Detailed News

Western Australia

Media Release: Australia China Business Council WA Honorary Awards 2019

01 March 2019

PERTH: The Australia China Business Council West Australian Branch (ACBC WA) is pleased to announce the recipient of the ACBC WA Honorary Awards Program for 2019, Alan Smith, recently retired from Rio Tinto.

The Honorary Awards Program was established in 2016 as an initiative of the ACBC WA Executive Committee and has been established to recognise outstanding and sustained service to the organisation and the Western Australia-China relationship.

This prestigious program was created because exceptional individuals that contribute to the Western Australia and China trade, investment and cultural relationship deserve to be recognised.

Pictured: Hon. Peter Tinley Minister for Housing, Veteran Issues, Youth, Asian Engagement; Alan Smith; Adam Handley, President ACBC WA
Alan Smith was the recipient of the award for outstanding and sustained service to the Western Australia–China Relationship.
This award was announced and presented by The Hon. Peter Tinley MLA Minister for Housing, Veteran Issues, Youth, Asian Engagement at the ACBC WA and Chinese Chamber of Commerce Australia (CCCA) Chinese New Year Gala held at Crown Perth in the Grand Ballroom on February 28, 2019.
"It is fitting that someone the calibre of Alan Smith receives this important recognition.  He has made a sustained and meaningful contribution to the Australian and Western Australian relationship with China over many years. At this time in the bi-lateral relationship it is critical that we acknowledge and support leading individuals that have worked so hard to develop the relationship with our most important trading partner". Said Adam Handley, President of ACBC WA.
Alan received the award for his outstanding advocacy efforts supporting two-way understanding and investment between China and Australia; as a pioneer of Australia-China business and his close involvement, over more than three decades, with the development of Australia's iron ore exports to China.
“I am honoured to receive this prestigious award from the ACBC WA. I have been privileged to have played a small part in the growth of the critically important Western Australia - China trade relationship and to have helped build enduring partnerships with China. Most importantly, over the past thirty years, I have witnessed first-hand one of the most extraordinary and globally important economic and social transformation of any country, in any period, at anytime. China has successfully raised the living standards of hundreds of millions of people, and Australia has been both a significant contributor to, and beneficiary of, this growth.” Said Alan Smith.
Alan joined Rio Tinto in 1985 and spent the majority of his career with Rio internationally, in executive sales and market development roles in iron ore, living and working in Asia (Hong Kong, India, Singapore), the UK (London) and Canada (Montreal), as well as in Australia.  Throughout his career, Alan remained very closely involved in Rio’s China development activities, with over 30 years active engagement in this market.
Alan was a key participant in both of Rio Tinto's major China initiatives - Channar and BaoHI. His long-term support and advocacy for strong Australia - China bilateral ties - based upon mutual understanding and respect – resulted in Alan becoming one of the most trusted participants within the Australia-China iron and steel community.
For further information please contact:
Adam Handley
President, ACBC WA 
0478 486 825