Boosting Australia’s China knowledge capability | WEBINAR

April 19 2023

Declining China knowledge in Australia has been the subject of growing concern, with questions raised as to whether universities have adequately equipped the nation to optimise economic opportunities with its biggest trading partner, and address strategic challenges. The latter has been amplified by growing anxieties about what the rise of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) might mean for the region and the liberal order.

The current state and future needs of Australia’s China knowledge and research ecology have recently been examined in Australia’s China Knowledge Capability, a report by the Australian Academy of Humanities, funded by the National Foundation for Australia-China Relations.

What are Australia’s core China knowledge capabilities and how might universities better support their development? How can universities more effectively engage their Australian-Chinese students and employees? What are the challenges and opportunities for academic exchange and in-country studies in the PRC? How have rising geopolitical tensions impacted student choices, career options, and academic planning?

The Australia-China Relations Institute at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS:ACRI) hosted a webinar with UTS:ACRI Adjunct Professor Louise Edwards, a member of the report’s Advisory Group; Ciara Morris, report co-author; and Dr Yu Tao, senior lecturer in Chinese Studies at the University of Western Australia, on a panel moderated by Professor Anne McLaren, Professor in Chinese Studies at the Asia Institute in the University of Melbourne, to address these questions and more, guided by the findings of the report. 

Time: 12.30pm – 1.30pm AEST


transcript of the event is available.


About the speakers

Louise Edwards

Louise Edwards is an Adjunct Professor at the Australia-China Relations Institute, University of Technology Sydney.

She is also Emeritus Professor of Chinese History at UNSW’s School of Humanities and Languages and Honorary Professor at the University of Hong Kong’s School of Modern Languages and Cultures. An elected Fellow of 3 learned academies—Academy of Humanities in Australia, the Australian Academy of Social Sciences and the Hong Kong Academy of Humanities—Professor Edwards served as President of the Asian Studies Association of Australia (2016-2017) and is Editor in Chief of the Association’s ‘Women in Asia’ book series.

Professor Edwards publishes on women and gender in China from a cultural and historical perspective. Her most recent sole-authored books include Citizens of Beauty: Drawing Democratic Dreams in Republican China (Seattle: Washington University Press, 2020), Women, Politics and Democracy: Women’s Suffrage in China (Stanford University Press, 2008) and Women Warriors and Wartime Spies of China (Cambridge University Press, 2016).  

Ciara Morris

Ms Ciara Morris is a co-author of the Australian Academy of the Humanities Australia's China Knowledge Capability Project. Ciara is a young Australian with China knowledge capability. She completed her undergraduate studies in Sydney and her postgraduate studies in Beijing. She will soon be commencing a PhD in International Affairs at the City University of Hong Kong. She also has experience with the Sydney based policy institute China Matters and is currently Editor for the Beijing based monitoring and analysis company China Policy.  

Yu Tao

Dr Yu Tao is a senior lecturer in Chinese Studies at the University of Western Australia (UWA), where he teaches contemporary Chinese society and language and coordinates the Chinese Studies major. Before UWA, Dr Tao worked as a senior lecturer in Asia Pacific Studies at the University of Central Lancashire in England.

Dr Tao was trained as a political sociologist in Peking, Cambridge, and Oxford. In addition to his academic publications in reputable English and Chinese journals, Dr Tao has also published dozens of op-ed articles in newspapers, magazines, and online platforms.

Dr Tao is the China regional editor of Asian Studies Review, the flagship journal of the Asian Studies Association of Australia. He is also a fellow of the Higher Education Academy, the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, and the Royal Asiatic Society. 


About the moderator

Anne McLaren

Anne McLaren is Professor in Chinese Studies, Asia Institute, University of Melbourne. Her main research interest is Chinese popular culture from the late imperial to the contemporary period, with a focus on the oral and ritual traditions of Chinese women, Chinese performance arts, traditional popular fiction, print culture in late imperial China and Intangible Cultural Heritage.

She has authored or edited eight books and special journal issues and serves on the board of Asian Ethnology (Nanzan); Nan Nu: Men, Women and Gender in China (Leiden); Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific (ANU); and CHINOPERL(Chinese Oral and Performing Literature, USA). Her most recent book is Memory Making in Folk Epics of China (New York: Cambria Sinophone Series, 2022). Other recent monographs: Slow Train to Democracy: Memoirs of LIfe in Shanghai, 1978-1979 (2020); Environmental Preservation and Cultural Heritage in China (2013); Performing Grief: Bridal Laments in Rural China (2008) and a special issue of Asian Ethnology, ‘Interpreting the Sinitic Heritage: Ethnography & Identity in China & S.E.Asia’ (2017).

The above projects have received funding from the Australian Research Council (2009-2012) and the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation (2012-15).


Event Information
April 19 2023
12:30 PM
Webinar (online-only)