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Statement by Consul General Dong Zhihua at the Open Day of the Chinese Consulate General
2019/08/26

(24 August 2019, Perth )

Dear Nancy, President of WA Australia-China Friendship Society,

Ms. Jieqi, President of the Chinese Language Teachers' Association,

Ms. Dantu Charandasi, Consul General of India and distinguished fellow sisters from the Consular Corps,

Distinguished guests and friends of the Consulate General,

Dear students and parents,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am very happy to welcome you all on this lovely Saturday morning. Spring is coming near everyday! We can see the wild flowers blossoming, the black swans and ducks with their youngsters at the small river bay outside. And the dolphins have been back once or twice. I was told that baby Kagroos are all out with their parents in the wilderness. It will be the first spring of my post in Perth and I am so delighted to host you at the dawn of this very beautiful season, in particular amongst lovely school children surrounded by their loving families and teachers.

The traditional Chinese mid-autumn festival is also around the corner, this year to be on 13 September. It is the full moon day in the middle of the lunar Chinese year which celebrates reunion with family and friends eating moon cakes together. Today we open the Consulate-General to celebrate this important festival with you, including many old friends who are dear to us. They have been friends of the Consulate-General for decades. I am very happy to see some of them have brought their children and grandchildren. You are like family to me and all our staff here.

          

I wish to extend my warmest welcome to Nancy and members from the WA Australia China Friendship Society, especially the life members and senior members. You are the treasure of China-WA friendship and I cherish you from the bottom of my heart.

I also wish to most warmly welcome our new friends, including Mr Adam Hadley, President of the Australia China Business Council (ACBC) WA branch, as well as ACBC members and their families. Mr. Ian Johnson, Principal Policy Adviser of our much-loved Minister for everything Paul Papalia; Mr. Gary Gray AO, Former federal cabinet minister; Mr. Murray Jorgensen, CEO of the City of Perth, as well as Mr Ribhu Chatterjee the General Manager of the Hyatt Hotel, and many others. Thank you for stretching out with great support and kind advice since I arrived here. It is highly and sincerely appreciated.

Let me extend a special welcome to my women colleagues from the Consular corp. Ms Dantu Charandasi, Consul General of India who has just arrived for no more than a month but has already become a close friend of mine. As well as Honorary Consul from Romania and Sweden. Thank you for taking your time of the weekend to be with us. This is a sweet demonstration of sisterhood.

10 September is also teacher's day in China. I must take this opportunity to pay tribute to all the teachers, school principals, especially members from the Chinese Language Teachers' Association led by Jieqi, Directors Jiang Ying and Xu Qin as well as staff and volunteers from the Confucious Institute of University of Western Australia. Thank you for promoting Chinese language and Chinese culture with passion and dedication. You are the ambassadors who help to consolidate the very foundation of China-Australia friendship and enhance mutual understanding between our two countries and peoples.

I warmly welcome professors and staff from UWA and ECU. Thank you for coming and your interests in China and Chinese Culture. I look forward to visiting your campus, establishing and maintaining close contacts with you to promote bilateral cooperation in the important field of higher education and research. .

Last but not least, we have with us rangers from the city of Perth who are on duty today. On behalf of the Consulate General and all my staff, I wish to express sincere thanks to the city of Perth, to Mr Murray Jorgensen, and to all of you and your colleagues, for taking good care of the security of the Consulate facility, trimming the rampant trees and bushes, providing us with a safe, clean and beautiful environment.

     

So distinguished guests and dear friends, we are actually having a big party today for many reasons, to learn, to acknowledge, to appreciate and most important of all, to have fun and enjoy a good time together. But we do have a theme and ceremony today, I am very proud to provide the venue for the presentation of the 2019 Chinese Language Students Award by the Australian China Friendship Society to school children who excel at Chinese learning in primary and secondary schools.  

          

This year the Consulate General will join the WA Australia China Friendship Society in presenting special awards to Mr Geoffrey Davis AM for his pioneering work in the establishment of the teaching of Mandarin in Western Australian schools and his initiative in the creation of the Australia China Friendship Society Chinese Language Student Awards;and to Mr Tim Bamber in recognition of his vision in developing and implementing the inaugural Chinese immersion program in a primary school context and for his inspiring and innovative leadership in Chinese language education in Western Auetralia.

I wish to thank Nancy, Arnold and members of WA ACFS, Jieqi and WA Chinese Language Teachers' Association, for a lot of work done for the organization and preparation of this year's ceremony.

We will also offer an opportunity for the children and their families, as well as all our guests and friends to have a first hand experience of Chinese culture, through participation in a variety of activities and skill practising. You may learn how to make paper-cutting and Chinese knots, follow master Liang from Redcliffe Primary School to practise Chinese Martical arts, and play Guzheng, a traditional Chinese musical instrument dating back to thousand years ago, as well as make dumplings, etc.

In the proceedings, we have arranged musical and dancing performances by local teachers and students, and I must thank them in advance for their contribution. I guess the bonus to all participants today is the authentic Chinese food made by our star chef from the Consulate General, with fresh moon cakes as desert.

Today we will also enjoy an Exhibition for the Modern Folk Paintings from Xiuzhou, a county of Jiaxing city in Zhejiang Province, a sister province of WA. Bunbury is the sister city of Jiaxing. They have driven more than two hours to set the exhibition for us. It stands for the friendship of the city of Bunbury towards Jiaxing and China. If you like any painting you have a chance to take it home with donation to a fund for Bunbury to send reciprocal exhibition of indigenous art to Xiuzhou, an endeavor I enthusiastically support. I also wish to take this opportunity to thank the city of Bunbury represented by Ms Carol McDowall and Pauline Vukelic for its contribution to our open day and also for their good will and friendly gesture.

Thank you for bearing with me with this long introduction and welcome note. We can now proceed with the ceremony. Again welcome and enjoy!

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