Eminent scholar to lead Australia-China Institute for Arts and Culture

Jocelyn Chey

Former diplomat and leading academic Professor Jocelyn Chey AM has been named the Foundation Director of the new Australia-China Institute for Arts and Culture at Western Sydney University.

Professor Chey is one of Australia's eminent scholars in Chinese studies and Australia China-relations, and as one of the nation's leading diplomats helped lay the foundations for trade and cultural relations between China and Australia.

Professor Chey will drive Western Sydney University's vision for the Australia-China Institute to be a world-leading authority on all facets of Chinese arts and culture, which are at the heart of one of the world's oldest societies.

In doing so, the Institute will deepen relations and enrich understanding between Australia, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and other centres of Chinese culture – opening doors for further collaborations across research, teaching, and international exchange.

The Institute has been made possible by a generous donation of $3.5 million over three years from businessman and philanthropist, Mr Xiangmo Huang – the largest single donation ever received by the University.

Western Sydney University has more than 2000 students who were born in China or who speak a Chinese language at home. Of the University's alumni, more than 8,000 were born in China and 1779 are currently based in China.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover says the Institute will be an important point of access to Chinese culture, leveraging the University's existing world-class research and scholarship in Chinese literature, translation, interpretation, music composition and history.

"It is important that we continue to broaden our understanding and appreciation of Chinese culture, arts and language, in order to build stronger connections across our region," says Professor Glover.

"The Australia-China Institute at Western Sydney University will help promote these scholarly exchanges through a shared appreciation of Chinese art, music and literature.

"We are especially delighted to have someone of Professor Jocelyn Chey's calibre join us. I have no doubt that under Professor Chey's distinguished leadership, the Australia-China Institute for Arts and Culture will foster and promote the exchange of knowledge and ideas, becoming an important resource for all Australians."

The Institute will build on existing teaching and research programs across the University, and will conduct a range of public engagement and education activities. It will also develop a Masters program in Chinese arts and literature, with the first students anticipated to commence in 2018.


31 August 2016

Amanda Whibley, Manager, Media and Public Relations