Treasuring alumni’s contributions to Australia-Vietnam bilateral relations

The Australian Embassy and the Vietnam-Australia Friendship Association co-hosted the inaugural Australian Alumni Awards on 19 April. These Awards, presented by Australia’s Trade and Tourism Minister, honoured the achievements of those Vietnamese who have studied in Australia. It was a particularly fitting celebration during the 50th year of the Australia-Vietnam diplomatic relationship. 

From more than 200 nominations, eighteen alumni were finalists and six of these received awards across six categories:

Alumni of the Year: Prof., Dr Tran Tho Dat

Business and Innovation Award: Ms Dang Thi Huong

Women in Leadership Award : Dr Vo Thi Hoang Yen

Social Action Award: Ms Nguyen Thuy Tien

Young Alumni Award: Mr Ho Thai Binh

Climate Action Award: Dr Pham Thu Thuy

Award winners were just a small portion of the many alumni who are leaders in their fields, contributing to Vietnam’s development and acting as ambassadors for our bilateral relationship.

The Australian Trade and Tourism Minister, Senator the Hon Don Farrell, said “I’m pleased to engage with alumni in Vietnam. Alumni help to add depth to Australia’s economic diplomacy, building trade, investment and business linkages, not only in Vietnam, but more broadly in the Southeast Asian region.”

Minister Don Farrell tours the display booths of alumni-led businesses at the award ceremony.

Chairman of the Vietnam Australia Friendship Association, Prof Tran Van Nhung, who was a member of the Award Assessment panel commented “I have the privilege of reading many award nominations which showcase significant contributions which are different but of equal importance to Vietnam’s development but also to the stability and growth of the region and the world. That made it very tough for us to choose the award winners.’

Education is at the heart of the bilateral relationship between Australia and Vietnam. With the first scholarship in 1974, there are now more than 6,500 Australia Awards Scholarships alumni, contributing to the community of over 80,000 Australian alumni in Vietnam. Education supports Vietnam to have the skills it needs to grow and tackle emerging challenges and opportunities. It also helps our two countries understand each other better through friendships, travel and study.

Dr Vo Hoang Yen, winner of the Women in Leadership Award shared “My life was transformed by my studies in Australia, and I hope that these awards show everyone what is possible and inspire even more people to take up studies.”

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