Advance’s new board member signals new direction

The organisation that has been connecting Australian expats since 2001, has appointed KPMG’s Doug Ferguson to its board as it looks to actively connect expats with jobs back home, as well as business opportunities with Australian companies.

Chairman of the Advance.org, Yasmin Allen  announced the appointment today saying that Ferguson’s decade of experience in China, managing global clients for KPMG, would help with the organisation’s new direction. 

Yasmin Allen, Chair of Advance

“We are delighted to have Doug’s perspective and experience, especially as Advance.org moves to strengthen relationships with Australian expats, alumni of Australian universities, and students overseas, to benefit Australia,” said Allen. 

Ferguson spent more than a decade in Asia, based in Beijing and Hong Kong with KPMG leading acquisition and due diligence engagements across China. 

Advance is looking to take a more active role as a global connector following the findings of a joint report carried out last year that revealed that Australians who had worked overseas struggled to find work when they returned home. 

A key finding of the report was that Australian businesses and recruiters need to broaden their search to include workers with overseas experience. 

“Close to half (49%) of expats returning from overseas reported eventually finding employment through their own networks,” said Allen.

She said Ferguson’s ‘lived experience’ would help Advance identify opportunities, particularly in Asia, that would help strengthen international business and include expats. 

“I can’t think of anyone better positioned to inform our effort to actively support the growth of Australian entrepreneurs and to provide fresh ideas that will contribute to addressing our skills shortage,” said Allen. 

Ferguson is Chairman of KPMG in NSW and Partner in Charge of Asia and International Markets with responsibility for advising and supporting Asian and Australian clients. 

Doug Ferguson, Advance Boardmember

Ferguson, who speaks Mandarin said he is honoured to be appointed to the board of Advance.org. 

“I have admired Advance.org for years and I’m excited about the opportunities for Australian workers and businesses in this new global economy,” he said. 

Allen said Advance.org will continue to expand its efforts during 2020 to drive better collaboration, innovation and investment between global Australians and Australia.

“And, Doug’s commitment to supporting the next generation of global Australians fits perfectly with our mission,” she said.