Australian Writers’ Week 2016 Promotes Australia via Literatures and Translation



The Australian Writers’ Week 2016 was held at Peking University on 14th March, 2016 in Beijing, capital of China.


The aim of this event was to help more Chinese people to learn about Australia through Australian writers’ literatures and their translated version from English into Chinese.


Professor Greg McCarthy, the BHP Billiton Chair of Australian Studies at Peking University, hosted the event attended by two renowned Australian writers Robert Drewe and Claire Wright.


In order to provide enough background information for in-depth understanding of their work, Professor Greg McCarthy told the audience about the achievements, artistic features and the great influences of the two writers in Australia.



The two writers then delivered a speech respectively on themes, characters and story telling styles in their literatures about Australian society, history and life of people in all walks of life.


The two speeches were complementary and could help listeners understand contemporary Australian literatures and think about whether their opinions on Australia could reflect real Australia.


Four students of Professor Li Yao, pre-eminent translator of Australian literature into Chinese, also had an opportunity to discuss with Robert Drewe on some linguistic and cultural points which were hard to translate. These four students were Master of Translation and Interpretation at Peking University and translated works of Robert Drewe at Professor Li Yao’s class.


Professor Zhang Yongxian, director of the Australian Studies Centre at the People’s University of China, and Professor Li Jianjun, director of the Australian Studies Centre at Beijing Foreign Studies University, also participated in the discussion.


An important achievement of this seminar was an agreement between well-known translator Li Yao and renowned Australian writer Robert Drewe. According to the agreement Professor Li would translate one of the Mr. Drewe’s most popular works into Chinese and the Chinese version was tentatively scheduled to be completed in 2017.


The seminar was co-hosted by the Australian Studies Centre at Peking University, the Australian Studies Centre at Beijing Foreign Studies University and the Australian Embassy to China.