First Chinese students welcomed back

A special reunion of our founding cohort Chinese students.

La Trobe University has reunited a group of its first Chinese graduates in a special three day conference at their Melbourne campus in September.

This special reunion of founding co-hort Chinese alumni, celebrates La Trobe University's historic links to China and the enduring relationship the University has with China and Asia.  

La Trobe was one of the first Australian universities to receive an intake of students from China, dating back to the early 1980s - a time when few Chinese students studied outside their homeland.

Some of the visiting Chinese alumni currently live in Australia, but for others the occasion marks the first time they have returned to Australia since their student days.  Guests include prominent international academics and researchers and leaders in business, education and finance.

The conference included a campus tour, special presentations and welcomes by senior executive staff, including Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar, and a sightseeing trip to explore Melbourne city.

The visit concluded with a day trip to Bendigo to launch the cultural exhibition – Exhibit C(hina) – celebrating La Trobe's collection of Chinese propaganda posters – the largest and most significant of its kind outside of China.

Each of the participating Chinese alumni visitors have curated this special exhibition, by selecting a chosen piece for exhibition and writing personal reflections on their chosen artwork.   The full collection includes thousands of posters from the 1960s to the '80s, illustrating striking narratives of the Cultural Revolution.  

"We're delighted to welcome this special group of alumni back to La Trobe.  It has been decades since a small, pioneering group of young Chinese students embarked on a journey that would take them to the other side of the world and change their lives forever. But it's fair to say that they also changed La Trobe forever and helped us adopt a more global outlook – long before the terms 'globalisation' became part of our shared understanding," said Dr Alan Watkinson, Director of Alumni and Advancement.

La Trobe University's links to Asia has strengthened over the years and more recently with the launch of La Trobe Asia in early 2014.  The strategic initiative reflects the importance of Asia to Australia and the world and seeks to deepen our understanding of the Asian region.

Exhibit C(hina) will open to the public on 5 September  at the Bendigo Visual Arts Centre.

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