The Australian Alumni Association of Cambodia (AAA-C) and Australia Awards Cambodia (AAC) co-hosted the 5th annual Australian alumni of the year Gala Dinner on Monday 27 January 2020 at Raffles Hotel Le Royal to serve as one of the most high profile gatherings and networking events of the year for Australian alumni to share memories, celebrate achievements and make new contacts, and to recognise the achievements of Cambodian who have studied at an Australian university.
It was an honour for AAA-C to organise this exciting event and to have H.E. Pablo Kang, the Australian Ambassador, and, H.E. Eat Sophea, Secretary of State, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, presided over the event with around 120 attendees, including alumni members and senior Cambodian government officials.
As part of the event to recognise the achievements of Cambodians who have studied in Australia and showcase the value of an Australian education, Ms. Tum Sisopheareth, chair of AAA-C Board, Dr. Sok Say, Advisory Board of AAA-C and Ms. Lim Sereyroth, Vice Chair of AAA-C Board, proudly presented the Alumnus of the Year Awards 2019 to 3 recipients as follows:
Alumnus of the Year Award: H.E. Dr. Sok Siphana
Managing Partner of SokSiphana&associates and Senior Advisor to the Royal Government of Cambodia
The AAA-C’s Australian Alumnus of the Year Award recognizes the outstanding achievements of an Australian alumnus who has contributed significantly to Cambodia’s development in their field of expertise.
H.E. Dr. Sok Siphana has worked in both the public and private sectors, serving as a Senior Advisor to the Royal Government of Cambodia, and managing a law firm. H.E. Dr. Sok Siphana completed his PhD from Bond University in Australia in 2009 and this year he will complete another PhD on Comparative Laws at the Universitie de Paris.
H.E. Dr. Sok Siphana was a key negotiator helping Cambodia successfully become a member of the World Trade Organisation and has contributed to the reconstruction of Cambodia’s legal system. H.E. Dr. Sok Siphana has been playing critical roles in shaping Cambodia’s foreign diplomacy and policy. On top of that, H.E. Dr. Sok Siphana has also been active in voluntarily serving as chairman of the board of directors for various research think tank’s in Cambodia.
H.E. Dr. Sok Siphana shared his achievement with his beloved wife H.E Khieu Mealy.
Community Leadership Award: Ms. Virak Bonnaroth
Co-founder and Program Manager, Lady Saving Group (LSG)
The AAA-C’s inaugural Community Leadership Award recognizes the contribution made by Australian alumni to the betterment of their local community.
Ms. Virak Bonnaroth is a AAA-C member who is passionate about improving the quality of life of Cambodian women through helping women to access financial services, as well as networking and leadership development through mentoring, coaching and counselling.
Ms. Virak Bonnaroth graduated from Macquarie University with a Master of Social Entrepreneurship and is Co-founder and Program Manager of the Lady Saving Group (LSG). What expires Ms. Virak Bonnaroth to do all the work she has been doing is “smile”!
Young Leadership Award: Mr. La Veha
Managing Director, EZ Surveying Co., Ltd.
The AAA-C’s Young Leadership Award recognizes the achievements of young Australian alumni, who have distinguished themselves in their chosen professional field, commensurate to the stage of their career.
Mr. La Veha is from the private sector. Mr. La Veha has played a founding and leading role in his professional endeavor, as a founder and managing director of EZ Surveying Co., Ltd. where he has been using GIS Technology to contribute to the development of Cambodia and, so far, has trained more than 500 people to become experts in the field.
Mr. La Veha has been a member of AAA-C since his graduation with a Master of Spatial Information Science from the University of Melbourne in 2013. Mr. La Veha believes that hard work pays of!