Professor Colin Mackerras graduated from the University of Melbourne, and then received an MA from Cambridge University in Liberal Arts and a PhD from Australian National University. He is now an Emeritus Professor at Griffith University.
Professor Colin Mackerras focuses on research into China's ethnic minorities - both contemporary and in the past, on Australia-China relations and Western images of China. His major works include: China's Ethnic Minorities and Globalisation; China in Transformation 1900-1949; edited with M. Clark, China, Xinjiang and Central Asia: History, Transition and Crossborder Interaction into the 21st Century; and edited Ethnicity in Asia, The New Cambridge Handbook of Contemporary China. Professor Mackerras has also produced many articles including: "Chinese and Western drama traditions: A comparative perspective", "Commercialization and Chinese Traditional Theater and Storytelling in the Reform Period", "Australia's Relations with China in the Context of Globalization" and "Chinese and Western Drama Traditions: A Comparative Perspective".
As a dear friend of China, Professor Mackerras has visited the country more than forty times to conduct teaching and research or to attend conferences on Australia-China relations. He was invited to the Beijing Foreign Studies University again and again, the first time being from 1964 to 1966, the latest 2005 and 2006. In April 2007, he was employed as an honorary professor there.
Since then, he had close contact with the Australian Studies Centre at RUC. As an active supporter of our Centre, he has been to many Australian Culture Weeks, and has given many lectures to RUC students. Owing to his significant contributions to cultural exchange and academic studies, Professor Mackerras was co-recipient of the Gold Citation for the Media Peace Prize in 1981, the Foundation Cross of Merit Award in 1993, the Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Australia-China Cultural Relations in 1999 and the Centenary Medal Australia in 2003.