August 22, 2017
Music school founder wins national migrant award
Founder and principal of North Auckland’s Albany School of Music, Grace Dong Liu, struck the right note with the judges
and was named Migrant of the Year at the New Zealand Association for Migration and Investment (NZAMI)
Immigration Awards on August 18.
The NZAMI Awards recognise the major contribution of professionals involved in the immigration industry and celebrate
the success that migrants give to the building of New Zealand. The awards were announced at a black-tie ceremony in
Auckland following the NZAMI’s annual conference.
NZAMI is the largest membership organisation representing immigration professionals in New Zealand. Its members have
expertise and broad first-hand knowledge of how immigration policies affect migrants and New Zealand businesses.
Dr Oliver Hartwich, executive director of the New Zealand Initiative and Jack Hou, ANZ Bank’s Head of Migrant, Asian
Retail and Business Banking Auckland presented Grace Dong Liu with her award.
ANZ Bank sponsored three awards – Migrant of the Year, Community Outreach, and Hall of Fame.
Migrant of the Year winner, Ms Dong Liu has been in New Zealand since 2013 after migrating from China with her husband
A highly talented flute player, Ms Dong Liu is a graduate of the Zurich University School of Music in Switzerland and
the Conservatory of Southern Switzerland. In Europe, she was principal flute player in numerous classical symphonies,
conducted several concerts and collaborated with well-known conductors at the Lugano Conservatory Youth Symphony
In New Zealand, she has taught flute and piano at the Remuera Music Academy and was granted Skilled Migrant Residency in
February 2016. In May 2017, a long-held dream of Ms Dong Liu’s became a reality when she officially opened The Albany
School of Music (ASM).
This unique school community boasts a world-standard teaching staff of more than 20, teaching studios, a first-class
music salon and a recording studio. The ASM has around 85 students and up to 10 new students joining every week.
“Ms Dong Liu was chosen for this award because, in a very short time since gaining residency, she has built a school
that will undoubtedly help many thousands of young New Zealanders develop their musical abilities in years to come, and
which will also enhance the quality of New Zealand’s accomplishments in the field of music,” comments NZAMI chair, June
“The NZAMI Migrant of the Year Award recognises a migrant whose personal efforts and achievement make them an
exceptional migrant – and Ms Dong Liu clearly meets this high standard.”
Full list of winners:
Grace Dong Liu - International musician, Founder and Principal of the Albany School of Music, Albany – Migrant of the Year Award
Arunima Dhingra of AIMS Global Immigration and Education Services, Epsom, Auckland – Immigration Advisor or Lawyer of the Year Award
Arunima Dhingra of AIMS Global Immigration and Education Services, Epsom, Auckland – Community Outreach Award
David Ryken of Ryken and Associates, Auckland City – Inducted into Hall of Fame
June Ranson of Woburn International, Wellington – Service Award