-Column Title: Australia China Insights，澳中智库访谈节目
-Interviewer is Vic Edwards, Principal Consultant with the Australia Asia Executive Center (澳亚高管中心)
-Interviewee is Gail Giles-Gidney, Mayor of Willoughby City Council, 威乐比市市长
-Headline: Interview with Gail Giles-Gidney, Mayor of Willoughby City Council about multi-cultural and innovative City of Willoughby, Sydney
Vic: Hello everybody, I’d like to introduce you to Mayor Gail Giles-Gidney, who is the Mayor of Willoughby City Council. The reason for our discussion here today is firstly to thank Mayor Gail for her previous cooperation with us on a number of projects. One of the most recent ones happens to be “The Soul of Chinese Characters” where she helped Jiafei Huazi who is a very innovative teacher in the teaching of mandarin and also Chinese culture. This happened during the Chinese New Year in Sydney and it was very successful. I know that Jiafei was very appreciative of being able to reach the Willoughby community and to be able to teach her way of learning mandarin at that time. So, we are very thankful for that, Gail.
大家好，我想为大家介绍Gail市長·，她是威乐比市区(Willoughby City Council)的市长。我们今天在这里讨论的原因首先是为了感谢Gail市长在之前多个项目中与我公司进行合作，其中在今年春节期间举办的一个项目是“中国汉字魂”活动，在该活动中她支持我们推广”家飞画字” 。范家飞是一位在中文教学和中国文化方面頗有创新力的老师。中国汉字魂新春悉尼巡展举办得十分成功。家飞能进入威乐比社区传授中文学习方法， 我们对您的支持十分感谢。
Vic: The other thing I want to thank you for is to show our appreciation that you have honoured one of the owners of AAEC with the “Outstanding Contribution to the Community” Award. I know that Judy Hendricks is very appreciative of that. That brings us to some questions and some discussion topics that we would like to take up with you.
Northern Mayor’s Women Network adds values to the community – 悉尼 “北区市长的女性社团“为社区做贡献
Q1: Firstly, we know that you have been very strong in championing the Northern Mayor’s Women Network, that is something where you have really taken the initiative with introducing women and women’s networking to be able to do some very creative and innovative things and to be able to carry on with their suggestions in the Willoughby City Council. So, I think that we would, in particular, like to see how you have come across this notion and idea, and how you would see its value from an outcome’s point of view. AAEC also have a women’s network, where we see same values and naturally we see that we may be able to cooperate with you here.
首先，我们知道您一直大力支持 “北区市长的女性社团“组织（Northern Mayor’s Women Network），您在这方面积极地介绍女性和女性组织并能够做出许多十分有创意和新意的举措，同时您能够也采纳其对威乐比市区的建议。因此，我们尤其想了解您是如何想到这个概念和理念的，我们也想了解您是如何从成果方面看待其价值的。澳亚高管中心也有一个女企业家社群，我们认为该社群有许多价值，因此我们认为中心可以在这方面与您合作。
 Mayor Gail: The Northern Mayor’s Women Network that we’re established has been incredibly valuable for us at the Willoughby City Council. We’ve got a cross-segment of women that participate in that networking group, and some of them might be, for example, entrepreneurs, or own their own small business, or be involved in banking. What we find is that not only do they bring to the table their professional expertise, but it’s also their family life. So, how we can better, for example, engage with grandparents or how we might better engage with their children. They are really bringing an insight from a cultural perspective and also a professional perspective, and Willoughby City Council is able to use that information to better provide services and also events to our broader community. So, we are incredibly grateful to them, and I think it’s been a very successful partnership, and if we could expand the partnership even further, I’m sure all of our community would benefit.
The City of Willoughby is a city of diversity. 威乐比市区是一个多元化的社区
Q2.Vic: You mentioned the events and services that they have brought, and I think from my own experience, my parents also came to Willoughby and they were migrants from overseas and we had a little general store. But I know from the types of community involvement, the fact that the Willoughby people were very accepting of migrants from overseas, and this was something that attracted us to the Willoughby area. Also, Willoughby had so many things that involved multicultural type activities so they started developing little shops, restaurants and things that were very attractive to people from overseas, and of course the great number of schools that were in the area. This also brought young families to Willoughby, so I agree with you totally there.
Mayor Gail: I think what you said is a part of what attracted me to this area myself because I was originally from Perth and arrived here with a young family, and its level of acceptance of anyone coming to our area, I think it’s quite unique. Everyone is warmly embraced and there are lots of different activities no matter what your interests are. But it goes beyond that, it’s also the facilities we’ve got to offer here in the City of Willoughby. For example, we’ve got excellent schools, we’ve got excellent private schools as well as public schools. We’ve got terrific public transport right on a train line and that’s only going to get better with the metro opening up in the next 18 months. We’ve also got a performing arts centre here, we’ve got fantastic shopping, we have natural bushland if you want to get away from it all and explore our harbour foreshore areas. And all this is gathered in a spot that is incredibly safe, and we’ve got one of the safest cities that we have within the whole of New South Wales I’m proud to say. I think people really feel comfortable going out at night enjoying the wonderful nightlife that we have in Chatswood as well. We have a variety of housing too, so you can live in a large suburban block if you want to live in a freestanding home. But about half of the residents that we have are in apartments, and beautiful apartments, with lovely views and very easy to live in the apartment style living as well. So, I’d like to think that we’ve got a little bit of everything right here in the City of Willoughby.
我原本來自琣斯(Perth)，当时我也是和家人移居悉尼，我认为你说的包含了部分吸引我到威乐比地区的原因， 我认为威乐比市对外来移民的包容程度与众不同。每个来到这里的人都受到了亲切的欢迎。 你在这里都能找到自己感兴趣的 各式活动。但是威乐比不仅有众多活动，它也为大众提供了许多公共设施。比如说我们有优秀的学校，这包括优秀的私立学校和公立学校。威乐比市内有出色的公共交通铁路线， 而且公共交通还会变得越来越好，轻轨会在未来18个月内开始运行。威乐比市也有一个表演艺术中心、很棒的购物商区，如果你想远离尘嚣去探索海港前滩区，威乐比市有一片天然森林区。而这些所有的设施和景色都集中在一个极为安全的地区，我可以很骄傲地说威乐比市是在全新南威尔士州（New South Wales）最安全的城市之一。人们也非常放心地享受车市活区（Chatswood）美好的夜生活。威乐比市也有不同类型的住房， 如果你想住在独立式住宅，你可以住在大型的市郊街区。不过大约市内的一半居民住在公寓里，这些公寓装修都很漂亮，你可以看到秀丽的景色，住在公寓内生活也很便利。综上，我认为威乐比市有着各种各样的优点。
Vic: I’ve seen the changes myself and I think they are quite great. When I was a kid, Benjamin’s store was about the highest in Willoughby and I think it was about three or four stories high, so the changes have been very great. But you’ve mentioned a couple of things that I think are particularly appealing. The foreshore, not many people know that Willoughby, as a council region, has some beautiful foreshores. Also, there are beautiful parklands and some historical parklands too. These things are very good but one of the main things that I think that you’ve got are the schools and the diversity because you mentioned not only excellent public schools but you’ve also got many excellent private schools, of which they happen to be religious and non-religious but they are all very good ones. So, I think these things, particularly for parents and young families, are very strong attractions.
Mayor Gail: And they were close to the train lines to universities as well. So, people like the fact that they can live here, just get on to the train, go to the many universities in Sydney.
Vic: And the new lines, of course, have made that even more accessible.
Mayor Gail: That’s right.
Cross-cultural heartland –多元文化的中心
Vic: We were wondering is how AAEC can work with you because one of the main things that we do is to bring the cross-cultural understanding, particularly with Asian communities, and help people who are Australians, “dinky-di” Aussies, to understand the Asian mindset better, the Asian culture better and vice versa. So AAEC provides a number of, you could say, innovative hubs to bring ideas together, the cultural things together. So, we were wondering what can we help you a little bit more and to also find out what you’re doing yourselves in this regard?
Mayor Gail: I think that it would be fantastic and we’ve already seen through the courses that have been offered, sold out in a matter of days because people are really crying out for that cross-cultural experience. We’ve just had the statistics released from the 2016 census, and we have over a quarter of our population are Chinese in origin, for example, here in the City of Willoughby. And certainly within the Chatswood CBD, it’s over 50%, and growing. And we really want to be better connected and I think you absolutely nailed it with saying interaction, not only within the different groups but having the Australians also experience the cultural perspective too I think are terribly important. And if we can work together collaboratively, and have a cross collaboration of ideas, it’s a very positive thing for everyone. Through our Mosaic Centre, our multicultural one-stop information centre that we have, we do have a lot of programs but we are looking to expand those programs as best as we possibly can, and something like your organisation certainly would help us with that.
能获得澳亚高管中心（AAEC) 的帮助是非常有益的。我们已经看到提供的跨文化的课程在短短数天之内就被预定，这是因为人们迫切需要跨文化的学习体验。比如说，从2016年澳洲人口统计调查显示的数据看来，在威乐比市有超过四分之一的人口有中国背景。在车士活CBD区域， 超过一半人口是有中国背景的人，这个数目还在不断增长。人们十分想更好地交流，你说的完全没错，人们需要互相交流，这不仅是不同群体的交流，而且也要让澳大利亚人体验文化方面，这是非常重要的。如果我们能共同协作，互换交流创意，这对所有人来说都是一件非常积极的事。通过我们多元文化信息中心的Mosaic 中心，我们确实提供了许多服务项目，但我们一直在进最大可能地寻求项目拓展，像澳亚高管中心（AAEC）这样的组织无疑会对我们有帮助。
Vic: That’s very good. I also noticed that Willoughby and Chatswood in particular have very good cuisine from many different countries, not only Asia. But I found with some of my Asian visitors from overseas, they are very interested in some of the other types of food. Some of them in particular would be, say, Spanish, the tapas. They think that’s very much like the Chinese and that’s where you start with introducing cross-cultures to people who are coming from overseas. They are very interested in our culture and our differences, what we are interested in, and of course that eventually lead to whether they do any commercial work with you or not. So, they are some of the things that I think are very interesting.
International Sister Cities - 国际姊妹城市
Q4: Vic: Another question that I have for you is because in going through some of your council information, I noticed you have close connection with a number of overseas centres, and also New South Wales. I was surprised to see that Bingara was there. But you have Suginami from Japan, you’ve got Gangdong-gu from South Korea, Guardia from Italy and Nork Nork from Armenia. But I was a bit surprised that you didn't seem to have a particularly close connection with, say, a Chinese city.
Mayor Gail: Interesting question because in fact we do have sister city arrangements with two different cities within China.
Vic: I thought you mentioned that once before but I noticed on your website that it wasn’t down there.
Mayor Gail: It’s interesting because often when we have associations through sister cities agreements, it requires someone within our community to champion that relationship. In fact, I had the honour of going to Jinniu and Chengdu only a few years ago now, and it was absolutely wonderful to get together with all the other people that were representing their cities from across the world that had a similar sort of arrangement. I had the most incredible experience with pandas, they were fantastic. I really enjoyed the visit I had there. Also, Maoming is another one that we’ve had a relationship with in the past as well. I think over an evolution of time that perhaps those relationships weren’t as strong as what they had been, because the champions in those particular communities may have moved on. But certainly there are established relationships that could be really re-energised very easily.
Local community has rooms for innovation –社区需要创新意识
Q5: Vic: Okay, because we did not know that you have established relationships, I thought that you mentioned it once before to me, that we could perhaps try and see whether we can make a very strong and good connection, and champion it for you so you would have a strong sister city relationship. That’s something we had in mind to do. There were a few things that are probably of lesser importance but still something that I felt, and maybe AAEC less so than me because I was championing it, is to do with new technology and embracing new technology. My view was that in the future this will become a very important thing, whether you happen to be a council, whether you happen to be a commercial enterprise. One thing that impressed me very much was that recently when I was doing some research about this topic, because I also teach at the MBA level in a university, is that one of the comments was if the banks don’t watch out, they may be obsolete, just like Kodak became obsolete by not adopting digital photography. What occurred to me is that the fault is that with councils, with cities, with local governments, they must be prepared for perhaps the big changes that are going to take place in technology. A lot of it will have to do with how things are bought and sold, how things are financed, and how, say, local councils can accommodate these things happening comfortably within their communities. So the transition will be important, not that it’s happening now. And I know that you have the view that maybe this is beyond council’s scope but I just thought I’d mention it as a soft thing to bear in mind in the future.
Mayor Gail: I think you raised a really important point, and one that I’m quite passionate about myself. I’m a founding member of the North Sydney Innovation Network, we’ve now got over 650 members, and what we are doing is really exchanging information in the innovation space. Also, it was only about a month ago that I went on a 40 women leaders trade mission to Israel and it was about innovation and digital technologies, and it was very interesting to visit an overseas country and see how they’re embracing innovation within their space. I had the honour of meeting the mayor of Tel Aviv, for example, and I was, in 2014, allocated the Smart Cities label. It’s something that I was hoping that I would learn about how we could embrace that within the Willoughby City community. While the councillors cannot directly impact it, we can certainly help facilitate and start conversations. I am very interested, for example, looking at perhaps our community spaces, so spaces like our library, which is a natural place for gathering of innovation type of people, and perhaps we can allocate some of that space to start-ups.
我认为你提出了非常重要的一个话题，我个人也非常热衷于这个话题。我是北悉尼创新组织的创始人之一，这个组织现在有超过650名成员，这个组织致力于在创新空间交流信息。另外，仅在一个月之前，我去了以色列参加了由40名女性领导人组成的贸易代表团，其参访主題是有关创新和数字技术。能去到海外国家并参观他们如何接纳创新是非常有趣的。比如说，在2014年我曾有幸与特拉维夫市（Tel Aviv）市长会面， 并受与了“智能城市” 的表彰。 我希望学习如何能使威乐比市社区接纳创新技术。虽然议员无法直接影响这方面，我们无疑可以帮助促进和发起这方面的探讨。比如说，我非常感兴趣对我们社区的一些空间做出安排。像图书馆这样的地方，本来就是创新者汇聚的地方，或许我们可以安排一定的空间给创业者使用。
Vic: To find the information necessary for these things.
Mayor Gail: Exactly, yes. But it’s not only the information, I think it’s also the exposure a lot of these innovation companies need. A lot of them have a great idea but how do they build on that idea and how do they get the idea to the broader public. So we can help facilitate that in some way, certainly I would be very interested in pursuing that.
Australia Asia Executive Center (AAEC) helps Start-ups commercialise business ideas in China. 澳亚高管中心帮助澳洲创业者在中国产业化
Q6: Vic: AAEC does involve itself in innovation start-ups and entrepreneurial type hubs, and we have them in Australia as well as overseas, particularly in China. So many things are happening right now. For example, today I received a notification from a fairly well-known, you could say they’re an IT type company, and they’re looking at conducting a pitching competition. That was something that has been relatively new. China has had some pitching competitions, they offer good money if you happen to be a finalist, anything from $10,000 to maybe $150,000 to winners of these pitching competitions. I hope we do this in Australia too because I do think that we should be encouraging people who have ideas, particularly young people, to give them opportunities to develop their ideas.
China and Australia fit very well because we often have many good ideas, we are known to be one of the most innovative countries in the world. And if you have a look at all the developments for say CSIRO in particular, they have maybe thirty or forty top developments in the whole world. But we haven’t got a market for it in Australia, so we tend not to be able to commercialise so well. The combination with China, which has large markets, and can market and penetrate these things, if we can combine well, there is a very good opportunity for some of these new ideas. That's what we had in mind and we want to explore with you or discuss with you whether some of these things could take place.
澳亚高管中心一直参与创新企业以及创新基地支持活动。今天我收到了一个来自某较为出名的信息技术（IT）公司的通知，这个公司现在在考虑举办创新竞赛。这较为新颖。 我们发现在海外，尤其在中国，创新比赛会为获胜者提供丰厚的奖金。比如说，海外比赛可能会提供十万到十五万元不等的奖金给胜利者，也会为参与者的创意和创新提供便利条件。我希望澳大利亚可以效仿，这是因为我确实认为我们应该鼓励人们，尤其是鼓励年轻人，去探索好创意， 并给予他们发展创意的机会。
Mayor Gail: I would be very keen on pursuing that discussion more from the involvement of North Sydney Innovation Network, we are already hosting “Perfect Your Pitch” sessions for our members. And Let us spread of the words. That's something that I’ve found when I did visit overseas, it was a real feeling in Israel of developing things for a global market. In Australia I think people are more narrow in their field and they’re looking at the market just to an Australian base not a global base. Now if we can get the mindset to say that “okay this is something we could spread the word throughout the whole world” so I think it’s something that’s really worth looking into further.
我非常愿意进行这个讨论，尤其是有关于参与北悉尼创新组织的话题，今年我们为该组织成员举办了“路演能力提升”培训班。正好借此宣传一下这个活动 。当我去海外访问的时候，我真切地感觉到以色列的创新是以国际市场为目标的。在澳大利亚，人们的思维方式更局限于其自身领域，他们看待市场的时候仅以澳大利亚为基准，而非全球。如果我们可以改变澳大利亚人的思维习惯，使他们想“这是我们可以在全球范围进行推广的一个项目” ，所以我认为这件事是非常值得深入研究的。
Vic: I think it’s because Australia has been an island nation for so long and we have generally the inward looking in so many things. Even in the global financial crisis, for example, Australia didn’t realise that there was a global financial crisis because we weathered it very well. Australia were one of the only two countries that didn’t have a recession, not even a depression, so we’ve not been aware of the hardships, the difficulties and what is going on in the rest of the world. I think that you’re quite right to try and get that global perspective. That’s a really important thing - so, that's just about bringing us to the end of our discussion but I wanted to ask you whether you have any questions to ask?
Mayor Gail: How do you think the Willoughby City Council can help you?
Vic: I think that we’ve started on the right track in that by communicating together and by talking and discussing things as they come up, that's very important. We see our main role, as being this cross-cultural communication, I think that's something that could work out very well with City of Willoughby because you have cross-cultural dynamic here, particularly the Asian communities, not only Chinese, but also some other Asian communities which we deal with. From the other point of view, we can also take it from the perspective of someone who is Australian. How to understand Chinese people? Not only Chinese people how they understand to do business in Australia. So, we can take it both ways and with a number of things that we brought up today, about five or six of these ideas I think they can be taken a little bit further and we would certainly love to continue our very warm cooperation with you.
Mayor Gail: thank you
Vic: I think we’ve come to the end of our discussion and I would like to thank Mayor Gail for really raising so many interesting points, and I think our discussion has been very informative and very useful for taking us to the future. I would also like to see whether Mayor Gail is interested in AAEC in the future, perhaps taking you to meet some of the people that we cooperate with in China and to see some of the things we are doing. If that is something that is of interest to you, we’d be very pleased to be able to accommodate that.
我们的讨论到这里结束了，我想感谢Gail市长提出的许多有趣的观点。我认为我们的讨论提供了很多的有用信息并有益于未来发展。我也想知道Gail市长在未来是否对与澳亚高管中心 （AAEC) 的进一步合作感兴趣，我们或许可以为您介绍一些在中国与我们进行合作的人士，并展示我公司的一些业务。如果您对此感兴趣，我们会非常愿意满足您的意愿。
Mayor Gail: Thank you. That would be really terrific.
Vic: That’s good. I’d like to say is to thank everybody who’s been involved with the making of not only this film, but also to thank people who have in the past been cooperating and in future who will be cooperating with us in such things as innovation hubs, pitching competitions and things like that. I would thank you (Gail) in particular for everything you have said and done today and I’d also say thank you to the people who are watching this.
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