GIVEN a million dollars, international student Sandy Cheng would like to set up an arts and culture centre in Melbourne and organise exchange programs for young artists in Australia and China.
What’s your name and where are you from?
My name is Jin Cheng and I’m from Guangzhou, China.
Where and what course or program are you doing?
In 2010, I completed a Master degree in Arts Management at RMIT. Currently, I am studying a Diploma of Management.
How long have you been in Melbourne for and why did you choose to come to Melbourne? Did you come alone or with family?
I have been in Melbourne for two and a half years by myself. There are two main reasons why I chose to come to Melbourne. I have been fortunate enough to have visited lots of countries performing as a dancer, but I had never visited Australia. Melbourne is a capital of culture and arts, and has never-ending festivals throughout the year. There are amazing and attractive things for an arts student. I really want to experience it in order to enrich my knowledge and enlarge my horizons.
What got you into the EDGE program?
It is unique, and it motivates and challenges me.
And what are you expecting to get from the program?
I’m expecting to enjoy the challenges, obtain different experiences, build networks, brainstorm and share ideas with others.
What does leadership mean to you?
Courage, passion, foresight, personal charisma, good communication and interpersonal competence.
What or who do you draw inspiration from, and why?
My mum. She always supports and motivates me.
If you could champion one cause for international students in Melbourne, what would it be?
Cheaper public transport.
What, in your opinion, is the most common misunderstanding/stereotype that people have of international students in Melbourne?
In my understanding, not all overseas Chinese students come from a wealthy family.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Window shopping, eating and meeting with friends.
What are your other talents/hobbies outside the classroom?
I have participated with Melenie Crowe Dance to perform a double bill of short contemporary dance works in Melbourne Fringe Festival 2011. Recently, I’ve been planning a program for the Chinese International Arts Festival 2012 as a choreographer, dancer and administrator.
Where is your favourite spot to hang out in Melbourne?
Yarra River, the Arts Center and Melbourne Central.
What song gets you pumped or excited?
Chinese Song: Snail (Wo Niu) by Jay Chou
If I had a million dollars I would… like to run my own business – and set up a Culture & Arts Centre in Melbourne. The business concept will focus on Australian-Chinese arts training at all levels of dance and other types of art like painting, singing, piano and guzheng. I will have different groups, such as Women, Youth and Arts Performing Troupe. This would establish a bridge of culture and arts exchange for young artists between Australia and China.
If I only had $5 I would… buy an ice-cream or a meal.
Sandy is among the 20 international student leaders selected to take part in the City of Melbourne’s EDGE 2012 program.