Friday, 17 November 2017

Two Churches, Two Countries

Confucius once said: “When friends come from afar, how can one not be happy?” It is an honour for me on behalf of Uniting Church in Australia to welcome you Commissioner Mao and your delegation.


I have been to China twice in 2013 and 2016. As a church organisation, our relationship with the TSPM and China Christian Council has been life-giving. We deem it of immense value. Our trips to China allowed us to experience China’s transformation as a nation, and recognize the important relationship between our two countries.


I have met with the SARA Vice Minister Mr Jiang (Jianyong) in Beijing on two occasions. I have appreciated the wisdom which he has shared in our discussions about strengthening the mutually enriching relationship between two churches and two countries.

在北京我有幸两次与国家宗教局蒋坚永副局长见面。我们共同交流如何加强互惠, 促进两个教会和两国的关系,我很欣赏他的智慧。

The most significant and practical element of this relationship has been in the area of elder care as you seek to build the capacity for a professional high-quality service for Chinese citizens.


The Chinese people have played a significant role in the development of Australia as a nation from the early 1800’s. It is fitting that we are here at this facility named after a prominent and well respected Chinese businessman (Mei Quong Tart)

华人在19世纪澳洲开发担当了重要的角色。 这个机构的命名就是为了纪念当年受人尊重的华侨商人梅先生。今天我们在光大养老院相聚还有意义。

China is a modern country connected deeply with its culture. Here in Australia we are connected with the First Nation Peoples with one of the oldest living cultures on the planet.


I come from Darwin. In the First Nation Peoples communities of Northern Australia we have found Chinese artefacts. They predate the Indonesian trade of the 1500’s and so it appears a trading relationship existed well before this between our two peoples. I am glad this ancient trade route has been fully developed between China and Australia.


This is our historical “guanxi”. I humbly suggest your visit would continue to embody these ancient and contemporary relationships shared between our two peoples.


Today, in welcoming our friends from afar, I pray this “guanxi” would continue to deepen for the mutual benefit of our two nations.


Thank you.