Australian alumni in Vietnam exchanged their wealth of knowledge on harnessing resources, human and society, and responsible growth at this year’s Symposiums, a series of three events showcasing alumni’s achievements in their professional and community work to the wider community.
Throughout three symposiums, more than 50 alumni presenters shared their inspiring stories to hundreds of in-person and online participants who are fellow alumni and their colleges, friends, and students from across Vietnam.
In addition, a dozen of alumni-led enterprises introduced their contributions to responsible growth in Vietnam through business displays on the sidelines of the symposiums, ranging from digitalisation solutions to organic farming and telemedicine.
Ho Thai Binh, RMIT and University of Queensland alumni and keynote speaker at Symposium 3, introduced Survival Skills Vietnam – SSVN, an alumni-led social enterprise providing first-aid training for Vietnamese. “SSVN came to be as a collaboration between Australian alumni from very different backgrounds. It is amazing to continue meeting like-minded people from many fields through alumni activities and I would encourage other alumni to take this wonderful opportunity to compile our diverse knowledge,” Binh said.
Ho Thai Binh introduces several ways alumni can contribute to improving survival skills for themselves and their communities.
Bui Huong Giang, Flinders University alumni, and presenter at Symposium 2 said, “Being alumni is not just about getting an education, but it also lets me be a part of these kinds of opportunities – hearing from other people who are making a real difference in Vietnam and being inspired for my own future.”
Dr Vo Thi Hoang Yen, La Trobe University alumni, introduces DRD Vietnam’s model in improving quality of life for disadvantaged groups.
Through Aus4Skills, Australia is supporting the long-term professional development of alumni, including skills and networking. This is part of Australia’s support for Vietnam’s inclusive socioeconomic development, contributing to strengthening the two countries’ partnership.
Ms Cherie Russell, Counsellor of Development Cooperation at the Australian Embassy in Vietnam, said “Education is the strongest link in Australia and Vietnam’s bilateral relationship. Alumni symposiums is one of the many ways we are collaborating to support knowledge sharing in priority development areas of Vietnam.”
Symposiums were opportunities for alumni to expand their networks and discuss potential collaboration.
There are over 80,000 Vietnamese alumni of Australian education since 1973. Many have become leaders, advocates and influencers contributing towards Vietnam’s inclusive socioeconomic development both as individuals and through professional networks.
Presentations at the symposium highlighted alumni’s achievements thanks to benefits they have gained as alumni after their experience in the world-class Australian education.
Alumni enjoyed opportunities to Australian Alumni Grants Funds (AAGF), launched each year and offering up to VND 325 million to implement projects that contribute to the development of Vietnam.
In addition, regular activities hosted by six Professional Groups have helped alumni maintain connections in their fields as well as develop new skills.
Dr Nguyen Thi Thuy, University of Melbourne alumni, introduces her AAGF-funded project “Using traditional crafts for self-sustenance and disaster preparedness: a case study of Sung village.”
Alumni engagement is among key components of Aus4Skills and activities celebrating 50 years of diplomatic relations between Australia and Vietnam.