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Seminars (3-4) in ACF

Seminar (3-4) in the ACF

Colin Mackerras’ lectures

As part of the first Australian Cultural Festival at LNNU, Professor Colin Mackerras gave two lectures on the 27th and 28th October, 2011. These lectures took place in the 4th floor multi-function meeting room, School of Foreign Languages.

Among the forty-strong audience were members of CAS, undergraduate students, and postgraduate students enrolled in the Australian culture course. Some staff members of the School of Foreign Languages attended together with a few guests who love Australian culture and are interested in Australian studies. They were attracted by the reputation of Professor Mackerras and the opportunity to hear him lecture. Everyone in the seminar was fascinated by his humor and his well-delivered lecture. The meeting room was fully packed and the atmosphere was harmonious.

The first lecture given by Professor Mackerras was entitled Australian Culture and Australian Images of China. In this, the Professor briefly introduced Australia’s cultural background, its geographical location, its population and its foreign relations. He also introduced Australia’s political background, informing the audience that Australia’s head of state is still the British monarch. A federal and state multi-party system governs Australia today. He especially dwelt on the current government and the Labor party.

Professor Mackerras then discussed the western image of China, the history and origins of the image identifying various influences that shape the image. He explained clearly how the image was formed and had changed over time. He thought highly of the positive effect of economics in Australia and China and its big influence on our respective images. Professor Mackerras concluded his lecture by talking about the ‘rise of China’ issue. The first lecture lasted from 6 pm to 8:30 pm.

The lecture given on the second day by Professor Mackerras was entitled Current Australian Politics. In this, he introduced Australia’s multi-party political system in some detail. Using simple English, he also explained about the carbon tax, the national broadband network, how Kevin Rudd was forced to step down as Prime Minister, and how Julia Gillard came to be Australia’s first female Prime Minister. Professor Mackerras spoke about other social issues such as the Australian government’s handling of refugees, and he dwelt for some time on Kevin Rudd's national apology to the stolen generations of Aboriginal Australians together with current issues for Aboriginal people and government responses.

The lectures of Professor Mackerras widened the audience’s horizon. He opened a new window for listeners by which to understand Australia. He also brought a new perspective by which listeners could obtain insights about China’s image in the eyes of westerners. Staff and students alike have benefited greatly from his informative and humorous lectures.

Professor Mackerras left a deep impression with his native-like Chinese language proficiency. Everyone was deeply touched by his passion for China and his great efforts to promote a mutual relationship between the two countries. Professor Mackerras was one of the earliest and true Australian friends of the Chinese people, starting to sow the seeds of friendship between our respective countries since 1964. His great work won the audience's admiration.

Following his lectures, staff and students asked Professor Mackerras many questions especially matters to do with the situation of Australian Aboriginal people, such as - was it possible for the present government to set up schools exclusively for Aboriginal children, and could knowledge help improve their future outcomes?

In total this second lecture lasted about three hours. After the lecture, some staff and students had a picture taken with him. The lectures of Professor Colin Mackerras proved a great success: interesting, insightful and unforgettable.

Prof. Colin Mackerras is lecturing.

Prof. Colin Mackerras is lecturing

After the lecture some teachers and students had a picture taken

with Prof. Colin Mackerras .

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