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CAF Newsletter September 2023

Dear Members and Friends of CAF, Welcome to the Chinese Australian Forum's September 2023 Newsletter; keeping you updated about the latest news and events of CAF. In this newsletter we will be covering the following:

  • President's Message

  • Editor's Corner

  • CAF Civics Course

  • The Voice Panel Discussion

  • NSW State Election Panel Discussion

  • The Arts, The Voice, and Our Communities Event

  • Career Success, Happiness, and Well-being Seminar

  • 2023 Being Chinese in Australia: Public Opinion in Chinese Communities

  • Calendar of CAF Activities

  • Welcome New Members

  • Vale Dr Anthony Pun

Finally, with the referendum to enshrine the Voice in the Australian Constitution now confirmed to be held on 14th October, the Chinese Australian Forum would like to make clear our position regarding the Voice:






















If you have any feedback or want to suggest topics for us to cover in future newsletters, please email us at info@caf.org.au. Thank you.

Kind Regards CAF Management Committee

 

President’s Message


The Chinese Australian Forum (CAF) Committee has been very active in 2023. A Calendar of CAF Activities in this newsletter lists the CAF organised events and those which our committee members attended and participated in. I would like to briefly mention some of the events organised by CAF.


A State Election Panel Discussion was held in March at King Dynasty Restaurant prior to the State Election. Issues that were important to the general public and to the Chinese Australian community were discussed. Panel Speakers were The Hon. Daniel Mookhey MLC representing the Labor Party, The Hon. Scott Farlow, MLC representing the Liberal Party and Jenny Leong, MP representing the Greens. A more detail report by Vanessa Chan is in this newsletter.


The National Foundation for Australia-China Relations funded CAF to develop and run a series of Civic workshops. Its purpose was to inform and educate the Chinese Australian community on the Australian democratic system, the three levels of government and the rights and responsibilities of an Australian citizen. It was a lengthy project and took more than a year after the funding was approved. CAF was fortunate to have Jon-Claire Lee, a director/actor using his skills to film and edit the videos for the education material. It culminated in a media launch for the Civic Workshops video program in May. The guests who attended were Kylea Tink MP, Independent Federal Member for North Sydney, Jason Yat-Sen Li MP, State Member for Strathfield, Jordan Lane MP, State Member for Ryde and Peter Cai, CEO of National Foundation for Australia-China Relations as well as various Chinese community leaders and members of the Chinese media. Jason Li initiated the project when he was President of CAF. CAF has the copyright to the course material, but it will be available to any interested parties. It is available online on our website. Besides Jon-Claire Lee, CAF is indebted to Tony Pang, Patrick Voon, David Yaming Zhang and Henry Yukun Song for their dedication and the countless hours spent in bringing this project to fruition.


The referendum to enshrine the Voice in the Australian Constitution will be held on 14th October. CAF was probably one of the earliest organisations to hold a panel discussion about it in May. The speakers were Dr. Shireen Morris, Dr. Christine Evans and Dr. Leah Lui-Chivizhe. Warren Mundine, AO, the fourth speaker had to cancel at the last minute because of a death in the family. A survey at the end of the Panel Discussion had 63% of the audience supporting the Yes vote.


Following the Panel Discussion, the CAF committee passed a resolution to officially support the enshrinement of the Voice in the Federal Constitution. CAF is also one of over 120 multicultural community organisations listing their support for the Voice on the Multicultural for Voice website. Some committee members also took part in Rachel Perkins' video of Multicultural Communities supporting the Yes campaign.


The Voice is from the Uluru Statement from the Heart initiated by the Indigenous communities. Over eighty percent of the Indigenous communities support it. Its aim is to provide feedback and comments to the Government on policies and solutions to issues affecting them. Government policies over the years have not done much to alleviate their plight. They are the most disadvantaged people in Australia and the least we can do is to support them. Listen to your heart and find out about the facts.


There is a lot of misinformation about the Voice. One is that it will be a third chamber of Parliament. Another misinformed suggestion is the imposition of a land tax. The Voice is an advisory body and does not have the power to legislate. I cannot comprehend how anyone can go through life with the attitude that “If you don't know, vote no.” I suggest they follow a suggestion made by a reader of the Sydney Morning Herald.

“If you don’t know NO, vote YES”.


In collaboration with Kylea Tink MP, the Independent Federal Member for North Sydney, CAF organised two further Panel Discussions on The Voice. “The Arts, The Voice & Our Communities” was held in June at Stanton Library, North Sydney. Dr. Shireen Morris, Te-Raina Watego and Kylea Tink were the speakers for the first session. Tony Pang, the CAF VP, Dr. Judy Tang, and Jonathan Huynor were the speakers for the second session. The focus of the Panel Discussion was on the Chinese Australian community. Simultaneously, an art exhibition of Tim Johnson’s and Kyra Kum-Sing’s artwork as well as an art competition, entitled “Indigenous and Me” for school children were held.


CAF was approached by the US Consulate in August to organise a seminar for Michelle Zuo who spoke on “Career Success, Happiness and Wellbeing.” Michelle has a MBA and is currently undertaking her Master degree on Happiness. It was a successful event that CAF took on despite the geopolitical tension between US and China. CAF is an independent non-partisan organisation that advocates for peace rather than war.


CAF is currently planning a celebration dinner with Sally Sitou MP, Federal Member for Reid and Jason Yat-Sen-Sen Li MP, State Member for Strathfield to celebrate their success in the respective elections.


Thiam Ang, Chair of our CAF Constitutional Review, will soon inform our members on the changes to update our Constitution.


On behalf of our CAF committee members, thank you for supporting CAF and please feel free to get in touch if you have any issues or comments.


Simon Chan AM President Chinese Australian Forum

 

Editor's Corner


Many members remember and sometimes commend the committee on the seminal events held by the Chinese Australian Forum (CAF). The committee members work tirelessly and not infrequently at short notice, on their own time and expenses, to make these events, successes. Such remarks are obviously an encouragement for them These events, though, are only part of the endeavours of your committee members.


In between these events, CAF committee members meet regularly to discuss and debate issues as well as plan for activities that will further the objects of the organisation. Some debates can be heated. Nevertheless, when they are not personal, they sometimes clarify a situation or an issue for the committee members. A vote is taken, and the committee carries out the task, irrespective of the personal opinions of the individual committee members.


Then, there is the time-consuming activities that committee members take on behalf of CAF to fly its flag, interact and form relationships with the members of other organisations. Although many of these functions are generally amicable affairs, they sometimes, provide an opportunity to cajole and advocate for the issues affecting Chinese Australians in particular, and the Australian public in general. As mentioned in the last editorial, the response to a request at one of these functions was the spur for CAF to put the spotlight on the abuse of Chinese people in the 1990’s.


It is for this purpose that this newsletter and the last one has a “Calendar of Activities” section. Most readers will probably look through it perfunctorily. But that is fine. Its purpose is to give members an impression of the work behind the scenes in the committee’s advocacy of CAF. Mostly, the task of representing CAF falls on the shoulders of the President, and for this reason, Simon Chan is generally at these events. Other committee members help as the occasion arises. Simon’s attendance at these events has led on to CAF co-hosting subsequent events listed in the Calendar of Activities. I would also like you to take note of the occasions that CAF have met politicians to voice Chinese Australian concerns about certain issues. Although there are only a few lines about them, they are extremely important.


The older committee members have represented CAF for many long years. The sight of the CAF stalwart, Tony Pang, walking on his dicky knee with the aid of a tongkat (Malay word for walking stick) spruiking the CAF cause at various events, is a wake-up call that we need new and younger committee members.


At the coming AGM, there will be an election for committee members. I would urge the members, especially the younger ones, to consider standing for election. Some members give their busy lives as a reason for not participating. I personally do not take that as a reason. In my experience, I find busy people generally are doers. When they are allotted a task, they generally can compartmentalise their busy lives and make time for it. CAF needs doers who are willing to roll up their sleeves and put their shoulders to the wheel. So, to those committed to the CAF cause, lend us your shoulders!


Finally, I would like to echo the call of Simon Chan for members to vote Yes for the Voice referendum.


Thiam Ang

Editor

 

CAF Civics Course, by Tong Pang


Background and Challenge


The concept of a civic course on the Australian system of government came about whilst the CAF committee was preparing a submission to the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence, and Trade Reference Committee inquiry into issues facing the diaspora communities in 2020. We felt that Chinese Australians must fully understand its system of government to participate and enjoy the benefits of Australia as a multicultural society and its unique form of democracy. Some migrants of Chinese extraction do not have a good understanding of the Australian system of government. The Civic Course would hopefully mitigate this deficiency. The course planned for a tailored curriculum and workshops delivered in Chinese and English. It would also be accompanied by a social media and communications campaign.


The Australian style of democracy benefits the individual and society when all citizens understand the processes and feel like they have a voice. Australian school students receive civics education from late primary school right through to late high school, giving them an understanding of our institutions, values and history. They get an opportunity to see democracy in action when they meet their local parliamentarian, watch question time, learn about how laws are made when they visit Parliament House in Canberra. It is further enhanced by their participation in mock parliaments.


Currently, our migrants sit a compulsory citizenship test, attend a citizenship ceremony and then get handed a leaflet with instructions on how to enrol for the vote.


The contrast between the two forms of Civics education could not be starker. Consequently, some Chinese migrants may not understand as much of our democracy as those who have gone through our education system. A survey of Chinese Australians by the Lowy Institute in 2021 revealed that 36 percent of Chinese Australians said democracy was preferable to any other kind of government as compared to 71 percent of the Australian population. It is a huge gap. Nevertheless, a later study in 2022 showed an increase to 50 percent. Consequently, voters of Chinese heritage may not comprehend who and what they are voting for, thereby depriving them of their full democratic rights. It marginalises a sizeable community and erodes the strength of our democracy, not a good situation for our social fabric. More promisingly, data from the most recent Australian Election Study suggests there is an appetite from the Chinese community to better engage and participate in our political system.


The Chinese diaspora comprises 6 percent of the Australian Population. In informing and educating those who are not familiar with the Australian system of government and governance, it is hoped that Civics education course will fill a much-needed gap.


Strategy


To meet the objectives outlined for the Chinese Australian community, a Civics curriculum was developed in conjunction with leading academics and the parliamentary education offices attached to the Federal and NSW Parliaments and Local Councils. The plan was for the material to be in both English and Chinese and be strictly nonpartisan.


Abstract concepts such as democracy, rights, and freedoms can be challenging if they are not thoroughly explained and experienced. A special effort was made to deliver the suite of educational material in plain language that would be practical and interactive to large audiences. A pilot test of the material was conducted with a sample group of Chinese Australians before the curriculum was finalised. It is the hope of CAF that the course will be useful enough for enlightening Chinese Australians across the country. The educational material was be bilingual in Englis and Mandarin and included short explanatory videos, booklets and interactive online content.


Workshops


CAF ran a series of bilingual (Chinese and English) workshops in seven federal electorates in Sydney. They were Bennelong, Reid, Barton, Sydney, Eastwood, Chatswood, Hornsby, Banks, Bradfield, Parramatta. These electorates had large populations of Chinese Australians


Representatives from local, state and federal government and key government departments as well as civil society organizations such as unions and advocacy organizations were invited to give a broader context to civic participation and to make them interactive and practical.


Community engagement


The Chinese Australian Forum has a proven track record when it comes to large scale community engagement. One of the most recent was the Unity Over Fear campaign. There was increased racism to toward Asian Australians during the Covid pandemic. Australians were invited to sign a petition calling for unity. It received almost 120,000 signatures. There was significant coverage of it in a number of media outlets, namely the Sydney Morning Herald, SBS and ABC. Forty-nine groups signed an open letter in support of the campaign. They included large umbrella organizations such as the Multicultural Communities Council of NSW as well as local community organizations like the Eastwood Chinese Senior Citizens Club, Hakka Australia and Ryde Community Forum.


CAF used these links to further the dissemination of the course. The course was also publicized in Chinese language media outlets like WeChat. Flyers were handed out in community centers. CAF has plans for the educational material to be freely available to all local councils, state and federal MPs offices and community organizations.

Depending on resources, CAF also plans for more workshops in the future.


Course material


The curriculum and educational material were developed to allow it to be updated or modified for a particular purpose. One suggestion is that it could be presented at citizenship ceremonies for new Chinese Australian citizens.

The key topics were.


  • History of Australia’s social, cultural, linguistic and religious diversity, and key historic events that have shaped Australia’s political system.

  • Australia’s legal system and legal processes including the constitutional principles, legal rights and responsibilities, the rule of law, and the ways in which Australia’s legal system contributes to democratic principles, human rights and freedoms.

  • Key institutions and processes of the Australian and NSW political system including how governments and parliaments are elected and formed

  • Rights and responsibilities of citizens, including the right to dissent, critique and communicate, and the ways in which individuals, groups and governments exert influence on civic debate and citizen engagement

The final course material consisted of written information and PowerPoint presentations. This followed trial runs in Sydney Chinatown, Ashfield, Chatswood and Burwood. They were in English and Mandarin.


Funding


As the project involved substantial funding, CAF needed to seek funding from other organisations, corporations, government grants, etc. The opportunity came when the Department for Foreign Affairs (The Foundation) was offering grants to community groups for meaningful projects. CAF applied and was successful in receiving a grant to produce an educational program on the Australian system of government to overcome the difficulties faced by the newly arriving Chinese community from Asia. It was agreed seven targeted areas will be the focus of the civic course, which will be filmed with power point presentations and written materials in English and Chinese. In 2021, the project subcommittee began to implement the agreed strategy.


Having completed the written materials and the PowerPoint presentation, the subcommittee chose Sydney Chinatown as the initial test site to evaluate the partly completed product. Following that, further refinement was incorporated into the project and the first trial workshops were held at Ashfield, Chatswood, and Burwood. Video recording and filming were to be carried out at the Burwood venue but did not eventuate due to venue and technical crew difficulties. What followed was that the CAF project subcommittee leaders Sally Sitou and Jason Li were elected to Federal and to NSW State Parliament, respectively. Furthermore, some project members also had to leave the project due to urgent job or study commitments.


In a timely manner, the CAF management committee took on these challenges and restructured the project subcommittee, which then over the next year proceeded to take care of such outstanding vital matters as the needed copyrighting of the educational materials, the contractual agreements with consultants and staff, and the engagement of a professional crew to videotape the upcoming seminars and online video course components. With the full support of the management committee, the new project subcommittee completed these very time-demanding tasks so that the final three civics course live workshops and the in-studio filming of the online course could proceed and be completed as planned.


Outcome


The last 3 civic course workshops were conducted in conjunction with CASS CARE at Hurstville and ACCA in the CDB. They were very well attended. In the case of CASS CARE, St Georges Council (representing Local Council) and the NSW Hate Crime Unit (from NSW Police Department and Department Home Affairs) were involved. They represented the three levels of government. The online video course was completed in the months afterwards and is currently available on the CAF website.


Finally, on completion of the CAF Civics Course project, a media conference was held in Chatswood on 3 July 2023. It was again well attended. The CEO of the Foundation (Dept of Foreign Affairs), Liberal and Labor Parliamentarians and Councilors, and members of other Chinese community associations were present. The CAF Civic course has now been requested by Chinese organizations in Western Australia and for the trade expo by the Northern District Service community groups including TAFE College.



The question now is : How will the intended outcomes of the proposed project be sustained into the future? Will it lead to ongoing engagement or collaboration? If this is an ongoing project, what other sources of funding do you have and how is it going to be sustained?


Note from the Editor and President: CAF is grateful for the efforts of Tony Pang, Jon-Claire Lee, Patrick Voon, David Yaming Zhang and Henry Song in bringing to fruition this project.


 

The Voice Panel Discussion, by Vanessa Chan

On 18 May, over 80 people joined us as the Chinese Australian Forum proudly hosted a panel discussion and dinner on the upcoming Referendum to establish a First Nations’ ‘Voice’ to Parliament in our Constitution. This event provided an opportunity for members of the Chinese community and our friends to learn more about the Referendum and hear, firsthand, the thoughts and experiences of prominent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

  • Our condolences were extended to Nyunggai Warren Mundine AO, who was unable to join us on the night due to the passing of a close family member, but we welcomed several of his staff at the event.

We were privileged to hear from:

  • Dr Christine Evans, Associate Professor of Practice, Sydney School of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney and Chair of Museum of Contemporary Art Indigenous Advisory Group

  • Dr Leah Lui-Chivizhe, Senior Lecturer in Indigenous Histories and Associate Dean (Indigenous), Social and Political Sciences at the University of Technology Sydney; and

  • Dr Shireen Morris, Constitutional Lawyer and member of the Radical Reform Lab at Macquarie University Law School

Panel members shared their thoughts about enshrining a First Nation Voice to Parliament in the Constitution. Dr Morris discussed the origins of the ‘Voice’ proposal and the Uluru Statement of the Heart and talked about international models/approaches to Constitutional recognition and engagement with First Nations peoples in other countries, which have been in place for many years.


Dr Evan and Dr Lui-Chivizhe, both Australian First Nations people, honored the Forum by discussing their views and experiences working with government and the role of Advisory Boards, like the Voice. They also shared deeply personal stories about themselves, their families and communities and the unique position of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nations in our modern multicultural society. We thank them very much for their openness and generosity in sharing their stories with us.


The wonderful presentations were followed by a range of questions and comments from those joining us, both provocative and instructive, lending a deeper understanding of this important issue to all in attendance.

At the conclusion of the event, we asked people to complete a survey to find out:

  1. If prior to attending CAF's Panel Discussion on the Voice, they had already decided how they would vote at the Referendum;

  2. If they found the Panel Discussion informative; and

  3. If after attending CAF's Panel Discussion on the Voice, how they would vote at the Referendum.


We are pleased to report that over 80% of people found the Panel Discussion informative. This is reflected in a drop from 27% to 10% of people reporting that, following the Panel Discussion they were still ‘Undecided’ about how they would vote.

63% of people reported that they are supporting the YES campaign.

27% of people reported they would support the NO campaign.


To find out more about this important issue, you could visit:


To view Rachel Perkin’s video, visit


 

NSW State Election Panel Discussion, by Simon Chan


The Chinese Australian Forum organised a NSW State Election Panel Discussion and Dinner on Friday 3 March 2023 at King Dynasty Restaurant at Westfield Chatswood prior to the 2023 NSW State Election in March.


Panel Speakers were Scott Farlow MLC, Government Whip in the Legislative Council, Liberal member of the NSW Legislative Council, Daniel Mookhey MLC, Shadow Treasurer, and Shadow Minister for the Gig Economy, Labor member of the NSW Legislative Council and Jenny Leong MP, Member for Newtown, The Greens. The Panel Discussion was chaired by Simon Chan, President of Chinese Australian Forum.


Panel Speakers were asked to discuss their vision for the State of NSW and the issues that were important to them in the election. Issues which were important and relevant at the time include cost of living, inflation, housing affordability, rental crisis, health, education, transport and infrastructure, gambling reform, climate change and the environment. Other issues raised by the audience during question time also include multiculturalism and domestic violence. It was a successful evening with an audience of 120 people who were fully engaged with the discussion and the issues raised.

 

The Arts, The Voice, and Our Communities Event, by Andy Wu On 17 and 19 August 2023, The Chinese Australian Forum together with North Sydney For the Voice, and Stanton Library organised two panel discussions to explore the connection between the arts, the voice and our communities:

  • The first panel discussion consisted of Simon Chan, Kylea Tink MP and Tim Johnson exploring the influences of First Nations and Asian cultures and spirituality in Tim’s paintings. This was followed by a discussion with Dr Shireen Morris and Te-Raina Watego on why the Voice to Parliament is so important from their perspectives as Australians from diverse communities. The exhibiting artists were Kyra Kum-Sing and Tim Johnson.

  • The second panel discussion was facilitated by Tony Pang, with experts on the voice including Dr. Judy Tang, and Jonathan Hunyor. This discussion unpacked the meaning of the Voice and addressed various questions from the attendees.

 

Career Success, Happiness, and Well-being Seminar, by Andy Wu


The Chinese Australian Forum and the US Consulate in Sydney co-organised a Career Success, Happiness, and Well-being Seminar on Tuesday 29 August 2023 at Tank Stream Labs.


The Seminar was facilitated by Michelle Zou, Founder and CEO of Pacific Technologies Consulting Group, Consultant and Leadership Coach at Microsoft, and Co-Founder of Happiness Studies Academy Alumni & Business Club.

Unlike CAF’s usual panel discussions over dinner, this was a much intimate and interactive event.


Michelle began the seminar with a riddle – if you were given $86400 how would you spend it? It was soon revealed, that 86400 is the total number of seconds in a day. Time, however, is a priceless resource that cannot be bought. We all are equipped with the same 86400 seconds each day, not one second more, not one second less. Whether you choose to spend those 86400 seconds with a positive and happy mindset or not, is entirely a personal choice; so why not choose to spend it in happiness?


Michelle then shared a simple framework for thinking about your personal well-being and happiness: an acronym SPIRE. It is only through addressing all facets of your well-being, that people can achieve happiness.

  • [S] Spiritual Wellbeing – Purpose and Mindfulness

  • [P] Physical Wellbeing – Exercise and Recovery

  • [I] Intellectual Wellbeing – Failure and Journaling

  • [R] Relationship Wellbeing – Real Relationships and Giving

  • [E] Emotional Wellbeing – Acceptance and Gratitude

Throughout the evening, there were many mini exercises, inviting all attendees to simultaneously connect with their fellow participants and reflect on their own stage in life. One particularly enjoyable exercise involved everyone selecting a picture card from a deck, one that resonated most with their current life stage. Notably, two individuals both chose the same picture depicting a bird in a cage. The first person reflected fondly on their life journey, recounting how they had they had step-by-step overcome all life’s challenges to become who they are today. The second person, on the other hand, adopted a forward-looking perspective, acknowledging the need to embrace risks and venture beyond their comfort zone to seize opportunities for growth and development.


As evidenced by the radiant smiles captured in the group photo (below), all participants of the seminar thoroughly enjoyed the event.


If you have ideas or suggestions for future seminars, we encourage you to share them with us.


 

Being Chinese in Australia, by Jennifer Hsu


Earlier this year, the Lowy Institute published its third nationally representative survey of the Being Chinese in Australia series. As in the two previous surveys, the survey explores three broad themes: how Chinese-Australians see Australia and their place in it; how they consume news and information; and how they view the wider world. The survey also compares the sentiments expressed by Chinese-Australians with those of the broader Australian population.


All three nationally representative surveys cover a period of tension in the Australia–China relationship. Australian governments have been sharper and more public about their concerns over Chinese intentions and behaviour. The first two years of the survey saw Australia call for an international inquiry into China’s handling of the Covid-19 outbreak and then saw China impose punitive trade measures — formal and informal — on Australia. The period covered by this third survey has, however, seen a relative improvement in ties, with a return of high-level government-to-government contact.


In the 2023 edition of the survey, most Chinese-Australians have a positive view of Australia. A majority say that Australia is a good place to live and are proud of the Australian way of life and culture. Three-quarters say they feel a moderate or strong sense of belonging — an increase from the 2021 survey. This greater sense of belonging to Australia is paired with Chinese-Australians having the greatest trust in Australia to act responsibly in the world. Furthermore, Chinese-Australians have more confidence in Prime Minister Anthony Albanese than any other world leader to do the right thing in world affairs.


Over the past three years, people of Asian heritage in Australia, including those with Chinese heritage experienced increasing rates of discrimination and racism, in part due to Covid-19. In 2023, with the subsiding of Covid-19 measures, fewer Chinese-Australians say they have been called offensive names or physically threatened or attacked because of their heritage in 2022.


Chinese-Australians have varying degrees of trust in the information they consume. Most trust the English-language media in Australia to report news accurately and fairly. But they are divided as to whether Australian media reporting about China is too negative or fair and balanced.


Like the broader population, the issue that most worries Chinese-Australians is a severe downturn in the global economy. But Chinese-Australians are less likely to see China as a military threat than the rest of the population.

There are also significant differences between Chinese-Australians and the broader population over Australia’s alliance relationships. Only a slim majority of Chinese-Australians believe that the US alliance is important to Australia, compared to almost 90% of the broader population. Less than half of Chinese-Australians think AUKUS and the Quad make Australia or the region safer.


Most Chinese-Australians believe that Australia should be neutral in any conflict between the United States and China, compared to just under half of the general population.


END About the survey:

The 2023 Being in Chinese in Australia: Public Opinion in Chinese Communities survey report is available here along with the previous survey reports:


The 2023 Being Chinese in Australia: Public Opinion in Chinese Communities survey report was part of the Lowy Institute’s Multiculturalism, Identity and Influence Project, funded by the Department of Home Affairs.

About the author:


Dr. Jennifer Hsu is the author of the Lowy Institute’s 2023 Being Chinese in Australia: Public Opinion in Chinese Communities. She is Visiting Senior Fellow at the Social Policy and Research Centre at the University of New South Wales and most recently, Research Fellow and Project Director of the Multiculturalism, Identity, and Influence Project at the Lowy Institute.

 

Calendar of CAF Activities


26 January 2023 - Salute to Australia at Sydney Cove

Simon Chan attended the Salute to Australia celebration of Australia Day at Sydney Cove. It was organised by National Australia Day Council and the Australian Government.

28 January 2023 - Chinatown walk with The Hon. Dominic Perrottet, NSW Premier

The Chinatown walk during the Chinese New Year season by the Premier was an initiative begun by the late Hudson Chen. Anthony Ching, a CAF committee member has continued the tradition by organising it, this year. The occasion is to engage with the Chinese Australian community. Simon Chan and Anthony Ching accompanied The Hon. Dominic Perrottet, NSW Premier during his walk in Dixon Street.


31 January 2023 - National Foundation for Australia-China Relations - The Wang Gungwu Lecture 2023

Simon Chan, Thiam Ang, Benjamin Chow and Henry Song attended the Wang Gungwu lecture at the ABC studio in Ultimo. It was delivered by Gabrielle Wang, the Australian Children’s Laurette, and author/illustrator.


This is the second Wang Gungwu lecture. It takes its name from Professor Wang Gungwu AO CBE, the pre-eminent scholar on overseas Chinese communities and the Chinese international migration experience. The lecture is from a partnership between ABC Australia, the National Foundation for Australia China Relations (NFACR) and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

At its launch last year, the ABC Head of International Services Claire Gorman said: “The ABC has a proud history of sharing the stories of Australians from diverse background and we are delighted to be helping launch this new lecture celebrating the lives and achievements of Chinese Australians in partnership with our friends at the National Foundation.”


National Foundation CEO Peter Cai commented: “The Wang Gungwu Lecture provides an enduring platform for discussion on what it means to be a Chinese Australian today.”


3 February 2023 - Lunch and Roundtable Discussion with the Chinese Australian community with Senator Andrew Bragg and The Hon Dan Tehan MP

Simon Chan and Anthony Ching attended a lunch and roundtable Discussion with Senator Andrew Bragg and The Hon Dan Tehan on issues affecting the Chinese Australian community.


3 February 2023 - Haymarket Chamber of Commerce Chinese New Year Banquet

Simon Chan and Jon-Claire Lee on behalf of CAF attended the Haymarket Chamber of Commerce Chinese New Year Banquet. The special guests were The Hon. Anthony Albanese, PM and The Hon Dominic Perrottet, NSW Premier.


4 February 2023 - VisAsia Lunar New Year Dinner

Simon Chan attended the VisAsia Lunar New Year Dinner at Art Gallery of NSW.

12 February 2023 - CAF AGM

CAF AGM was held at the King Dynasty Restaurant in Chatswood.


23 February 2023 - Premier’s Harmony Dinner

Simon Chan attended the Premier’s Harmony Dinner at the International Convention Centre at Darling Harbour.


3 March 2023 - CAF NSW State Election 2023 Panel Discussion

CAF organised a NSW State Election Panel Discussion with The Hon. Daniel Mookhey MLC representing the Labor Party, The Hon Scott Farlow MLC representing the Liberal Party and Jenny Leong MP representing the Greens.


11 March 2023 - CASS Dinner

Simon Chan, Thiam Ang, Benjamin Chow, Anthony Ching, and Tony Pang attended the CASS fundraising dinner in Epping.


16 March 2023 - City of Sydney Roundtable Discussion

Simon Chan attended the City of Sydney Roundtable Discussion about the city business precincts. It was hosted by the Lord Mayor, Clover Moore.


30 March 2023 - Museum of Chinese in Australia (MOCA) community reception

Simon Chan represented CAF at the MOCA event. It was to inform the community about the progress of the proposed plan for MOCA.


19 April 2023 – “Being Chinese in Australia: Public Opinion in Chinese Community” seminar at the Lowy Institute

Jennifer Hsu, the Research Fellow and Project Director of Multiculturalism, Identity, and Influence Project at the Lowy Institute and who was also the lead author presented her paper on “Being Chinese in Australia: Public Opinion in Chinese Community.” Simon Chan, Thiam Ang, and Kingsley Liu attended.


See report by Jennifer Hsu for a summary and the link for a more detailed account.


3 May 2023 - Meeting with The Hon Peter Dutton MP and Senator Andrew Bragg

Simon Chan had a frank discussion with The Hon Peter Dutton MP and Senator Andrew Bragg on issues affecting the Chinese Australian community.


17 May 2023 - Home Affairs consultation with Chinese Australian community

Simon Chan, Jon-Claire Lee and Minglu Chen in an online meeting with Denis Chang of Home Affairs spoke about issues affecting the Chinese Australian community.


18 May 2023 - CAF “The Voice” Panel

CAF organised a Panel Discussion on The Voice. Dr. Shireen Morris, Dr. Christine Evans, and Dr Leah Lui-Chivizhe were the speakers. Warren Mundine AO unfortunately had a death in the family and was not able to make it.


28 May 2023 - Rachel Perkins’ video to support the Yes campaign.

Simon Chan, Tony Pang, and Vanessa Chan participated in the video by Rachel Perkins, filmmaker, to support the Yes campaign from the Multicultural communities. The link to the video clip is https://youtu.be/kDrfFneDTEo


2 June 2023 – 50th Anniversary of Whitman Government’s Multicultural Policy

Simon Chan, Tony Pang, and Anthony Ching attended a Home Affairs event to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the very first Multiculturalism Policy paper at Addison Road Community Organisation at Marrickville. The guest of honour was with The Hon Andrew Giles MP, the Minister of Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Affairs and Multicultural Affairs.


6 June 2023 - SBS TV Interview

SBS TV pre-recorded an interview with Simon Chan on the upcoming announcement of him being awarded AM in the Order of Australia Awards on King’s Birthday.


23 June 2023 – Celestial Footy Book Launch

Simon Chan represented CAF at the book launch of “Celestial Footy - The Story of Chinese Heritage Aussie Rules” at Hordern Pavilion. It was about Chinese Australians participating in AFL and dispelling the myth that AFL’s early days were monochromed. The event was supported by the National Foundation for Australia China Relations.


24 June 2023 - Luncheon - Duanwu Festival Sports Diplomacy Forum

Simon Chan attended the Luncheon and Duanwu Festival Sports Diplomacy Forum at Sydney Cricket Ground. The special guests were The Hon Chris Bowen MP, Federal Minister for Climate Change and Energy and The Hon Chris Minns, NSW Premier.


26 June 2023 – CAF voices its Support of the Yes campaign.

CAF at its monthly committee meeting voted in favour of support for the Yes campaign for The Voice and to sign up to be among the more than 120 multicultural community organisations supporting it.


27 June 2023 – Revitalisation of Sydney Chinatown

Simon Chan was invited to attend a meeting with Graham Jahn and Bridget Smyth of The City of Sydney to provide feedback on the proposed revitalization of Dixon Street and the heritage listing of the Dixon Street gateways. As Chinatown is the cultural heart of Chinese Australians in Sydney, its survival is important.


3 July 2023 - CAF Civic Course Media Launch

CAF presented the video recording of the Civic Workshop at the Media Launch at King Dynasty Restaurant at Chatswood. It will be a useful resource for the Chinese Australian community in future years.


15 August 2023 – Civics Course presentation at Gordon

Henry Song as the presenter, together with Tony Pang and Patrick Voon conducted the CAF civics course for the Gordon Activity Group. It was conducted in Mandarin and English.


It was heartening to learn that the course prompted some of the attendees to subsequently attended the Kuringai Council meetings.


17 August 2023 - The Arts, The Voice & Our Communities

CAF collaborated with Kylea Tink MP on a panel discussion cum art exhibition at the Stanton Library in North Sydney. Besides Simon Chan and Kylea Tink, the panellists on The Voice were Dr. Shireen Morris and Te-Raina Watego. The exhibiting artists were Kyra Kum-Sing and Tim Johnson.


19 August 2024 - The Arts, The Voice, and Our Communities

Second CAF Panel Discussion on The Voice with Tony Pang, Dr. Judy Tang, and Jonathan Hunyor.


23 August 2023 - Meeting with Home Affairs on Multicultural Framework

Simon Chan, Tony Pang, and Jon-Claire Lee met with representatives of Home Affairs on the Multicultural Framework at their Parramatta office.


24 August 2023 - Multicultural NSW Communication Awards

Simon Chan attended the Multicultural NSW Communication Awards with Special Guest Chris Minns, Premier of NSW, at Sydney Theatre.


28 August 2023 - Meeting with National Foundation of Australia China Relations

Simon Chan met with Luke Coates and Kim Pang of the Foundation on the next round of funding application.


29 August 2023- CAF collaboration with US Consulate Sydney

Michelle Zuo facilitated a seminar on Career Success, Happiness, and Wellbeing at the Tank Stream Labs.

 

Welcome Our New CAF Members

  • Aura Chan

  • Paulin Chan

  • Phil Chan

  • James Hua

  • Jane Li

  • Julia Li

  • Vincent Lim

  • Yong Sarah Lin

  • Meagen O'Leary

  • Tracy Qian

  • Koh Sang

  • Robin Sang

  • Caitlin Bo-Ye Chan Setter

  • Liam Mun-On Chan Setter

  • Tenaia Bo-Ling Chan Setter

  • Michael Setter

  • Vincent So

  • Cedric Spencer

  • Nelson Yang

  • Linda Yao

  • Sylvia Zhang

 

Vale Dr Anthony Pun Dr Anthony ‘Tony’ Pun passed away on 17th May 2023. Tony was a committee member in the first committee of the Australian Chinese Forum, as CAF was then named. Tony was a man with strong opinions on everything. He was a great raconteur.




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