The sixth Foundation for Australian Studies in China (FASIC) Conference was held in Chengdu, 2-3 November. Hosted by Sichuan Normal University's Australian Studies Centre, the newest such centre in China, more than 250 scholars participated in two days of discussions on Australia and China's literary, historical and cultural traditions. Consul-General Christopher Lim addressed the opening ceremony, highlighting the mutual benefits Australia and China gain from global trade, respect for international rules, and support for free and open markets.
After the conference, award-winning Australian authors, Professor Josephine Wilson and Professor Nicholas Jose (pictured above), headlined two Australia Writes events, where they discussed intersections between Australian and Chinese literature with Tsinghua University Australian literature expert Professor Wang Jinghui (pictured above far right). Sichuan writer A Lai also joined as a panellist for the second event.
The second Australia-China Tourism Forum was held in Chengdu 20-24 November 2018. Jointly organized by Sichuan University and Western Australia’s Edith Cowan University, it was also supported by the Australia-China Tourism Research Network. The forum provided a platform for tourism academics, industry leaders and government officials from Australia and China to exchange views on a wide range of topics related to bilateral tourism. Speakers included Consul-General Christopher Lim, Tourism Australia North Asia General Manager Andrew Hogg and Trade and Investment Commissioner Timothy White. Two-way tourist flows between Australia and China reached 1.9 million in the year to June 2018, including 1.4 million from China, making it Australia’s largest source of tourists.
The Australian National University (ANU) and the Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences held their inaugural Southeast Asia Conference on 5 November 2018 in Kunming. An initiative of the Consulate-General and ANU’s College of Asia and the Pacific, the conference brought together some of Australia and China's foremost academic experts on the region. Consul-General Lim (pictured above with others) delivered opening remarks and witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding on research collaboration and academic exchange (above). Yunnan, as China's gateway to mainland Southeast Asia, plays a significant role in China's relations with the region.
“If not now, then when?” was the guiding phrase that led Tegan Dullard (pictured above left), on a professional sabbatical, to take up Mandarin studies in China. “They say the average person has three careers in their lifetime. I wanted the skills to take me into the next one”. With a background in logistics and commercial management, Tegan was uniquely placed to see southwest China’s rise. “People here are buying things online in record numbers. That means parcels, data and opportunity” she says. Overcoming the fear of the unknown was perhaps the biggest challenge. “People don’t understand that Mandarin language study can be as valuable as an MBA – giving you insights into new cultures and markets”. Tegan’s sabbatical is supported by a Victorian Government Hamer Scholarship. Interested? Applications open 11 February 2019. Learn more at http://trade.vic.gov.au/for-exporters/programs-and-initiatives/hamer-scholarships
Australian Design Centre’s Alix Fiveash (pictured right) attended the Sichuan Traditional Crafts and Design Exhibition and Forum from 29 November to 2 December. Alix spoke on a panel about traditional craft and culture in the digital age, as well as meeting with traditional silk embroiderers and furniture design companies. “This short visit was an incredible glimpse into some of the ancient cultural practices of the Sichuan region and how a new generation is working to develop these crafts. It was also a wonderful opportunity to share the work of Australian designers with new audiences” Alix said. Learn more at https://australiandesigncentre.com/latestnews/supporting-traditional-crafts-sichuan-province/
Queensland beer, brownies and mud crabs were just some of the treats on the menu when nine Queensland businesses headed to Chengdu and Chongqing recently for the “Taste of Queensland” trade mission. “More than 75 buyers attended in Chengdu and more than 120 in Chongqing. Around 40 potential leads in southwest China have been generated from Taste of Queensland” Trade and Investment Queensland Chengdu’s Principal Business Development Manager Julia Zhang said. China is Queensland’s largest market for merchandise exports, buying $902 million worth of food and beverage products from the sunshine state in 2017–18. The Australian Trade and Investment Commission supported the mission. Learn more at https://www.tiq.qld.gov.au/chinese-appetite-for-western-menu-grows/
From 1 January 2019, the following passport fees will apply:
10-year passport for persons aged 16 and over - $293
5-year passport for children under 16 years and persons aged 75 and over - $148
emergency passport overseas - $184
replacement passport - $184
priority processing fee - $215
adult overseas surcharge - $132
child overseas surcharge - $64
Australia’s CSIRO has isolated a gene in a grain of rice which determines the thickness of its outer layer, where the grain gets many of its benefits like high fibre (pictured). Working with the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, CISRO hopes to use that knowledge to one day create healthier wheat, barley and sorghum. Learn more at https://blog.csiro.au/healthier-rice-is-extra-nice/
AustCham West China held a hotpot social mixer in Chongqing on 23 November. Stay tuned for the next one!