Australian of the year

John Yu

John Yu

John Yu was born on the 12th of December 1934 in china.John Yu was smuggled out of Nanking as a two year old shortly before the city fell to Japanese forces. With his mother and sister he immigrated to Australia as a refugee.

Career and early life

John Yu studied at the University of Sydney and embarked on a successful career in paediatrics, rising to the position of Head of Medicine at the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children in Camperdown. In 1978 Yu was appointed Chief Executive Officer and was the driving force behind the hospital’s relocation to Westmead in 1995. An expert on the decorative arts of South East Asia, Yu’s vision was to create a best practice paediatric hospital that integrated art, design and high quality medical care for the benefit of young people

What John Yu said accepting the award

Accepting his Australian of the Year award, Yu said, ‘I am proud of my Chinese heritage but even prouder to be an Australian.’