Crowdfunding water quality solutions

The donation page for Alexis Wagner's fundraising campaign
Article by Leighenne Pang, Griffith Asia Institute Intern.

Griffith Asian Studies graduate Alexis Wagner inspires many locals in China and Australia to join her campaign in improving China’s water quality.

Her Everyday Hero online campaign raised over $1000 in its first week of fundraising towards a post-graduate scholarship to research into China’s water health at Griffith’s Australian Rivers Institute.

Alexis’ story has caught the attention of Chinese media who has written a story about her fundraising effort but also her passion in raising awareness about China and Chinese culture:

Published by an Australian Chinese media WeSydney, the story has been viewed by 32,000 readers.

Here’s an English translation on parts of the story.

While most of the Chinese fancy about western world to learn English, eat western food and experience the western culture, the Chinese culture fascinates an Australian mother and she is preparing to start her journey to explore China.

“My heart attached to China though I do not look like Chinese.” said Alexis

Why does Alexis like so much about the Chinese culture?

The story started from 10 years ago, Alexis’ mother was sent to Shanghai by her company and worked there for 10 years. Alexis went to visit her mother in China regularly and gets to know China with her every visit, from the daily basics to the profound Chinese culture, she can be called as a local Chinese undoubtedly. She is truly in love with this place, an ancient and mysterious country.

You are wrong if you think this is the story of Alexis and China. Alexis has recently decided to live in the place she fell in love with. She has scheduled to move to China in August this year. You may think it is just another ordinary story of a westerner being passionate about Chinese culture, but instead of telling people how much she loves the culture and China, she is taking actions to prove her love to the country.

…the most touching thing that Alexis does to show her love to China is running a campaign with Griffith University in Brisbane to fundraise for the China water quality project.

“I hold this issue very close to my heart” Alexis states on the website. She is an Australian but she is doing more than a Chinese does. Although the donation is not even achieved one fifth of the goal, yet Xiao Xiao will not give up in any way.

When I asked Alexis the reason why she is doing this, she said: “Water is essential and a daily element to our lives, people will get ill if serious water pollution continues in China. My concern is it will causing negative impacts on their health and quality of life and that’s why it is my ultimate goal to solve the problem.”

I am really touched by Alexis has done and is doing for China. I feel ashamed of how am I being a Chinese when I see an Australian mother is striving her very best to help the water pollution issue in China.

Here is a little advice for who are reading this article, please try to see Australia in different ways; you will find wonderful people like Alexis if you open your heart to feel the place .


Originally published in Chinese on WeSydney by Steven Zhang.

If you would like to join Alexis on her mission to improve the health of China’s rivers, visit