Welcome to 2016 and the Year of the Monkey!

I look forward to sharing an exciting year ahead with all ACYA members. 2015 was a tremendously successful year for ACYA which saw expansion in the number, size and quality of events run, not only at a Chapter level but also nationally. 2015 saw ACYA hold the Australia-China Emerging Leaders’ Summit in both Sydney and Shanghai, marking the first time ACYA has held a conference in China. Both these Summits were overwhelming successes and I am looking forward to working with the National Executive to repeat the successes of these events this year. These Summits are an important part of our efforts to strengthen our existing 24 Chapters, as well as provide an exciting opportunity to our members to share their ideas and hear from existing leaders in the Australia-China relationship.

The back half of 2015 also saw the establishment of the ACYA Alumni portfolio as a way of keeping former ACYA members connecting with the Association. In its first few months of operation, the Alumni portfolio managed to hold a coordinated Alumni Speaker Series across a number of states, providing the perfect platform for current and former members to come together and hear from some exciting speaker panels.

This year, we will continue to grow the membership, constantly look for new opportunities to benefit our members and further develop our signature initiatives such as the Australia-China Emerging Leaders’ Summit, the Leizhou Volunteering Trip and the Australia-China Journal of Youth Affairs. There are a number of exciting initiatives and opportunities in the pipeline and I look forward to working with the National Executive over the coming months to bring these to fruition.

Finally, I must acknowledge some important people without whom none of the phenomenal success that ACYA has experienced would be possible. These people are all the committee members and volunteers who tirelessly dedicate their time and energy to ACYA so that all the amazing initiatives and events that we offer are possible. A very big thank you is owed to everyone involved in ACYA and I trust that like me, all ACYA members will find their time in ACYA to be a rewarding and enriching experience.

I am looking forward to an exciting year ahead,

David Douglas