The Chinese language and culture have played an increasingly significant role in both Australian and international affairs over the past forty years. China has been Australia’s largest trading partner since 2007 and, in 2014, the governments of both countries concluded a Freed Trade Agreement. Many Australian expatriates live and work in Chinese cities, whilst the Chinese diaspora in Australia has made a significant contribution to the national life of this country.

Students at Barker learn about the rich traditions of Chinese culture as well as specialised aspects of the language such as pinyin, tones and characters. It is through this framework that our students are able to experience the exhilaration of conversing in a second language about issues that touch upon the personal, domestic and international wellbeing of two great nations.

Barker offers students the opportunity to meet, engage with and travel to visit students living in China. These opportunities provide an invaluable opportunity to consolidate a student’s learning whilst broadening his or her cultural horizons.

Students are sometimes surprised to learn that prominent Chinese speakers include and have included:

  • Kevin Rudd (former Australian Prime Minister)
  • Michael Spence (Vice Chancellor, Sydney University)
  • Hudson Taylor (British missionary)
  • Herbert Hoover (President of the USA, 1929-1933)