The 4th FASIC Australian Studies Conference Focuses on
Sustainability: Social and Environmental Issues
Participants of the 4th FASIC Conference on 17 November 2016 in Guangzhou. [Photo: FASIC]
The 4th Foundation for Australian Studies in China (FASIC) Conference was held at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, Capital of South China’sGuangdong Province, from 16 to 18 November, 2016.
Themed as ‘Sustainability: Social and Environmental Issues’, the conference attracted over 130 experts and scholars on Australian studies from China and around the world. They shared their latest research findings on various topics including education, environment, translation, linguistics , cultural transmissions, Australia-China relations, sustainability, literature as soft diplomacy and creative writing. A media forum related to Australia studies in China was also included in the conference.
BHP Billiton Chair Professor of Australian Studies at Peking University, Professor Gregory McCarthy delivers a speech at the Conference [Photo: FASIC]
The conference was convened by Professor Gregory McCarthy, BHP Billiton Chair Professor of Australian Studies at Peking University, hosted by the Centre for Australian Studies and the Centre for Oceanian Studies at Sun Yat-sen University, co-organized by Australian Studies Centre at Peking University and sponsored by the Foundation for Australian Studies in China.
According to Professor McCarthy, the aim of the conference was to promote Australian studies in China and explore how the Australia-China relationship can be sustained across diverse fields of knowledge including the environment, education, linguistics, diplomacy, trade, cultural expression in literature, translation and language studies.
Professor Chang Chenguang, Dean of the School of International Studies and Director of the Centre for Australian Studies at Sun Yat-sen University, opened the conference. He welcomed the scholars from all across China and around the world for this special event and wished the scholars to enjoy this academic feast as well as the city of Guangzhou . Australian Consul-General in Guangzhou. Mr Dominic Trindade delivered a welcome speech at the opening. Professor Yan Guangmei,Vice-President of Sun Yat-sen University met the conference organizers before the conference opening.
The Australian Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, HE Jan Adams (L, 4th) ， Kevin Hobgood Brown AM (L, 2nd) Chair of the Foundation for Australian Studies in China, and Professor Gregory McCarthy (R, 4th) BHP Billiton Chair Professor of Australian Studies at Peking University at the welcome reception. [Photo: FASIC]
The Australian Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China HE Jan Adams delivered a speech at the welcome reception for the Conference and highly recognized the important role the conference series played in stimulating communication, promoting bilateral understanding and strengthening relations between China and Australia. She also said discussion on sustainability and effectiveness of Australian Studies Centres in China could help to explore how to make sure that the Australian Studies is reaching the broadest possible audience, how the next generation of scholars continues to engage with Australian Studies and how it will remain a lively field of inquiry into the future.
Prestigious Expressions Dance Company’s performance was the highlight of the welcome reception . Dance is a strong medium for deepening relations between China and Australia as it involves expressive moment that matches the aim of the FASIC to enhance people’s collective understanding of how the movement of people, ideas, research, knowledge, friendship and networks all are transforming the Australia-China relations. This is in a way not even imagined when the Australia China Council was formed nearly 40 years ago, when FASIC was formed in 2011 or the Chair was appointed in 2012, said Professor Gregory McCarthy, BHP Billiton Chair Professor of Australian Studies at Peking University.
Professor Yan Guangmei, Vice-President of Sun Yat-sen University (L, Middle) meets Dominic Trindade, Australian Consul-General in Guangzhou (R, Middle) and conference organizers before the conference.. [Photo: Sun Yat-sen University]
A book titled Blue Book of Oceania, Analysis on the Investment Environment and Risks in Oceania (2015-2016), was launched to celebrate this year’s FASIC Conference at Sun Yat-sen University. The major contributors of the book are from the main organizers of this conference: the Centre for Oceanian Studies and Centre for Australian Studies at Sun Yat-sen University. This is the 4th FASIC annual conference. Since 2013, FASIC has sponsored three conferences in China consecutively, which were organized by Peking University, Renmin University of China and East China Normal University respectively.
A conference scene. [Photo: Sun Yat-sen University]
FASIC is a non-profit organization and it supports existing and future initiatives in Australian Studies, which are intended to deepen awareness of Australia in China across a range of disciplines and fields of study. FASIC provides grants and scholarships to Australian and Chinese professionals and students. The BHP Billiton Chair Professor of Australian Studies at Peking University is a key initiative of the Foundation and the conference is an essential part of the initiative.