Prof. Robert Park receives Friendship Award of China

6 October 2009

The Friendship Award of China is the supreme award that the Chinese government confers to foreign experts who work in China. Hosted annually before National Day by the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, it is an award to thank and commend the foreign experts for their outstanding achievements and dedication to China's development and construction in the fields of economy, technology, education and culture as well as personnel cultivation. Winners of the year's award are invited to Beijing to attend the awarding ceremony on National Day (October 1st). They meet with the Party and state leaders of China and participate in National Day festivities. This is the highest honor that the Chinese government confers to foreign experts who have made outstanding contributions to China.

This award grew out of the award established in 1950s in honor of experts from the former Soviet Union and East European countries. On the eve of National Day, the then Premier Zhou Enlai and Foreign Minister Chen Yi presented the letter of thanks to the foreign experts who made special contributions to China. After the reform and opening to the outside, with the renewal of introduction and commendation of foreign experts, the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs resumed the Friendship Award in 1991.

Prof. Robert Park is the GRDC Chair of Cereal Rust Research at the Plant Breeding Institute, and the Director of the Australian Cereal Rust Control Program that includes nodes at the University of Adelaide, CSIRO Plant Industry, and the International Wheat and Maize Improvement Centre in Mexico (CIMMYT).

A quote from Robert about his experience in China:"Yesterday I had second row seats in Tiananmen Square in the VIP section for the parade and the fireworks, so was very lucky. I was presented with the award a couple of days ago in the Great Hall, by the vice premier of china, and met Wen Jiabao, who is the premier. It has been some week….. "

Contact: Prof. Robert Park

Phone: 02 9351 8806

Email: 2439160c152e3b3614561e1d2f266a3f003f144c2f513e164e37