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Macquarie Chinese Studies student wins top prize

Page last published: 05 Jun 2014

Charith Wickremasinghe, Wenyi Zhu and Tony Edwards prepare for the Chinese Bridge competition, photo by Jonathan Benney

Tony Edwards, a third-year student from Macquarie University studying traditional Chinese philosophy and Classical Chinese as well as Chinese language in our Chinese Studies major, has won the NSW section of the Chinese Bridge speaking competition, held on Friday 30 May.

Tony gave a speech on the topic "My Chinese Dream" and gave a performance on the guqin, a traditional Chinese musical instrument. He will travel to China to compete in the international section of the competition along with contestants from 60 countries. The event will be televised nationally on China Central Television.

The Chinese Bridge competition is a global Chinese-language proficiency contest sponsored by the Chinese Ministry of Education. "The competition was fierce, and it's a considerable honour to win the champion prize," said Jonathan Benney, lecturer in the Department of International Studies.

Two other Macquarie students studying Chinese Studies as part of their Bachelor of Arts with the degree of Bachelor of Laws participated in the competition: Wenyi Zhu won third prize, and Charith Wickremasinghe received an encouragement award.

"The Macquarie students' speeches and performances were characterised by their creativity and their capacity to reflect on the issues facing modern China. They fought the pressures of deadlines, classwork, and last-minute illnesses to produce genuinely interesting and well-presented items," said Jonathan.

Dr Christine Hung, a tutor in the Department of International Studies, also deserves special acclaim, Jonathan says – with himself and Dr Shirley Chan, Christine was the chief coach for the team, and devoted many hours to listening to speeches and providing advice. "Very few days went by without a new suggestion or idea from her!"

Dr Shirley Chan, Head of Chinese Studies in the Department of International Studies explains, "This is the 6th time that Macquarie has won first prize in NSW since the competition started in 2002. It is one of the major events promoting Chinese language and culture around the world. I encourage our students to take part in cultural and community activities as part of their studies as I believe this enriches their learning experience. Our students enjoy and benefit from learning beyond the classroom through these kinds of activities and competitions. In fact, students who I have trained for the competition over the years have told me it is a life-changing experience."

Congratulations to the team, and the best of luck to Tony as he moves onto the next stage!

Interested to study Chinese Studies? A major in Chinese Studies at Macquarie University can be studied via a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Global Business or several double degree options incorporating a Bachelor of Arts.

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