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Australia from 1788 to the Present

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Course Title: Australia from 1788 to the Present

Presenter: David Walker, BHP Billiton Chair Professor of Australian Studies, at Peking University

The course presents a systematic overview and interpretation of Australian history, society and culture, including an examination of Aboriginal Australia, an exploration of key themes in the historical development of the Australian nation and the settlement of the world's driest continent. It introduce
s the process by which ideas about racial purity gave way to a belief in multiculturalism and diversity. This course maps the process by which a society that began with a strong attachment to British values and cultural traditions has adapted to the rise of Asia. In recent years, China has become Australia's major trading partner, while Australia is a significant source of investment income in China. Chinese immigrants have now overtaken the immigrants from the United Kingdom as the major source of migrants in contemporary Australia. There is every reason to believe that the relationship between Australia and China will become increasingly strong over the coming decades. Given this history and the importance of the bilateral relationship, it is a particularly opportune time for Chinese students to gain a better understanding of Australia’s history and present role in the world.

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