A series of titles from Aboriginal Studies Press (ASP), the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies’ (AIATSIS) publishing arm, won the Australia-China Council 2016 Special Award for Translation in a ceremony at the Australian embassy in Beijing recently.
AIATSIS CEO Russell Taylor AM said we have a long history of publishing scholarly works and being able to introduce those works to Chinese educators and audiences is an exciting opportunity for AIATSIS.
“Our staff attended the China–Australia publishing forum in Beijing in 2015 and participated in roundtable discussions with representatives from the Australian Studies Centres in China,” Mr Taylor said.
“The participants expressed a desire for more scholarly teaching materials to be made available to Chinese educators, and the translation of Aboriginal literature into Mandarin. As part of that visit, we secured translation rights for five titles to be published and promoted into the studies centres.”
Professor John Maynard, AIATSIS Council member and author of Fight for Liberty and Freedom, said it is an exciting moment for the Press and AIATSIS.
“There are long connections between Aboriginal Australia and China. There are suggestions that Admiral Hong Bao visited the Australian continent in 1420, a long time before James Cook ‘discovered’ Australia,” Professor Maynard said.
“The Macassan traders and their trips to northern Australia for beche-de-mer and trepang, a delicacy in China, again there are suggestions that Aboriginal people were part of that exchange, and part of those trips back to China.
“It’s fantastic for AIATSIS, ASP and for the authors. And as one of the authors, I can’t tell you how excited and honoured I am to have a book published in China.”
Brokered through Professor David Walker, Chair of Australian Studies, Peking University, the translations were managed by Mr Li-Yao from the Inner Mongolia Normal University, who, along with the Foundation for Australian Studies, provided funding for the translations. The titles are published in China by Beijing Time Chinese Publishing House.
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