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B&R young professionals | Hazza: Australian pursuing a career in Guangdong

2019-April-25       Source: Newsgd.com

Harry Harding, aka Hazza or (Da Ha) from Brisbane, Australia began his Guangdong story years ago, at primary school!

Editor's Note: The second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) will be held in Beijing from April 25th to 27th, 2019. In the six years since its inception, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has had a far-reaching and profound impact on the world. The BRI has played an important role in promoting closer ties between countries, and boosting global growth.

Five young expats from five continents that have been living and working in Guangdong during the past six years gave exclusive interviews to Nanfang Daily and News GD. Below is one of their five stories.


Harry Harding, aka Hazza or (Da Ha) from Brisbane, Australia began his Guangdong story years ago, at primary school! He went on to choose Chinese as his major at Griffith University, because he believed Chinese was going to be very useful in the future.

Becoming an internet celebrity by covering Chinese songs

Hazza found the best way for him to study Chinese, was to sing Chinese songs. He listened to a great many songs from the Taiwan pop singer Jay Chou and practiced as often as he could. Soon, he became good at both Chinese and singing. His friends said he should take part in a Chinese variety show.

Hazza in the recording studio. [Photo/Nanfang Plus]

Although Hazza didn’t take part in any Chinese shows, he bought a microphone and camera to record himself singing these songs, and posted them on Chinese video websites and Weibo, a Chinese microblog. To his surprise, one of his videos got more than one thousand hits in just a week, and hits on all his videos exceeded 10 million. Considering the small number of foreign users on Weibo at that time, Hazza was quite the internet celebrity.

After he graduated, Hazza first travelled to Beijing, then visited Guangzhou at the beginning of 2011. When he was in Guangzhou, he posted a message on Weibo, which got the attention of a Guangdong Radio and Television (GRT) producer who invited him to several interview programs.

After that, the producer asked Hazza if he wanted to stay to be a host. Hazza took the offer on the back of experience he had gained during an internship at an Australian radio station during university. That was when he started his career in the media in Guangzhou.

Hazza [Photo/Nanfang Plus]

Win China News Award for reports in Australia

“I came to Guangzhou out of curiosity, everything was new for me.” In his time at GRT, Hazza has hosted news, entertainment, travel and documentary programs, such as My Guangdong, Little Ma Big Ha, and China Chats.

In 2016, Hazza and his colleagues from the China Chats production team visited Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, to report about Guangdong tech being used in Australia. The team produced three radio programs on the theme of “From Made-in-Guangdong to Created-in-Guangdong: Guangdong Innovation in Australia”, which won the China News Award for International Communication. Hazza is very proud of this, “I believe I’m the first Australian to receive this honor.”

Hazza in the recording studio. [Photo/Nanfang Plus]

Hazza shares links to his programs on social media, giving more people from different countries the chance to get to know more about Guangdong and China.

Hazza believes that the Belt and Road Initiative is mainly about cooperation and mutual benefit. In his spare time, he also strives to promote Sino-Australian exchange and cooperation in a variety of ways.

Two years ago, Hazza took the lead in establishing the Australia-China Young Professionals Initiative (ACYPI) Guangzhou Branch and acts as chairman. At present, half of the members are Australians, and the other half are Chinese with connections to Australia. Every month, ACYPI Guangzhou Branch holds activities for members.

Hazza is the host of the 2019 Spring Festival Gala in Guangdong. [Photo/Nanfang Plus]

Hoping for permanent residence someday

Both Hazza and his parents initially imagined he would return to Australia after staying in Guangdong for a year or two. Unexpectedly, he has been living here for more than eight years. Every year, he looks forward to Chinese New Year, during which time he can enjoy the holiday or go home to visit his parents.

Some of his colleagues say he is a ‘workaholic’, and Hazza himself pointed out that while they are very busy with work, they are very happy, and they often hang out after work. “I have a lot of friends in Guangzhou,” he smiled.

In his view, Guangdong’s climate is not that different from Brisbane’s, but each city has very different characteristics. Guangzhou is an attractive city, home to not only high-rises, but also historic complexes like Xiguan Mansion; the city is inclusive and pragmatic, attracting people from all over the world.

Hazza [Photo/Nanfang Plus]

“The people here are responsible. Not only towards their family, but also their work, which makes me feel motivated and comfortable in this city.” Hazza always remembers when mobile payment was still in its early phase, one time he left his wallet home when taking a taxi, and the driver kindly let him go without charging him a penny.

“Being back here is just like getting home. I hope to continue to pursue my career in Guangzhou and become a permanent residence holder one day,” Hazza said.

Reporters: Hu Liangguang, Peng Yifei

Video & Photography: Zheng Yijian, Zhang Ziwang, Dong Tianjian

Editing & post-production: Zhou Xinyu, Li Jiajing, Zhang Qingliang (intern)

English version: Monica Liu

English editor: Simon Haywood

Editor: Monica Liu

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