Ballet dancer turned stockbroker Li Cunxin named Australia’s top dad

August 28th, 2009 - 2:25 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, Aug 28 (ANI): International ballet dancer turned stockbroker Li Cunxin has been named Australia’s top dad at 2009 Shepherd Centre Australian Father of the Year.

The man, who is famous for his bestselling autobiography Mao’s Last Dancer, received the award at a ceremony at NSW Parliament House in Sydney.

“This is indeed a great privilege. I regard this award as recognition of the important contribution all Australian fathers have made for the well-being of our children,” quoted him as saying.

He added: I’m sure there are other fathers out there far more deserving than me.”

Li, whose father passed away earlier this year, said he was humbled to have received the award.

He said: “My values as a father and a family man have been passed down from generation to generation. My children are integral in my life.”His three boys, Joshua, Brandon and Cameron had nominated him for the award.

In his role as a father, Cunxin had helped his daughter Sophie overcome difficulties after she was diagnosed with profound hearing loss when she was just 18 months old.

She was one of the first Australian children to receive bilateral cochlear implants.

However, the brave girl went on to complete her Victorian Certificate of Education in 2008 and finished in the top five per cent of the state.

In his autobiography, Li has narrated his poverty stricken upbringing in Communist China.

He had fled from home when he was just 11 to become a ballet dancer.

Li was even locked up in the Chinese Consulate in Houston, causing a political standoff between Washington and Beijing before he was released.

He is married to Australian-born ballerina Mary McKendry. (ANI)

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