Our voice at the Australia-China Youth Dialogue

The premier conference for young Australian and Chinese leaders kicks off this week, and international student Lina Tao is one of 30 delegates selected to participate.  

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UNSW's Lina Tao.

The premier bilateral conference for young Australian and Chinese leaders, the Australia-China Youth Dialogue, kicks of this week, and international student Lina Tao from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is one of 30 delegates selected to participate.

Tao will also attend as one of only two Foundation for Australian Studies in China Fellows. This year, the conference will focus on Australia’s political, economic, cultural and security relationship with China.

The four-day conference will feature keynote addresses from high-level ASEAN, Defence Department and DFAT representatives, as well as former Victorian Premier and Independent Director of Huawei Technologies, John Brumby. Delegates will also have the opportunity to visit the ABC offices and learn about its China engagement strategies. 

This is of particular interest to Tao, whose Masters project is focusing on how the Chinese media represents migrant children in the country.

“It’s an examination of how both traditional and new media represent the millions of child migrants in China. They are often represented as a minority, and there has been a very specific ideology underpinning the discourse relating to them,” she says.

For Tao, the motivation to undertake this particular area of research comes from her personal experience of moving from rural China to Beijing so she could complete a Bachelor of Communication Studies at Peking University.

She is now looking forward to discussing with delegates how Australia engages with China on the key issues of governance, politics, economics and the changing media landscape.

“The two countries have different frames of reference and different ways of thinking,” says Tao. 

“It’s more than just language and cultural barriers. We have to discuss what the ideology is behind each country’s approach to their bilateral relations.”

The Australia-China Youth Dialogue is taking place in Canberra and Melbourne, 25-29 September.

Media contact:
Cassie Chorn, UNSW Media Office, 9385 8107 

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UNSW's Lina Tao.