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2010 graduation ceremony address – Professor Guo Huadong

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Graduates and your families, Chancellor, Vice Chancellors, distinguished guests, faculty members, ladies and gentlemen,  good evening!

I address graduates firstly because today is your day. Most of the attendees in this ceremony are you graduates. You are the future. I think all of the other people here could agree with me to do in this way.

It is a great honor for me to be here in Perth tonight, and to have this unique opportunity to celebrate this joyous occasion with all of you.

I’d like to thank the Chancellor of Curtin University of Technology, Vice Chancellors and all the Council Members, for conferring me the Honorary Doctorate and inviting me to speak here. I’d also like to thank everyone here for your kindness and attention in the following ten minutes.

Seeing so many young faces here reminds me of more than 30 years ago when I was around your age, full of ambition, eager to succeed. Now over 30 years later, I am still not sure whether I can call myself a successful man. However, over the past 30 years, I have gained some experience, and learned many things. So today, I would like to share some of my experience and opinions with you, which I hope can help you to pursue your dream and enjoy your life.

Here, I would like to quote what our Chinese ancestors emphasized in order to achieve success and realise world peace: “Self-cultivation, family in unison, and orderly management of the nation” .

By “orderly management of the nation”, I understand it not in a political way, but in a professional way, as managing your career. This is a step-by-step process, and you have to start from the very first step, self-cultivating.

As a matter of fact, all great men share similar qualities and characteristics, and I would sum it up as “ABCD” — Ambition, Be yourself, Courage to face Challenge, and Diligence. With ambition, you can establish a high aim, and spend the rest of your time motivating all your potential to achieve that. The aim is like a light house, which is far and hard to reach. Challenges, obstacles, as well as some kind of temptations are looming along the way; therefore, you need a strong will to persist in your dream.

You have to be yourself, despite all the possible ridicules, misunderstandings or temptations. Just remember, nothing is impossible for a willing heart.

As long as you can face challenges courageously, as long as you can work hard, I believe you all have the qualities to succeed. Of course, I have also a strong belief that most of you here have these attributes, either attained through self-cultivating or school education. Curtin has given you a higher starting point, with its high-quality education and fame in the world. Now, this occasion should be one of the most important milestones in your life and the future is waiting for you to explore.

The second point I would like to talk about is family. Without the harmony in family, it will be hard to achieve success in your career. One has to keep a balance between family and career to be called a successful man. I am a lucky man with a beloved wife who has given me all her love and support. My wife has accompanied me here today, to share this memorable occasion with me. I want to thank her for all that she has done for me in the past years, and for her understanding and care.

When speaking of career, most people might think of such words as pressure, challenges, returns, or even mess. My advice is that, learn to be a leader; learn how to run your time and manage your career. Keep whatever you do in order, and you will benefit much from that.

Besides that, I have one more suggestion for you, that is, choose your career seriously, and persist in it as much as you can; make sure what you are doing is meaningful and can make its utmost contribution to the society!

Take me, I have studied remote sensing since my youth, and have strong interest in that. However, after many years of study and researches, and in the context of digital earth global change, I realised it more meaningful and necessary to motivate more young researchers into the studying of this field, and to help address the various kinds of global issues more efficiently. A platform is urgently needed.

Therefore, the Center for Earth Observation and Digital Earth (CEODE for short) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, a new institute which is committed to the research and application of Earth Observation technologies and Digital Earth, was established in middle 2007. It aims to meet the global strategic requirements, and make its contribution to the global scientific development, as well as upgrading the remote sensing and geo-information technologies.

Now that we have helped greatly in acquiring and integrating remote sensing data, we are able to address global issues such as global change and ecological deterioration, mitigating natural disasters, etc. etc. For example, immediately after the disastrous Wenchuan Earthquake of western China in 2008, we sent our two remote sensing airplanes to the area, which helped to collect the first-hand data and facilitated the rescue work.

It is my sincere hope that more young students will join in this effort, to face global challenges together, and to achieve peace in the world.

I am fully aware that, to achieve that goal, it needs more and deeper cooperation not only between scientific communities, but also between governments and non-governmental organizations.

To conclude my speech, I would like to come back to the ancient Chinese proverb again and I think the message it passes is just the word of “Harmony”— harmony in yourself, harmony in your family, harmony in the profession you take, and last of all, harmony in the whole world.

Thank you again for your attention, and congratulations for your achievement attained at Curtin. You are the future of the world, and the world is pinning its hope on you!

Good luck and enjoy your future.

Thank you.

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