Senator David Van Victorian senator of the Australian Parliament 澳大利亚维多利亚州参议员
Senator David Van was born and raised in Melbourne’s bayside suburbs. Van was elected as a Victorian senator for a six-year term in the Australian Parliament in 2019 representing the centre-right Liberal Party.
Prior to his election, Senator Van ran his own business specialising in crisis management. His unique approach to solving reputational problems meant his skills were in demand in Australia and internationally, including Malaysia.
“Australians and Malaysians share many values and this leads to better outcomes when working together. I would like to work closely with Malaysia on areas of mutual interest and, where possible, bring Malaysian innovation and investment to Victoria.”
Senator Van has been a long-time supporter of Victoria’s diverse and multi-cultural demography. Since his election to the Senate, this experienced and well-liked politician used his position to try and bring the many communities together in Melbourne by regularly hosting consular round tables, ensuring all voices are heard.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Senator Van called out on the racism facing international students in Australia. In a letter to The Star he wrote, “It is unacceptable that anyone should have to put up with such cowardly and reprehensible racist behaviour. It is utterly un-Australian and is condemned by all Australians. Every person in Australia – whether they arrived here recently, or their families have walked these lands since time immemorial – should never face aggressive acts based on their heritage.”
Senator Van also believes strongly that the best way to improve people’s lives is to give them the ‘dignity of work’ in secure, well-paid and safe jobs. A champion for small businesses, this dapper individual has a passion for helping them overcome many hurdles. “Small businesses are the engine room of the Australian economy and enabling them to thrive with lower taxes, less red tape and more opportunity is the best way to give more Australians a secure future.”
He enjoys a wide range of outdoor activities, especially diving and has dived in some of Malaysia’s best dive spots.
Douglas Stewart Owner of the Douglas Stewart Fine Books Pty. Ltd Douglas Stewart 精品书有限公司所有者
Douglas began buying and selling books in 1995, while still in high school. Fascinated with some of the oldest prints from the western world, he knew that the perks of doing something he enjoys, would not necessarily be about owning any books.
“Although I may not be able to afford to collect the books that I would want, the great joy about my job is that I get to surround myself with books all day. And then every now and again, one will leave and go into a collector’s home and another one will come in.”
It gives him a real thrill when books they have rescued occasionally end up in the State or the National Library. What could be better than knowing they are placed into a collection where it will be preserved for future generations.
One of his most exciting moments as a bookseller was dealing with the buying and selling of a single page of the Gutenberg bible, regarded as the first book ever printed in the western world in 1455. While there are no complete copies of the Gutenberg bible left in private hands today, they are available in museums and libraries.
Following the topics on old and rare books, Douglas further commented on works found closer to our shores, “In China, they had prints made from woodblock and moveable type far earlier than that, probably from the 8th and 9th centuries. And very occasionally you get examples of printings from Asia.”
According to Douglas, the most interesting books to do with Asia are the ones that document first contact. These books dictated some of the westerners’ first encounter with the people from China, Japan, the Philippines and even India.
“Often the Europeans would bring over a printing press to print books on the ground, perhaps for missions in Japan, China or India. These books are rare because they only print a handful of them. And due to the climate and cultural conditions, only a few of them survived.”
Douglas and his team have also handled some rare books printed on rice paper by missionaries who were travelling around Asia in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Australia also has some remarkable tales of its own. A legendary rarity believed to be the first book on Australia, is a copy of Francois Pelsaert’s story of the shipwreck of the Batavia, one of Australia’s most gripping in all maritime history. This very first edition of Pelsaert is one of the rarest of Dutch voyages and a foundation book for Australia. Available for purchase for A$400,000, it is the most expensive book they have in stock at the moment.
While first edition of a shipwreck printed in 1647 may instantly command an exquisite price tag, little ephemeral things from our daily lives can also be a collector’s item.
“My favorite was an original concert program from Woodstock in 1969. The program was actually water stained because very famously the heavens opened and the rain came down and everybody was completely saturated. And this program obviously caught the rain in Woodstock,” said Douglas.
Between exhibiting at the New York International Antiquarian Book Fair and other book fairs in Los Angeles, Tokyo or Paris, Douglas’ love for art often sees him visiting art galleries and exhibitions even during his travels. “ I love seeing what’s on display because I enjoy seeing what different people value in different parts of the world. And so, I’m always learning.”
For many years Douglas has been a member of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers (ANZAAB), and is currently the President of ANZAAB. He is also a Mentor for the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers.
Douglas Stewart并非一般的书商。他对艺术和旅游的兴趣已经超出大部分人所能享受的范畴。而渴望寻求发现首个被遗忘的长期航海旅行，他最近收购Ferdinand Mendez Pinto的记叙书，这些最早的目击者是巡游马来半岛、暹罗、南圻国，中国和日本的西方人，正是类似事迹激发他作为古董书商的兴致。
在澳大利亚墨尔本的Armadale大街上，他的精品书店-Douglas Stewart Fine Books与其他古董商、画廊和书店为邻，展示着全球各地最稀有的书籍、文本和艺术品。
“The definition of success is having a good business with a clear strategic vision, looking after all stakeholders in your business and being able to provide for your family”.
These are the confident words of Maurice Romano, who has been the co-founder and group managing director of the Romano Property Group (RPG)¸ since 2005. Driven by the ethos of dynamic collaboration and creativity, this market-driven, innovative property development business is 100 per cent privately owned by Maurice Romano and his family since 2016. RPG champions itself in its ability to manage and control a project from its conceptual genesis through all stages of its development cycle by establishing itself as a distinctive, trustworthy and resilient player in the property market.
The Romano family’s professional experience in the art of property construction and development can trace its roots back to when his first-generation Italian immigrant parents settled in Ballarat during the 1960s. “My dad was a solid plasterer and concreter by trade. My parents started a small construction business in renovation, plastering, concreting and building townhouses”, said Mr Romano. His parents were pioneers in the construction of one of the first boutique triple-storey apartments in Ascot Vale. With an entrepreneurial spirit fostered since young, Romano studied a Bachelor of Economics in Melbourne and was told by his father to, “go work for the bank”.
Despite a series of failed interviews and being told that he simply “didn’t have the right personality for banking”, the persistently diligent young graduate found his niche in sales and marketing when he joined Rexona Unilever as a sales representative. This would then usher in a rewarding 25-year career for Romano, where he excelled, to hold several senior executive positions and directorships across prestigious corporations within the Australian and New Zealand fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry such as Amcal, Pacific Dunlop Food Company, Valcorp Fine Foods and the Australian Convenience Foods Group (ACFG). Romano is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and successfully obtained a postgraduate degree in marketing to complement and consolidate theoretical business principles for practical applications.
Being the eldest of three brothers, Romano led his younger brother to take reign of the Romano construction and development family business to form RPG in 2005. In a decade, the brothers delivered over AUD400m worth of projects across medium-density residential, retail, student accommodation, commercial offices and high-rise medical within the Melbourne metropolitan area. The longevity and trust in RPG within the property market has also enabled it to attract foreign capital from a myriad of international investors. After a fruitful partnership of 10 years, the Romano brothers decided to pursue separate business interests in 2015.
In the spirit of continuing the Romano legacy, Romano then moved RPG to Collins Street and restructured the company to operate under a triumvirate division structure through RPG Capital, RPG Projects and RPG Real Estate. Where RPG capital facilitates debt and equity funding structures for high net worth investors, RPG projects are focused on sourcing, planning and construction of projects which are then complemented by project marketing delivered by RPG Real Estate. Romano holds a full Real Estate licence and is OIEC of this real estate arm. “Real estate development is not for the faint-hearted. You really need an extraordinary team and some robust financing behind you.”
Unlike RPG’s competitors who leverage debt and equity capital from other investors to fund their projects, Maurice is a staunch believer in co-investing his own capital with a suite of trusted partners. RPG’s successful 15-year partnership with trusted financial institutions like the Bank of Melbourne and National Bank is also a testament to RPG being a paragon of excellence and trust within the property development market that is often riddled with volatility. Romano believes that investing 50 percent to 100 percent of RPG’s own capital into every project translates to a symbiotic enhanced cooperation and understanding between the developer and investors.
Adopting both a horizontal and vertical organisational structure enables RPG to focus on core elements of the stages of property development through its “inhouse” staff without losing strategic direction. As “buyers want to deal directly with their developer”, RPG conducts project marketing alongside its inhouse sales team. This successful formula has not only resulted in its developments being sold out 100% but allowed RPG to effectively build and manage a rent roll of 400 plus properties in a manner that always prioritises customer’s needs.
Good rapport with principal consultants like KCL Law, Thompson Geer, Charter Keck Cramer, external accounting firm Hall and Chadwick, and a thorough appreciation of one’s internal talents, are essential elements for a successful property development firm. Romano cares about the career fulfilment and wellbeing of his staff. “You are not only there to keep people employed but, you are actually adding value to someone else’s life. I think that’s something that people tend to disregard.”
Assisted by powerful project development and, sales and marketing teams, RPG has multiple promising projects in premium locations, in the pipeline. These projects are set to deliver long-term value for the company, the community at large and investors over the next 5 years.
One of RPG’s exciting new ventures is their acquisition of 8-10 Grattan Street, Hawthorn a once-in-a-lifetime development of 15 over-generous, luxurious and unique residences within the premium location of St James Estate. Partnered with the architectural genius of Ewert Leaf and the creativity of noted landscaper Jack Merlo , marketing of this Hawthorn project is to commence in August 2020.
Romano is confident that the 15th anniversary of RPG in September 2020 will inaugurate the dawn of a new age and RPG’s continued journey of longevity within the Melbourne property market.
尽管在面试时候经历一连串的失败，也被告知根本就缺乏“适合从事银行业的性格”，但这位奋发的年轻毕业生却在作为销售代表加入联合利华(Rexona Unilever)后，迅速在销售与营销业务中找到了自己的定位。这也开启了他25年的超卓职业生涯，涉足于澳大利亚和新西兰快速消费品(FMCG)行业领域。包括Amcal，Pacific Dunlop食品公司、Valcorp Fine Foods和澳大利亚方便速食品集团(Australian Convenience Foods Group-ACFG)。Maurice Romano同时也是澳大利亚公司董事机构(Australian Institute of Company Directors – AICD)的研究员，并获得市场营销的研究生学位，辅助和巩固理论商业原则，致力应用于实践。
本着延续Romano家族文化的精神，Maurice Romano随后将RPG迁移至柯林斯街(Collins Street)并对公司进行重组，通过整合把RPG Capital、RPG Projects和RPG Real Estate作为三大业务框架运营。RPG Capital为高净值投资者的项目提供债务和股权融资结构，而RPG Projects则专注于寻找、规划和构建项目，然后再由RPG Real Estate进行项目营销。Maurice Romano持有正式的房地产执照，也是该部门全权有效管制人员。
“太过谨小慎微的人并不适合房地产开发，你必需要有一个非凡的团队和强力的资金支持。”不过，他们与竞争对手利用其他投资者的债务和股票资本进行项目融资的情况不一样，坚定秉持诚信观念，与一批值得信赖的合作伙伴共同投资自有资本。他们与墨尔本银行(Bank of Melbourne)和国家银行(National Bank)等金融机构以互信互惠的方式成功携手15年，这也证明RPG在房地产开发市场中是卓越和信任的典范，在形势起伏不定的房地产开发市场实属少见。他相信将RPG自有资金的50%到100%投入到每个项目中，能够更紧密增进开发者和投资者之间的合作和理解。