Mr. Michael Growder is the Cultural Counsellor of the Australian Embassy in China, and he is very famrmiliar with China. In the afternoon of August 9th, he welcomed our junior journalist delegation with fluent Chinese. He said: "Welcome Chinese junior reporters to the Australian embassy. Friendship is mutual visits, mutual respects and mutual understandings. I wish all of you enjoy your visit here today."
She Xingyu asked the first question: "October 2010, our junior journalists visited and interviewed the Australian Pavilion during the Shanghai World Expo. The Australian press officer asked us: "When you hear the word 'Australia', what is in your mind?" We answered: “I think Australia has blue sky, white clouds, koalas, the Sydney Opera House and so many other symbolic things. Now I wish to learn more about the Australian culture, what is the real Australian culture?”
Mr. Growder answered: "Most people in Australia come from everywhere around the world. Its culture is highly diversified; therefore, we don't have a single definition about what Australia has. But I can tell you that Australia has about 16 or 17 Nobel Prize-winning scientists. Two of them will visit China in the near future."
Junior journalist continued to ask: "The Olympic Games is currently being held in London, What are the best sports in Australia? What is your forecast for the Australian Olympic Team this year? How many gold medals and total medals do we expect?"
"Australia is good at swimming and sailing in Olympics Games. Up to now, we received two gold medals."
Regarding to the education system in Australia, Mr. Growder said, the quality of Australian education is extremely high. The academic degrees are globally recognized. The living environment is also very good, the country has advanced transportation systems. Recently, our immigration policies and visa policies are somehow updated. International students can work up to two years with undergrad degrees, three years with master degrees and four years with doctorate degrees.
During our interview, Mr. Growder emphasized the great importance of exchange students between China and Australia, the students play significant roles in the bilateral relationships of the two countries. "Every international student is an ambassador of his own country." For that reason, the communication and connection will make the people in the two countries will understand more about each other and mutually respect to each other.
In the Australian embassy, our junior journalists have learnt a lot of information, such as the first “Confucius Institute for Tourism Studies” was found in Griffith University in the city of Brisbane. This college focuses on tourism with an innovative Chinese language study model. Many famous Australian musicians and artists have been to China and had face-to-face interaction with Chinese audiences. We all wished Mr. Growder will make greater contributions to the bilateral cultural exchanges between China and Australia.