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Photo by Celia Mitchell (2015/16 Semester Photo Contest Entry), Indonesia Semester.



你们好!(Hello, everyone) from Brisbane, Australia!


You might question, “Why this guy from Down Under has something to do with our Dragons course in China?” I’m a Chinese who has lived in Brisbane for the past three years and will join you in Beijing as one of your instructors. I’m so excited to experience this upcoming adventure with all of you, particularly to Chengdu and surrounding areas because it’s my second hometown (I lived there for more than six years).


Born and raised in Kunming, Yunnan, I attended university in Chongqing, and then worked in Chengdu. My broad experience in Southwest China helped me develop unique insights to the region’s diverse ethnic groups, cultures, social customs and geography. As a seasoned NGO professional, I served seven years for Heifer International China Office in various capacities of fundraising, program management, communication and networking, including hosting more than 30 study tours for donors, international schools and scholars to visit rural and ethnic minority project sites.


Around the same time, I also volunteered for several other NGOs including Interplast, a California-based cleft surgery charity; and ShelterBox, a UK-based disaster relief charity. Being a front-line relief volunteer, I worked with ShelterBox in the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake, and subsequently, in 2010, in the Yushu Earthquake (Tibetan region), Qinghai Province. As a Rotary Peace Fellow, I completed my second master’s degree in International Studies at University of Queensland in 2017, instilling in me a solid theoretical foundation of international relations and a thorough understanding of peace and conflict resolution. In my spare time, I love spending time with my 23-month old son.


It’s my first course with Dragons. I’m super interested in your perspectives and understandings about China and look forward to learning together with you to know more about my home country.


See you soon in Beijing!


Tony Zhang