Tag Archives: Australia

Get Wet and Learn To Surf at the Gold Coast

Whilst Brisbane is forecast to sweat through its hottest few weeks ago, the question is why swelter when you don’t have to. Being in the capital of the ‘Sunshine State’ one should always be on the look out for ways to staying cool.

Besides my Filo mates’ favorite artificial beach in Southbank, all the long sandy ones are just within striking distance of Brisbane. I am talking about the nine major beaches that dot along the Gold Coast which made the latter as Australia’s most famous tourist area. Not to mention all the innumerable high-profile attractions such as Warner Bros. Movie World, Wet ‘n’ Wild, Sea World and Paradise Country which Gold Coast houses, I still reckon this beach culture is ought to be the best way to embrace the sunshine.

9 Gold Coast Beaches

Coolangatta (Photo by Deiter Dizon)

Coolangatta in a Rainy Sunset (Deiter Dizon)

Coolangatta — fun for the whole family.

Currumbin — more famous for its bird sanctuary than its beach.

Palm Beach.

Burleigh Heads.

Nobby Beach.

Mermaid Beach.

Broadbeach — in the heart of the tourist attraction.

Surfers Paradise— the most famous of all the beaches. A long sandy strip backed by high-rise apartments.

Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Heads (Photo by Deiter Dizon)

Southport — the more modern and exclusive end of the coast

But wait before you even start your set of wheels please hold it right there, it’s important to keep in mind how to stay safer at the beach by remembering the FLAGS—well not the British Blue Ensign defaced with the state badge on a white disc in the fly, but simply these simple tips by Surf Life Saving Queensland:

Swim Between RED and YELLOW Flags

Swim Between RED and YELLOW Flags (Filipino Students in Brisbane's Romena de Chavez)


F—Find the flags and swim between them.

L—Look at and read the safety signs.

A—Ask a lifesaver or lifeguard for advice

G—Get a friend to swim with you

S—Stick your hand up for help.


Always remember to swim between the RED and YELLOW flags.

If either sunbathing or swimming is not your cup of tea, then SURFING should be your best option. That two-hour surf lesson with Get Wet Surf School last year together with Study Brisbane’s International Student Ambassadors just goes to prove (I am sure) that Queensland is not known as ‘Sunshine State’ around Australia for nothing, with plenty other ways to always keep cool.

Excited as I was to keeping my cool in The Spit Beach, Gold Coast, I frantically stood up on my first surfboard lesson in that one but I learned that I also have to keep a look around next time to make sure I won’t get washed into someone’s path again. For the less experienced like myself, learn to surf too on the Gold Coast & Surfers Paradise with Get Wet Surf School. (1800GETWET or

2011 - This was before, still struggling on making that stand.

Me Surfing in Action

2012 - This was after, just a perfect example of that mantra in life: "Try and try, until you SUCCEED!"



Another guaranteed FUN day out!

Brisbane Welcomes International Students 2012 event here we come.

We HOPE TO SEE YOU SOON wearing that smile!


And oh, just as you think of heading to the Gold Coast (I know it’s fun to surf) but do check out first our own story as documented by the video blog at  Au Courant’s Corner now on its seventh webisode with an exclusive up-close and personal interview with Charlton Brown’s 2011 Most Outstanding International Student, Kyoko Yamazaki from Japan.

Not even the afternoon storms possibly pushing temperatures into the high 30s last time could STOP Au Courant’s Corner from bringing you an entertainment while learning about the life of an international student in Australia’s New World City.

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Posted by on February 6, 2012 in Study Brisbane


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34th IGC—Geoscience ‘Olympics’ in Brisbane

Asia Pacific Cities Summit Ambassadors rendering service in the spirit of volunteerism last July 2011

For the international student that I am here, I could not just disregard the beautiful trajectory for BrisbaneAustralia’s New World City—  last year and this year.  2011 saw Australia hosting a summit in July for Asia Pacific region and in 2012 still Australia will play host to another international event on behalf of Oceania.

Asia Pacific. Oceania. Wow! I know from a modest point of view (since I was never geek enough in the sciences) that they may seem just two orthographic projections playing in my mind. But how relevant then shall be our knowledge of the Geosciences today, when every so often we hear natural catastrophes occurring from this side of the planet to another?

We ought to stress that—as human beings living in this planet—we are in an unprecedented territory, just as we started to think that Mother Nature will leave us for a little while, it will always come back with a full force. Volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, floods and other natural hazards are all inevitable—and all covered by Earth Science!

The International Geological Congress (IGC) is the leading global forum for the Earth sciences.

What is IGC?

The Congress, being held once every four years and typically attracts 5000 delegates from over 100 countries, has been referred to as the Geosciences’ Olympics.  Having been held first in 1876 in Paris, the IGC is one of the longest running professional sector conferences in the world.  It has been regularly held ever since with the most recent ones hosted in Oslo, Norway (2008) and Florence, Italy (2004).

Dr. Ian Lambert, secretary general of the 34th IGC Organising Committee, states that

“the IGC is really big and important…it is the premier global geoscience event.  It brings geoscientists from around the world where they freely exchange information, they give oral and poster presentations presenting their research. They also have the opportunity to go on field trips to look at geographical features in the field.”

With the theme Unearthing our Past and Future – Resourcing Tomorrow”, the 34th IGC is being hosted by the Australian Geoscience Council (AGC).  The AGC is the peak representative body for geoscientists in Australia and consists of the following member societies, which represent specialty areas of the Earth sciences:

  • Association of Applied Geochemists
  • Australian Institute of Geoscientists
  • Australian Society of Exploration Geophysicists
  • Geological Society of Australia
  • International Association of Hydrologists (Australian Chapter)
  • Australian Geoscience Information Association
  • The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
  • Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia.

IGCs are run under the auspices of the International Union of Geological Sciences, which facilitates international geoscientific collaboration and development of standards.

Many delegates are involved in cutting edge research. There will also be distinguished senior personnel representing national geosciences agencies, major resource companies as well as the extensive supporting contracting industry.  In fact, the 34th IGC Scientific Program will feature a daily Plenary Session, 220 symposia under 37 themes in which distinguished speakers will give invited presentations on major contemporary themes in the geosciences.

One that I am particularly keen to meet for the day, if only we get lucky to have that same volunteering opportunity again just like last July’s  Asian Pacific Cities Summit 2011 (as student ambassadors for Brisbane), is a familiar face from my home country—Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum, Jr.who has said in one of his interviews that “the Philippines has 20 earthquakes everyday on average. Having 20 earthquakes is a normal occurrence.”



IGC’s are held in host cities throughout the world. Countries that wish to host an IGC must bid for the event. The bid must demonstrate that the country has the expertise and resources necessary to run the event and do so at a cost that is reasonable to delegates who must pay fees to attend. Bids are submitted by numerous countries and are subjected to a competitive selection process. The 34th IGC is being held in Brisbane as a result of a successful bid against India and Morocco back in 2004 during a previous IGC in Florence, Italy.

Accommodation in Brisbane 

As released in the third circular of the 34th IGC, there are discounted accommodation rates available that were negotiated particularly for IGC delegates only at an extensive range of hotels and accommodation establishments in central Brisbane. Booking your accommodation can be done when you register for the Congress via the online system or through the downloadable registration form.  Apparently since there is a heavy demand for accommodation in the city, expected delegates are urged to book accommodation as soon as possible.

The international congress, slated on 510 August, 2012 at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, will also provide an opportunity for young scientists and students to engage with some of the best geosciences minds in the world. The YES (Young Earth Scientists) Network will hold its second Congress within the 34th IGC.

This event is brought to you by Geoscience Australia, GNS Science (New Zealand), Carillon Conference Management along with academic partners Queensland Institute of Technology and the University of Queensland, while Vale as one of the major sponsors.  If interested, please register now by visiting its official website at


Lambert, I., & Gordon, A. (2011, September). Guest Lecture from IGC. In J. Watson (Professor), Entreprise 2.0. Lecture conducted from Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD.



Someone got even luckier on his last birthday to be granted an exclusive interview with a beauty queen whose interest lies in calligraphy, fashion, food and design, and who once said “I Just Got Lucky” in this one-on-one chat for a webisode that will take you to the changing skyline of her country.

Ms. Tourism Vietnam 2011 Huynh Thi Ngoc Han tells it all in this webisode while the rest of the student ambassadors enjoy their day at North Stradbroke Island, QLD, Australia. Here is the sneak peek to that upcoming Au Courant’s Corner webisode…


Posted by on September 14, 2011 in Enterprise 2.0, Study Brisbane


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