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The Chinese translation of Sojourners: the epic story of China's centuries-old relationship with Australia was launched in Guangzhou on June 23, marking the 45th anniversary of China's diplomatic ties with Australia as well as the 25th anniversary of Australian Consulate-General in Guangzhou.
The Australian Consul-General Mr Dominic Trindade, Professor Zhang Wei, the translator, and Dr Mitchell Rolls, the son of author Eric Rolls attended the launching ceremony.
Sojourners was written by Eric Rolls and published in 1992 in Australia. The book not only records the story of Chinese in Australia in the nineteenth century, but also presents the profound connection and long lasting friendship between Chinese and Australian.
Eric Rolls was a well-known award-winning writer in Australia and had particular interest in Australian Chinese history. In order to give a true description of the stories of those Chinese who went to Australia, Eric Rolls came to China and visited their descendants. His unremitting and meticulous research led to the success of the book.
And after 25 years, the book finally arrived in China to meet the Chinese readers as it has been translated by Professor Zhang, Director of Australian Studies Centre of Shantou University.
"We regard the publication of such a prestigious translation as an important component of developing greater understanding between Australia and China," said Professor Greg McCarthy, holder of the BHP Chair of Australian Studies at Peking University and the Chairman of the Foundation for Australian Studies in China Mr. Kevin Hobgood-Brown AM, "we reiterate our congratulations to Professor Zhang on the translation and we are sure many Chinese will obtain great pleasure in reading Eric Roll’s masterpiece, Sojourners."
Ms Jan Adams, the Australian Ambassador to China, has written in her foreword: Yet, as Sojourners reminds us, the relationship between our two countries is centuries old. Moving between the past and present, Sojourners describes and illuminates how elements of Chinese culture have been woven into the fabric of contemporary Australia.
The publishing of the book will increase understanding of the Australia-China shared past and deepen the friendship between Australian and Chinese.
Professor Zhang, the author and translator of a number of books on Australia-China relations, is a three-time recipient of the Australia-China Council’s Book Prize. His commitment to the Chinese-language mapping of cultural, social and economic relations between China and Australia has built a strong foundation for this important field of academic inquiry in China.
Dr Mitchell Rolls, the son of Eric Rolls, is himself an expert in Aboriginal Studies, and President of the International Australian Studies Association. He has made a great contribution to Australian studies overseas.