AISHK 25th Anniversary Throwback: Jackie Chan Visits AISHK

Jackie Chan with AISHK’s ‘Jackie Chans’ in 2005

On 18 February, 2005, global superstar Jackie Chan, best known as a martial artist, actor and singer, was a special guest at the school’s Welcome Back BBQ and 10th Anniversary Party.

Below is an excerpt dated Wednesday 16 February, 2005 from Dhanara, written by Mr Paul Tam (Director, Development Community Relations, 2005), which gives you a sense of just how excited the school was to welcome Jackie.

“Jackie Chan joins celebrations this coming Friday!

With the stream of publicity around the campus and in Dhanara, everyone should by now be well aware of, and excited over, the Welcome Back BBQ and 10th Anniversary Party this Friday.

The added security certainly has something to do with our very special VIP – Jackie Chan. That’s right, the megastar will be in attendance this Friday to accept his invitation into our newly established membership – Friendship of AISHK. He will also show two of his own documentaries which cover his overseas charity work. It’s a rare chance to see Jackie in action outside of the movie set.

Jackie is one of today’s famous film artists and biggest box office draws, both locally and internationally. With over 100 movies to his credit, Jackie is known for his mixture of comedy and drama, and formula for using lots of action with as little blood as possible. This has made him a fan favourite and a star who appeals to a spectrum of age groups.

Underneath all the glamour and fame, what you may not know is the fact that he grew up an impoverished boy in Hong Kong. The Chan family labored in order to have money to raise him. They eventually relocated to Australia, where his father worked as head chef in the American Embassy and that’s where the Chans’ long ties with Down Under began.

After he found fame and fortune in the world of movie-making, Jackie has given back to the world through his Jackie Chan Charitable Foundation and other charity work. His help with impoverished children, the disabled, the elderly and students is acknowledged across the world. Among many other awards and achievements, Jackie has recently been made Goodwill Ambassador of UNAIDS so it is a great honor that Jackie has accepted to be the inaugural Friend of AISHK, a membership which helps to promote Australian education and our great school. See you all there!”

Jackie Chan, Sue McMillan (Head of School 2003-2006), Jimmy Choy (Vice President, AISHKPA, 2005)

We caught up with some of the ‘Jackie Chans’ from the school and asked them about where they are now and what they remember from the exciting event.

Jackie Chan (Alumni 2003-2012) started at AISHK as a Year 3 student. After completing his tertiary studies in Sydney, he worked in Hong Kong for a short while, before moving back to Sydney recently to work as a gelato chef at his favourite local gelateria. He shares his initial disbelief in meeting the celebrity who shared the same name:

“Thinking back to 15 years ago, when I was told by my class teacher, Mr Ohlson, that I will be meeting Jackie Chan the movie star, I thought he was just making his routine Jackie Chan jokes on me. It wasn’t until we were called down to the school’s office to be briefed about the event, that I realised they were being serious. Each of the ‘Jackies’ were asked to prepare a question to ask THE Jackie Chan on the day, and I still remember asking him whether he would let his son learn Kung Fu like himself. That was a really special night and such a memory, along with that firm grip of Jackie’s hand on my shoulder, will continue to remain as one of my fondest memories of AISHK.”

Jackey Chan (Alumni 2003-2009) reflects fondly on his time at AISHK and shares some of Jackie Chan’s words of wisdom from the night:

“I went to Australia for university after I graduated from high school. I now work as a strength and conditioning coach in a private gym in Hong Kong. To me AISHK is a place full of joyful memories. One of the most memorable moments was the visit of Jackie Chan the movie star. As a huge fan of Jackie, I was excited enough to be able to see him in real life, let alone being able to get on the stage and speak to him! During his visit he gave us a speech on his mental journey of being a movie star. He encouraged us to always try hard and to never stop chasing our dreams. There is no doubt he is an inspirational man. To this day his words give me strength to face my hardship in life and to never stop chasing my dream!”

Jack Chan (Alumni 2004-2007, 2011-2012) is now working in the Technology sector and living in Melbourne, Australia.

“The event’s about 15 years ago now so I can’t say I remember clearly, but I do remember that Jackie Chan was very welcoming and although we’d only just met, he felt strangely familiar. Most probably because I’ve seen him that many times in the movies. It was definitely an awesome childhood experience. Quick update on my right cheek where he pinched me: I still haven’t washed it. (kidding!)”

Please enjoy the recap video of the event in 2005. Where you at the event? See if you can spot yourself in the video!