Victorian Confucius Institute contest

La Trobe University’s Confucius Institute on Saturday 12 May (from 2 to 5pm) will give nine Victorian students a chance to realise their ‘Chinese Dream’.

news2011 lotus dancingIt’s part of the annual global ‘Chinese Bridge’ Proficiency Competition. During the past decade the event has attracted nearly eighty thousand students from more than sixty countries.

The State preliminary finals, themed ‘My Chinese Dream’, are being hosted for the first time by La Trobe’s new Confucius Institute. 

Competing students, their parents, Chinese language teachers and spectators will be welcomed by the Consul General of People’s Republic of China, Mr Shi Weiqiang.

Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Rosenberg is hosting proceedings with Confucius Institute Director Professor Pei Likun.  

He says the event is a wonderful opportunity for students to share their knowledge and enthusiasm for China studies with each other and the wider community. 

‘They also have a chance to go on to the national finals to win a range of valuable scholarships to study and live in China for varying amounts of time.’

La Trobe’s China activities are not only for enrolled students, says Professor Rosenberg. 

‘The Institute also offers cultural and Chinese language courses for the wider community and for local businesses interested in connecting with China.’ 

The ‘Chinese Bridge’ contest involves demonstration of language skills, presentation of a ‘China Dream’ and cultural performances which can range from dance to martial arts. 

For example, Annabelle Walker, a La Trobe Law-Arts student majoring in Chinese, says her ‘dream’ is to travel in China and explore ‘the great diversity of their culture’. 

She is funding her studies by teaching dance, and hopes eventually to work as a commercial lawyer, improving business relations between Australia and China.

Success in this competition could mean a financially supported, prolonged study experience in China, she says, supplementing her income from dance.

Masters of Education student Suzie Nguyen comes from Vietnam and is carrying forward her father’s dream as a great ‘admirer of Chinese culture.’ 

The only international student in the competition, Ms Nguyen says her father urged her to train as a professional Chinese language teacher. 

Combining a deeper understanding of China with exploring other cultures during her time in Australia will help her career, she says. It will also fulfil her ‘dream’ as a global citizen involved in cultural exchange with Western friends. 

Participants from La Trobe, Melbourne, Monash, Deakin and RMIT universities will take part in the event. After the contest there will be colourful Chinese cultural performances including stilt-walking, and songs from the Beijing Opera.

Winners will compete in the world finals to be held in Changsha, China, with all costs covered by Hanban, the Office of the Chinese Language Council in China.

Media Queries to:  Professor Pei Likun, Executive Director, Centre for China Studies T: 61 3 9479 6508 | E: l.pei@latrobe.edu.au  

Photo opportunity:

Please contact Ernest Raetz, Media and Communications, T 041 226 1919. (Note for local media: Annabelle Walker lives in Ivanhoe and Suzie Nguyen in Preston.)

For more details about La Trobe’s Confucius Institute, see www.latrobe.edu.au/confucius-institute.