Founder and CEO of Chinese Connections, based in Sunshine Coast, Queensland

A businesswoman and a teacher

A Short History of Our Illustrious Leader
Chinese Connections is the brainchild of a young Chinese graduate lawyer, Luisa Baird (Liu Yi) who arrived in Australia in 1996 from mainland China to complete her studies at Sydney University. She met her future husband and business partner Ian in 1998 while finishing her MBA, but instead of starting her planned business career after graduation, Luisa & Ian made the decision to begin a family immediately after their wedding in 1999. Four vacations later and with a growing love affair with the Sunshine Coast, Luisa & Ian, with baby Zak in tow, headed north.

Ten years later, with a somewhat successful 7 year dalliance in retail, a new baby boy, Marlon, another degree from the University of the Sunshine Coast, this time in education and teaching, and a new career as the senior Chinese teacher at a leading College on the Coast, Luisa had an epiphany.

The Epiphany
Having found the most beautiful place in the world to live, she wanted to share the Sunshine Coast with her many Chinese friends from all over the world.

The Beginning
And that is how it all began. Chinese Connections is now Luisa’s passion, and with the murmurings of the Australia-Wide China Ready program arriving last year, Luisa realised that with her huge experience in Chinese culture and language education, her vast network of Chinese friends and associates, and her and Ian’s knowledge of the Coast, she finally knew that it was time for her to actively connect the Coasts many tourism operators with a new breed of well to do, independent Chinese traveller, and for these adventurous new Chinese travellers to be connected with the most underutilised, beautiful, low key, and natural tourist wonderland in Australia that is “The Sunshine Coast.”