UOW graduates honoured at Australia-China Alumni Awards

UOW graduates honoured at Australia-China Alumni Awards

Award recognises significant achievements of Australian-educated graduates in China

Two graduates from the University of Wollongong (UOW) have been named winners at the prestigious Australia-China Alumni Awards, recognising their outstanding achievements and contribution in their respective fields.

The Awards celebrate the accomplishments of alumni who have excelled in their respective fields and have made significant contributions to the bilateral relationship between Australia and China.

Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Patricia M. Davidson congratulated the UOW graduates for their accomplishments on the global stage and strengthening relationships between Australia and China.

“We are immensely proud of our graduates, who are making a positive impact on the world through their diverse achievements and unwavering commitment to making a change,” Professor Davidson said.

“They not only shape the narrative of their alma mater but also create a positive impact on the world, embodying the transformative power of education and putting into effect their shared wisdom in real life scenarios.”

Mavis Mak was awarded in the Arts and Creative Industries Category. She is the co-founder and Integrated Marketing Communications Director of Sage House, an award-winning creative and marketing agency, which has gained international recognition, and an exceptional curator, entrepreneur, and integrated marketing strategist whose impact on the global arts and creative industries is truly remarkable. She graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing) from the Wollongong campus.

With over two decades of experience, Ms Mak has reshaped art curation, turning it into immersive experiences that bridge brands and artists through innovative creative strategies.

“After receiving the ACAA for Arts and Creative Industries, I'm deeply grateful for the inspiration and guidance I received from the University of Wollongong,” Ms Mak said.

“UOW ignited my passion for art and creativity, setting me on a path that led to the founding of Sage House. This award not only honors my achievements but also recognises the bridge we've built between Australia and China through Sage House. We've been able to showcase Australian creativity in China, fostering mutual appreciation.

“I thank UOW for shaping my career and for its lasting impact on the global arts and creative industries. I'm committed to strengthening cultural ties between our nations through art and marketing.”

Professor Qi Gu graduated from UOW with a Doctor of Philosophy and a Graduate Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He is a professor at both the Beijing Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine and the Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He received judges’ commendation in the Research and Science Category, which recognises alumni who have contributed to the development of research and science that has made a significant impact on the Australia-China community.

Dr Gu spearheads a laboratory renowned for its advancements in biomaterials and cutting-edge technologies, notably 3D/4D bioprinting, and has published over 30 peer-reviewed articles in prestigious journals, primarily delving into bioprinting, bio fabrication, and stem cell engineering research. He lends his expertise to the editorial boards of esteemed journals, such as Cell Proliferation, Bioactive Materials and Bio Medical Engineering Materials.

“Reflecting on my time at UOW, I am filled with fond memories that have significantly shaped my career and personal growth,” Dr Gu said.

“The vibrant community and the supportive environment at UOW, particularly the multidisciplinary research at the Innovation Campus and the Intelligent Polymer Research Institute (IPRI), have been instrumental in my journey.

“My time with my supervisors, Gordon Wallace and Jeremy Crook, has been incredibly enriching, teaching me invaluable lessons. I am especially grateful to Prof. Wallace, who not only provided me with this opportunity but also introduced me to this field a decade ago. His creativity, passion, and success as a scientist have been a constant source of inspiration for me. While I recognise that there's still a long way for me to reach his level of expertise, his mentorship has been a guiding light in shaping my research interests and scientific framework.

“The spirit of innovation, mentorship, and camaraderie on campus has always inspired me. I particularly cherish the collaborative projects I was a part of, which challenged me intellectually and helped me forge lasting friendships and professional networks. Receiving this commendation is not just an honour; it serves as a poignant reminder of the wonderful experiences at UOW that have significantly contributed to who I am today, and it inspires me to continue pushing the boundaries in my professional journey.”

Another two UOW graduates were named as finalists and recognised for their outstanding contributions in their respective fields of expertise.

Wei Tang was named as a finalist in the Innovation in Business Category. A Master of Computer Studies graduate from UOW, Mr Tang has an impressive track record of over 20 years in the internet and fintech industries, with a particular focus on payment services. As a founding member and executive manager of Huifu Payment Group, a leading payment and financial technology company, he has successfully led numerous provincial and ministerial level research and development projects and achieved significant economic and social benefits. Mr Tang and his team have contributed more than 530 patents and copyrights.

Jianbin (Benson) Liu studied at Sydney Business School and graduated with a Master of International Business. He was named as a finalist in the Major Corporate Achievement Category. This award celebrates alumni who have made significant accomplishments within a corporate environment across all industry sectors.

Currently Managing Director and CEO of Qingdao Talent Group, a state-owned government talent work platform company, Mr Liu graduated from UOW in 2002 with a master’s degree in management. He has held important positions in international and domestic human resource service organisations such as FESCO, Randstad, China Chengtong Group, and served as the secretary general of the CHO Institute, the Chief Human Resource Officer of Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business, and the director of the CPHR Human Resource Management Association Beijing Branch.

Photo : Mavis Mak, Professor Qi Gu, Wei Tang and Jianbin (Benson) Liu.