My name is Peter Shergold and I am the Chancellor of the University of Western Sydney.
It is my great pleasure to be here with you this evening – such a festive occasion to celebrate Chinese New Year 2014 – The Year of the Horse, and of course, Valentine’s Day!
I would like to share with you a very special announcement.
The University of Western Sydney is extremely fortunate to have Mr William Chiu as a great friend and supporter.
Just some of William’s extraordinary achievements and services to the community include his work with the “Eyes on China” project, which since 2003 has sent medical teams to perform thousands of free cataract operations in remote Chinese provinces. Working through the Australia Council for the Peaceful Promotion of the Reunification of China, William has actively raised awareness and conducted gala fund raising activities involving all levels of government for this wonderful work.
William is also the State Patron of the NSW branch of the Australia China Business Council and has been a member of the NSW Government Asia Business Advisory Council also since 2003.
His efforts in the trade sector have greatly assisted in identifying business opportunities and promoting trade relations between Australia and China. He is also an active fundraiser, convening campaigns to raise money for disasters including the Southern China floods, the Sichuan Earthquake and the Taiwan Typhoon.
For many years, William has worked tirelessly to promote the friendly relations and co-operation between Australia and China. He is also a staunch supporter and promoter for world peace and China’s peaceful reunification.
In 2010, he received the NSW Premier’s Chinese Community Service award – the Quong Tart Lifetime Achievement Award in Community Service for providing outstanding volunteer service over an extended period of time.
The University of Western Sydney is extraordinarily lucky that William’s interests have fortuitously aligned with the University’s long-term interest in China and China studies. He has created many opportunities for the University’s students to engage with Chinese language and culture through a variety of programs, which include:
The William Chui Academic Achievement Awards, which have inspired UWS graduates to continue with their engagement with Chinese language and culture;
The Student Exchange Program, which has enabled students to study for a semester in two of the top universities in China, with six scholarships awarded in 2013;
The highly successful Asian Studies Association of Australia conference, which assisted inter-cultural dialogue and understanding;
The translation of two Chinese novels into English, which informed the success of the China Australia Literary Forum in Beijing in April 2013 and has placed the University in a strong position to discuss future exchanges and publishing possibilities with our Chinese partners, and;
The creation of a number of research internships, the first of which occurred in the Autumn 2012, with two new research internships created in 2013 and more in 2014.
All of the beneficiaries of William’s support have gained life-changing experiences. His initiatives have placed the University of Western Sydney at the forefront in encouraging and enacting a thorough and deep engagement with China and Chinese culture.
Because of William’s outstanding contribution to the University of Western Sydney and its students, it is my pleasure to announce that UWS will be presenting William with the award of an Honorary Doctorate of Letters, at the Graduation Ceremony at our Parramatta campus on 12 April 2014.
William is already the holder of two masters degrees - in Chemistry and Commerce, so already a very accomplished academic.
Thank you William. I am very much looking forward to presenting you with your Honorary Doctorate.