Maribyrnong resident Yanan Hao has more than one reason to feel pride when he steps forward today to receive his PhD from Victoria University at his graduation ceremony.
Besides earning his doctorate in the highly specialised area of service computing from VU's School of Engineering and Science, Yanan will also be permanently reunited with his wife and three year-old daughter, who arrived last week from China.
Except for quick yearly visits to China, this will be the first time Yanan has been united with his family since he left Hebei near Beijing in 2006 to further his studies in Australia.
"We will be all crying tears of joy," said Yanan. "This is the beginning of a new life for us all."
Yanan's history with Victoria University goes back several years when, as an undergraduate student, he met his current research supervisor, Professor Yanchun Zhang at a research seminar in China.
"He offered me a very generous scholarship to come to VU since he thought I had the potential to do this kind of research," he said.
But to accept the offer, Yanan was forced to leave Lina, his first and only girlfriend, who had become his wife three years earlier.
"She understood we needed to sacrifice for this opportunity, but we are a team," he said.
While completing his PhD , Yanan has also worked for the University to implement a sophisticated computer management system to support the administration of VU residential accommodation.
With his PhD now completed and his research receiving international recognition for its potential applications in cloud computing and e-commerce, the soon-to-be Dr Hao's next step is to apply for permanent Australian residency for himself and his family.
"In my area of research, Australia is very strong," he said. "I am so happy that I can be here to do this work, but I can now do it with my family next to me."
Yanan Hao is available for interview. Photos of Yanan with his family are also available.
Ann Marie Angebrandt, Media Officer
Marketing and Communications Department, Victoria University
Ph: (03) 9919-5487 or Mobile: 0403 556 001.