Medicine graduate wins international award

Friday, 28 November 2014

Dr Chee Hsiang Liow, a highly-accomplished medical professional committed to improving community health in poverty-stricken areas of rural China, has won the Australia China Alumni Award (ACAA) for Research and Innovation.

The UON Medicine graduate received the honour at a gala dinner at the Intercontinental Shanghai Puxi last night. The ACAA's are highly competitive and open to all graduates of Australian universities living in China. The award recognises Chee's significant contribution to research and innovation in the field of medicine.

After graduating from UON in 1998, Chee worked in various hospitals in Singapore while completing a Masters of Medicine (Public Health) with the National University of Singapore.

"At school I had always been drawn towards life sciences and biology," Chee said.

"The lack of healthcare in developing countries prompted the idea of studying medicine so that I could contribute in these places."

In 2002 Chee joined Bless China International (BCI), a NGO operating across six sites in China's Yunnan Province providing healthcare, community development and child services to 42,000 people annually.

He began as the Village Doctor Training Program Director and spent two years designing and improving BCI's Village Doctor Training Program, which has now trained more than 500 doctors.

In 2005 he began work as the HIV/AIDS Department Director where he designed a pilot HIV/AIDS prevention program that targeted 30,000 high-risk candidates and has shown significant behavioural changes. 

Chee has also trained village doctors and nurses in Myanmar in basic healthcare and HIV management, as well as facilitated the design of a HIV/Tuberculosis care and monitoring structure in four states within Myanmar.

He partnered with China National Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in various research projects including serving as principal investigator in a study of HIV and sexually transmitted diseases among commercial sex workers.

Chee also advised in the design of a HIV/AIDS Consortium in the Mekong region to reduce HIV transmission by preventing human trafficking.

"Although I'm passionate about medicine, public health and research, I see these only as tools to accomplish a greater goal," Chee said.

"My passion is to build and equip local leaders in various disciplines to own, lead, manage and up-scale projects in places of need. I hope they in turn will do the same – envision and equip other local leaders to start their own projects using local resources."

Two years ago Chee became Chairman of BCI's General Management Team. 

Chee is an outstanding graduate of UON, and was this year a finalist in the Exceptional Community Service category of UON's Alumni Awards. We offer a warm congratulations to Chee.

Chee workshop

Related news

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.