Recent Alum-inar – 22 Years in China

The last Alum-inar took place on September 10th, with nearly fifty members and guests joining the event by Zoom.

Ed Smith, Director of the RMH Foundation and son of the late Dr Arnold Smith, talked about his 22 years living and working in China.

He was welcomed by the President of the Alumni, Ruth Wraith, and the talk was introduced by Garry Warne.

He had learned Mandarin during his secondary schooling in Melbourne and met his Chinese wife during his early years in Beijing. They subsequently had twin daughters who went to school in China throughout their primary school and early secondary school education.

His talk was illustrated with photographs and a fascinating discussion about the changes that he witnessed over two decades during his time there. When he arrived there was widespread poverty and most people relied on bicycles for transport.

The extraordinary rise in economic activity during the years between 1991 and 2014 had brought a dramatic improvement in the wealth and lifestyle of many Chinese. China remains Australia’s largest trading partner despite widely publicised political differences, which have aroused recent media concern.


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