Malayan Colonial Christmas Soiree
12th December 2015
For our Christmas party this year, we were transported back in time to 1955 Malacca, to the a tropical Christmas soiree at the Capitol Theatre on Wolferstan Rd, Malacca at a wonderful, happy, prosperous, and harmonious era for Malaya. The Capitol Theatre was the place to be in town and was "the finest sound house in Malaya" with a modern lounge and bar. Attached to it was the commodious Capitol Dance Hall, "Malacca's one and only most up-to-date palais de danse". Outside the Capitol Theatre, Mr Low would be crouched over a charcoal fire, serving up his famous invention of ‘Satay Celup’, a satay fondue of numerous varieties of meat, vegetable and seafood satay skewers. While the adults enjoyed a few cocktails, some of the kids tried their hands at carom, the colonial era game of choice that was popular empire-wide.
Deepavali Business Forum and Dinner
27th November 2015
This year's Deepavali event was a Business Forum and dinner, with a business panel exploring the topic ‘Business, Investment and Trade in India and South Asia’. We were joined by 60 people from the international business community, academia, trade specialists, analysts, government officials and business people as we explored business, trade and investment opportunities in India and the South Asian markets of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh. The panel examined how skills, resources and supply chains in locations such as Malaysia and Singapore plus the Indian diaspora networks can provide leverage for Australian firms. Following the panel discussion, a cocktail and a Malaysian and Singaporean-style Deepavali buffet was served. The venue for the event was provided by architectus, a successful Australian exporter to India.
VJ Day Commemoration and Dinner
11th September 2015
We marked the 70th Anniversary of Victory Over Japan Day (VJ Day) in the former General Headquarters of the Supreme Allied Commander in the Southwest Pacific, General Douglas MacArthur. We held a memorial service at the Shrine of Remembrance at ANZAC Square, where Shona conducted a service before our piper played a lament. Afterwards we adjourned to the MacArthur Museum for cocktail and dinner. Guests included Consul General Dr Zhao Yongchen of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China accompanied by Consul Zhang Wei and Vice Consul Ding, Claudia Luttringhaus representing the German Consulate, and Deputy Consul General Takahiko Watabe of the Consulate General of Japan
Visit of the Deputy High Commissioner and the Second Secretary
22-14 August 2015
We hosted the vist of Malaysia's Deputy High Commissioner to Australia Mr Zamani Ismail and the Sceond Secrretary Mr Hezry Arifin to Queensland. Both dilopmats attended AMBCQ's Australia Malaysia Ball, and we also visited a number of stakeholders in Brisbane and the Gold Coast including the Asset Institute.
Australia Malaysia Ball
22nd August 2015
Official guests in no particular order:
• Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Parliamentary Sec to the Attorney General (representing the Australian Foreign Minister and the Attorney General for Australia)
• The Hon. Dr Anthony Lynham MP, Queensland Minister for State Dev, and Minister for Resources and Mines
• The Rt Hon the Lord Mayor of Brisbane Cr Graham Quirk and Lady Mayoress Anne Quirk
• Mr Zamani Ismail, Malaysian Deputy High Commissioner
• Mr Hezry Arifin, Second Secretary
• Ms Alison Carrington, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's Queensland state office
• Cr Norm Wyndham, Brisbane City Council
• Cr Matt Bourke, Brisbane City Council
• Cr Fiona King, Brisbane City Council
• Bert Van Manen MP, Federal Member for Forde
• The Hon Bernie Ripoll MP, Federal Member for Oxley
• Mark Boothman MP, State Member for Albert
Dinner with the Hon Scott Emerson MP
17th July 2015
We hosted a private dinner with the Hon. Scott Emerson MP, Queensland Shadow Minister for Transport and former Transport Minister. Scott is a dynamic leader with a distinguished track record. He and his wife Robin were renowned for their active involvement in the Brisbane community in the western suburbs. Scott was the Queensland bureau chief for Australia’s national daily newspaper, The Australian. Following this, he became a director in a PR firm before entering politics. Scott is a Churchill Fellow and spent time at Harvard University as part of his fellowship. He is also a long time AMBCQ member.
It was terrific to catch up with Scott, and with Brisbane City Councillor Cr Matt Bourke and many other friends. Scott gave us a terrific speech and Q&A, and we were all able to share our views and discuss key issues.
Brisbane City Council Parkinson Ward Dragon Boat Festival
8th June 2015
We have been involved in the organising committee and as participants in the Brisbane City Council Parkinson Ward Dragon Boat Festival since its inception five years ago, and we work closely with Cr Angela Owen-Taylor and other co-organisers. This year, we had only half a team because many of our AMBCQ Water Dragons members from last year are now temporarily or permanently based overseas in Europe and Asia, and Canada (Singapore, Malaysia, Sweden, UK, the Netherlands, Canada etc). A couple of our team members were ill or injured, and the Karlssons had pre-arranged a camping trip away. We competed with half a team, and found a few great volunteers on the day including two lovely Canadians. In the finals we only had 15 paddlers and five empty seats so we were happy to finish third. Imagine what we can achieve with a full team!
29th May 2015
Our 2015 Eurovision Party, held in conjunction with the Nordic Forum was great fun, and we had a gathering of friends from all over Europe and also the Asia Pacific. We projected the contest onto a screen, and ate European and some Austrian food because the 2015 contest was in Vienna. We had veal schnitzel, chicken schnitzel, smoked salmon, several breads, pickled cucumbers, sauerkraut, Swedish mustard, and Garth made some great savoury muffins for entree, and a tryly delectable sticky date pudding with toffee sauce and whipped cream. Although it was a little cool, we also had an outside section and had two flame heaters and a lovely little bonfire outside. Thanks to our fire master (master fire bug) Marten Karlsson for helping to get the fire started. Guests dressed in Austrian, Polish, German, Swedish and other colours.
Mayor of Malacca Delegation to Brisbane
25th May 2015
We received a request from the Malaysian Government to assist the Mayor of Malacca and his delegation to organise a courtesy call on the Brisbane City government. Malacca City Council is significant and would be the second largest city council in Australia if it were located here. The delegation was led by Dato Zainal Hussin, Mayor of Malacca, and with him were 16 City Councillors, 12 senior Council executives and several other officers. It was a very senior delegation. AMBCQ organised to meet the delegation, and gave them a warm welcome to Brisbane. We also organised an exchange of mementos with the delegation. Cr Norm Wyndham was marvelous, and was a terrific host to the visitors. The delegation received a welcome address, a private tour of City Hall and a visit to the Museum of Brisbane. Thank you to Cr Norm Wyndham for being such a wonderful host to the visitors.
Malaysia: Gateway to ASEAN Seminar with DFAT, TIQ and AMBCQ
30th April 2015
We co-hosted the Malaysia - Gateway to ASEAN seminar that was organised by DFAT, as a joint effort of DFAT, TIQ and AMBCQ. More than 100 business people attended the event in Brisbane. The seminar featured His Excellency Rod Smith PSM (Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia), Ms Susan Kahwati (Senior Trade Commissioner in KL), Shona Leppanen-Gibson (President AMBCQ) and Kiong Chan (SVP, AMBCQ). Attendees were able to mingle over mornig tea, before the start of the seminar. Thank you to the Queensland Government for hosting the venue and for providing refreshments.
Lunch in Honour of the High Commissioner of Malaysia to Australia
18th April 2015
We had the great pleasure of hosting a Lunch in Honour of the High Commissioner of Malaysia to Australia His Excellency Dato’ Zainal Abidin Ahmad and his wife Datin Shireen Dato’ Sulaiman. We organised this lunch in 24 hours and kept it small to allow participants to get to know our guests of honour. Shona and I hosted the lunch at our office in the boardroom. Our boardroom curry tiffin featured several classic Raj-era curry tiffin dishes:
Meeting with Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah and YB Mr Liew Chin Tong MP
9th April 2015
Despite it being a very last minute event that we organised with only a few hours notice given to members, it was great to see a group of members and supporters attending our informal meeting with two prominent thought leaders in Malaysia, Mr LIEW Chin Tong MP and Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah CEO of the Global Movement of Moderates, an organisation whose patron is the Prime Minister of Malaysia. Dato’ Saifuddin was previously an UMNO MP for Temerloh and Deputy Minister for Higher Education. He is hugely respected for being a voice of reason and has often thrown his support behind students and academics who have faced various challenges. Mr Liew is similarly reasoned, and is a young and dynamic DAP MP for Kluang, and his talents has seen him rise rapidly in his party.
Lord Mayor of Brisbane’s Citizenship Ceremony at City Hall
At City Hall, we caught up with some good friends including Cr Angela Owen-Taylor (who as always did a great job as Master of Ceremonies), Cr Ian Mckenzie, Duncan Pegg MP who represented the Premier of Queensland, Peter Russo MP, and Lord Mayor Graham Quirk, Deputy Police Commissioner Ross Bates, and representatives from the Royal Australian Air Force and Royal Australian Navy, and others.
AMBCQ Chinese New Year Dinner
AMBCQ had the great pleasure of hosting a Chinese New Year Dinner on the rooftop of Queensland Parliament for 70 guests, including Duncan Pegg MP for Stretton, Mayor of Redland Karen Williams and Councillor Luke Smithrepresenting Logan City.
Asia Pacific Cities Summit Official Launch by the Lord Mayor
26th February 2015
We attended the launch of Brisbane City Council's biennial Asia Pacific Cities Summit 2015. It was lovely to bump into Lady Jane Edwards, a distinguished business person and wife of one of my dear friends and heroes, who has for many years been the source of much leadership wisdom for me to try to emulate - the legendary Sir Llew Edwards. Lady Jane Edwards is also the Honorary Consul for France.
We also caught up with many other friends including the Lord Mayor of Brisbane, the Mayor of Logan, the Mayor of Scenic Rim, Cr Angela Owen Taylor and Cr Julian Simmonds Councillor for Walter Taylor Ward, the Honorary Consul for the Netherlands Sir Kasper Kuiper, the PNG Consul, friends from the UK Consulate, Amelia Chan and numerous other friends. This year’s APCS will feature Lord Sebastian Coe CH KBE and numerous business and government leaders from the US, Europe and Asia. Kiong (Wai Kiong Chan)
Logan City Council Chinese New Year Lunch
25th February 2015
Kiong and I attended the Logan City Council’s Chinese New Year lunch reception at the Chung Tian Temple. We caught up with Mayor Pam Parker, Cr Luke Smith, Cr Steve Swenson and numerous friends from LCC and elsewhere. Chung Tian provided a terrific vegetarian lunch and we all received a warm welcome from the Abbess of the Temple.
Logan City Council is one of the largest local governments in Australia behind Brisbane and Gold Coast, and is far larger than Melbourne City Council. It was impressive to hear about all the exciting news from Logan City Council and its Office of Economic Development, and AMBCQ looks forward to continuing to work closely with Logan City Council to promote bilateral trade and investment.
Shona Leppänen-Gibson, President AMBCCQ
2015 BrisAsia Festival Launch
6th February 2015
Launch of the Brisbane City Council’s BrisAsia Festival, one of the many international festivals held annually, with Lord Mayor Graham Quirk and Lady Mayoress Anne Quirk.
This evening’s launch of the BrisAsia Festival was wonderful, and we enjoyed some lovely hospitality and great food and beverages, and beer from China, Japan and Singapore. There was a great Bollywood band, and plenty of entertainment and performance art. It was a pleasure and privilege to once again be hosted by the Lord Mayor and by the City of Brisbane.
Farewell Party for HE Paul Madden FRGS CMG
4th February 2015
Shona and I were honoured to join His Excellency Paul Madden CMG FRGS, the High Commissioner for Her Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom and Mrs Sarah Madden at the Polo Club. Paul’s tenure as British High Commissioner to Australia is ending after just over four years, and he has been travelling around Australia to say goodbye to all his friends. Paul arrived in Brisbane today and invited a small group of us to his farewell. In celebrating Paul and Sarah’s time in Australia, Shona and I presented the High Commissioner and his wife with a framed hand-made replica of the first ever map of what is now the Brisbane River (Oxley’s map from his 1823 expedition to what is now Brisbane and Moreton Bay one year before settlement began), made by Australia’s only remaining antiquarian mapmaker Edwin Clarke. We will miss Paul and Sarah and look forward to continuing our friendship.
Kiong (Wai Kiong CHAN)
Australia Day 2015
AMBCQ was privileged to once again attend the Lord Mayor of Brisbane’s annual Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony in City Hall, the biggest of its kind in Australia. Met up with some good friends including John Kahlert from the German Business Association, Cr Angela Owen-Taylor (who did a great job as Master of Ceremonies), Cr Norm Wyndham, Anthony Shorten MP who represented the Premier of Queensland, Lord Mayor Graham Quick and Lady Mayoress Anne Quirk, A/Deputy Commissioner of Police Clem O’Regan, and representatives from the Royal Australian Air Force and Royal Australian Navy, and others. Happy Australia Day!