For more than 20 years, Dr Yvonne Zhou-Grundy has worked with businesses to develop commercial relationships with China. In fact, Yvonne was instrumental in helping Victoria University (VU) establish our partnership with Central University of Finance & Economics in Beijing. Based in Melbourne, Yvonne also completed her PhD at VU in 2011, further cementing her strong connection with the University.

Yvonne is keen to make sure students have what they need to succeed. She explains why she supports the Student Support Appeal.

Conversation with Dr Yvonne Zhou-Grundy

What year did you enrol in VU, what course did you study and what campus were you based.

I enrolled in VU in 2008 in a PhD in the business discipline, based in Footscray Park and City Flinders campus

What do you remember most about your time at VU as a student?

Staff were very friendly, helpful and supportive whether they worked in library, school/faculty admin office, PA to the head of the school and Dean of the faculty as well as university research office. I felt a real connection with the people then, particularly with my PhD supervisors. Their professionalism and witty sense of humour shined through my entire research journey of 3.5 years and helped me to overcome some of the very difficult and daunting research tasks.

Why do you still feel connected to VU?

I am very much a member of VU’s big family and remain committed to serving this community in my capacity as a VU China Representative. Looking back on the history of my long association with VU of nearly two decades, I would emphasise connecting VU with the Central University of Finance and Economics (CUFE) a high ranking university in China and helping to manage the partnership. Over 17 years VU has graduated nearly 2000 students with dual Australian and Chinese international trade/risk management degrees. I was also instrumental in the establishment of the Centre for Research on Business and Economy (CRBE) between the two universities to conduct high level strategic business research aiding bi-lateral trade and commerce.

If you had to describe VU to someone, what would you say?

Enjoy your experience with a great university committed to many domestic and international goals and be part of the process for positive change.

A couple of years ago you became a donor to VU – why did you do that? What does it mean to you to?

Sharing and helping others in need has been part of my upbringing. I have been a donor for many other organisations. The outbreak of the pandemic has really made all of us re-evaluate our priorities in life. Due to my strong affinity with education and being partly of my nature in helping others in need, I feel so rewarded as a donor of VU’s Thrive fund in helping students in financial difficulties to complete their studies and find employment in order to support themselves.

If you were the Vice-Chancellor for a day and there were no limitations on your ideas, what changes would you implement?

If I was the Vice-Chancellor for a day I would reach out to every student to let them know that they will be holistically supported to reach their dreams as part of a big VU community and not just a statistic.

We are incredibly grateful to Yvonne and all our loyal donors for their dedication and ongoing commitment to our students. Your gifts make a big difference to their chance of success, and inject incredible talent back into our community.

When you give to VU you shape the future of our community! Donate now.