    Mr Hui is an alumnus of the UTS Business School and a member of the prestigious UTS Luminaries group of outstanding alumni. Mr Hui is a wonderful ambassador for UTS and for Australia. He has a demonstrated track record of outstanding success as an innovative and effective business leader, managing a highly successful company and has provided invaluable support for the wider community.

Finalists

  • Lihua Tong - Public Interest Lawyer and Advocate; Legislator; Founder, Director and CEO, Beijing Zhicheng Public Interest Law Firm

    Finalist: ACAA - Australia China Alumni of the Year Award

    University of Technology Sydney Alumnus
    Beijing based

    Mr Tong is a Public Interest Lawyer and the leading advocate in China for children's, women's and migrant workers’ rights. In 1999, he personally funded and established the Beijing Children’s Legal Aid and Research Centre, which is the first non-governmental organisation dedicated to providing pro bono legal services to children in China.

    Driven by his passion to help and his appreciation of the need for legal assistance for migrant workers and women in China, he subsequently expanded the organisation’s operations and renamed it Zhicheng Public Interest Lawyers (Zhicheng). Today Zhicheng is the premier law NGO in the People’s Republic of China comprising of the largest network of subsidiaries located across 33 cities. The organisation’s services have expanded to include the protection of farmers’ rights and criminal legal aid.

    His outstanding achievements are well evidenced by the over 80 national and international awards he has received since 2000. These include: China’s Top Ten Outstanding Juvenile Protection Citizens; China’s Top Ten Outstanding Workers’ Rights Protection Attorneys; China’s Top Ten Legal Practitioners; China’s Top Ten Public Interest Advocates; China Outstanding Youth Medal; China Outstanding May Day Medal and the National Model Worker. Mr Tong was the winner of the 2012 International Bar Association Pro bono Award received for demonstrating an exceptional level of commitment and dedication to the provision of free legal services and access to justice.

    Mr Tong’s achievements extend beyond founding the largest and most influential NGO in China, which to this day continues to help thousands of people. His most enduring accomplishment is his ability to persuade Chinese authorities to appreciate and accept the need for an independent NGO dedicated to helping an otherwise voiceless segment of the population.

    Mr Tong has made important contributions to the community both nationally and internationally. He has become the most well-known personality in matters concerning NGO and people empowerment in China. Since 2008 he has been invited to participate in the annual China-EU Judicial Seminar and present on the reforms regarding the protection of children's and migrant workers’ rights. Mr Tong has been working closely with the Australian Human Rights Commission to exchange ideas on the development of Chinese civil society.

    In November 2013 he was invited to the United States to take part in the sixth round of exchanges between legal experts from China and the US, where he presented his views on the current status and developments of the rule of law in China.

    Diplomats and members of the international civil society community regularly refer to Mr Tong’s views and the work of his organisation as good indicators of reform. Mr Tong has contributed to a better understanding of civil society organisations in China.

Finalists

  • Yongjie Lv - Chairman of the Board, Shanghai Bright Food Group

    Finalist: ACAA - Australia China Alumni of the Year Award

    Monash University Alumnus
    Shanghai based

    Mr Lv YongJie is an experienced Senior Executive, who has worked for some of China’s largest companies during his career. Over the years he has served as Chairman on a number of Boards, through which he has assisted companies to grow and expand their operations.

    Mr Lv is currently the Chairman of the Board of Bright Food Group Co. Ltd, a multinational food and beverages manufacturing company headquartered in Shanghai. Founded in 2006, it is now one of the China’s largest food manufacturing companies and is wholly owned by the Chinese State. The group owns many nationally renowned brands such as Bright, Guangshengyuan, White Rabbit, Maling, Shikumen and Hejiu and has four listed subsidiaries.

    Mr Lv leads Bright Food Group's internationalisation strategy, which includes investment in Australia through a 75% stake in the food producer Manassen Foods for A$530 million, a 60% stake in the British breakfast cereals manufacturer Weetabix Limited in a £1.2 billion deal and a 56% stake in the Israeli Dairy producer Tnuva for the sum of 2.5 Billion USD. His reputation as a business leader is demonstrated by the high profile of the roles and activities in which he is involved.

    In 2014 he was nominated as the inaugural Rotating Chairman of the Strategic Alliance of Shanghai Going Global Enterprises and he has been invited to take part in numerous senior business delegations to and from China.

    Mr Lv's prior roles include Chairman of Shanghai Maling Aquarius which is a China-based company primarily engaged in slaughtering and pork processing business, and President and Chairman of Shanghai Light Industry Holding Company.

    Mr Lv holds a Master of Business and Administration (M.B.A.) from Monash University.
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