• Taipei Representative David Lee and Philip Chou

    Taipei Representative David Lee and Philip Chou

  • Jack Dunstan, William Sima and Olivier Krischer

    Jack Dunstan, William Sima and Olivier Krischer

  • Will Zou,Estele Oskandar,Neil Thomas and Tim Cronin

    Will Zou,Estele Oskandar,Neil Thomas and Tim Cronin

  • Jenny Sheehan and Maggie Shapley

    Jenny Sheehan and Maggie Shapley

  • Laura Minfold and her father Professor John Minfold

    Laura Minfold and her father Professor John Minfold

  • Heather Carswell and Centre Manager Merrilyn Fitzpatrick

    Heather Carswell and Centre Manager Merrilyn Fitzpatrick

  • Jack Waterford and Benjamin Penny

    Jack Waterford and Benjamin Penny

  • Sabrina and George Snow

    Sabrina and George Snow

  • Centre Director Geremie Barme and Stephen Huang

    Centre Director Geremie Barme and Stephen Huang

  • Mirabel Fitzpatrick, Clare Golson and Anthea Fitzgerald.

    Mirabel Fitzpatrick, Clare Golson and Anthea Fitzgerald.

  • Jack Dunstan, Olivier Krischer, Benjamin Penny, Centre Director Geremie Barme, Jack Waterford and William Sima

    Jack Dunstan, Olivier Krischer, Benjamin Penny, Centre Director Geremie Barme, Jack Waterford and William Sima

China & ANU: Diplomats, Adventurers and Scholars

28 May 2015

The campus of the Australian National University is home to a mixed bag of buildings, not what I would call an eclectic mix, definitely ad hoc and many a reminder of the cream brick blocks built by Karl Schreiner most notably the original John Curtin School of Medical Research. So to find at the end of Fellows Lane the new building that is The Australian Centre on China in the World with inside the Bamboo Hall and outside a garden of oriental charm and discipline and a view through the hall to the green space that is one of those treasured lush ovals of the ANU was a pleasant surprise.

The occasion was the opening of an exhibition, China & ANU: Diplomats, Adventurers and Scholars which is a carefully researched, curated and displayed collection of all manner of documents, photos and films with some rare archival items among the collection acknowledging the important connection between diplomat-scholars and adventurers who established new relationships with China and the region post-war.

Jack Waterford, dubbed our new ‘eminence gris’ and ‘living Canberra treasure’, by Acting Director of the centre Benjamin Penny, was the official opener of the exhibition and in his own inimitable way of story- telling had us off to the central province of Uganda to learn about the Kabaka of Buganda, that’s the king of this influential little piece of Uganda. And no I’d never heard of him either. Then it was on to England with tales of the London Missionary Society, a divergence for consideration of an Aboriginal Institute of Australian Studies on the campus and somewhere in between a story of the original demountable that sat on this spot as the ‘departure lounge’ for those soon to depart the university to enjoy the company and chatting of others hoping for an upgrade before departure.

It’s a beautiful building, a centre for excellence as an institution for Chinese Studies and a place to exhibit these Australian stories of our diplomatic and scholarly China connections. Exhibition time is Wednesdays 9-5.