From Seoul to Sydney

From Seoul to Sydney will be a section of the KCO website in which we feature a figure that is important in the history of Australian Korean relations. We will cover the likes of superstar celebrities and important politicians, to sports stars or community figures. Our aim is to tell the stories of the people who have made the friendship between Australia and Korea so strong.

If you have a suggestion of someone you feel should be featured here please get in contact with us. We are after interesting stories of those with a deep connection to both countries. We hope this section can be used as both an educational resource and also an entertaining look into the history between Australia and Korea.   

Historic Figures

Ho Yul Kim 김흐열 

By all accounts the 1st Korean to set foot on Australian soil was Ho Yul Kim. Ho Yul was born in Korea in 1901, an important year in Australian history after the Federation of Australia on January 1st. It is no surprise then that Ho Yul would go on to create his own part of Australian history. In fact he soon began to work as a teacher at an Australian missionary school in Korea, where he first established a fascination with the land down under.

Ho Yul arrived in Australia in 1921 as a student. He would journey through Thursday Island, an area that is noted for being the most northern town of Australia. He would eventually end up in Melbourne where he studied Education at Melbourne University after completing an English course. Although he passed away at a young age after returning to Korea, he was mourned by the Victorian Presbyterian Church that had helped bring him to Australia.

The current Australian Prime Minister and once Education Minister Julia Gillard states “Education has been, and remains, an important conduit through which vital people-to-people links between (Korea and Australia) are realised”. Ho Yul Kim was a promising young teacher and helped generate such links between the countries, and was at the beginning of a trend of foreign students coming to study in Australia, something that continues to this very day.

Celebrities

Lee Da Hae이다

Lee Da Hae was born in Seoul, South Korea in 1984 before eventually moving to Sydney, Australia as a teenager. She is a primary example of ‘From Seoul to Sydney’. Da Hae studied at Burswood Girls High School as her family resided in Australia for the majority of her teens. Her desire for a career on stage continued through this period as she performed at various events in Sydney, clearly stardom was never far from her eye.

Eventually she would soon return to Korea to launch a career as an actress, where she would make an immediate impact, winning Best New Actress at the Baeksang Art Awards for her role in Lotus Flower Fairy (왕꽃 선녀님). She is most famous however for her role in the Korean drama “My Girl” where she played a tour guide on Korea’s Jeju Island. Jeju Island is today in the running to be considering one of the new 7 wonders of the world and is a beautiful site to see!

Today Lee Da Hae is known not just in Korea and Australia, but worldwide. She was the star of a recent mini-web drama advertisement produced by Korea Tourism called ‘Haru: The Unforgettable Day in Korea’. It was a cult hit on launch due to its inclusion of Korea’s hottest stars (including K-Pop group Big Bang), soap-opera storyline and viral format. It greatly promoted the Hallyu Wave even further as it connected with a new generation of internet consumers. To be included was a great achievement by Lee Da Hae, proving her immense popularity. Maybe one day we will be lucky enough to see her featured in an Australian Tourism campaign!

Events

Earth Hour: From Sydney to Seoul

Seoul will switch off its city lights at 8:30 p.m on Saturday March 26, 2011 as Korea participates in Earth Hour for the 3rd consecutive year. Earth Hour is a global campaign that hopes to raise the awareness of issues such as sustainability, energy waste, greenhouse gases and global warming. By actively joining the initiative, the city aims to deliver a strong message on the requirements needed to combat climate change.

Earth Hour has a special relation to Australia also having originated in Sydney in 2007. After just 1 year it had expanded into the global marketplace, and now the final Saturday of March each year is shadowed in darkness, but for a good reason!  For 1 hour iconic buildings and landmarks across Asia, Europe and the world will stand up in darkness as they show their support for an issue that affects us all. We congratulate the officials in the 2 cities that pushed for the event to take place, and for those individuals that make it happen.

Republic of Korea National Flag

Republic of Korea National Flag

Australian National Flag

Australian National Flag

Lee D Hae

Lee D Hae

Lee D Hae

Lee D Hae

Earth Hour

Earth Hour