Professor Emeritus Colin Mackerras AO began his association with Griffith University in 1974 as Foundation Professor in Modern Asian Studies. Griffith’s founders decided in the early 1970s that the new University would include a focus on Asian Studies, a decision considered quite radical at the time. They need not have worried. They had placed the future of this nascent area of study in very safe hands.
From his first Griffith appointment through to his final post as Head of School in 2000, Colin inspired generations of Australian students to take on the challenge of studying China, and in doing so, helped Asian Studies become a thriving and well recognised area of study.
Colin’s reputation as a renowned Sinologist was cemented through his many publications including a definitive text on contemporary China, but he was also an inspirational teacher who covered every aspect of China from politics and history through to culture. Whether it was groundbreaking research or teaching that brought out the best in his students, Colin never ceased to promote understanding between this country and China. All the while he built on the University’s reputation as a leading centre for the study of Asia and for this, Griffith University owes him a great deal.