Hong Kong-based alumnus Vincent Lam helps struggling UNSW students to ‘overcome the storm’ of COVID-19
Through his Lam Kwun King Memorial Fund, Hong Kong-based alumnus, Vincent Lam (MCom ’87) has generously donated $AU10,200 (HK$50,000) to UNSW’s Student Emergency Support Fund (SERF), helping students to overcome financial hardship as a result of COVID-19.
In memory of his late father, Mr Lam established the Lam Kwun King Memorial Fund in 2005, to help underprivileged students receive a university education. Mr Lam says, “my father was the one who taught me to give generously and help others, so that is exactly what I’m trying to do”.
As a board member of the UNSW Hong Kong Foundation and having received support throughout university himself, Mr Lam is passionate about supporting students in difficult circumstances. “Usually I try to help rural students from Mainland China and Hong Kong, but I understand how difficult it can be as a student when you’re out of work. So, I thought this fund (SERF) was a worthy cause,” he says.
After living in Sydney for 15 years, Mr Lam returned to Hong Kong where he founded ASIARAY Group, the largest airport media operator in China.
Now a successful businessman, Mr Lam urges students to ‘keep going’ even though times are tough. “Something that I reflect on regularly, and that I encourage students to remember, is that survival is the biggest victory. I want students to know that the storm will pass, so don’t give up,” he says.
SERF was established to provide critical financial assistance to students in demonstrated need, including Indigenous students, international students and students from rural or regional communities.
In just six weeks, the Student Emergency Response Fund has allocated more than $3.7 million in emergency e-vouchers and grants to over 6,700 students in critical need.
Thanks to the support of donors like Mr Lam, UNSW students from rural backgrounds like Cheyenne can afford basic living expenses, and pay their rent on time.
"When the pandemic began, I was really worried because I wasn't eligible for government benefits and didn’t have a stream of income to support my everyday needs. I wasn’t sure how long I’d be able to continue living in Sydney.
“Receiving the SERF grant relieved a lot of mental pressure and stress; it helped me pay rent on time, and made the transition to online studying much easier,” she says.
SERF is part of a UNSW’s two-part plan to tackle the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Learn how you can help us change the course of COVID-19.