I am very excited to see many old friends today; I would also like to welcome new members here. For those of you who are new to our association, can I share an overview of AABWA’s purpose and vision?
AABWA, established in 2011, is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organisation of mainly Australian Asian business professional women.
At AABWA, we put our member's interests upfront. AABWA is a place where Australian Asian business and professional women are connected, inspired and empowered to realise their talents and full potential that is aligned with their passion and life purpose.
Vision is Leadership, Success, and Contribution.
Now can I invite you to recap what AABWA has achieved following our vision in the past 12 months?
1. Website/Social Media
How many of you know we have a new website? When everything was forced to slow down, committee member Joyce Zhu took the leadership role and started work with our member Casey’s business, House-pro, to establish our new website and work with our younger helper Jessie Tang, who is a Law & Commerce student at Monash University to set up social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin.
Thank you for your hard work. Please, remember to follow us there.
2. Caring for Mental health
To support our members and friends’ physical and mental health during the two months of lockdown in Victoria, we set up an outdoor activity; led by Kim Wen, Jade Liu, Yangguang and Fiona Zhang.
1). Hiking Walking Picking Series 2 in Sept 2021, a 13-day with 115-participant. Do you remember our slogan? Love the life we are living 让运动成为习惯，让关爱环境成为习惯。
There were so many moments that we will remember forever. Let me tell you one. During the event, Kim’s daughter was bitten by a poison snake, she had to stay in hospital overnight and didn’t sleep at all, but she still came to lead our event meeting the next day; she just wanted to make sure the event could proceed smoothly. Putting other people’s needs upfront is a common trait the AABWA Committee shares. It is also one of the important reasons AABWA consistently grew regardless of how difficult the circumstances were out there.
2). In November 2021, Jade organised Dandenong Mt Hiking and outdoor climbing activity. It challenged our limits. After the exercise and fresh air, we felt fantastic inside out.
3). In July, Jade organised another great adventure, Archery Activity; It was a first-time experience for many members. That event became a fun family day. It was great to see so many children with happy faces. As a mother, we are happy when our children are.
3. The English salons
We create this platform to showcase members’ expertise. It comes from our members and serves our members' needs. We appreciate all salon presenters’ great effort; it has benefited more members and friends. It will help AABWA to foster an inclusive community where everyone is connected, encouraged and empowered.
A big thank you to Joanna Zhou, the founder of Eighth Quarter, for opening her creative company space for our English Salon and offering excellent food.
A thumbs up to our English salon organiser Tingting, Sandy and Fiona - who have always done a fantastic job. ( Use the last salon at the beginning part of the video if we want)
1) On Nov 6th 2021, at Van Gogh’s art Salon, organised by Yangguang and Helen Hu, the presenter was Raymond Gu. It was an online and face-to-face event. It was an excellent opportunity to get closer to this greatest artist Van Gogh. 艺术，让女人韵味无穷，艺术，滋养我们的灵魂。
2) On March 27th 2022, Dr Hongyan Li hosted the topic of A pathway to understanding the different thinking modes between The west and the East. Hong delivered a great message on the day, urging us to embrace the differences, as differences or diversity makes the world more colourful. Tolerance matters.
3) In June, Dr Emily Wu's (中医养生) TCM unique view on health, life and disease. Emily taught us the most important thing to understand our bodies and be our doctors. It was a very timely salon we need to have in the present circumstances.
4) In September, Makeup artist Maggie Pei delivered Express Makeup for professional women. It was only two weeks ago; you may still remember what Maggie said. Maggie said: a) The right make-up can help you feel better about yourself inside and out and inspires confidence; b) improves your mental health; c) Boost happiness; d)Women who wear makeup at work are getting paid more according to studies.
4. Learn about Australia's political system and elections.
Have you heard that Asians are not interested in politics but interested in money-making? If you think so, you are wrong! Our members asked us before the Federal election in May; they wanted to know more about Australia's political and voting systems. They realised that politicians make rules that you need to follow. It is vital that the rule must be fair and just. Remember that this is our land, our country, our people. Please get involved and make contributions to the community where we are living.
A big thanks to Tingting, Kim Wen, Sandy, Fiona and Shirley for organising the May 1 event - “ Opportunities for Women In Australian Business”. We would also like to thank Dr Christina Wang for connecting us with the keynote speaker Genevieve Overall AM.
5. On March 8, Celebrating International Women’s Day The world needs mutual sympathy, forgiveness and support. It has become vital to rebuilding confidence. Yanjun Qiao organised themed live speeches- What is true self-confidence? We had three speakers share the importance of building self-confidence from education, business and personal perspective to celebrate this special women’s day.
6. Annual Event “Bringing Out the Best in You” In December, we finally had our annual event "Bringing Out the Best in You" series4 which took place after being postponed three times and delayed six months due to the Melbourne lockdowns. I remember that we had our members' full support from day one through the entire six months. If I tell you I didn’t have any hard feelings? Will you believe me? We gained so much support from you and built strong friendships between AABWA and IWFCI. I couldn’t ask for more.
7. 2021 Christmas Function
The last highlight I would like to mention - Sandy opened her very cosy home and welcomed AABWA members to celebrate 2021 Christmas together. We had a fabulous time together. That was a good ending to 2021.
Above were the activities we delivered with your full support and contributions. Please give yourselves a round of applause.
8. Do you want to know what else we have achieved in the past 12 months?
1). Membership has nearly doubled. Largely because of word of mouth. Thank you so much for believing in us; introduce AABWA to your circles. I want to thank Dr Christina Wang in particular, and she has encouraged many people well-suited us to join our association.
2). Can we put your hands together for Hon Uni Fellow Guosheng Chen, June Anderson and Christina Chia being recognised in the inaugural Victoria Multicultural Honour roll. Congratulations!
3). AABWA has made considerable progress in cooperating with other reputable ethnic organisations; we cherish the deep friendship we have built together through the past 12 months. We share culturally diverse experiences and create mutual understanding, inclusive and support that has benefited us all. Those organisations are:
· International Women federation of commerce & Industry (IWFCI) has been established for 30 years and has 15 branches worldwide.
· National council Women Victoria (NCWV), We affiliate with the organisation. It has been established for over 120 years.
· European Women In Business (EWIB) We support each other activities as always.
· Mental Health Foundation Australia (MHFA) has 92 years of history and has powerful connections with most of the different cultural backgrounds and well-established organisations.
· Chinese Community Council of Australia (CCCAV) They are one of the leading Chinese community.
· Melbourne Business Network, we will engage with them much more next year. They have monthly business connection events that serve our members’ needs.
· Executive Wealth Circle (EWC)
Do you want to know how we did what we have achieved so far? Stay focused on the thing you can control and get the priorities right.
This is AABWA’s 11th year, and our proud unique team cohesion has enabled us to develop consistently, even in the most challenging time. AABWA has become an indispensable part of Australian society. We will continue moving forward in this direction. We are looking forward to your continuous support.
Our future plans:
1. We will work on further expanding and strengthening the multicultural collaboration, encourage members to step out of their comfort zone, bring their businesses to a much big platform, and strive for more significant business opportunities.
2. Exploring more business opportunities to help members’ businesses achieve their strategic goals through brand engagement and experience.
3. Keep membership growing. Can I pass a small task to you? Can you reach out to one professional woman in your circle looking for us out there?
By doing this, our membership will reach 200 by the end of the year with your joint effort.
4. Encourage more Asian professional women to start to care about the politics that matter to us. Hopefully, we will also inspire the next generation's involvement in the political world.
5. We will have more personal development and team-building workshops for members and committee members to grow.
Last but by no means least, I would like to thank you all; you are the driving force behind everything we do. We have spent time together building meaningful connections through activities and shared profound and vulnerable moments. We have created clear pathways for us all to magnify our impact on society. I sincerely believe that anything is possible when you allow yourself to lean into uncertainty and let yourself do the unimaginable.
A sincere thanks to all sponsors.
Australian Asian Business Women’s Association Inc