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Ideas from Australia and China Course

Ideas from Australia and China Course

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Contemporary Issues courses in Sydney. Open to the general public.

Learn Contemporary Issues with Contemporary Issues courses in Sydney at NEWCourse – created for you by the University of Newcastle.

As the world becomes more interconnected this contemporary issues course takes a leap forward in education and creates a pioneering virtual class across two countries, China and Australia and across two universities, University of Newcastle and University of Nottingham, Ningbo, China.

In this contemporary issues course participants will be absorbed in the knowledge from China and Australia and will be encouraged to learn, debate and exchange across the wired connections with their fellow Chinese participants. This course provides a unique forum for Australian and Chinese participants to join in common discussion about important topics for each society.

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this contemporary issues course you will:

  1. be able to debate and discuss Chinese and Australian ideas, history and culture.
  2. have a greater understanding of a major leader of our world, China.
  3. have learnt more about the latest ideas, history and culture of Australia.

Course Content

This contemporary issues course we reach across the world linking arms with another country, China to exchange ideas, debate and discuss our history, our culture and our future. This course will link two classes in two different countries simultaneously, sharing ideas, guest speakers and knowledge. Working with Professor Andrew White of Creative Industries & Digital Media, University of Nottingham, Ningbo, China, each session will examine a topic from China and another from Australia as detailed below:

Topics from China

  • Ethnic minority languages and cultures.
  • Urban development.
  • A history of Ningbo as a port city.
  • The development of cultural and creative industries.
  • China’s soft power.
  • The Silk Road.
  • China’s long history of inventions and innovations.

Topics from Australia

  • Indigenous music – How Dr G. Yunupingu took Yolngu culture to the world.
  • Australian art – Chinese-Australian artists courtesy of Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW).
  • Australian literature – Extinctions – Winner of 2017 Miles Franklin Literary Award.
  • Australian transnational history – New efforts to reconstruct Australia’s history.
  • Australian transnational politics – Australian politics: the context within and without.
  • Food history of Sydney, Shanghai and Singapore.
  • Australian/China Trade, Tourism, Investment and International Education.

Intended Audience

This contemporary issues course is suitable for anyone who is interested in contemporary issues and the sharing of ideas. The course will be of particular benefit to those who are interested in Chinese and Australian culture, history or current topics in the public spotlight.

Delivery Style

This contemporary issues course will be delivered as an interactive workshop across to countries, China and Australia simultaneously. Each ‘classroom’ will contribute to the instructor led lecture and group discussion via video link. This contemporary issues course strives to encourage active and informed participation, group analysis and debate of the facts, issues and insights into our changing world. This course encourages the study of good factual reliable sources and reasoned arguments and conclusions. Sources will include not only the written word, but also other expressions of ideas such as conveyed through video, art and music.

Recommended Reading

Australian Readings

  1. Professor Aaron Corn, How Dr G. Yunupingu took Yolngu culture to the world, The Conversation, 27/7/17,
  2. Dr Josephine Wilson, Winner of the 2017 Miles Franklin Literary Award – Extinctions, (University of Western Australia Publishing, 2017),
  3. Director of the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research, University of Canberra, Jen Webb, Grief, loss and a glimmer of hope: Josephine Wilson wins the 2017 Miles Franklin Prize for Extinctions, The Conversation, 7/9/17.
  4. Stan Grant, America tears down its racist history, we ignore ours, ABC News, 18/8/17.
  5. Katharine Murphy, Changing colonial statues is Stalinist, says Malcolm Turnbull, The Guardian, 25/8/17
  6. Afua Hirsch, Toppling statues? Here’s why Nelson’s column should be next, The Guardian, 22/7/17
  7. Dr Cecilia Leong-Salobir, Food culture in Colonial Asia: A Taste of Empire, (New York, Routledge Studies in the Modern History of Asia, 2011)

Chinese Readings

  1. Feng, A. and Adamson, B. (eds) (2015) Trilingualism in education in China: models and challenges, Dordrecht: Springer
  2. The other China, The Guardian, 24 March 2017
  3. Si, M. (2016), Ningbo becomes first pilot city to implement Made in China 2025, China Daily, 19 August
  4. Keane, M. A., and E. J. Zhao. (2014), The reform of the cultural system: culture, creativity and innovation in China. In Cultural policies in East Asia: dynamics between the state, arts and creative industries, , Lee, H. K., and L. Lim (eds.). Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan; pp. 155-173.
  5. Zhang, X., Wasserman, H. and Mano, W. (2016), China’s media and soft power in Africa: promotion and perceptions., New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
  6. Thubron, C. (2007), Shadow of the Silk Road, London: Vintage.
  7. Winchester, S. (2008), Bomb, book and compass: Joseph Needham and the great secrets of China, London: Viking.

Course Prerequisites

This contemporary issues course has no prerequisites and is open to all members of the public.

  • The topics on were well chosen and contemporary to todays issues. The speakers were excellent and appropriate to the topics. There was good discussion and questioning within the classes on each of the issues.
  • The lecturer and guest speakers were very insightful with good analysis of present societal issues.
  • Great course. Passionate teacher who cares profoundly about their subject and their students. Highly recommend this course.
  • A wonderful instructor who made sure the course was engaging, thought provoking and interactive.

No classes that suit you? Please join our waitlist and we will notify you when we have places available. Join Waitlist

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