My father hoped me to be a lawyer, while my mother wanted me to become a nurse. However, hey, I become myself, Cecily Huang, a bilingual journalist based in Beijing, reporting for international media about China.
I was close to be a lawyer after I finished my law school, but I realized it was not what I want. I left law and began to pursue a career in media.
When most of the Chinese ladies around my age decided to get married, I spent all my saving and my dowry money borrowed from my parents on my master degree in Australia.
After I obtained my master’s degree at the University of Technology, Sydney, on May 2016, I started to work as a producer for the Beijing office of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. I produce daily news stories, as well as feature stories and documentaries.
I approach all my work with enthusiasm to research and produce programs not only about Chinese politics and society but also about modern Chinese cultures, such as rock music and contemporary art. I am very keen to show audiences the changing face of China and the challenges that China faces.
In 2016, our ABC team followed the first group wedding of nine Chinese homosexual couples on an international ocean cruise. The documentary we produced celebrated this milestone event in Chinese homosexual history, recording their fears, frustrations, and battles in China. See The Love Boat.
While I was studying my master’s degree in Sydney, I worked as a freelance journalist for various media, covering the relationship between Australia and China and I taught Chinese in public schools.
I carried out an undercover investigation about the cheaters in the academic world and co-produced the exclusive documentary, Pens For Hire for SBS. I was worried about people I revealed would take revenge on me when the documentary was launched.
Before embarking on my master’s degree, I was a China researcher and news assistant for the Beijing office of The Guardian, covering environmental, political, and social news in China.
In April 2013, I flew to the disaster area a few hours after the Sichuan earthquake to assist correspondents in preparing an intensive report. I persuaded a former Red Guard to be interviewed about his guilt over sending his mother to her death during the Cultural Revolution, I simultaneously interpreted the entire interview, and then worked as the producer of the video.
You know, we are never as tough we think about ourselves. After reporting on the earthquake and a murder case, I had to admit I was once in a terrible depression. I could not separate my work from my personal life.
I previously worked for Jonathan Watts, the Guardian’s Asia Environment Correspondent. We were the first foreign media group to arrive in Xilinhot, Inner Mongolia, reporting on the May 2011 protest by ethnic Mongolians. Even after the policeman blocked the area, I managed to get in to interview the student protesters and the accident witness.
In the feature story about the heavy-handed enforcement of China’s family planning policy, I convinced the local officials for the first time to talk to the foreign media on this sensitive subject. I dug up some unknown information to clarify the outsider’s misunderstanding regarding this policy. I proposed to report on this subject through a new environmental angle, presenting both the positive and negative sides, distinguishing our report from other media efforts to report on this story.
My first job in media was as an editor at the English-language lifestyle magazine, the Beijinger and that’s Beijing. It was also my first job working with an international team. Working with editors from Australia, U.S.A and U.K, I learned to laugh at my Chinglish from Chinese schools. It made me more multi-cultural and enjoy life better. When the Beijinger celebrated its 20,000 blogs, I was so pleased to know my blog about Beijing sky was the first ever blog
Four years later I began working at Wu Promotions which helped me expand my knowledge of performing arts, with a focus on classical music and ballet. I assisted in Opera projects such as The Ring of Nibelung and Don Giovanni by Cologne Opera House in Shanghai and Beijing.
I have travelled throughout most Asian countries, visited the U.K, and the U.S.A. I enjoy experiencing different cultures and learning about history. It always inspires me to learn new skills and build more layers of my personality. I dance salsa, tango, play tennis, go hiking, and I love cooking and photography.
As same as many, I sometimes wonder what if I never left my hometown, should I have settled down earlier? I thanks my parents for bringing me up, but I appreciate my friends, my colleagues, embrace my bad good experience to make who I am now. I mean, who I am myself really now.
Thank you for your patience to read to here. I hope to meet you. I would be delighted to introduce Chinese culture to you.