Major projects and activities
EXCHANGES AND STUDY PROGRAMS
Education and training
During the reporting period the Council funded major programs in the education and training field at the high-school and pre-tertiary levels.
Australia-China Short-Term Study Program
In 1998 the Council initiated a short intercultural learning program, the Australia-China Short-Term Study Program, which aimed to provide a group of students from a number of schools around Australia with the opportunity to spend a month in China undertaking language tuition. The program, which is part of the Council's integrated package of education programs, will run for about four weeks each year. The Council agreed to allocate $37 000 to the program per year to support the inaugural and subsequent two groups under the program.
The first group of ten students under this program visited Beijing from mid-December 1998 to mid-January 1999 and attended the Beijing No. 12 Middle School. Students immersed themselves in Chinese history, culture and language through a structured study program at the school. Students also had the opportunity to participate in home stays and visits to Beijing's numerous historical and cultural sites. The program is managed for the Council by AFS Intercultural Programs Australia.
1998 AustraliaChina Short-Term Study Group in China. Group leader Karen Nelson is on far left.
Australian Young Scholars in China program
The Young Scholars program, which began in 1988, enabled five outstanding Year Twelve graduates with Chinese language proficiency to improve their language skills through a year's further study at Beijing Second Foreign Languages University in 1999. The program was administered through AFS Intercultural Programs Australia. The Council has supported three awards under this program annually over the past few years. In view of the success the program has had in nurturing students who have gone on to work in the field of Australia-China relations, the Council agreed to support five scholars under the 1999 program, with a total expenditure of $75 000. The Council also agreed to maintain this level of funding for the 2000 program.
The Council supported the following participants under the 1999 Young Scholars in China Program: Sarah-Jane Abott, Penny Chapple, Anita Koochow, Kurt Mansell and Timothy Williams.
Council members meet the 1999 Young Scholars before their departure for China.
Young Business Scholars Development program
During the reporting period the Council explored development of a Young Business Scholars program in the context of its overall effort in training Australians in the skills needed to do business with China. The Council held numerous discussions on the feasibility of a program that would develop a cadre of young graduates with Chinese language and intercultural skills as well as practical understanding of doing business in China as a replacement for the former China Skills Traineeship program supported by the Council. Discussions were also held with Australian business representatives in China and Australia on the possibility of partnerships with Australian business to support the program. The Council has also sought input from recipients of its former program. Funding has been set aside to support formal development of the program in the next financial year.