Publisher’s Letter: Tall Poppy Syndrome

I believe we can learn from the Chinese people in respect to emphasising, promoting, and even glamorising success stories. Instead of the preferred Aussie version, which is much more in line with playing things down, ‘no big deal’ and ‘let’s just get on with the job’.

We may be humble about our abilities and success stories, but we tend to spoil our achievements by being too low key and avoiding the opportunity to showcase our achievements.

A perfect example of this is the participation rate in awards such as the Australia China Business Awards – an annual award ceremony celebrating the successes of Australian business in China, Hong Kong and Macau. On July 14, nominations for the 2010 Australia China Business Awards will open. Now in its 18th year, and organised this year by AustCham Shanghai, this well-publicized and high-profile event should be attracting far more nominees than it currently does. Sure, it takes time to fill in these application forms, but I believe it is more a case of Australian mentality towards Tall Poppy Syndrome with Australian businesses more concerned with getting on with the job rather than promoting their own success.

It is often said ‘that the Aussie business community in China punches well above its weight’ in line with our small population and in comparison to other western nations doing business in China and the ACBA is a great showcase of Australian achievements across a range of sectors in China.

Our feature article this issue, is the announcement of winners of another great awards ceremony – the 2010 Australia China Alumni Association Awards. Nominations were open to all Australian university alumni working in China and obviously, a large majority of those alumni are the thousands of Chinese who once studied in Australia and are now back home working in China.

The awards coincide with Australia’s A$86 million participation at World Expo – the largest commitment ever made by an Australian government towards an expo with the aim of showcasing Australian expertise to the anticipated 70 million Chinese visitors to World Expo. As well as the spectacular launch in June of Imagine Australia – the year of Australian culture in China.

We hope you enjoy this special issue of Australia China Connections, and join with me in congratulating all the participants, finalists and winners of this year’s Australia China Alumni Awards who demonstrate the great diversity of where an Australian education can lead to in China.

I also urge all Australian businesses working in Greater China to consider nominating for the Australia China Business Awards which will be held later in the year.

Carl Jetter,

Publisher, Australia China Connections


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