First-generation PRC migrants and social cohesion - Report launch | WEBINAR

September 07 2023

Over the past decade, and especially since 2017, there has been an exponential increase in the Australian English-language media’s reporting on the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Chinese-Australian communities.

A new research report for the Australia-China Relations Institute at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS:ACRI), First-generation PRC migrants and social cohesion: Views on news about the PRC and Chinese-Australians, investigates responses and reactions by first-generation Mandarin-speaking migrants in Australia from the PRC to news stories about the PRC and about Chinese-Australian communities in English-language Australian digital, print, television and other media. 

The report, authored by Professor Wanning Sun, UTS:ACRI Deputy Director, seeks to understand the implications of these first-generation migrants’ views on news reporting for social cohesion in Australia. 

UTS:ACRI hosted a webinar with Professor Wanning Sun; Dr Jimmy Li, President of the Chinese Community Council of Australia - Victoria Chapter (CCCAV); and Dr James O'Donnell, lecturer in the College of Arts and Social Sciences at the Australian National University, on a panel moderated by Professor Monica Attard OAM, Co-Director of the Centre For Media Transition at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at UTS. The Hon Professor Verity Firth AM, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Social Justice and Inclusion) UTS delivered the opening remarks.

Panellists discussed the key findings of the report, providing their views on the accuracy, fairness and balance of Australian English-language media reporting on the PRC and Chinese-Australians; the level of mutual trust between PRC Mandarin-speaking migrants and Australia's English-language media; and the correlation between these migrants' consumption of Australian English-language media and their senses of inclusion, acceptance and belonging. The discussion was followed by audience Q&A.

Time: 5.30pm – 6.45pm AEST


transcript of the event is available.


About the speakers

Professor Wanning Sun

Wanning Sun is Deputy Director at UTS:ACRI and a Professor of Media and Communication in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at UTS. A fellow of Australian Academy of the Humanities since 2016, she is currently a member of the ARC College of Experts (2020-2023). As an academic researcher, Professor Sun is best known for her ethnography of rural-to-urban migration in China, and for her study of transnational and diasporic Chinese media. She has produced a significant body of research on the politics of inequality in China. This work can be found in Maid in China: Media, Morality and the Cultural Politics of Boundaries (Routledge, 2009), Subaltern China: Rural Migrants, Media and Cultural Practices (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014), and her co-edited volume, Love Stories in China: The Politics of Intimacy in the Twenty-First Century (Routledge, 2020). Her latest book on this topic is Love Troubles: Inequality in China and Its Intimate Consequences (Bloomsbury, 2023). Over the past two decades, she has spearheaded global diasporic Chinese-language media as an distinct area of research, with the publications of her first book Leaving China: Media, Migration, and Transnational Imagination (Routledge, 2002), and three edited books on this topic. Professor Sun also writes a column for Crikey.

Dr Jimmy Li

Jimmy Li is President of the Chinese Community Council of Australia - Victoria Chapter (CCCAV). Having completed his Ph.D. degree in Systems and Industrial Engineering from the University of Arizona in 1996, Dr Li has called Australia home ever since. He works in the Telecommunication industry as a senior IT domain specialist. Outside of work, he dedicates his time to community engagement and service primarily in the Chinese and multicultural communities.

Dr James O'Donnell

James O’Donnell is a lecturer and demographer at the Australian National University. His teaching and research focuses on the major social and population challenges in Australia and the world today, most especially related to immigration, housing, homelessness, social justice and cohesion. He is the lead author of the Scanlon Foundation’s Mapping Social Cohesion Study, the pre-eminent study of social cohesion in Australia. He is a member of the ANU’s Social Cohesion Grand Challenge, a multidisciplinary team of researchers identifying and studying approaches to strengthen social cohesion in Australia, an Associate Editor for the Journal of Population Research and a frequent contributor to public and media debates around social justice and cohesion. Dr O'Donnell is the lead author of the forthcoming Australian Cohesion Index 2023 and is an incoming ARC DECRA Fellow (commencing in 2024). James holds a PhD in Demography from the Australian National University and Masters Degrees in Economics and Social Research.

Professor Monica Attard

Monica Attard OAM is the Co-Director of the Centre For Media Transition at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at UTS.

She spent 28 years at the ABC, working across radio and television and holds a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Law, Order of Australia for services to journalism and is the winner of five Walkley Awards for excellence in journalism (including gold). She is best-known for hosting some of the ABC's flagship programs, including PM, The World Today and Media Watch, and being a reporter and foreign correspondent for AM. A journalist for 35 years, she has also been a TV and radio reporter, including for Four Corners and Lateline, a foreign correspondent and was the foundation editor of the website, The Global Mail. She was the ABC’s Russia correspondent at possibly the best time in modern history to be a Russia correspondent. She reported on the coup against Mikhail Gorbachev, the collapse of Soviet communism, the rise of Boris Yeltsin and his peculiar brand of capitalism and democracy, the first Chechen war and she covered civil wars across the old Soviet Union. Four years of covering the revolution left her with just enough energy to pump out a book about the events – Russia, Which Way Paradise? She was recently the head of journalism at Macleay College in Sydney and Melbourne.

The Hon Professor Verity Firth AM 

The Hon Professor Verity Firth AM is Pro Vice-Chancellor (Social Justice and Inclusion) at UTS and Executive Director, Social Justice at UTS where she leads the newly established Centre for Social Justice and Inclusion. She is currently spearheading the University's Social Impact Framework, a first of its kind in the Australian university sector.

Verity Firth has over fifteen years' experience at the very highest levels of government and the not for profit sector in Australia. Over the last ten years, she has been working in the Australian education sector, first as Minister for Education and Training in New South Wales (2008-2011) and then as the Chief Executive of the Public Education Foundation. As Minister for Education and Training she focussed on equity in education, and how to best address educational disadvantage in low socio economic communities, including rural and remote indigenous communities.

As NSW Minister for Women (2007-2009) Professor Firth implemented sector wide strategies to improve women's recruitment, development and employment in the NSW public sector. As Chief Executive of the Public Education Foundation (2011-2014), Professor Firth led the Foundation transformation from a fledgling organisation into a major provider of scholarships and support to public education. She also helped the sector negotiate $5 million in seed funding for a new charity for disadvantaged schools. Professor Firth was the Member for the state seat of Balmain from 2007 - 2011. Before her parliamentary career, Professor Firth worked as a lawyer and was Deputy Lord Mayor of the City of Sydney.


Event Information
September 07 2023
5:30 PM
Webinar (online-only)