The University of Newcastle, Australia

A message from the current and Founding Presidents

Never too late – journey to formal education
by Dr Aaron Chiang, current President of the Hong Kong Alumni Chapter

Aaron ChiangThroughout the past 30 years, as a professional within the Human Resources sector, I have become an advocate of life-long learning – not only for others but for myself, also. With the determination to be a well-rounded professional, I pursued further studies for admission into professional associations, including the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, the Chartered Institute of Linguists and The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. This also led me to obtain my MBA and a full membership to the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in the 1990’s. As the years passed by I developed an interest in obtaining my doctorate and in August 2006 I enrolled for online study through the Hartford Institute.

Although it was demanding, having recently commenced a new job, the degree program gave me the opportunity to meet students from outside Hong Kong which I thoroughly valued. I found it an interested experience, being able to complete all assessments through UON’s blackboard and only communicate to my supervisor, Professor Timothy Bartram, through Skype. In February 2009, I was delighted to receive a formal letter from UON informing me that I had passed all the requirements of the program, and would be awarded my Doctorate.

My ability to self-discipline throughout the course was my most satisfying realization. I could now demonstrate to all that I excelled at academia, even after my secondary schooling.

Although the title of Doctor did not bring to me any direct monetary rewards, the value I found in myself for completing the program was one that I treasured more.  In fact, many questioned whether it would be a better return to invest my tuition fees into the property or stock markets. I still remain strong that the satisfaction I obtained from the course cannot be measured monetarily.

My Doctorate has certainly enhanced my status as the Principal of the People Development Academy and also gives me the recognition as an academic. In my current position, I facilitate communications with the Education Bureau and other tertiary institutions so this confidence as an academic now enables me to foster closer working relationships with them.

All in all, I cherish the new avenue that the completion of the program opened for me. I will strive to work as hard as I can, so that I can reap the greatest benefits from my studies. I am proud to lead by example in my belief of lifelong learning.

A message from the Founding President of UON's Hong Kong Alumni Chapter, Mr Chu, Chun Loong.

HK Alumni Chapter Founding PresidentIt gives me great pleasure to be asked by President, Aaron Chiang, to contribute a message celebrating the golden jubilee of the University of Newcastle (UON) and its excellence in education, research and innovation. So much has changed since I was last at the Callaghan campus. The University is much bigger, more international and more successful than ever. I remember the University as an exciting and challenging place in which to study and enjoy learning and meeting people.

It was on 3 November 1992 at a reunion dinner at the Overseas Bankers Club that Vice-Chancellor Professor Keith Morgan presented a certificate to commemorate the inauguration of the Council of The University of Newcastle, Australia - Alumni Association of Hong Kong. The next day, the Testamur Presentation Ceremony (overseas graduation ceremony), the first of its kind, was held in Hong Kong. The ceremony took place at Loke Yew Hall, University of Hong Kong. At the Ceremony, Professor Keith Morgan presented testamurs to 83 graduates. Over 500 people attended including University staff, graduates and their family and friends. The Council members of the Alumni Association were honoured to be invited to join the academic procession and the official platform party at the ceremony. The Alumni Association has been active in Hong Kong ever since and the Testamur Presentation Ceremony has continued to be an annual event.

In 1966 I arrived in Newcastle under the traineeship scheme offered by The Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited (BHP), and later that year enrolled as a part-time student at UON studying a Bachelor of Science (Engineering) degree while working full-time in the Newcastle Steelworks of BHP in Mayfield. From 1967 to 1973, I experienced the development of the Callaghan campus watching buildings rise through the bushland and classes move out of the Tighes Hill campus.

In 1988, the University of Newcastle started implementing a program seeking to attract a greater number of overseas students to study at the University. Mr Phillip Alexander, then the University Secretary, sought my assistance in organising reunion dinners in Hong Kong for him to meet returned graduates to help gather together, foster and encourage fellowship. In the subsequent years, I was given the opportunity to help organise a number of reunion dinners in Hong Kong for visiting University staff.

On 16 August 1991, I called for and Chaired a formal meeting for the purpose of setting up The University of Newcastle, Australia - Alumni Association of Hong Kong. An Organising Committee was successfully formed by ten alumni, and they were the founding members.

By 6 August 1992, the Constitution incorporated all the relevant comments from the University and was finalised by the Organising Committee. We were ready for registration. An application was then sent to Royal Hong Kong Police Force for registration of the Alumni Association.

At the meeting held on 9 October 1992 at the Staff Club of the Hong Kong Polytechnic, the following office bearers were elected:

President:  Chu Chun Loong, BSci(Eng), MEngSci
Vice President: Tam Kai Shing, BSci, MEngSci, ME
Hon. Secretary: Chu Hon Kwong, BE
Hon. Treasurer: Lo Ching Cheung, BE
Council Members: So Wai Kwan, BCom. Yuen Kwok Cheung, BArch. Lo Rupert, BDesign (Arch), BArch

It has given me much pleasure seeing the Alumni Association striding forward over the past 24 years.

I humbly declare the most influential and beneficial piece of advice in my life, which comes from the motto of the University of Newcastle, Australia: ‘I Look Ahead’.