Interview with Ayumi Sato
Today our guest is Ayumi Sato the President of the Asian Australian Cultural Management Group. We have conducted an interview with her.
What are the three most effective ways to foster positive interactions between Australians, Asians and Asian Australians?
Since there is a great deal of truth in the social contact theory, fostering positive interactions between individuals with different cultural backgrounds is of immense importance to ACM Group. We host a multitude of events with the goal of bringing people of all cultures together, and in doing so we are able to highlight the many unique qualities that make the Asian and Australian cultures so distinctive. We provide educational programs that discuss the cultural contributions made by Asians, Australians, and Asian-Australians, and we also offer support to those who have only recently arrived in Australia and are in need of cultural guidance.
How does zodiac influence the promotion of Asian-Australian art and other interactive cultural phenomena?
Given the long history of the Chinese zodiac and its reputation for providing sharply accurate insight, there is a near-universal interest and appeal in anything associated with the zodiac and its symbols. The traditional art of Australia has inspired many Asian-Australians to combine aspects of the artistic representations of the Chinese zodiac with the stylistic tendencies visible in traditional Australian art. Since the art that results is both unique and reflective of Asian and Australian cultures, it has succeeded in piquing the interest of a large segment of the population.
What are your discoveries about how other Asians in the country are living their lives?
There are certainly similarities regarding the manner in which Asians go about their lives while living in Australia, and we have found that there are a multitude of issues Asians must overcome. Most of these issues stem from assumptions made based on race, some of which are positive and some of which are negative. We have found that at least 2.4 million residents in Australia are of Asian descent, and 20 percent of the doctors practicing in Australia are also of Asian descent. Despite these numbers, many Australians of Asian descent must still overcome adversity associated with racism and prejudice, which is why we work so hard to create a supportive network through ACM Group.
Which are the ancestries that dominate the Asian-Australian community?
According to the 2011 census, Filipino, Chinese, and Indian ancestries are by far the most dominant Asian ancestries represented in the Asian-Australian community.
What is the most shocking cultural stereotype?
It’s still shocking to me that -- despite the number of Asian-Australians living in the country -- there are so many stereotypes that continue to influence how Asians are treated and perceived. There have been many instances in which it was simply assumed that an Asian-Australian does not speak fluent English or that they must automatically be exceptional in all subjects associated with mathematics. We are still hard at work to combat these stereotypes and to better inform the communities in which Asian-Australians live and work.
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