Thirty of Great China’s brightest international students from universities across the nation will gain a unique insight into Australia’s political, legal, and cultural foundations.
The select class will attend a new prestigious scholar program aimed at deepening their engagement with Australia and at fostering durable people-to-people relations between Australia and China.
Funded by a $350,000 grant from Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s National Foundation for Australia China Relations, the inaugural Stephen FitzGerald Scholarship Program will take place in late November, bringing star Honours and Masters students to the capital over three exciting days.
Led by the ANU Australian Studies Institute, the program of events grants uncommon access to the Parliament House, the High Court of Australia, the CSIRO and national cultural institutions.
Fittingly, it has been named in honour of Dr Stephen FitzGerald who was Australia’s first ambassador to the People’s Republic of China in 1973. Dr FitzGerald, who is an alumnus of ANU, will address the students who will also hear from some of the country’s most senior politicians, academics, and jurists.
Qiong (Cami) Song, who is completing a Master of Teaching (Secondary) at University of South Australia, said she was really looking forward to attending and believed the positives could be long-lasting.
“I feel privileged to be selected for this program. I look forward to collaborating with fellow scholars on this platform, where we can connect, contribute, and drive meaningful change. Ultimately, I hope this program will have a significant impact on strengthening the Australia-China relationship.”
Master of Landscape Architecture student, Linjie (Lisa) Liu, from the University of Western Australia agreed, suggesting there would be real opportunities for expanding research and collaboration links.
“I am going to use Canberra’s case studies in my research on urban greenspace and blue-green infrastructure. I also look forward to developing interdisciplinary collaboration with scholars from Canberra and other Australian cities.”
Linjie Liu even showed that some scholars are more familiar with the capital than many Australians.
“Canberra is famous for proposing and implementing innovative planting design and water-sensitive design strategies,” the Master’s candidate explained. “My main research interest is searching for sustainable landscape design solutions for cities in the time of drying climate and biodiversity loss. I hope this trip to Canberra will enrich my research-based design.”
Academic Convenor, Professor Mark Kenny, said students would gain an understanding that could only build trust.
“Australia and China have a hugely significant relationship over a long period, and neither is going anywhere so it is mutually advantageous for scholars and citizens from both countries to understand each other, recognising key differences but common humanity as well.”
He said it was common for other nations to provide similar cultural and political familiarisation programs for journalists, students, academics and even MPs, and it made perfect sense for Australia to do so. “We have such a good story to tell about the robustness of our defining institutions, and about the accommodation of internal differences,” he said.
“Chinese international students are a major component of Australia’s world class higher-education sector, and this program aims to honour those who excel at their chosen studies and provide them with an even greater knowledge of Australia to take back to their homeland,” he said.
Twenty Australian universities are represented in the 2023 intake of the program with the representation set to expand to incorporate all universities in future years as the class goes from 30 to 50 scholars per year.
Congratulations to the inaugural Stephen FitzGerald Scholars:
- Suet Kin Chan, Charles Sturt University
- Yu Ho Chan, Macquarie University
- On Yiu Cheung, Curtin University
- Wenqing Fan, University of Queensland
- Jiafu Hao, University of Wollongong
- Kaixin He, University of South Australia
- Xueting Hong, RMIT University
- Renjie Li, Australian National University
- Ya-Ling Lin, Monash University
- Linjie (Lisa) Liu, University of Western Australia
- Yiyang Liu, Queensland University of Technology
- Yang Liu, Western Sydney University
- Jiangyi Luo, Australian National University
- Dr Emma Mak, University of Notre Dame
- Peijin Qin, University of New South Wales (Sydney)
- Man Ho So, La Trobe University
- Qiong (Cami) Son, University of South Australia
- Waiao Tang, Monash University
- Chung Ho Tseung, University of Western Australia
- Qunyi Wang, University of Queensland
- Yixuan Wang, Deakin University
- Yunaho Xing, Monash University
- Jingchen Xu, Deakin University
- Ka Yu (Michelle) Yeung, Griffith University
- Huiye Yu, University of New South Wales (Sydney)
- Xina Zeng, University of Sydney
- Ailun Zhang, Australian National University
- Dr Yuqiong Zhang, University of Adelaide
- Yuxiao Zhang, University of Tasmania
- Lei Zhou, RMIT University
The Stephen FitzGerald Scholars Program is supported by the National Foundation for Australia-China Relations. The ANU Australian Studies Institute is proud to be a National Foundation for Australia-China Relations grant recipient.