Nordic Forum and AMBCQ Christmas Party
13th December 2014
We enjoyed a simple Nordic Julbord - Swedish rye crisp, pepparkakor (gingerbread), smoked salmon, ocean trout, cold ham, lingon sauce, dill mustard, gurka (pickled gherkins), sweetmustard, beet salad, fruit platter, cheese platter and various nibbles, fruit punch, wine and beer - and Tomte/Tonttu brought some gifts for the children. Fortunately they were all well behaved and none of them received a lump of coal from the Joulupukki (yule goat). We held the event at extremely short notice - just over 24 hours - due to uncertainties with the weather. It was wonderful to have several dozen members, friends and supporters at the event including several overseas visitors. Merry Christmas everyone! Glædelig Jul! Hyvaa Joulua! God Jul Ett Gott Nytt År!
Shona Leppänen-Gibson, President AMBCCQ, Chairman, Nordic Forum
Brisbane City Council Corporate Christmas Party
6th December 2014
Kiong and I attended the Brisbane City Council Corporate Christmas Party with baby Suvi. It was a nice opportunity to catch up with many friends including Lord Mayor Graham Quirk, Cr Kim Marx, Cr Angela Owen-Taylor, Cr Krista Adams and many others from business, industry, public service and the consular corps.
It was lovely to see Brisbane City Hall draped in the colourful lights that were used recently when the city played host to the G20 Summit.
Shona Leppänen-Gibson, President AMBCQ
Christmas a’la Malaysia with Master Chef Adam Liaw
20th November 2014
AMBCQ had the pleasure of working with the Trade Commission to organise the Christmas a'la Malaysia Dinner, with Australian TV Celebrity Chef Adam Liaw. It was lovely to have the support of more than 140 official guests and good friends. Also present were renowned restaurateur Wolfgang Kaspar and award winning baker and Brisbane's 'King of Cakes'Wolfgang Kelke, and other well known restaurateurs. It was lovely also to have the Malaysian Trade Commissioner Nor Hayati Abu Noh (based in Melbourne) and Deputy Trade Commissioner Jude Bryan Dass fly to Brisbane and they did a wonderful job promoting bilateral trade. Thank you to Lucas Follbring, Maniphon Follbring, Tan Han Shen, and Nicole Ngfor all the help and to all AMBCQ members for supporting the Christmas dinner. Merry Christmas everyone!
G20 Reception for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
16th November 2014
A large group of our members and supporters attended the Reception in Honour of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the G20 Summit in Brisbane. It was a really hot day - 40 degrees Celsius. We were taken out of the long queue when our dear friend Police Commissioner Ian Stewart personally intervened insisted that we get in front of him because he said we had a new born baby .
The kids received invitations to the event and were very excited to be attending an event during G20. We saw the US President’s helicopter Marine One taking off from Brisbane and head towards RAAF Amberley, to send the US President to the awaiting Air Force One (that was the closest we ever got to the President).
It was nice to catch up with many friends including the Lord Mayor of Brisbane; the State Attorney General; the Police Minister; the Minister for Science, IT, Innovation and the Arts; numerous Councillors and Mayors; State MPs and Federal MPs; and the consuls from various countries and many others.
Premier of Queensland’s Reception for the Indian Community
28th October 2014
A group of our members and supporters attended the Premier's Reception at Queensland Parliament like we do each year. I like to think of it as a part of our annual Deepavali celebrations (which for all intents and purposes, it is). It was lovely to catch up with many old friends and acquaintances such as Minister for Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts the Hon. Ian Walker MP, Peter Dowling MP, Ray Stevens MP, Michael Latter MP, Trevor Watts MP, Mark Boothman MP, and Neil Symes MP - all great fellows. Also lovely to catch up with many other friends. Happy Deepavali!
As many of us celebrated Deepavali that evening it was worth remembering the services of our late Mentor Dr Peter Yeoh without whom there would be no such event at Queensland Parliament during Deepavali or indeed Chinese New Year.
Canberra Catch Up
30th September 2014
Went to the Malaysian High Commissioner's residence for an official reception and caught up with a few friends such as the British High Commissioner and others such as the Slovak Ambassador, the Polish Ambassador, the Indonesian Ambassador, the Croatian Ambassador, the Iraqi Ambassador, the South Korean Ambassador, the Singaporeans as well as the current head of the Australian Defence Force, the former head of Defence Force Air Marshall Angus Houston (who led the Joint Agency Coordination Centre's search for missing flight MH370), senior army, air force and navy officers from Malaysia and Australia, and many others.
Entrepreneurship Panel with UQMSA
Very happy to support our friends at UQ Malaysian Student Association by participating in this discussion panel. On the panel were AMBCQ committee members Isobelle Torralba, Financial Advisor with Morgans, Shaeed Mohammed, BOQ Manager, Dr Sushil Pandey, Chief Scientist with Qld Health, and myself, GM with Paradigm Infinitum. Thank you to Leroy, UQMSA President, for inviting us, to Tan Han Shen for facilitating the panel and to all at UQMSA for having us.
50th Anniversary of Bilateral Relations - Casual Dining Out
As a bilateral business council, the AMBCQ celebrates Australia Day and Malaysia Day every year. This evening we organised a very casual dinner at Waterford in Logan to celebrate the 51st year of the formation of Malaysia and the 50th anniversary of bilateral relations. The food this evening was a great reflection of Malaysia - sago from the indigenous tribesmen, and all types of dishes with origins or featuring key influences from India, Southern China, Indonesia, Europe as well as our mother country the United Kingdom.
Members enjoyed fish head curry, braised pork belly, marmite chicken, kangkung squid, and butter oat prawns, followed by sago pudding, banana fritters and fried ice cream and Carlsberg beer.
AMBCQ Ball 2014
Our annual AMBCQ Australia-Malaysia Ball was held on Friday night and as usual we had a wonderful time, thanks to all who supported the event. It was great to celebrate with our key supporters, USQ, Griffith University, Logan City Council and Air Asia X, and numerous other members.
August 2014 - Ongoing
The AMBCQ encourages members to take part in activities outside of work and business. Pictured are Cr Krista Adams, Cr Matthew Bourke, Ilkka Chang and Kiong Chan enjoying a game of carrom. Carrom is a game that was popular in many British colonies and territories, and AMBCQ members from Malaya, India, the UK, Kenya, Tanganyika, North Borneo, Sarawak, Rhodesia, Ceylon and Singapore will know that it is still played in those places. Carrom is not only a great game but it also helps bring people together socially.
Apart from diplomatic, trade, investment, government and business events, AMBCQ members meet in Brisbane for carrom and other parlour games over a curry tiffin and traditional Malayan and Straits Settlements beverages such as Gin Pahit, Whisky Stengah, Gin and Tonic, Brandy Ginger Ale, sherry, beer and shandy. Our Carrom group is expected to be very popular amongst members from Australia and abroad, and is an acknowledgement of Australia and Malaysia’s proudly shared British heritage.
Kiong (Wai Kiong CHAN)
Dragon Boat Tug-O-War
Recently, the AMBCQ Water Dragons participated in a one-off event at the Manly Pool to support the Brisbane River Dragons, who provide training for our dragon boat team. The Tug of War was a very different and fun event and our team came a very impressive third place overall, including against some very practised teams. Photos and video of the event are available in our Facebook group, and a video has been uploaded to our Youtube channel -
Dinner with Joel Backwell
This evening in our private dining room at the Stamford Plaza Brisbane, we had the pleasure to host a special visitor from KL, Mr Joel Backwell. Joel is Australia’s Assistant Trade Commissioner in Malaysia. He is an Arts/Law graduate, majoring in Indonesian language, history and politics. After graduation, Joel worked for an Australian law firm Freehills (now Herbert Smith Freehills) as a lawyer, which included stints in Jakarta with Indonesian law firm Soemadipradja & Taher and with Santos, a major Australian oil and gas company. Between 2010 to 2012, Joel was a senior policy adviser in the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet, and contributed to a number of Victoria’s international engagement policies. In 2013, Joel was appointed as Australia’s Assistant Trade Commissioner to Malaysia at our High Commission in KL.
Early Oktoberfest Celebration
Yesterday we held an ‘Early Oktoberfest’ in our garden with AMBCQ members, with a blue and white theme to pay homage to the Bavarian flag. We also had the honour of hosting the President, committee and members of the German Business Association. Unfortunately the German Consul is in Europe and could not make it. Still it was loads of fun. The event was held in honour of the AMBCQ Water Dragons, our boaters, who again competed cleanly and as usual they did very well again finishing with a silver. We thanked all paddlers, not forgetting the special contribution of Sapphira Toh and our drummer Isobelle Toh. Other boaters present were Joel Kok, Claire Taylor, Liesha Karlsson, Marten Karlsson, Sim Chan, Shona and myself.
Queensland Day Citizenship Ceremony
7th June 2014
Every year, Shona and I are lucky to be invited to attend the Queensland Day Citizenship Ceremony as guests of our state. This year the event was hosted by our lovely friend, Assistant Minister Robert Cavallucci MP, representing the Premier, and also in attendance was our Lord Mayor of Brisbane - Graham Quirk, the best Lord Mayor our city has ever had. It was also good to catch up with several friends including Freya Ostapovitch MP for Stretton and also Pat and Nick Xynias who is my dear friend and my fellow member of one of the Lord Mayor's Roundtables. It was also lovely to chat with Clifton Hefner of the Australian American Association and his partner Teresa Craig.
What a pleasure to connect with other patriots. As always I renewed my pledge of loyalty to Australia and of course I never fail to include a special pledge to Her Majesty our Queen. God Save the Queen! Happy Queensland Day!
Kiong (Wai Kiong CHAN)
Parkinson Ward Hakka Association Dragon Boat Festival
1st June 2014
We came second!!! Huzzah! We placed first in both our heats, and came second in the final. Congratulations to the Vietnamese community team on winning for the fourth year in a row. Thanks to Wai Kiong Chan for all the organising, logistics, cooking, tea making, and everything else he always does. Thanks to Sapphira Toh for organising and leading the team and lending her dragon boating experience. Thanks to Marten Karlsson and Liesha Karlsson for helping us to bring equipment (and Ilkka), and to the many people who turned up early to help set up. Thanks to Katherine, Kimberely and Albert for joining us, and to Albert's girlfriend (I'm sorry, her name escapes me) for stepping in and helping with the kids too. Thanks to Ju Ween and Andrea for all the help herding and entertaining all those kids (8!). And thanks to Kiong and Ju Ween for taking most of these photos.
Premier's Chinese New Year Reception
We managed to catch up with Premier Campbell Newman and Mrs Newman, Mark Stewart MP, Anthony Shorten MP, Freya Ostapovitch MP for Stretton, Tarnya Smith MP, Health Minister the Hon Lawrence Springborg MP, Cr Vicki Howard,Cr Steven Huang, Cr Angela Owen-Taylor, Minister for Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts the Hon Ian Walker MP. It was a great opportunity to catch up with the Premier, Ministers and MPs and Councillors, and most of them have been our good friends for many years and continue to work hard for the Queensland community.
Queensland Trade Commissioner to ASEAN
AMBCQ had the privilege of hosting Queensland’s newly appointed Trade Commissioner to ASEAN, Mr Marah Hoessein Salim. Hoessein flew in from Singapore to Brisbane for a series of meetings before starting his Jakarta Indonesia based-role. We continued with the tradition of hosting Trade Commissioners at our home to create a more personal touch to a new working relationship. Hoessein was previously a Consul for Singapore and a Centre Director for Singapore’s Trade Development Board in various countries around the world. His last several positions were as a senior executive in several government-linked corporations including Jurong Town Corporation, Ascendas and lately Keppel Land International, where he served as Assistant General Manager. Hossein speaks several languages, and was able to put his linguistic skills to good use at the dinner.