The first half of 2013, the Year of Snake saw further strides forward in the development of the role of the Confucius Institute at UQ. As in previous years, a range of regular courses and programs in Chinese language and culture have been successfully offered by the Institute to both UQ and the broader community. 2013 has also seen a more extensive range of educational and cross-cultural experiences made available to students and staff to enhance an understanding of China, its language and culture, and significantly advance Sino-Australian relations.
Key event highlights for Q1 and Q2 included:
Celebrating CNY at Queensland Schools
In February 2013, the Confucius Institute of The University of Queensland celebrated Chinese New Year at key schools in the Maryborough and Hervey Bay region. Renowned as an extremely significant time in the Chinese calendar, the young students were treated to a display of Chinese martial arts, magic, singing and musical performances in order to fully experience the festive Chinese New year atmosphere.
Outreach activity to Queensland schools is an important part of the UQ Confucius Institute’s responsibilities in promoting Chinese language and cultural aspects. With some schools already engaged with both Chinese teaching and the Confucius Institute, it is hoped that students will from a young age have the opportunity to develop their understanding of different cultures.
UQ ‘Taste of Chinese’ Visit
In May UQ entertained 76 secondary school students from 9 different schools on a half day visit to the campus to experience a ‘Taste of Chinese’. The warmly received visit program also included introductions to Chinese opera as well a classical Chinese instrumental performance.
As a leading office in promoting Chinese language and culture, the Confucius Institute is also a supporter of student associations with similar objectives. As part of the 2013 orientation week at UQ, the Confucius institute offered representation at key activities in both profile raising and supporting Chinese culture and language initiatives to the UQ student cohort.
Mr Martin Jarques Public Lecture
On 19th of April Mr Martin Jarques, well-known writer and journalist gave a public lecture to over 100 people at the ICTE Auditorium at University of Queensland. This was a joint Confucius Institute University of Queensland Forum and Mr Jarques, who flew to Brisbane especially for this event, gave an excellent presentation entitled “Australia in a China Centric World”. Mr Martin Jarques is from the United Kingdom and regularly contributes articles to The Guardian Newspaper. He has also published his latest bestseller “When China Rules the World” which has been met with critical acclaim.
Confucius Institute Bridge Competition
The 12th “Chinese Bridge” Chinese Proficiency Competition for University Students was held in May at the University of Queensland. Consisting of selected students from key universities in Queensland including the University of Queensland and Griffith University, the annual Bridge competition provided an avenue for university students to showcase their proficiency in the Mandarin language. The 33 participants in the 2013 event represented the largest uptake in the competition thus far and was indicative of the growing interest in Mandarin studies.
Peking University Student Union
In January a delegation of 27 students from the Peking University Student Union undertook a study tour and visit to UQ and the Confucius Institute. The visiting delegation, made up of students from various faculties at the Peking University was also accompanied on the visit by UQ International representatives. As part of the program, the delegation gained an in-depth understanding of the Institute’s operations and its role within the University of Queensland.
Australian School Principal’s delegation visit to China
In April 2013 a delegation of Principals and teaching staff from select Queensland schools visited China to gain a better understanding of the Hanban (Headquarters of Confucius Institutes), as well as China’s education systems and practices. The 14 person delegation program included a visit to Hanban, Tianjin University and affiliated high schools and primary schools.
This short visit proved high successful in promoting a better awareness of China with important meetings covering academic and student exchange also covered. For many delegates, the exposure to Chinese culture was a key highlight of the program which also allowed for visits to Beijing and Shanghai.
The program was strongly supported by UQ Confucius Institute with CI staff also accompanying the delegation on the visit.
Community Outreach- Queensland Law Society
Law Profession turns to China
In a first, the Queensland Law Society in partnership with the University of Queensland’s Confucius Institute and the Australian Chinese General Chamber of Business held the seminar – ‘Lawyers in the Asian century’ to teach the state’s legal profession on some of the basics of Chinese business cultural etiquette last week.
Presented and chaired by Chiu-Hing Chan, Vice Chairman of the Australian Chinese General Chamber of Business and appointed executive of the Queensland Law Society’s International Relations Committee, along with Michael Choi, the former QLD Parliamentary Secretary for Trade, Resource and multiculturalism, with Alex Lam an associate at Sciacass Lawyers, 15 solicitors representing some of the state’s largest law firms attended the seminar.
Supreme Court Judge – Justice Fryberg, who had previously studied Chinese at the University of Queensland, also made an appearance at the event to give lawyers his insight of China’s growing importance in the legal profession.
The course worth three CPD points was presented at the Queensland Law Society.
Community Outreach - Queensland Police Service
During May, Mr Ben Kelly at the Confucius Institute at UQ along with presenters Mr Chiu-Hing Chan, CEO of the Australian Chinese General Chamber of Business and the Police Liaison Unit, represented by Mr Chi Kim from the Fortitude Valley Precinct gave a series of seminars over 2 days to staff and officers from the Queensland Police Service.
During that time some 40 Officers and Staff from around Brisbane were given an overview of how the Police Liaison Unit operates and in particular how it serves members of the ethnic Chinese community in Brisbane. Other topics included working with the Chinese community, crime prevention and reporting as well as cultural and language training. Participants then joined in exercises based on real-life case-studies to apply what they had learned during this course.
The evaluation and feedback has been extremely positive and the Confucius Institute wishes to thank in particular, Super-Intendant Peter Savage, Inspector Ray Brownhill, Senior Sergeant Shane Hancock, Tracye Cashman, Training Manager, Queensland Police Academy, and Mr Chi Kim and his team from the Police Liaison Unit for all their support and assistance in making this programme a success. The Confucius Institute at UQ is proud of serving our local community and welcomes the opportunity of providing our skills for such courses in the future.
Community Outreach - Real Estate Institute of Queensland
On 13 March Mr Ben Kelly at the Confucius Institute at UQ, with guest speakers Mr Chiu-Hing Chan, CEO of the Australian Chinese General Chamber of Business and Mr Michael Choi , former parliamentary secretary for Trade and Multicultural Affairs, gave a seminar to 40 agents (managers and executives) from across the state as members of the Real Estate Institute of Queensland. The focus was how its members can tap into the opportunities in Asia and in particularly – China.
The seminar included topics such as the East-West view of doing business, client relationship building, negotiating techniques and group exercises to help REIQ’s members make the most of the new Asian Century. For many of its members this was a first chance to discuss opportunities in the region and how their businesses relate to this.
Feedback for this seminar was extremely well received and another series of seminars will be organised in 2014. The Confucius Institute is proud of providing such a practical and useful opportunity for REIQ’s members and we look forward to providing more seminars in the future.
RHD Student Workshop
During March and April, the Confucius Institute at UQ provided a 10 session workshop specially organised at the request of CSC (China Scholarship Council) RHD students and their supervisors at UQ . The series of workshops were designed for non-native English speaking RHD students and provided them with specialized knowledge and skills in researching, writing and publishing in English in specific disciplines of science, engineering and technology.
Over 40 students attended these workshops and the feedback was very positive. The Confucius Institute wishes to thank the following lecturers, Professor Ling Li, Professor Jin Zou, Professor Han Huang, Professor Zhi Guo Yuan, Professor Xiaofang Zhou, Professor Lianzhou Wang and Professor Chen Chen who all contributed to make these workshops a success.
The CSC Headquarters in China has indicated a keen interest in this workshop, and plans to offer it, in conjunction with the Confucius Institute at UQ, to CSC students in other universities and countries.
Did you know?... Year of the Snake
The snake is one of the 12 animal symbols of the Chinese Zodiac. A person’s sign is generally determined by the year that the person is born. Much like the Western star signs, each of the animals of the Chinese Zodiac tend to represent characteristics and traits which are often believed to be reflected in the individual personality of the person born to that animal sign.