Testimonial from a Former Student

Ms Quan was one of the first students when our school was first started some 45 years ago. Here she talks about her time spent at our school in the early years.

"My association and experience with the Sydney Chinese School started in the 1980's and is still continuing.

As a clueless 5-7 year old child, I, along with my older sister and younger brother would grudgingly yet obediently attend Chinese school on Saturday mornings. At this stage, homework was minimal so it was 'okay'. But as the years progressed into later primary, Saturday Chinese school transformed into a chore. Waking up early like a normal weekday was getting excruciatingly harder. The lure of cartoons and TV programs (such as The Brady Bunch, Bewitched and Monkey Magic) was so much more relaxing and appealing. At this stage, all my complaints and whingeing about Chinese school would be meekly silenced by my parents' deadly stare.

The teen years were much more exciting at the school. A sense of belonging, the culture and traditions of Chinese history started to dawn on me. We had history lessons back then at the school about the different dynasties and emperors. Another difference back then was the gates would be open between the school and park. My friends and I would often wander around the park and run 'riot'.

Surprisingly, it was sad on graduation day. Sydney Chinese School had become a way of life for me. It was sad that that chapter of my life was concluding and I thought the strong friendships formed would slowly drift apart. However, unbeknown to me, I would encounter friends from the school after graduating. I would bump into former classmates in the streets, movies, and even end up studying at university together, or at various stages of my work career. It was always warm and happy encounters, often striking up quick conversations without the awkwardness of first meetings.

The Chinese language skills learnt all those years ago has also been extremely beneficial. Understanding and speaking Cantonese in overseas trips have been advantageous in quite a few instances. Even translating for work colleagues to help resolve their issues has always been viewed favourably along my career path.

My association with Sydney Chinese School still continues with my three kids attending the same school. It is through my kid’s attendance to the school that I have become re-acquainted with a former classmate/friend as her son is in my daughter's class as well as seeing some familiar faces of former teachers and staff.

It is indeed both nostalgic and interesting coming every week with my girls to the same school which I attended as a 5 year old."

Kitan Quan 關潔晶