Alumni Then and Now: H. Yuan Tien, PhD ’59

In the Turner Flats, Bob Hawke and his wife Hazel were our downstairs neighbours. She went with us deep-sea fishing.

In its upper streams, China’s mighty Yangzi River has untold numbers of twists and bends. One just never knows what’s around a curve. This was particularly the case for H. Yuan Tien, who uses such an analogy in the new ANU Reporter when describing how he first heard about ANU in 1956.

“I was pursuing my Masters degree in Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. All was going well, except that I had a cleric job instead of a scholarship,” he says.

“One afternoon, my sister-in-law burst into our apartment with the announcement in The Guardian that ANU was offering three-year research scholarships in its Department of Demography.

“I hastened to follow up on this lead but where was Canberra? I’d heard very little about the city, other than its name."

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