我的故事 ~ 7. 回报祖国


austchina“澳大利亚和中国,一个是我的父亲,一个是我的母亲,你问我倾向于澳大利亚还是倾向于中国,就相当于你问你的小孩,你喜欢你的父亲还是喜欢你的母亲。很难回答。”

我的老家在山西。1990年10月份,我作为国家教委派出的访问学者来到澳大利亚,过来三个月以后,就拿到了澳大利亚奖学金,随后便转成私读,开始攻读博士学位。完成了学位毕业后便参加了工作。我所学的专业是工程化学,一直搞这个领域的设备咨询工作,后来逐渐开始有了自己的股份,收入颇丰。我们现在是几个合伙人投标,投标中标了,就做这个课题,然后就分包、生产,分四、五个件,有四、五个国家来生产这个,在不同国家里做不同东西。因为有好多东西要做,但只有某个国家有认证资格方才可以。所以一般是几国联合起来做。我对自己的工作还是比较满意的。经过多年的摸爬滚打,我和我的合伙人已经达成默契了。我和下属关系也很融洽。我现在住在西澳大利亚珀斯,有两个孩子,家庭幸福美满。

实际上最初是应该是去美国做访问学者的,由于某种原因,去美国的名额取消了,就转到了除了美加以外的任何英语国家。国家教委改派,就来到了澳大利亚。留在澳大利亚,还颇费了一番周折。因为在我们生活的那个年代,教委不批准我留在澳大利亚,要求我读书之后必须回国,澳大利亚政府给奖学金也不能拿。也算我运气好,国家政策不久放宽了。当时邓小平发表了讲话,说让留学生来去自由,毕竟他们的根在中国。最后我交付了800元的国家培养费,教委同意让我留在澳大利亚。澳大利亚是一个很友善的国家,很有耐心。人们会很细致地给你讲解诸如文化背景、规章制度等知识。所以我也算日久生情,逐渐对这个国家萌生出一种好感。但是最初的六个月还是感觉比较孤独,毕竟有文化差异。特别是我说话口音比较重,公司的同事最初听不懂,但时间长了,也就慢慢适应了。澳大利亚人的语言容忍度是很高的。现在家人也过来了,我们已经融入澳大利亚社会。但直到现在,好多澳大利亚的土语,我一看就发怵,真的不懂,但是土语也是澳大利亚文化的一部分,我要尽力去适应,因为毕竟是我选择了澳大利亚,澳大利亚接纳了我。

一踏上这片土地,就能感觉到澳大利亚扑面而来的平和和友好。我在这里遇到了一个很好的导师,就像我的父母一样,我很感激他。我刚到澳大利亚,他就亲自去飞机场接我,并让当时经济很困窘的我在他家住了四、五天,最后帮助我找了一个学生宿舍安身。我的导师退休好多年了,前段时间他得了癌症,但是控制得还不错,我们去年还一起吃过饭。当时的留学生会也处处照顾我。

我用好奇的眼光打量着这个陌生的国度,这个曾经刻板地印在地图上或者在电视新闻中一闪而过的国家。我感觉到了澳大利亚的先进和富足。在那个年代,澳大利亚就有免费喝茶和咖啡的公共场所,能用微波炉热饭……所有这一切,对于我都是那样新奇。我强烈地感觉到,中国闭关自守这么多年,真的需要向国外学习,来到澳大利亚之后确实发现这里的科学技术比中国先进。 Read more

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My Story ~ 8. From Chinese Country Boy To An Australian Professor


th-china-australia“At the Olympic Games I would be delighted to see the national flags of both China and Australia flying as one.”

Before I left China, I worked at the Changchun Geography Institution of China Academy of Sciences. During the English language training before I left China, the English teacher who was from an American church gave every trainee an English name. I was called Mike.

I came from the countryside, where my ancestors have been farmers for generations. My hometown is called Yangmingpu, a town where the Japanese invaders built an air base which was bombed by Chinese army. After I graduated from high school in 1976, I worked as the chief of Youth League Branch of my village; in addition, I was the assistant instructor of the village in addition to being a militiaman. In the year 1977, the college entrance examination system resumed, and most of the high school graduates started to prepare for the college entrance exams. Although I had my high school education in my county, I was not good at math, physics, and chemistry, especially inorganic chemistry and organic chemistry. At that time education in rural schools was taught without textbooks and there was no standard curriculum. After I graduated from high school, I held an administrative post in my village; as a result I had almost no time to review my lessons to prepare for the college entrance examination, so I went back to county high school and prepared for three months. I almost knew nothing about choosing which university and major, but I did know most boys chose science and engineering, therefore I chose science and engineering as my major. In my last application to Shanxi Normal College I choose physics as my major. After I got the letter of admission, I knew there were one major normal college and one major university in every province which would enrol you if you were lucky enough to be selected. As a country kid, all I was thinking was that as long as I could be a university student, I would get a job and be able to earn a living, so I didn’t care which university accepted me. A Normal university was better, because they had free tuition, and students would get a food coupon and an allowance, so that was my preference. Finally, much to my surprise, I was admitted to Shanxi Normal University my major geography. I thought it was typing error, because I chosen physics not geography. I was worried, so I went to ask the Taiyuan Admission Office what had happened. Staff in the office told me they did not make a mistake, because the Department of Geography belongs to science and engineering. They also said the Department of Geography is the best department in the university. Students graduating from this department need not be teachers but could work at the Seismological Bureau, Hydrologic Station, and Land and Resources Bureau. I was very happy, so I studied very hard and achieved good results

As a child born and raised in the countryside, I knew that the Letter of Admission to a university was extreme important, it meant that I was no longer restricted to a life in the countryside. I slowly began to love university life. At that time students who went college in 1977 and 1978 studied very hard. I also tried my best to work hard; I was chosen to be the study monitor. If you wanted to be in that position you had to be the top student as the top student, I got the highest average scores when I graduated from the university. Back then, the knowledge and teaching quality of my teachers was not of a high standard. Most of them were from the May Seventh Cadre School, and they simply repeated what the books said, so we had to study on our own. I started learning English from scratch. However, after one year’s study, I took part in an English speaking contest and got very good scores in the non-English major group. I was the only student awarded the prize from my department, which encouraged me to study much harder. When I was a junior, I heard I could sit the Master’s degree test, I started to prepare. After the test, I got letters of admission from two different departments: Department of Physics and Department of Chemistry. I was the first person to get this qualification in my department. That year, only three students qualified in my university. I chose Changchun Geography Institution of China Academy of Sciences to further my studies. As a student from the countryside, this was an outstanding achievement. I was quite excited to get the Letter of Admission. If going to university was an important step in my life, to obtain a Master‘s degree would make life even better. Read more

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我的故事 ~ 8. 中国农村娃至澳洲大学教授


th-china-australia“我衷心希望中国和澳洲的国旗同时在奥林匹克运动会上升起

在国内时,我在中国科学院长春地理研究所工作。在出国前参加培训班学习英语的时候,美国教会派来的英语老师,从《圣经》中给每个人取了个英文名字,他叫我迈克。

我是从东北农村出来的,父辈们祖祖辈辈都是农民。我的家乡阳明堡乡,当年是炸日本飞机场的地方。自从1976年高中毕业,就在村大队部做团支部书记,当民兵副指导员。1977年,中国恢复高考制度,大部分高中毕业生开始考大学,虽然我是在县城里读的高中,但对数学、物理和化学,尤其是无机化学、有机化学都分不清楚。当时的农村学校,上课很不正规,也没有教材,高中毕业后,在村里又担任行政职务,几乎没时间复习,所以特意回到县城高中复习了三个月。对报考上什么学校,选什么专业一无所知,只知道男孩子学工的多,因此,所有的志愿我都报的是工学院,最后一个志愿是山西师范学院物理专业。录取通知书下来才知道,每个省里都有一个重点师范院校,和重点院校同时录取,只要你是服从分配都能被录取。作为一个农村孩子,我心想只要能考上大学,以后就会有工作就会有饭吃,无论上哪所大学都行,上师范大学更好些,没有学费,国家还给每个人发粮票和补助金,因此就服从分配了。被山西师大地理系录取了。天啊,肯定是打错字了吧?物理和地理就差一个字,我急三火四,忐忑不安地跑到太原招生办想问个究竟。自己心想肯定是他们搞错了。招生办的工作人员告诉我没搞错,地理系就是理科。他们还说地理系是师范院校里最好的系,毕业后不用当老师。是唯一一个可以在地震局、水文站以及国土局工作的专业,当时还挺高兴。那就学地理吧,入学之后,我很努力地学习进步也很快。

作为一个农村孩子,通过考大学,金榜题名,在我一生中,那个录取通知书对我是太重要了,它意味着自己可以永远离开农村,可以找个吃商品粮的老婆,不会一辈子呆在农村,面对黄土背朝天了。上大学以后,从一无所知,到慢慢喜欢熟悉大学生活,那时候77、78级学生学习都特别努力,自己更加倍勤奋,被推选当学习委员,学习委员成绩必须拔尖才能在同学中有威信。我的学习成绩总是第一名,毕业的时候,平均分最高。那时教师知识水平教学质量不是特好,大部分老师是从“五七”干校回来的,上课照着书本念,所以我们只能靠自己用功自学。英语都是零起点,第二年我就参加英语竞赛,非英语专业竞赛组我就榜上有名,在我们系是唯一获奖人,学习劲头越来越足。到大学三年级的时候,听说可以报考硕士,就开始准备。考试结果,我同时得到了物理系和化学系两个通知书。我是地理系有史以来第一个考上研究生的人,全校一共考上三个。来自小地方的我,考的是中科院长春地理研究所,在当时已经够出色了。拿到这个通知书,激动不已,考上大学是我人生第一大转折,考上硕士算是锦上添花了。

研究生读了三年,毕业以后,分到中科院,单位很器重我,但要想出国学习深造那可不容易。作为国家第一批人才,单位不会轻易把人放走的。科学院出国名额特别多,我工作了三年,才拿到一个公派名额,做访问学者。我选择了温哥华的英属哥伦比亚大学,导师是一个亚洲问题研究所的主任专家。这一年期间,我们在一起交流共同做了一个项目,当时他提出一个新的理论,研究亚洲城市化和城市群的特征差异,很多学生参加这个项目,其中有研究中国长江三角洲、珠江三角及澳洲,我选择研究大连沈阳城市群,及新加坡城市群。导师当时鼓励我考托福,我得到一个奖学金,开始了我的学术生涯。 Read more

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My Story ~ 9. Who Is The Foreigner In This Place?


australia-china-flag-400“As long as you are not lazy, have a strong commitment and are willing to work, you can easily survive in this country.”

My hometown is Nanyang, Henan Province, where Zhuge Liang, a famous ancient Chinese strategist wrote his “Art of War”, titled as “Northern Expedition Memorial” during the Three Kingdoms period of ancient China.

I came to Australia in 1997 after graduation from a Chinese university, I majored in petroleum. I consider myself to be of average intelligence, I am conscientious and inclusive, serious about my work, so I have achieved good outcomes. Thanks to Curtin University which provided me with a full scholarship, I started to pursue my doctorate degree in Australia. At that time, the economic conditions of my family were not good, so I had to depend on myself completely.

I came to Australia alone. My supervisor suggested that he could help me to bring my family to Australia; he would reimburse the air tickets of my wife and child. At that time, I was very poor, so my supervisor’s offer was timely and a great help for me. I remember I had only 100 Australian Dollars in my pocket when I registered at Curtin University. A student was required to pay 250 Australian Dollars for registration; I didn’t have enough money for the fee. A deputy supervisor was with me, he saw my embarrassing situation and said, “No worries,” and wrote a cheque and paid for my registration fee. I was a good student, concentrated on my study without thinking about luxuries, I was happy with my simple life. Because of the scholarship, life was not too difficult. I heard that many of my predecessors coming to Australia had experienced a tough life and hardship. Compared to them, I thought I was luckier.

Nevertheless, like most Chinese students, I also took part-time jobs during my study period in Australia. I remember that my first job was related to my major, doing translation in petroleum matters. An Australian company was planning to invest in a project in China; they came to our school seeking translators. I was the only Chinese student majoring in petroleum geology at that time. That was my first job. I thought the money was good, 25 Australian Dollars per hour. It was sky-high in comparison with other wages at that time. The translation project was big, so I organized two or three assistants to form a translation group. I was responsible for the task, including recording timesheets. I was so tired and busy but I felt great. Ever week I earned more than one thousand Australian Dollars in my spare time.
My second job was working in a bakery. We also formed up a group made up of locals and foreigners from China and other countries. These were the jobs that I worked while I studied in Australia. While doing part-time work, I also successfully applied for a small scientific research fund from Australian Natural Science Fund to support my research project in the second year. My supervisor was very happy with me; because I didn’t need to spend his money and he could even use my money on a business trip. Read more

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我的故事 ~ 9. 到底谁是外国人?


australia-china-flag-400“只要你不懒惰,肯付出,凭着个人能力和劳动,在这里生活很容易。”

我的老家是河南南阳,诸葛亮写下《出师表》的地方。我大学时学的是石油地质专业。1997年年初来到澳大利亚。我并不是天资极聪颖的人,但做事严谨、认真,成绩较好。当时澳大利亚的科廷大学给我了全额奖学金,我才决定过来读博士。因为那个时候家里条件不好,没有人资助,全靠自己。

我是单枪匹马来到澳洲的。我的导师当时许诺说,我可以把家人带过来,并且报销全部机票。当时经济还真是窘迫,所以导师的许诺对我来说,无异于雪中送炭。我记得第二天到学校去报到,兜里仅有100多澳元。开学注册的时候需要缴纳报名费——250澳元,但我当时划拉划拉,全部的家当也只有100多澳元。有一个副导师跟我一起去的。他看出了我的窘迫,说没关系,我给你划支票,我这才交上了钱。好在我只是上学,对生活没有太多的要求,每两个星期还有奖学金来支持生活,所以还没感到太多的困难。我听说有很多来澳的老前辈,经历了很艰苦的奋斗过程,跟他们相比,我可能比较幸运,并没有过多为生计而奔波。但是跟大多数中国学生一样,我上学期间也打过工。我记得打的第一份工是和我专业有关系的,搞石油方面的翻译。因为澳洲的公司要到中国投资做项目,请不到专业翻译,就找到我们学校,当时我可以说时学校唯一一个搞石油地质的学生。所以这应该是第一份工作吧。当时感觉钱真不少,每个小时给25澳元。这个价钱相对于当时打工的价格,就算天价啦!因为工作比较多,我还组织了其他两、三个人组成一个翻译组来翻译,我还负责记录时间,很累,很忙碌。不过当时感觉,每个星期业余时间还能挣一千多澳元,真的不错!后来我还在面包房做过工。我们当时也是组成一个队,有澳洲本地人,有中国和其他国家过来打工的人。这些就是我当年在澳洲上学的时候打的工,但是我相对打工比较少。因为入学的第二年我从澳大利亚的国家自然科学基金申请了一个小的科研经费来支持我的课题研究。我的导师也挺高兴,因为我不用花他的钱,他们出差还可以用我的钱。

家庭

我有两个孩子。老大是女孩,在中国出生。1999年六月,我儿子在澳洲出生。儿子的出生很有戏剧性。澳洲不同于中国,在澳洲你可以随便检查孩子的性别。但我儿子出生前医生一直无法看清是男孩还是女孩。最后他们认为很可能是一个女孩,于是我们当时都按照女孩的标准准备了衣物。结果生下来以后是个男孩,所以这是一个惊喜。

我在澳洲有很多朋友、同事,他们都曾经无私地帮助过我。但我最应该感谢的还是我的妻子,她一直无怨无悔地照顾我,照顾孩子,照顾这个家,对我的生活和事业给予了极大的支持。我们双方的父母身体都不太好,这两个孩子全是她一手拉扯大的。尤其孩子小的时候,照顾起来真的非常辛苦。是她的付出和奉献,使我能够放下心去做自己的事业。我觉得我的妻子应该是对我一生影响最大的人。 Read more

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My Story ~ 10. A Party With One Member


FlagsofAustraliaAndChina“I like politics, for I don’t want people to experience what I have suffered in my life.

It was 1998 at a friend’s party in Perth.

The first general consul of the Chinese Consulate in Perth would soon return to China. It seemed that people felt reluctant to see him leave. The Consul General was in an amiable mood and gave the impression that he was familiar with every member of Chinese community. Being an ordinary man, or being an actor or an official, playing with shares, or collections, or playing with politics, having played to such a degree that people already missed him even before he departed; he was so successful that he should be seen as one of those on the peak of the human pyramid. That year was an Australian national election year. Who says the Chinese are not interested in politics? My circle of friends and colleagues definitely value their right to vote.

No matter who we support, we must be present on the polling day. According to Australia’s rules, everyone must vote. If you don’t vote you must explain why or face a fine even though it is a small amount. We don’t expect to be given money that we haven’t earned; but we should not have to take out the money that is already in our pockets.

When I drove home after the party, I listened to an ABC radio interview about the election. The interview was at his home, where he displayed a placard to protest against racism. After he had bought the land and built a house, because of his Asian appearance, everyday someone threw rocks, and smashed his property. Although he reported the problem, the police didn’t deal with it. Because of lack of evidence (even though it was known who did it). He was harassed all year round, was fearful and extremely anxious and suffered terribly. Therefore he was determined to establish a party which would give a Chinese voice to these issues. This man was really bold; it was unprecedented in Australian history. Good Man! If the opportunity arose I would definitely like to meet this giant and I’d like to vote for him. It was unbelievable that just two days later, someone introduced me to Ed.
I met Ed at his home along with many others, at a social gathering. I found there were a lot of professors and lecturers from all universities of Perth who were from China, Southeast Asia, and from India. Later, I found out that all of these people were elite scholars. ED is Mr. Huang. That day we met to discuss the establishment of the Unity Party and to participate in the national election. Mr. Huang said “nobody listens when only one person speaks, but someone will listen when one party speaks.” From then on, I was inadvertently caught up in a political election, and witnessed the largest tide of Chinese participation in politics in the history of Australia.

That year, the Australian political landscape changed. Read more

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