Madeline is one of our Content Coordinators for Asia Pacific Week 2020. Maddy is currently in her 2nd year studying a Bachelor of Asian Studies and a Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE).
What issue in the Asia-Pacific region are you most passionate about/intrigued by?
I’m particularly interested in Chinese history and the role it has in China’s current social, political and economic climate. My intrigue started when I read ‘Wild Swans’ by XX and truly turned into a passion when I moved to China for eighteen months prior to commencing university. I had a fantastic time there and it allowed me to realise that I wanted to study Mandarin at university.
Why did you choose to come to Canberra/ Where is your favourite place?
Having grown up in Darwin, I was eager to move to a place with more opportunities and believed that Canberra would offer just that. I also really wanted to study PPE and ANU was the place to do it. I love how bike friendly Canberra is (despite the hills), I’m always appreciative of the fact that I can get around easily on two wheels. My favourite place would have to be Black Mountain Peninsula, it has stellar views of the lake and is perfect for picnicking.
Do you have any favourite books/movies from the Asia Pacific region? Why would you recommend it?
As I mentioned earlier, Wild Swans is one of the best books I have ever read. It details the lives of three generations of Chinese women all growing up in different political contexts. The author’s grandmother was a concubine for a warlord and lived under Japanese occupation, her mother joined the Communist forces and aided in the fight to overthrow the Kuomintang, and her daughter, the author, grew up under the rule of Mao Zedong. It’s beautifully written and does a great job at capturing the sentiment of the time.