Updated: Jul 6, 2022
✦ AMSA is looking at a new direction ahead with exciting value propositions, all combined with great food to engage Malaysians and Singaporeans.
The Australian Malaysian Singaporean Association Inc (AMSA) has been a platform for Malaysians and Singaporeans living in Australia to come together to network and socialise since 1970.
It has since grown into an extensive multicultural community association recognised by the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs, High Commission of Malaysia and High Commission of Singapore. An incorporated, not-for-profit organisation, the AMSA brings together active former and current residents of Malaysia and Singapore in Australia to create a home away from home. This is a place where they can come together to promote their legitimate interests and welfare in the development of the community.
The AMSA organises regular social and professional networking functions to encourage interaction within the local community. These include sports events, bushwalking, meet & mingle, celebrating cultural festivals, helping new migrants from Malaysia and Singapore to settle into Australia, and their Annual Gala Dinner. Through these social activities, the AMSA network has grown so extensively that their membership is actually open to all nationalities.
People from all over are welcome to join the AMSA membership. As a home away from home, this is where new 'families' have sprouted, because this is where people feel a sense of belonging when they come to activities and events organised by AMSA, and it becomes natural to start inviting more friends along.
Last year, AMSA proudly celebrated their 50th anniversary and is one of the oldest Malaysian and Singaporean associations in Australia.
History of AMSA
Australia and Malaysia go a long way back together. Back in the 18th and 19th centuries, Malays were involved in the pearling industry and the unusual activity of collecting sea slugs (trepang) off Australia's northern coast.
The first significant arrival of Malaysians to Australia occurred with the Colombo Plan from 1950.
This brought nearly 17,000 overseas students to Australia, the majority of whom were Malaysians. Many of these students later married locally and then sponsored their parents or siblings to Australia.
Malaysians have one of the highest rates of intermarriage with the Australia-born forming families of mixed ancestries. (Source: Australian Government Department of Home Affairs)
In 2021, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)’s Census recorded 172,250 Malaysia-born people in Australia. Its estimated resident population (ERP) by country of birth on 30 June 2020 has listed Malaysia as one of the top 10 countries of birth for overseas-born.
The AMSA recently concluded its 2022 Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 28th June 2022 with incumbent Thomson Ch'ng re-elected as President for the second term.
An interesting shift that has been happening recently is the increase in the number of younger members with roots from Malaysia and Singapore and who are now living, working or operating a business in Australia.
What some of you may not know is, apart from their social and networking activities which bring them close together, the members are all united with a common love - 'makan', which is an affectionate word used in Malaysia and Singapore to mean Eat, and usually, eating great food from back home!
One of the best ways to break the ice and find a connection with each other is to simply bring in food. Talk about it, cook something together, share food together… there is nothing like good makan to light up one's eyes and catch one's attention. It is well known that Malaysians and Singaporeans love their food and cuisine and are die-hard foodies to the core.
New Strategic Pillars
Their recent AGM also brought up some interesting issues for the future. Mr. Ch'ng released a draft version of their New Strategic Pillars which will be further discussed with the committee before its official launch.
As the organisation continues to change and evolve, the draft strategic pillars will offer new value propositions for AMSA’s members, as well as new direction for AMSA as a 50-year-old organisation growing in the 21st century.
AMSA’s New Strategic Pillars include:
Advocacy and empowerment
Professional and Social Networking
Community engagement and support
"This year's AGM was particularly special. Members who have attended the meeting have actively contributed ideas on ways to enhance AMSA's future operation and initiatives',' said Thomson Ch'ng, President-elect of AMSA 2022/23.
"As an organisation that is run by the community, for the community, an active and engaged membership allows bottom-up communication, including feedback to the executive committee. It's a key ingredient of success for us as an organisation.”
AMSA's Three Focal Areas
AMSA has put forward three main areas to focus on for this year.
The first focus is to become an effective platform to develop professional, business and personal social networks. Now that COVID rules are easing, members and guests can expect more events that bring together networking, social activities and of course, as always, excellent makan! No AMSA activity is complete without the presence of amazing cuisine.
Advocacy and empowerment is the second focus. AMSA is committed to giving Malaysians and Singaporeans a voice in Australian society. Earlier in February 2022, AMSA organised a Q&A with the Malaysian Department of Immigration in Australia to provide a platform for people to get clarifications on immigration and passport issues. It was a helpful source of information for issues related to renewals, applications or extensions.
AMSA's third focus is engaging and supporting communities. AMSA has been actively reaching out and engaging with the community via events and webinars such as assisting new migrants to settle into the country by providing accurate and relevant information about living, working, studying or doing business in Australia.
AMSA's new state network
A clear indication of AMSA's expansion and outreach is the establishment of its state networks in Victoria and Queensland within the first five months of 2022.
Its first state network is in Victoria where the largest number of Malaysians and Singaporeans reside was established in February. Victorian Convenor is Donny Doughty.
The second state network in Queensland was established in May led by Queensland Convenors Sylvia Tiong and Debb Seven Chew.
"The AMSA Queensland and Victoria State Network offer a unique and trusted platform for the community to connect with one another under the umbrella of the association. Our state convenors are committed to assist their peers and create positive impacts in the community,” said Mr. Ch’ng.
So if you are in Victoria or Queensland and looking to connect with people, look for AMSA, or simply follow the delicious smells of good makan, the sounds of jolly chatter and laughter and you'll soon find yourself right at home with the members of AMSA. This is where you can find support and connection with fellow Malaysians and Singaporeans right here in Australia.
AMSA's new committee 2022/2023
President: Thomson Ch'ng
Vice President: Wan Hoe Goh
Hon. Secretary: Nerisa Chan
Hon. Treasurer: Sue-Ann Liew
Committee Members: Janson Lim, Dr. Yeow-Tong Chia, Veronica Lind, Khin Yew Chong, Julian Choo, Michelle Ng
Victoria Network Convenor: Donny Doughty
Queensland Network Convenors: Sylvia Tiong and Debb Seven Chew
AMSA (Australian Malaysian Singaporean Association Inc)
A. Association Inc. (AMSA)
PO Box 892, Chatswood
NSW 2067, Australia.
Check out AMSA's upcoming events here.
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