Australia-China Achievement Awards 2014

The next Australia-China Achievement Awards will be held in April/May 2016. We will publish further details soon.

Winners and Finalists Announced

17 November 2014, Canberra - Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the winners of the inaugural round of the Australia-China Achievement Awards during the Address to Parliamentary Dinner for Chinese President Xi Jinping at Parliament House.

Foreign Minister, the Hon Julie Bishop MP and Australia-China Council Board congratulated the winners and finalists for their leadership and contribution to the Australia-China relationship.

The Australia-China Achievement Awards is a new initiative of the Australia-China Council. The Awards celebrate successes of Australian organisations and individuals in advancing Australia-China relations. Please see the nomination guidelines.

Australia-China Achievement Awards 2014 Winners

Sydney Symphony Orchestra (NSW) - Arts

Through its continued commitment, during the past five years, to touring, building partnerships and undertaking cultural exchange and education, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra (SSO) has made an outstanding contribution to the Australia-China relationship. In 2009 the orchestra set about developing a strategy to make the SSO the leading orchestra of the Asia Pacific region by 2030; its work in the region since then has been aimed at achieving that goal. The orchestra has toured China three times – in 2009, 2012 and 2014 – on each occasion showcasing Australian culture to Chinese audiences and promoting Australia and Sydney as leading cultural destinations.

The SSO has built long-lasting partnerships with Chinese institutions and has Memoranda of Understanding with Beijing's National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) and the Xinghai Conservatory of Music in Guangzhou. Acknowledging culture as a vital component of doing business in China, the SSO has proved to be a valuable intermediary for government and business in connecting with the region. While Europe is arguably the epicentre of classical and orchestral music, the SSO has demonstrated to the Australian arts community that China has an appetite for our art-form and touring there is rewarding, necessary and valuable to Australia's cultural, diplomatic and business communities.

Visit: Sydney Symphony

sso-tours-china.jpg' alt='three members of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra posing with instruments in front of the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing
Sydney Symphony musicians outside the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, 2014 (L-R: Rachel Silver, Leah Lynn, Emma Sholl)

Bridestowe Estate (TAS) - Entrepreneurship

Bridestowe Estate is acknowledged to be at the forefront of Tasmania's expanding dialogue with China. For nearly seven years Bridestowe Estate has worked assiduously and creatively to build rapport and recognition, particularly in the tourism sector. Bridestowe Etate's products, from spectacular fields of lavender, to unique products such as our lavender ice cream to Bobbie - lavender filled microwaveable bear - are widely recognised in China. Increasingly Chinese tourists are seeking to experience these products and are visiting Tasmania and Bridestowe Estate in increasing numbers. Bridestowe Estate is now an acknowledged leader in fostering awareness of Tasmania in China and has served as a role model for an increasing and constructive dialogue between the two regions.

Direct visitor numbers to the Bridestowe increased by 18% over previous year to 65,000, representing a doubling in visitor numbers since 2009. The majority of this annual increase has come from Mainland Chinese visitors. An estimated 80% of Chinese visitors to Tasmania visited the Estate.

Visit: Bridestowe Estate

Man kneeling in a field of lavender
Image Courtesy of Business Spectator Website

Professor Max Lu (QLD) - Education

Professor Max Lu is an engineer and scholar of international repute whose contribution to the Australia-China research and innovation partnership is leaving a powerful legacy and paving the way to new collaborations and areas of engagement between Australian and Chinese researchers.

Professor Lu’s achievements are defined by exceptional leadership in research and higher education, fostering international connectivity of Australian science, and serving Government and the community. He has been stellar champion for Australia-China cooperation in these areas. He has personally made tremendous contributions to the Australia-China relations and collaboration in higher education and research between the two countries.  Professor Lu was the winner of the 2010 Queensland Alumnus of the Year (Research) Award, and recently named an Advocate for the Brisbane City Council’s “Choose Brisbane” campaign in Asia. In 2006, Hong Kong Magazine Phoenix Weekly named him one of the 50 most influential Chinese in the world, the only Chinese Australian to receive this honour.

Visit: Professor Max Lu

Max Lu holding up a gadget to the camera, smiling
Image Courtesy of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Website

Australia-China Achievement Awards 2014 Finalists


Warburton Arts Project and Warburton Community

From 2011 to 2014, Warburton Arts Project brought the 'Tu Di Shen Ti - Our Land Our Body: Masterworks of the Warburton Collection' touring exhibition of paintings, art-glass, textiles and audio visual installations to 17 major museums in China. In 2014 alone, the exhibitions were seen by approximately 550,000 visitors over the whole tour and many tens of millions more on television and online media with the Warburton Arts bilingual website registering more than 230,000 hits. Approximately 5000 Chinese schoolchildren engaged the education programs offered as part of the touring program.  Senior Indigenous community members, future community leaders and Indigenous school children were present at several openings along with a professional development program for a young Aboriginal curator at two venues.

Visit: Warburton Arts Project

collage of different pictures of members of the Warburton Arts project working on art, group shots of them and the finished art projects/installations
Image Courtesy of Warburton Arts Project

OzAsia Festival (SA)

OzAsia Festival is presented by the Adelaide Festival Centre and has become the premier Australian cultural event contributing to, and engaging with, the cultural landscape of the Asian region – often with a significant China focus. The Festival’s broad cultural reach encompasses theatre, dance, music, film, exhibitions and food.  Following the historic agreement signed in 2013 between Adelaide Festival Centre and the Shandong Government’s Department of Culture, the 2014 OzAsia Festival presented a wide range of unique and significant works from Shandong, including the Australian Premieres of Qingdao Song and Dance Theatre’s, Red Sorghum and Shandong Acrobatic Troupe’s, Dream of the Ghost Story as well as exhibitions and arts and cultural events that showcased the ancient traditions of Shandong Province to Adelaide audiences. The agreement confirmed a joint commitment to continue supporting the cultural exchange between South Australia and Shandong Province into the future. It laid the foundations for a long-term, cooperative and mutually beneficial relationship. The agreement marked a significant step in the evolution of the OzAsia Festival and the role it can play in positioning cultural exchange between South Australia and China.

Visit: OzAsia Festival

Image Courtesy of OzAsia Festival Website

Yiying Lu (NSW)

Yiying Lu is an award-winning artist who was born and raised in Shanghai, China; educated in the University of Technology Sydney with a first class honours in Bachelor of Design, Visual Communication.  In the past decade, Lu has been devoted herself to showcasing both Australian and Chinese art and culture to audiences from both countries, through her art & design innovation. She has been recognised as one of the top 10 Emerging Leaders in Innovation from by the Australian Government in 2009 Microsoft Next 100 series. Lu has been running her award-winning design studio in the past 8 years, creating cross-culture artworks featuring Australian animal, plants, landscape, culture and architecture, to Chinese as well as global audiences; which has been featured in major publications including New York Times, Sydney Morning Herald, Computer Art China and so on. Lu has also provided leadership to the Australian artistic communities in understanding and engaging with China.

Visit: Yiying Lu Website

Yiying Lu
Image Courtesy of Tempo pra Nada blog

Catherine Croll and Cultural Partnerships Australia

Catherine is the founding Director of Cultural Partnerships Australia established in 2010 and has held the position of Director Special Projects at Red Gate Gallery (China’s first foreign owned gallery established by Australian Brian Wallace) since 2009.  She is a member of the prestigious International Association of Art Critics (AICA).

Catherine has an extraordinary talent for bringing people from a diverse range of backgrounds together to work towards a common goal. This often involves creating new opportunities for creative expression and collaboration both between and across cultures. Her work has gained widespread recognition in both China and Australia. Catherine is highly respected by her peers for her leadership, courage and enthusiasm.  Since 2006, Catherine has bought her considerable talents, leadership experience and comprehensive networks to China designing cultural exchange projects and high profile exhibitions.  

Visit: Catherine Croll Website

Image Courtesy of Catherine Croll Website


Australia-China Youth Association (ACYA) is a vibrant community of young Australians and Chinese interested in promoting cross-cultural understanding and developing lasting friendships, academic and business partnerships, and professional and educational opportunities.  ACYA has successfully entered into and established a presence and profile in China through an extensive network of relationships established across the three pillars: Careers, Education and People-to-People. These relationships vary in nature, spanning across arts, culture, business, education, and the government sectors.  With hundreds of events annually held across Australia and China; unique internship, study, and volunteer opportunities, a diverse range of publications, and over 5000 members, ACYA is the first port of call for anyone interested in the Australia and China relationship.

Visit: Australia-China Youth Association

ACYA logo
Image Courtesy of Australia-China Youth Association Website

Haileybury School (VIC)

Haileybury College has recently established Australia’s first K-12 school in China as a new area of engagement between Australia and China.

Haileybury International School is located near Beijing and is a boarding school for Chinese students who are seeking a western education and a tertiary pathway to overseas universities.  The development of the school campus in China represents a remarkable exercise in institution-building in China by an Australian educational institution.  The project is the culmination of a fifteen-year initiative that first saw Haileybury create a market for Australian high-school educational IP in China. In 2000, with the support of the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority, Haileybury demonstrated how the Victorian Certificate of Education could be delivered in Chinese schools under Haileybury’s supervision, by Haileybury-trained Chinese teachers. The program is now delivered by Haileybury in ten government and private schools and is also being exported by other Australian providers.

Visit: Haileybury College

Hailebury students
Image Courtesy of HaileyburyCollege

Asia Australia Mental Health (VIC)

Launched in 2003, Asia Australia Mental Health (AAMH) is a consortium of St. Vincent’s Health and the University of Melbourne’s Department of Psychiatry and Asialink.  Through its 12-year partnership with Peking University Institute of Mental Health, as well as the establishment in 2014 of the University of Melbourne-Peking University Centre for Psychiatric Research and Training, AAMH has demonstrated leadership and excellence that has resulted in the provision of evidence-based highly quality mental health services for almost 1 billion Chinese citizens.   In the 12 years, AAMH delivered 217 unique training programs designed collaboratively and implemented by Australia and China mental health partners. These programs have included a total of 2785 days and directly involved 2307 people from China and 1433 people from Australia in the collaboration. This collaboration has been responsible for influencing huge numbers of people and improving the access of mental

Visit: Asia Australia Mental Health

Group shot
Image Courtesy of Asia Australia Mental Health Social Media Account (Flickr)

StudyPerth (WA)

The “Picture Yourself in Perth – PYP Chengdu Competition”, launched in 2011 to support the Sister City relationship between Perth and Chengdu, targets students in Chengdu using Weibo as the primary online promotion channel. Winners become ‘StudyPerth China Student Ambassadors’ and receive a study tour to Perth, posting comments and pictures of their visit on Weibo, thereby introducing their social networks to Australia.

 Program partners include the City of Perth, Tourism WA, WA Department of State Development, Chengdu Municipal Government and WA institutions.  PYP generated awareness about Australia and boost Perth’s reputation as an education destination in the Chengdu media. In 2013 alone it reached 5,000 students in 42 schools and received 560 entries, recognition from the Chengdu City authorities and excellent coverage on TV, online and in print. By 2013 Chengdu was #2-ranked city on the PYP  Weibo site and #1 Chinese city accessing PYP website with 6,600 visitors viewing an average of 4.5 pages.   The PyP’s unique contribution to the Australia-China relationship is that it is a fun, innovative and effective ‘soft sell’ education and destination-branding exercise for Australia and is an outstanding example of a partnership promoting goodwill and mutual understanding between City and State governments and their people.

Visit: StudyPerth

StudyPerth poster
Image Courtesy of StudyPerth


Timothy Coghlan and the Australia-China Fashion Alliance (China)

Based in Beijing, Timothy Coghlan is an expert in the field of Chinese consumers, China market entry, expansion and retail strategies for fashion and retail brands and related services in China.  He is regularly invited by the Australian Embassy, Austrade and Australian Chamber of Commerce to participate in events related to creative industries, market entry and Chinese consumers.

Through his own initiative, dedication and tireless effort, Timothy has also become an ‘evangelist’ for the Australian fashion industry and creative industries in China and in 2012 he founded the Australia-China Fashion Alliance (ACFA) project. ACFA employs ‘catwalk diplomacy’ to enhance bilateral communication, commercial opportunities and cultural exchange for fashion designers, brands, institutions and fashion related services between Australia and China.  ACFA has opened new channels  of business engagement with China and helped to connect Australia and China’s dynamic design and fashion sectors.

Visit: Timothy Coghlan

Image Courtesy of Australia National University Website

Australia-China Youth Dialogue (National)

The Australia-China Youth Dialogue (ACYD) is an entrepreneurial endeavour, started by young Australians and Chinese with an interest in each other's country and a shared understanding that dialogue amongst young people is the key to enhancing the Australia-China relationship.

Each year for the last four years the ACYD has brought together 30 high-performing Australian and Chinese delegates aged 18-35 for a four-day inter-disciplinary dialogue, in which they explore critical themes relevant to both countries and the bilateral relationship.  Dialogue, in a variety of formats, is guided by leading Australian and Chinese experts drawn from a range of backgrounds. The ACYD serves as a powerful platform for identifying emerging leaders in the Australia-China dynamic, challenging them to broader their thinking on the bilateral relationship, and linking delegates with their peers and established leaders.  It is recognised in Australia and China as the premier track-two dialogue for emerging leaders.

Visit: Australia-China Youth Dialogue

Image Courtesy of Australia-China Youth Dialogue

Shenzhen Aolinjia Import and Export Co. Ltd (VIC)

In 1988, Lin family of three migrated to Melbourne from China.  In 1997, Irene and Andy Lin, made the decision to start a small family business - Shenzhen Aolinjia Import and Export Co. Ltd - in their home to export Australian products to China. They were aged of 50 and 52 at the time.

Today, the company has grown to become one of the largest Australian dairy exporters to China and are the exclusive distributors of household Australian names such as Pura, Lemnos, Pure Harvest, Farmers Union, Yoplait and many others. In 2001, the company was recognised by the Australian Chamber of Commerce as the winner of the AustCham/ANZ Australian Business Awards. In 2013, export volumes of Australian dairy products to China exceeded 1700 tonnes; and in 2014 the company successfully introduced Pura fresh milk to China, bringing the very best of Australia to more than one billion dairy consumers. To this day, the company remains a family business, run almost entirely by the same couple that started the company. Irene and Andy pride themselves on the honesty and transparency with which they conduct their business.  Now in their late 60s, Irene and Andy continue to work full time between their home in Melbourne and their office in Shenzhen, China.

Visit: Shenzhen Aolinjia Import and Export Co. Ltd

Directors Irene and Andy Lin in their Shenzhen warehouse surrounded by Australian dairy products.
Image courtesy of Shenzhen Aolinjia Import and Export Co. Ltd

Royal District Nursing Service Limited (VIC)

RDNS (Royal District Nursing Service) is sharing 130 years of community healthcare experience to assist in China’s response to the issues of ageing population.  Through innovative partnerships, RDNS is able to bring new thinking combined with Australian standards and operational models to local communities in China.  Working closely with governments, hospitals, doctors, carers, healthcare providers, peak bodies, and many other stakeholders, RDNS offers expertise in nursing, home-care services, education and training and seniors living design and management.

Since 2011, RDNS has builttwo major projects in China both in partnership with local organisations, Zhongshan Vocational College and Beijing Real Estate Association/Geely University, Beijing to addres the growing problems of health-care capabilities and aged care.

Visit: Royal District Nursing Service Limited

Image courtesy of Royal District Nursing Service

Last Updated: 4 December 2014