Diverse Bananas, Global Dragons International Conference 2014

Speakers 2014

Dr Kathie  Blunt
Dr Kathie  Blunt (Diverse Bananas, Global Dragons International Conference (2014))
(BA Hons, PhD.) (Grad.Cert. TESOL)
Presentation :

Wedding Portraits: Portrait of a Nation

Using wedding album portraits, Dr Kathie Blunt will explore how Asian/Australian marriages that took place between 1945-1970 when the White Australia policy was still in force, were actually forging and maintaining links with the Asia/Pacific region. Significantly, these portraits reveal a historical cultural shift in Australian society. Through the legacy of their children, a new national portrait was created - a new "face of the nation" - a truly Australasian one. In addition, using newspaper cartoons and other photographic material from the colonial era, attitudes towards Asian/Australian relationships that have permeated the Australian psyche will also be explored.


From Sydney, Dr Kathie Blunt is an independent historian, and researcher with a special interest in the Asia/Australia relationship.  Kathie completed her studies in Modern History at Macquarie University NSW. She has worked in the banking/finance industry and has lived and worked in Papua New Guinea and Singapore, and travelled extensively throughout Asia. Kathie is a foundation member of the Chinese Heritage Association of Australia and since its inception in 2002, has held the position of Treasurer.  On their behalf she has given many presentations to various historical societies, including New South Wales History Week, incorporating the history of the Chinese in Australia and aspects of her doctoral thesis. Kathie has also represented the Chinese Heritage Assoc. of Australia as an advisor and adjudicator on the 2011 City of Sydney Council Cultural Day Steering Committee.  

Lynda Chanwai-Earle
Lynda Chanwai-Earle (Diverse Bananas, Global Dragons International Conference (2014))
Spoken Features Producer - Radio NZ
Presentation :

Lynda’s 52 minute RNZ documentary:Appeasing 499 Ghosts – The Ventnor Documentary

In 1902 when the S.S. Ventnor sank off the coast of Hokianga carrying the exhumed bones of 499 Chinese miners some bodies washed ashore. Local Maori took up the bones to protect them until family could come to honour them. A Poon-Yu descendant herself, Lynda Chanwai-Earle joins generations of Chinese New Zealanders from across the country to attend a historic once-in-a-lifetime Ching Ming event in the Far North. One-hundred-and-ten years after the first bone washed ashore, 499 hungry ghosts are finally appeased. Broadcast 18 Aug 2013 on Radio New Zealand, National. Weblink: http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ventnor/audio/2592717/highlights-of-the-ventnor-documentary


Lynda has a B.F.A. Auckland University (1990) and an M.A. Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters (2006).  Award winning theatre pieces include; Heat, Monkey, Foh-Sarn (Fire Mountain)and Ka-Shue(Letters Home). Ka-Shue is the first NZ Chinese play for mainstream audiences. Ka-Shue and Foh-Sarn are prescribed texts with NCEA. Man in a Suitcase premiered at the Court Theatre, Christchurch and toured to Beijing (2012). A journalist with Asia Down Under (TV1) Lynda represented New Zealand at the Hong Kong Literary Festival (2001), Shanghai Literary Festival (2005) and is the Spoken Features Producer for Voices on Radio New Zealand, National.

Mai Chen
Mai Chen (Diverse Bananas, Global Dragons International Conference (2014))
Presentation :

The Leadership Role Chinese NZers can play to build NZ Inc: Changing your Mindset.

Mai Chen will talk about minority/majority thinking, demographic trend towards a non-white majority, our  “expertise” in doing business with China and understanding the levers of power in NZ.



Mai Chen, Managing Partner, Chen Palmer Public and Employment Law Specialists, and Adjunct Professor in Commercial and Public Law at the University of Auckland Business School.Mai is a Founding Partner of Chen Palmer New Zealand Public and Employment Law Specialists, Barristers and Solicitors, which has won the Best Boutique Law Firm in 2010, and the Best Public Law Firm in the New Zealand Law Awards in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, and was a finalist in the Employment Law Awards in 2011. The Firm has offices in Wellington and Auckland and celebrates its 20th Anniversary in 2014.

 Mai is also the best-selling author of Public Law Toolbox published by Lexis Nexis in March 2012 and is the inaugural Chair of New Zealand Global Women.  She has recently founded New Zealand Asian Leaders, connecting top Asian NZ CEOs and emerging leaders with New Zealand companies doing business in Asia to enhance their success to help NZ Inc. She also helped to establish the Pacifica Leadership Academy at BEST Pacific Institute of Education, led by Beatrice Faumuina.

 Mai won the supreme Judges Panel Award and the Professional Excellence Award at the New Zealand Chinese Business Elite Awards in 2012. Mai won the Business and Entrepreneur Women of Influence Award in 2013.

 Mai also launched willtolive.co.nz in July 2013, a site which allows the making of wills to be easy and which helps NZers to live life to the full.

 Mai won Next Magazine's Business Woman of the Year in 2011, and is a World’s Best New Zealander in the Kiwi Expatriates Network.  Mai was listed in the 2009 and 2010 unlimited magazine’s top Influencers List.  Mai has a First Class Law Honours degree from Otago University, a Masters degree from Harvard Law School, is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management, and an Honorary Associate of Auckland University of Technology. Mai was in the Top 10 finalists for 2014 New Zealander of the Year.

 Mai sat on the Securities Commission, on the New Zealand Board of Trade and Enterprise’s Beachheads Programme, the Asia New Zealand Foundation, the Advisory Board of AMP Life Limited (NZ), and was President of the Harvard New Zealand Alumni Association (NZ) for ten years.  Mai sits on the New Zealand Law Society Public and Administrative Law Committee.


John and Michael Chow
John and Michael Chow (Diverse Bananas, Global Dragons International Conference (2014))
Property Managing Directors - CGML
Presentation :

Chinese doing business in NZ: John and Michael Chow are entrepreneurs who have overcome enormous odds to become the success they are. It has been a testament to their hard working and efforts that they have moved from family owned Chinese takeaway bar owners to owners of $200m commercial property profile and various business. The transition from small business owners to being a corporate entity and richlisters has taken effort, a clear understanding of where they want to go and the fearlessness to move the goalposts in their favour or find out why not? Overcoming battles with Councils, with people’s perceptions and with competitors have honed their desire to succeed, and set a ambition goal by reach $1B commercial property profile  by 2020.                                                        Learn some of their secrets to success in their presentation and gain inspiration from these two remarkable brothers.


John & Michael arrived from Hong Kong in 1984 aged 13 and 8 respectively and settled in Naenae, Wellington with their parents and two sisters. Attending Naenae College and Victoria University the brothers started working from their parents takeaway shop in the mid 1990s.

 The brothers formed Chow Group in 1999 that today includes extensive commercial property interests, Exodus gym and of course the adult entertainment businesses in both Auckland & Wellington.

 John moved to Auckland with his wife and two teenage children in 2012 while Michael remains in Wellington with his wife and young family. On the rare occasions they are not working John & Michael enjoy spending time with their families including trips to exotic overseas locations

Paul Croucher
Paul Croucher (Diverse Bananas, Global Dragons International Conference (2014))
Bachelor of Science (Hons); PhD - Chemistry
Presentation :

New World Craft Brewing

Craft brewing emerged from the shadows of the big breweries as people shed their stereotypes of what beer should be as portrayed in the marketing campaigns of the multinationals. Along with these shed stereotypes was who should be drinking and making beer. In my presentation I’d like to demonstrate how my Chinese heritage helped me carve an unlikely yet successful business venture in making beer.


Born to a Chinese mother and European father my upbringing was a fusion of two cultures. From studying the Asian five to grossing out the European grandparents with 100 year old eggs and chickens feet, I certainly grew up with a dual perspective.

I became a Lecturer in Pharmaceutics at the University of Auckland then ‘retired’ at 32, to pursue a career in brewing beer, distorting the odd stereotype along the way.

I now am co-owner of a thriving business comprising a brewery and two pubs specializing in craft beer and good food.

Patrick English
Patrick English (Diverse Bananas, Global Dragons International Conference (2014))
Presentation :

“Stranger in a Strange Land” Expatriation and repatriation between New Zealand and China. Settling into China from New Zealand and dealing with reverse culture shock returning to New Zealand.


Patrick English has been involved with China since 1989, returning to New Zealand in 2013 to take up the role of Executive Director to the New Zealand China Council: The New Zealand China Council was established in 2012 and forms part of the NZ Inc China Strategy, launched by the Prime Minister in February 2012. The NZ China Council is intended to support a key goal of the Strategy; to retain and build a strong and resilient relationship with China. Patrick worked for New Zealand Trade and Enterprise for more than 17 years and over this time spent more than 12 years living and working in China. Patrick is an experienced Trade Commissioner and diplomat having served in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, as well as Malaysia. Patrick has a BA in International Relations and Chinese, and a Masters in International Management and Chinese from the University of Waikato.  For 3 years prior to his posting to Guangzhou as Consul General and Trade Commissioner, he was part of the New Zealand China FTA negotiations team and led the market implementation programme for the New Zealand China FTA agreement. Patrick recently joined the Advisory Boards of the Auckland Confucius Institute and the University of Waikato School of Management and is an Honorary Associate of the University of Waikato. 

JJ Fong
JJ Fong (Diverse Bananas, Global Dragons International Conference (2014))
Presentation :

Realities of the Performing Arts World.

JJ will talk on the topic of being a NZ asian actress in the NZ industry and how she would like to be a part of this demographic changing how we are portrayed in the industry. Also the realities of entering the performing arts industry, the upsides and downsides of the arts industry. And lastly how to know what and who you are as an actor and how to market that.


JJ was in the core cast in South Pacific Pictures’ Go Girls – Series V as Alice, also supporting cast with new TV show 'Stepdave,' as the role of Betty. She also just completed her first funded short film “Cradle,” by Four Knight films in which she plays the role of Jessica. With the release of Stepdave and her recent releases of successful webseries, Flat 3 directed by Roseanne Liang [Banana in a Nutshell & My Wedding & Other Secrets] JJ is currently looking at L.A. or New York as her next step in the performing arts world.

A New Zealand born Chinese performer with talent diversifying across many platforms; singing, MC/hosting events & television, acting and dancing. She offers a modern and fresh perspective to performance with an edge and sense of style that crosses to both music, screen
and fashion industries. Having completed a diploma in commercial dance and musical theatre coupled with years of theatre acting and
presenter training experience, JJ is equipped for her career to take flight.

Melody Guo
Melody Guo (Diverse Bananas, Global Dragons International Conference (2014))
LLB/BA The University of Auckland; LLM in Chinese Business L
Presentation :

Lives of Shanghai: work, study and play… 

‘Work hard, play harder’ is a motto that can easily be achieved living in a city like Shanghai, a metropolis that seems to become more diverse and more interesting everyday. It’s a developed city in a developing country, which means that while it’s crammed with 5 star hotels, there is still space for opportunities, and that makes it exciting. Indeed it is like a huge magnet that keeps drawing people in from all over the world.


Melody is a Chinese New Zealander. She lived in Shanghai for two years, during which time she studied, worked and travelled in China. She had the privilege of working with various New Zealand companies in China, in regards to Chinese law, Chinese language and culture. She recently came back to New Zealand to start the next chapter in her life, working for the New Zealand China Council.

Wei Lun Ha
Wei Lun Ha (Diverse Bananas, Global Dragons International Conference (2014))
Presentation :

Wei Lun Ha will be talking in the "Creative Cool Chinese" session on Saturday afternoon, 31 May 2015, and will be demonstrating his painting in the foyer throughout the conference. How to get around parents that don't like what you do?  How to discover who you are in NZ as a Asian?  How to incorporate Chinese ideas into your work?       How to find work?  Who to ask questions? 


I am an architecture masters graduate from Auckland University and the founder of Blackbeat Designs. I am a current emerging artist that paints with a calligraphy brush and I use traditional techniques with modern materials. My art has been reviewed by the NZ Herald a number of times and was rated top 50 in the canvas magazine in 2013. I have been selected as a finalist in multiple prestigious awards in Auckland and have been selling my works in exhibitions and to collectors. My aspiration is to be able to translate these skills into my architectural practice one day and exhibit this art form across the country. I love traveling around Asia and have made multiple trips overseas to sharpen my art skills. 

Don Hitchens
Don Hitchens (Diverse Bananas, Global Dragons International Conference (2014))
Contemporary Sculptor
Presentation :

The dichotomy of culture, the good, the bad, and the ugly. A personal conversation through a public art practice.


In the late 1990’s Hitchens art was inspired by the assumptions made to culture, exploring the premise through the juxtaposition of materials, technology and interactive installations. These works are collected by ACAG, Te Papa, and Waikato Museum. In the new millennia Hitchens worked both individually and collaboratively, contributing more than a half dozen Public art works which respond to specific communities in Auckland and Hamilton. He is part of a collaboration www.seekartprojects.com which is focused on the value and role of art in contemporary society. His new work is focused on the dichotomy of the dealer gallery and art as spiritual object.

King Tong Ho (Diverse Bananas, Global Dragons International Conference (2014))
Senior Lecturer - AUT University
Presentation :

SS Ventnor Trip: The Call of The Ancestors - perspectives of the official photographer


Dr. King Tong Ho is currently the senior lecturer of postgraduate studies in the School of Art & Design at AUT University. His teaching and research areas are postgraduate supervision, photography, digital imaging, ink jet printmaking technology, and Chinese aesthetics and philosophy in contemporary art & design practices. He has a focus on the study and postgraduate supervision of East and West cross-cultural ideas in art and design practice and communication. His current research practice collates series of photographic images as a form of cultural and historical archive. He is a member of New Zealand Asian Studies Society; and was a founder member of Hong Kong Institute of Professional Photographers (HKIPP) and a member of Hong Kong Designers Association (HKDA).

Anthony Hoy Fong
Anthony Hoy Fong (Diverse Bananas, Global Dragons International Conference (2014))
Top US restaurateur
Presentation :

The challenge to forge a new and exciting career – doing business in the US and climbing to the top of the culinary profession – yet at the same time maintaining the humble self determined drive of a young NZ born Chinese chef from Auckland


An Auckland Grammar Old Boy – Anthony had a long held ambition to be a chef when he left school but went on to study business and science at the University of Auckland. But in his own words Anthony took a punt and moved to New York to attend culinary school.

Five years later he received US President Barack Obama’s thanks after preparing him lunch and has since cooked for the President on three occasions at the White House and is now a regular consultant to their culinary programme and kitchen operations. He has since been on the set of ‘Oprah’ and made an appearance on the long running cult show ‘Iron Chef’. He runs Top Chef University; an on line culinary school based on the ‘Top Chef’ show (the US version of Master Chef) and is making an impact in the culinary scene in New York. Anthony has also co-written several best selling cookbooks.

Jordan Hui
Jordan Hui (Diverse Bananas, Global Dragons International Conference (2014))
Presentation :

Step by Step – "To overcome the challenges we face.”

 At every age, we face different kinds of challenges. Jordan would like to share some of his experiences and decisions he has made to overcome the challenges he has faced. Solving the problem as a whole can be too overwhelming and stressful at times so the best approach is to take it in smaller stages. He believes that the next step is never the last step, but moving forward is always a positive motion. His step-by-step approach has taken him through to his position today.


Jordan Hui is Portfolio & Advisory Associate at the ANZ Bank. Born in Malaysia with a Hong Kong-Chinese background, he graduated in 2010 with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Statistics at the University of Auckland. His personal achievements include being eighth in rank in New Zealand for the Under 14’s Badminton Tournament, and winning the 2007 $10k Spark Competition at the University of Auckland Entrepreneurship Challenge. He was also a committee member for the New Zealand Hong Kong Festival from 2012. Jordan was  delegated to represent New Zealand for the 2013 Dragon 100 Conference in Hong Kong.

Manying Ip
Manying Ip (Diverse Bananas, Global Dragons International Conference (2014))
Presentation :

THE LATEST TRENDS OF Chinese Settlement in NZ and Implications. Manying Ip  ONZM, FRSNZ

From the late 1980s until the present, the Chinese have shown a highly fluid and mobile pattern of transmigration which has attracted much adverse attention. This paper will examine the latest trends of Chinese settlement as shown by the 2013 census, and what they imply for the future of the Chinese community in New Zealand as part of the country’s changing ethnic mosaic. 


Manying Ip, Professor at the School of Asian Studies, University of  Auckland. Her research interest is on Chinese migration, race relations, and ethnic identity. Her recent publications include Transmigration and the New Chinese 2011, and The Dragon and the Taniwha:  Maori and Chinese in New Zealand  2009.

Her current research is on the Chinese Internet and its impact on overseas Chinese identity. She was awarded ONZM for services to the Chinese community in 1996, and elected FRSNZ (Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand) in recognition of her outstanding scholarship

Lester Khoo
Lester Khoo (Diverse Bananas, Global Dragons International Conference (2014))
Presentation :

Despite geopolitical sensitivities in the South China Sea, the diamond decade of free trade between the two economic superhouses continues to flourish from the first diamond decade of the bilateral relationship with relative good neighbourly relationships between China and the 10 ASEAN member countries. Cooperation between the two bilateral partners extend from energy, infrastructure and education to tourism and many other sectors.
Lester's presentation shall focus on working in China and Asia in the context of  China- ASEAN relations through political, security, economic and socio-cultural perspectives.


Lester Khoo has lived and worked extensively in Asia, particularly South East Asia for the past 15 years. Lester most recently lived and worked in Thailand for the UK Daily Mail Group as SE Asia Regional Manager, Consultant for PTT (Thailand’s national energy conglomerate) and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise in clean technology and services. Lester has a rich experience working in and across Asian cultures in both the ASEAN region, North Asia and China. Lester has established productive relationships with new partners in unfamiliar cultural contexts and learnt the art of "mianzi" and "guanxi."  Lester is the Director of International Projects, International Relations and Development at Auckland University of Technology, Director of APEC Voices of the Future and an Executive member of the ASEAN New Zealand Combined Business Council. Fluent in English, Thai and conversant in Mandarin, Lester has undergraduate qualifications in English Literature and Law and postgraduate qualifications with a Graduate Diploma in Business (HRM), Masters in Management (Disputes Resolution), is anenrolled Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand and holds a Certificate of Thai from Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. LinkedIn profile a: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/lester-khoo/28/5a3/a43t 

Maryann Lee
Maryann Lee (Diverse Bananas, Global Dragons International Conference (2014))
Presentation :

What it means to draw from both a Maori and Chinese heritage in Aotearoa.


Maryann Lee currently works as an eLearning Designer for the Centre for Educational Leadership at the Faculty of Education, University of Auckland. Maryann is passionate about education and her expertise in the field of eLearning and teacher education. She is currently completing her Masters in Professional Studies in Education and her research topic is about ‘Digital Spaces for Indigenous Learning’. 

Renee Liang
Renee Liang (Diverse Bananas, Global Dragons International Conference (2014))
Poet and Playwright
Presentation :

Voices in our community: the importance of telling our own stories.Renee will talk about her journey as a writer and how this has led to projects collaborating with other creatives, writers and storytellers


Renee is a poet, playwright, pediatrician and medical researcher. She is part of the core research team for the landmark longitudinal study Growing Up In New Zealand. Renee was named a Sir Peter Blake Trust Emerging Leader in 2010 and won the Royal Society of New Zealand Manhire Prize for Creative Science Writing in 2012. As a multidisciplinary artist, Renee writes and performs, has been published in journals and anthologies and has toured three plays.  She also delivers community arts initiatives such as New Kiwi Women Write, writing workshops for migrant women. She is a regular contributor to The Big Idea, a website linking NZ's arts community.  Website:www.chinglish-renee.blogspot.com

Daphne Lowe-Kelley
Daphne Lowe-Kelley (Diverse Bananas, Global Dragons International Conference (2014))
Presentation :

The Missing Chinese Australian Voice


The first anti-Chinese legislation in Australia was enacted by the British colony of Victoria in 1855.  Other Australian colonial governments soon followed with similar racially discriminating legislation against the Chinese and this eventually lead on Federation to the Immigration Restriction Act  1901, commonly known as the White Australia Policy. Why did the governments of other countries with similar policies, namely New Zealand, Canada and the United States, apologise or issue statements of regret and why has this not happened in Australia?


Daphne Lowe Kelley is a New Zealand born Chinese, whose father had to pay the poll tax in 1921.  A graduate of Victoria University of Wellington and Wellington Teachers College, she has spent most of her adult life living and working in Australia and America.  Daphne has been very active in the Chinese community in Sydney and played a leadership role in many Chinese Australian organisations. She is a founding member of the Chinese Heritage Association of Australia and served as president from 2003 -2012.  In 2011, Daphne was the recipient of the NSW Premier’s Jack Wong Sue Award for Voluntary Service Beyond the Chinese Community.

Tyla Nathan Wong
Tyla Nathan Wong (Diverse Bananas, Global Dragons International Conference (2014))
NZ Representative Womens 7's Rugby
Presentation :

My journey to the Rio Olympics 2016.

Chinese competing in a physical sport as an elite athlete in NZ and on the world stage: Tyla has overcome challenges and the tall poppy syndrome (Asians don’t play rugby, too short, too small in body size, she won’t make it etc.)to achieve the successes she has to date. It has been a testament to her commitment, hard work and competitive nature that she represented NZ Open Women’s Touch Football Team at the age of 16 yrs at the Touch World Cup in Scotland. Fast forward 3 years Tyla will share how she put on 10kgs in 18 months through nutrition, strength & conditioning and recovery programmes.


Tyla Nathan-Wong is of Chinese, Maori and European descent. The 19 year old lives in Blockhouse Bay, Auckland with her parents, grand parents, sister and brother. Attending Lynfield College and now studying a Bachelor of Sport & Recreation at AUT University. Tyla is a triple Senior NZ Representative in Sevens Rugby, Touch Football & Tag Football. Her latest achievements include been the IRB Sevens World Cup Champion & IRB Women’s Sevens World Series Champion.

Mee-mee Phipps
Mee-mee Phipps (Diverse Bananas, Global Dragons International Conference (2014))
Presentation :

Mee-mee Phipps will launch this book at the Welcome Reception on Friday, 30 May 2014 

Destinies Divided follows the mixed-race Chinese/Maori children of Zhou Yu, the survivor of the Taiping Rebellion and ex-gold miner of Victoria and Otago to China where they are also treated as foreigners. The background of the book is the dying days of the Qing dynasty, the Boxer Rebellion and the beginning of the Republic. China is ravaged by the Eight Foreign powers and the defeat of the Boxers meant the infliction of such exacting penalties that the country was brought to her knees. When World War 1 broke out, China volunteered to send workers to help in Flanders with the hope that at the end of it, the fine principals the Allies spouted would be applied to them and they would regain their sovereignty. Apart from being a war story, it is also a story of love and romance; -- the filial love of family, the romantic love of Emily who travels as a wartime doctor to find her Maori lover and the great love of humanity as her missionary brother Alex follows the Chinese labourers into the war to minister to them. And finally, it is about the futility of war, of the stupidity of hatred and the futility of power.

Destinies Divided is a romance in the greater sense of the word.


Four years in China brought Mee-mee back to her roots to the country her ancestors left over a hundred years ago as part of the Chinese Diaspora. With her love of history, she writes historical fiction based on the Chinese. Her first book Memories in the Bone: He Who Seeks Revenge Digs Two Graves (2012) is the first in the trilogy on the Diaspora. The Ming Admiral: A Chinese Odyssey, the saga of the incredible relationship between two of the most charismatic men in Chinese History, the Emperor YongLe and the eunuch Grand Admiral ZhengHe of the 13th/14th Century was written in 2013. Destinies Divided: A World War 1 Romance of the Chinese Diaspora, 2014 The Zhou siblings in World War 1 in which a very  large number of Chinese coolies took part.

Karena Sew Hoy
Karena Sew Hoy (Diverse Bananas, Global Dragons International Conference (2014))
Marketing Executive
Presentation :

What is the significance of the Hokianga Ching Ming to Karena and her extended Sew Hoy family? She will share her thoughts and feelings of this amazing pilgrimage with you


I am a 6th generation Dunedin born Chinese New Zealander. I now work in Auckland as a Marketing Executive. My great great great Grandfather Choie Sew Hoy was one of the earliest Chinese pioneers to New Zealand. Unfortunately he never made it back to China - as his remains were lost at sea with the sinking of the SS Ventnor in 1902. Last year, a large number of my family attended the Ching Ming ceremonies in Hokianga. We were able to pay our respects to both him, and the others who were lost.

Alice  Wang
Alice  Wang (Diverse Bananas, Global Dragons International Conference (2014))
NZ Rhodes Scholar
Presentation :

A tale of two cities: the journey of a young Chiwi to find her wings.   Alice will talk about how her personal background and identity as a young Chinese New Zealander has shaped her journey and vision for the future.


Alice is a Judge’s Clerk at the Supreme Court of New Zealand. In September 2014, she will commence postgraduate studies at the University of Oxford in public policy and economic development as a New Zealand Rhodes Scholar.  She was the inaugural winner of the University of Auckland Blues Award (Major Category) for Outstanding Contribution to the University Community in 2013, in reflection of her service on the University of Auckland Council, leadership of the student-run organisation Make a Difference with Economics (MADE) and involvement with social entrepreneurship. Alice has volunteered at underprivileged schools in Yogyakarta, Indonesia and is an op-ed contributor to the NZ Herald.   In her spare time, Alice enjoys writing, running and long conversations. She aspires to one day backpack across the world.

David H T Wong
David H T Wong (Diverse Bananas, Global Dragons International Conference (2014))
Presentation :

Stories of the Chinese diaspora share common themes of survival, of racism, and of nation building in a foreign land. Some of these stories may be lost in today’s fast paced, technologically distracted world.

The comic book is a universal format that may be able to engage people in topics such as history and racism. It is a hope that graphic novels like Escape to Gold Mountain will encourage dialogue between cultures and generations to discover and respect each other’s history.


David H.T. Wong was born and raised in Vancouver. He is an accomplished Architect and a respected Asian Canadian activist whose family first came to North America from China 130 years ago. Trained as a Botanist/ Biologist, he continues his love for nature with his on-going efforts to save frogs around our planet, highlighted in 2009 with an official civic "Save the Frogs Day" proclamation, the first city in the world to do so. David was recently named by the Vancouver Sun newspaper as one of British Columbia's "100 most influential Chinese-Canadians". In 2012, he received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal in recognition of his championing of social causes – including environmental work, cultural harmony and community building. In September 2013, David was inducted as an Honorary Witness by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada to help preserve and educate others on the heartbreaking history of “Indian residential schools”.  David’s first book, "Escape to Gold Mountain" is a graphic novel that narrates the history of the Chinese in North America through the eyes of a family through 6 generations.

Florence Wong
Florence Wong (Diverse Bananas, Global Dragons International Conference (2014))
Director / Leader of China Business Group - Ernst & Young
Presentation :

Personal Journey. How I got into various leadership positions in the New Zealand business industry. Sharing own experiences being an immigrant living in New Zealand. Addressing confidence and assertiveness. Personal branding.


Florence is the Leader of the EY New Zealand China Business practice. Florence has a Bachelor of Commerce degree majoring in Accounting and Finance from the University of Auckland.
Florence joined Carter Holt Harvey in 2004 as a tax consultant while it was one of the largest listed Australasian forest products company. She was responsible for the group tax compliance issues in New Zealand, Australia and China.
Florence re-joined EY in 2007 as a senior tax manager and has since taken several roles that were instrumental to leading the China Business Group at EY New Zealand.
Being awarded as the most valuable player, as well as receiving the performance and recognition awards at EY, Florence has created a network targeting China inbound and outbound clients.
She has served a wide spectrum of private and public companies which are leaders in their respective industries.
Florence is a Chartered Accountant and a member of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants.
Florence is fluent in Mandarin as well as Cantonese. She is a also a regular contributor of articles to the New Zealand Herald, the Chinese Herald and the Shanghai Business Review

Liu Shueng Wong
Liu Shueng Wong (Diverse Bananas, Global Dragons International Conference (2014))
Director - Intercultural Works
Presentation :

The Self Help Guide to the Chinese Historical Ventnor Trail.


Six years ago, I started negotiating with Maori in the Far North to so we complete a cycle that needed to be done.  The Chinese whose bones were on the coffins boxes on the SS Ventnor and subsequently lay at the bottom of the sea or washed along the coastline, were about to receive the Ching Ming ritual of Bei Jey.  On Ching Ming 2013 it happened.

Gar Kee Wu
Gar Kee Wu (Diverse Bananas, Global Dragons International Conference (2014))
Presentation :

Gar Kee will cover her personal trial and tribulation of being in an inter-racial relationship in this generation, both my boyfriend’s and my own parent’s thoughts on the relationship and finally, advice to anyone dating someone from a different background.


Gar Kee Wu is a graduate student from the University of Waikato, who studied Screen and Media Studies and Sport and Leisure. She has worked as a volunteer for the Hamilton City Council Youth Team and was involved in supporting community events within the Summer Festival Programme – covering sporting, music and general activities for youth. Currently, she hosts her own radio show "Trifecta" on Free FM which revolves around health, lifestyle and advice for relationships. Her passions lie within educating youth and hopes to pursue a career promoting events that encourage our younger generation to lead a healthier lifestyle.

Deanna Yang
Deanna Yang (Diverse Bananas, Global Dragons International Conference (2014))
Business entrepreneur
Presentation :

The challenge of being a young Kiwi-Asian woman trying to make it in the world of business. Overcoming stereotypes and prejudice against age, gender and ethnicity.


As a child, Deanna had written “Open a cookie shop” at the top of her Bucket List, never thinking she would actually do it. After graduating with a Bachelor of Communication Studies & chasing a career in journalism, she finally decided to fulfill her childhood dream. At the age of 21, she opened Moustache Milk & Cookie Bar. Moustache is a cosy shop in the heart of Auckland City that bakes fresh, handmade cookies just like the good ol’ days. Deanna was born and raised in West Auckland with Singaporean Chinese roots.