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Aussie Alumni Reunion 2019: Recalling memories, opening up the future

 

Aussie Alumni meet up in Ho Chi Minh City
Aussie Alumni meet up in Ho Chi Minh City

Education & Times Newspaper- Hundreds of Australian Alumni students gathered in Ho Chi Minh City to recall their beautiful shared memories in Australia and discuss future opportunities, cooperation plans, and networking activities. 

The Reunion is frequently held by the Australian Embassy in Vietnam as one of the special events of the Australian alumni community. 

"The alumni I have talked to are proud upon their return to Vietnam. Our connections are very strong and we are also proud of the 70,000 alumni who come and study in Australia and then go back to Vietnam and grasp opportunities in their homeland. I believe that the people to people links between Vietnam and Australia will continue to grow strongly”-said Ms. Julianne Cowley - Australian Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City. 

With a focus on empowering and bringing opportunities to people with disabilities, this year’s Aussie Alumni Reunion provided a platform for special leaders to share their thoughts and views. 

As a speaker at a workshop under this event, Ms. Vo Hoang Yen, Founder cum Director of Center for Disability Research and Capacity Development (DRD), according to Forbes one of the 50 most influential women in Vietnam in 2019, helped participants to understand the important role of supporting and assisting the lives of people with disabilities, and giving them opportunities to study and strive. 

Ms. Vo Hoang Yen has just successfully defended her PhD dissertation following her study in Australia under the Australian Awards Scholarship. 

Ms Julianne Cowley Australian Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City gave 65 million dong to Ms. Vo Hoang Yen
Ms. Julianne Cowley - Australian Consul-General in Ho Chi Minh City - gave 65 million dong to Ms. Vo Hoang Yen. This amount was contributed by Australian alumni to help the DRD Companion scholarship program to increase the number of beneficiaries 

“Only 0.1% of people with disabilities can access higher education among the 10 million people with disabilities in Vietnam, and many of them are at risk of dropping out.

Without education, people with disabilities will not be able to overcome poverty and their feelings of inferiority. Without proper education, people with disabilities will be unwanted burdens for their family and society. They will suffer from helplessness and will feel guilty about being useless. If they do not study, even if they do not want to, people with disabilities will only be a burden for their families and society.

I am very grateful to the Australian Government for giving me this valuable opportunity to study and prove myself” –said Ms. Hoang Yen. 

Enthusiastically participating in the ceremony, Ms. Nguyễn Thị Lan Anh – Founder of Action to the Community Development Center (ACDC) – a network with a mission to “bring hope and belief” to the disability community, recalled the times she studied Social Work in Australia. 

Ms Nguyen Thi Lan Anh
Ms. Nguyễn Thị Lan Anh.

Ms. Lan Anh said the Australia Awards Scholarship is the only scholarship program in the world that gives study opportunities to people with disabilities. Even after the study, the Australian Government provides capacity building training programs to not only people with disabilities but also to other students to help people understand clearly about the difficulties that people with disabilities have to face, and to propose policies that can best support people with disabilities. 

This is an integrated assistance for not only people with disabilities but also the whole community; then society will have a better understanding of how to support and create opportunities for people with disabilities to integrate and strive. 

Assoc Prof Dr Do Van Dung Merited Artist Rector of the University of Technical Education Ho Chi Minh City
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Do Van Dung – Merited Artist, Rector of the University of Technical Education Ho Chi Minh City (UTE), an alumnus of the Education Management Faculty at the University of Sydney (Australia).

In a cozy atmosphere of the ceremony, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Do Van Dung, Merited Artist, Rector of the University of Technical Education Ho Chi Minh City, an alumnus of the Education Management Faculty at the University of Sydney (Australia) was happy to meet his old friends and connect with new partners!

“I am very glad and fully support the theme of this year’s event – to support people with disabilities. The University of Technical Education Ho Chi Minh City is a pioneer in supporting people with disabilities; our disabled students are provided wheelchairs and tuition exemption.

I do hope the Australian Alumni community will continue its support to help people with disabilities to overcome difficulties and to succeed in life.” – shared Assoc. Prof. Dr. Do Van Dung.

Some photos taken at the Aussie Alumni Reunion 2019 

Ms Julianne Cowley visits booths introducing products made by Australian Alumni students
Ms. Julianne Cowley – Australian Consul-General in Ho Chi Minh City visits booths introducing products made by Australian Alumni students

The Aussie Alumni Reunion connects members
The Aussie Alumni Reunion connects members 

Sharing start up experience
Sharing start-up experience

A corner at the Alumni Reunion
A corner at the Alumni Reunion 

Father and daughter accompanied mother to the Reunion
Father and daughter accompanied mother to the Reunion. When mother catches up with her friends, they discuss coloring the painting

Children excitingly participate in the play zone
Children excitingly participate in the play zone 

Face painting at the event
Face painting at the event 

Being inspired by the Aussie Alumni Reunion 2019 and their parents these children expect to study in Australia in the future
Being inspired by the Aussie Alumni Reunion 2019 and their parents, these children expect to study in Australia in the future

Source: Translation of an article on Education and Times Newspaper