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Speech by Consul-General Zhao Jian at the Teachers' Day Reception(2018-09-20)
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Speech by Consul-General Zhao Jian at the Teachers' Day Reception
2018/09/20

(14 September 2018)

Mr Neil Barker, Director of the Bastow Institute of Educational Leadership, Representative of the Department of Education and Training,

Mr Guoqiang Liu, President of Australian Tertiary Chinese Teachers Association ,

Mr Xu Jixing, President of Chinese Language Teachers’ Association of Victoria ,

Principals, Teachers and Students,  

Friends from the Confucius Institutes,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good evening!

Welcome to the Chinese Consulate-General and thank you for joining us in celebrating the Teachers’ Day, a national holiday observed in China on every 10 September in recognition of the contributions of educators.

First of all, I wish to express high regard and best wishes to all the educators in Victoria, particularly those who are with us this evening. I also wish to take this opportunity to thanks you all for the great effort you have made in promoting the Chinese language teaching in Victoria and advancing educational exchanges and cooperation between China and Victoria.

“Respecting teachers and promoting education” is a long-standing tradition of the Chinese nation. As President Xi has observed, “education is crucial to the success of our long-term development, and the key to successful education lies in the teachers”. It is the teachers who help us reach our full potential and equip us with the ability and knowledge that we need to create a better future.

The importance of education is also reflected in China- Australia relations. It is one of the key areas in which bilateral cooperation has flourished.

As the education state of Australia, Victoria is leading other states in this regard. There are now over 80,000 Chinese students studying in Victoria, and diverse forms of exchanges and cooperation have been carried out between Victorian and Chinese schools. Each year Victoria receives nearly 1,000 pupils from Jiangsu, its sister province, on study tours, and it has sent a large number of talented young people to study in China under the Hamer Scholarship and Young Leaders to China Program sponsored by the Victorian government.

Last Friday, my colleague, Deputy Consul-General Zeng Jianhua, attended the 60-year celebration of Chinese Language Teaching in Victoria at the Camberwell Grammar School, the first Victorian school that introduced mandarin courses. It was a milestone not only for the school, but also in the history of Chinese Language Teaching in Australia.

Over the past 60 years, the teaching of Chinese language and culture has enjoyed momentous development in Victoria. With four Confucius Institutes, 16 Confucius classrooms, five universities and 270 primary and secondary schools offering Chinese courses, Victoria has the most successful Chinese program in the country, and the total number of Chinese learners in primary and secondary schools has exceeded 77,000. Chinese is now the second most popular foreign language in the state.

The Chinese people believe that “the key to sound state-to-state relations lies in amity between the people, and the key to amity between the people lies in mutual understanding”. We cannot stress more the importance of language, as the teaching of Chinese language and culture has not only enriched our cooperation in education, it is also a critical link in people-to-people communication for better mutual understanding.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In Chinese Lunar Calender, a cycle of 60 years is called “Jia Zi”, which signals a fresh beginning. I wish to congratulate you all on the success of 60 years of Chinese language teaching here in Victoria and your contributions to the ever closer people-to-people links between our two countries. Standing at a new starting point, we are committed to working with our friends in Victoria to further expand our educational exchanges and cooperation on the basis of mutual respect, mutual understanding and mutual trust so as to contribute more to the long-standing friendship between our two countries and two peoples.

Thank you!

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