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Australian finds Chinese dream in Futian

Release time:2017-03-03    To share:  
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Nan Nan

Nick Wilshire first came to China in 2002. At that time, the 22-year-old Australian only had 300 yuan (US$44) in his pocket. Now, Nick Wilshire, who is 37 years old, is the director of Zhonghe Recruitment Ltd. and the board director of the China-Australia Chamber of Commerce – South China.

With a job he loves, a wonderful home and a lovely family, Nick is quite satisfied with his life in Futian.

Behind his success, he is a dedicated professional who has committed a huge amount of effort to his career.

As a businessman, Nick is is busy. Nick and I originally scheduled to meet in a week, but we had to reschedule the interview to the week after that due to sudden business.

When we met, Nick told me he had gone abroad to five cities during the past week. And when we were almost finished with the interview, the next person Nick planned to meet was already there. With such a busy schedule, most people would be forced to sacrifice family time. But Nick enjoys his hectic lifestyle and always tries to save time on weekends for his family.

Having traveled back and forth between Shenzhen and Hong Kong, Nick has found that Shenzhen has a bad reputation in Hong Kong. The bad reputation is mainly centered on the word “mess.” As one of the connections between Shenzhen and Hong Kong, Luohu Checkpoint often defines the first impression of Shenzhen for many people arriving in Shenzhen from Hong Kong. And it’s the chaos there that fuels the perception of “mess.”

Having lived and worked in Futian District for nearly 13 years, Nick knows better than to judge a place by his first impression and he hopes people will come to know the true beauty of this great city.

“Futian is a symbol of China’s rapid progress and if one visits the deeper meaning of the district’s name in Mandarin one finds themselves in the ‘Land of Prosperity,’” said Nick.

“Just some 20 years ago, Futian was nothing more than a swamp infested with mosquitoes and cockroaches. Looking back, it is almost impossible to imagine the change that has taken place in such a short a period of time. Futian has transformed itself into a leading destination for foreign and domestic investment throughout the world.”

Nick loves “the sound infrastructure, comfortable subtropical climate and the proactive fiscal policy” in Futian District, he even published an article titled “Futian District, let’s share our ‘China Dream’” in Shenzhen Evening News in 2013.

In the “Land of Prosperity,” Nick has found his “Chinese Dream,” and he invites others to come here to realize their dreams. Last August, he invited former Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr to come to Shenzhen to discuss greater cooperation between China and Australia. Joining the former minister were journalists from 15 Australian media organizations, hopefully a sign of good times to come.

Back in Australia, when Nick first started working he was selling cars and coincidentally most of his clients were Chinese. This was the first time that Nick got to know about Chinese culture. And as he engaged his Chinese clients more, Nick began to realize how interested he was in Chinese culture. It was this experience that inspired him to take the leap and move to China.

He came to China in 2002. He first flew from Australia to Beijing, and then he took a three-hour flight to Wuhan. From there he spent a few years teaching in various cities in Hubei Province. At the time, he was only teaching 16 classes per week. So in his free time he started to teach himself Chinese.

It only took him two years to pick up Chinese. The key to his success he claims was singing. He sang like a jukebox, memorizing songs like “Friends,” “The girl next door” and “Dabancheng’s girls”.

After living in China for 14 years, Chinese culture has gradually changed Nick. Nick prefers the Chinese family relationship that perceives family as the most important thing in the world.

Nick has a good relationship with his mother-in-law. However, his mother-in-law originally vetoed him and wife’s relationship and didn’t attend the wedding. It took until they had children for his mother-in-law to reconnect with them and come to Shenzhen to take care of her grandchildren.

“Chinese people are really hard working and they always are learning,” said Nick. His eldest daughter is now studying in Australia, and he finds children of the same age in China are learning much more difficult material than Australian children. Chinese people love to talk about history and old sayings. Although Nick only knows a little bit about Chinese history, he is interested in old Chinese sayings and is always striving to learn more about Chinese culture.

Nick loves “the sound infrastructure, comfortable subtropical climate and the proactive fiscal policy” in Futian District. He even published an article titled “Futian District, let’s share our ‘China Dream’” in Shenzhen Evening News in 2013.