December 21st will mark the 50th anniversary of the official signing of diplomatic relations between Australia and China. The anniversary provides an opportunity for us to reflect on ourselves in the Australia-China space and to celebrate our achievements and events that have taken place. More importantly, it is a chance to look at the relationships we have made, what has come out of these bonds, and the impact they can have.
On this extraordinary occasion, I want to share my close friendship with Xiaoran Sun, whom I know as Sally. I met Sally online at the 12th iteration of the Australia-China Emerging Leaders’ Summit in 2021. Sally and I immediately bonded not long after the summit ended. We began messaging each other constantly on China’s social platform WeChat. Other than our passion for the voice of youth and other issues in the Australia-China space. Sally and I converse over a diverse range of topics. Being from different countries allows us to share our unique perspectives and how simple it is for people from diverse cultures and backgrounds to get along and have meaningful discussions. World leaders and organizations can learn from these connections and how youth can be a leading example and why we should have a voice in world affairs and essential issues in our home countries.
在这个特殊的时刻，我想讲一下我的好朋友孙小冉（Xiaoran Sun），我叫她 Sally。我是在 2021 年第 12 届中澳青年领袖换届选举峰会上认识 Sally 的。峰会结束后不久，Sally 和我就建立了联系。我们开始在中国的社交平台微信上不断地互发消息。我们除了对青年发声的热情以及中澳的其他问题外，莎莉和我就各种各样的话题进行了交谈。不同的国家背景使我们能够分享我们独特的观点，我们还讨论来自不同文化和背景的人们相处起来或展开有意义的讨论是多么地简单。世界领导人和组织可以从这些联系中学习，了解青年如何成为榜样，以及为什么我们应该在世界事务和本国的重要问题上有发言权。
Our friendship is also an example of how we can share cross-cultural exchange in many ways. From ACELS, I was immediately fascinated by the Hanfu, a historical and traditional dress of Chinese culture that comes in various styles: ruqun, the aoqun, the beizi and the shenyi, and the shanku. Sally danced to Mulan’s song ‘Reflection’ in one of her wide varieties of hanfus. I was captivated by the beauty of the dress and how unique the movements were to the music in Chinese dance compared to others I’ve seen before. There was also another dance video where the sleeves of the hanfu were extra long and could be used as part of the movements and reminded me of a bird’s wings. That particular dance inspired me to write a poem called ‘Red Bird’. Sally began to tell me more about them and the tiniest details, from how Hanfus are tied to the lengths you can wear them and where it’s more common to see particular hanfus worn in certain parts of China.
Sally was even kind enough to pick a hanfu and send it to me as a birthday present which was a fantastic surprise. It feels so special to own and wear something from her culture. For Christmas in 2021, I gave Sally an animal adoption for a Koala called Koya at Australia Zoo. It was a significant gift as it reminded Sally of Australia as she used to study at Melbourne University in person before the pandemic. Furthermore, it helps support the conservation of Koalas and other endangered animals at the Zoo. It inspired Sally to go on the Zoo’s official website and learn more about the critical work done towards the animal conversation. One of her friends in China went online to adopt an animal and gift it to a friend as I did. Sally and I even see the similarities between Giant Pandas and Koalas and what it would be like for Australia and China to have joint protection and research programs for both species. It would strengthen our existing cross-cultural relations and create new ones, make a real difference and maybe come up with game-changing ideas in the conservation and breeding sector.
Sally 还亲切地挑选了一件汉服作为生日礼物送给我，真是太惊喜了。拥有和穿着来自她的文化的东西，我感觉很特别。在 2021 年的圣诞节，我在澳大利亚动物园给莎莉收养了一只名为 Koya 的考拉。这是一份意义重大的礼物，因为它让莎莉想起了澳大利亚，因为她曾在大流行病爆发前亲自到墨尔本大学学习。此外，它还有助于支持动物园考拉和其他濒危动物的保护工作。这启发了Sally访问动物园的官方网站，并了解更多关于为动物对话所做的重要工作。她在中国的一个朋友和我一样上网领养一只动物送给朋友。Sally和我甚至看到了大熊猫和考拉之间的相似之处，以及澳大利亚和中国对这两个物种开展联合保护和研究项目会是什么样子。这将加强我们现有的跨文化关系并创造新的跨文化关系，产生真正的影响，并可能在保护和育种领域提出改变游戏规则的想法。
I’m so grateful to have such an incredible friend like Sally. I hope that our friendship and many others across the Australia-China space continue to thrive so we can continue to bond and create and contribute to a positive future of ongoing relations between our two countries.