The 1st Tasmanian Chinese New Year Celebration for Students and Scholars was successfully held at the Menzies Research Institute Tasmania on 11th February 2014. The event invited a list of honorable guests, including Consul General Mr. Yumin Song, Consul Mr. Xiaotao Zhang and Consul (Education) Mr. Hongzhi Sun from the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Melbourne, Secretary Mr. Jian Li from the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Australia, Vice-Chancellor Prof. Peter Rathjen and Pro Vice-Chancellor Prof. Peter Frappel from the University of Tasmania, Executive Manager Ms. Christy Lee Hunt from International Services of Department of Education, Deputy Director Prof. Alison Venn and some PhD Students supervisors from the Menzies Research Institute Tasmania. The event has attracted more than 250 Chinese students and academic staff, as well as members from the local Chinese communities and Victorian Student Union. Prior to the event, Chinese Ambassador to Australia Mr. Zhaoxu Ma visited the Menzies and conveyed his warm regards to the event organizers.
As summer heat hit in Tasmania, the festive atmosphere of the Chinese New Year pervaded the newly established lecture theatre in the research institute. On the night, after an opening speech given by Prof. Changhai Ding, Consul General Mr. Yumin Song delivered holiday greetings and wishes to all guests. Mr. Song reaffirmed the contributions of Tasmanian Chinese to the economy, culture and education of both China and Australia. He quoted the words given by Chinese President Jiping Xi on the 100th Anniversary of Western Returned Scholars Association and urged overseas Chinese students to serve their country through various forms.
Afterwards, Prof. Peter Rathjen and Prof. Alison Venn spoke highly of the roles of Chinese students and scholars in the educational collaboration between two countries and the contribution to the internationalization of the University of Tasmania. ‘In the trend of Australia’s engagement with Asia, not only the number of Chinese students coming to study in Australia is expected to rise’, said the professors, ‘but also there will be more Australian students going abroad to study in Asian countries such as China.’
The celebration continued with spectacular performances. Tasmanian renowned artist Prof. Yuting Zhu was invited to perform the classical Chinese music piece ‘The Racing Horse’ with Erhu, a traditional Chinese instrument. Other classical Chinese performances included Guzheng solo by Steven Wang, Tibetan dance by Xiaoqin Wang and Dizi Solo by Haigang Cui. Later, the audience was entertained by a mixed taste of music when two Taiwanese students from Melbourne sang a medley of pop songs and Jason Xu’s duo band performed rock ‘n’ roll. The night concluded with the group singing ‘a night to remember’.
Consulate General of P.R.C in Melbourne is specially thanked for the supports to this event.