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New chapter of my Brisbane story

“Today my life begins” and so was the inspiring line sang by my favourite Filipino-American singer, Bruno Mars.

I know I try my best to keep this department a bit private but, yes it’s love—but sad to say—so it was.

I’m sure not a lot of people even find some entertainment in sharing miserable heartbreak stories, so I’ll try to keep it that way. Though I felt like I was almost there but some things are just not meant to be. Oh! Stop me now. Okay, let’s park that case right there.

So, ever wonder why my blog space was in deep slumber? Now it’s hoping to scream out louder.

“Love is like a river, never ending as it flows, but gets greater with time!”
—Reinhold Niebuhr

THIS NEW CHAPTER I wish you happiness with your ‘river’ as I stay here hoping this time I might finally find mine…

This is funny. At least I’ve got some excuse now—I hope it’s a valid one—for not having been inspired to get some literary concoction going on about my colourful life in Brisbane. Well that’s it, colorful indeed. You see wherever you go, you cannot deny people, things and events to come your way, and they are just inevitable. No way to predict. No way to avoid.  Every person you meet is a whole new experience.

I guess all you really want to happen is give yourself in. And I’m glad these all happened in Brisbane.

As I’m nearing towards the end of my two year role as a Brisbane International Student Ambassador, it just makes sense that I get to experience all the facets of living in this wonderful city. Not to mention all the fun, I got to meet some dignitaries around the world with the likes of Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group of Companies;  Philips Senior Director of Energy & Climate Change Harry Verhaar; and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani at the Asia Pacific Cities Summit in 2011.

Going to exciting familiarization tours—from the unforgettable overnight at Tangalooma Island Resort, to celebrating my birthday at North Stradbroke Island, and to visiting the lush, green side of Redland’s Indigiscape Centre—they are not just my favourite but a whole heaps more that are quite memorable too.

And when I say different facets, I also mean the not-so-good bits (besides the heartbreak) including the tyranny of distance; not being with few family members who are in the Philippines, having been absent in many relative and friends’ celebrations—from weddings, graduation, reunions and anniversaries and the list goes on…

Well it’s sometimes bittersweet you know but that’s life, we sacrifice one thing to also experience the joy of doing another. Pros and cons will not dare go out of our way, so we just have to go with the flow.  Like my niece Kerrie’s favourite line in ‘Finding Nemo’—when Dorry was trying to help a worried father find his lost son—“just keep swimming, just keep swimming”.  Oh swimming shall I go, amidst all the heaving waves that try to push me back—but I will keep going until I find what I am looking for (not Nemo of course!).

In a sea of endless possibilities, Brisbane has taught me to LOVE and BE LOVED—not only by a set of good friends in the Filipino Students in Brisbane group but also amongst my local Aussie friends and a beautiful bunch of international friends—so how will I forget my fellow International Student Ambassadors coming from 23 different nations.  I must say we have all journeyed together and have established a strong camaraderie that neither one of us will ever forget. You guys have probably gotten tired of my saying ‘Thank You’ so I say it in my own tongue ‘Maraming Salamat’.

I can safely say that regardless of our religion, colour of skin, cultural beliefs and background—it was all about FAITH, not only in some Divine Intervention but faith in ourselves and being aware that we are capable of doing things even bigger than ourselves, and lastly faith in shaping our dreams!

ALL of you friends (and also to her)—together with those dreams, we can still make them happen.

Our journey will not end there, it has only BEGUN!

“You only have one life to live, so you better make the best of it”—Bruno Mars

Graham Quirk with BISA 2012

The Right Honourable Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Graham Quirk with the Brisbane International Student Ambassadors appointment in March 2012

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 Au Courant’s Corner is preparing to air a whole new exciting set of webisodes. As a primer, have a look at the work of a very talented member (name withheld upon request) of the Filipino Students in Brisbane (FSB) who crafted this full of life OFFICIAL TEASER for the Brisbane Mabuhay Philippines Festival held last 12 October 2012.

An initiative of the Chamber of Commerce & Industry Australia-Philippines—together with the Filipino Students in Brisbane—and proudly supported by the Brisbane City Council, the Brisbane Mabuhay Philippines Festival this year was definitely more exciting as it showcased some of the best Filipino talents in the city from dancing to singing—not to mention an awe-inspiring cultural rendition of the Kalinga tribe of the Philippines by another FSB member Paul Mariano and a Melbourne-based international student, April de Chavez, who flew her way from interstate to enjoy the festival with us. Commenting on the success of the event, it was seen posted in the Facebook page of Lord Mayor of Brisbane – Graham Quirk on 15 October saying: “A great turn out at the Festival”

 
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Posted by on November 3, 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.”

 

WHY BRISBANE IN 2012?

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 www.34igc.org.

[Reference]

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.

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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…

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

 

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Brisbane’s NRL Premiership grip almost fortified (Broncos vs. Raiders)

In a vigorous game of rugby between NRMA Insurance Brisbane Broncos and Canberra Raiders held last Sunday, 12 June 2011 at the Suncorp Stadium, Broncos emerged victorious.

Broncos garnered a score of 25 compared to Raiders 24. Peter Wallace led the team by using all of his 98 games of National Rugby League (NRL) experience to finish a long range field goal that saved the team from a possible defeat.

The crowd was wowed at the start of the game when the Broncos was placed in a rather safe position after extending its lead, 22-0, against the Canberra Raiders in the 50th minute. Of course, thanks to Josh Hoffman who also executed a stellar performance whilst strolling through a weak defense of the Raiders.

In a Bronco TV interview, Brisbane Coach Anthony Griffin said, “Well I didn’t think they were going to score that quick. I just knew that the game has ground down to that arm wrestle in the middle part of the second half. It was just a real grueling part of the game, and whoever comes out of that, on a positive note, was going to have a lot of momentum with them.”

Griffin added, “It’s just hard to stop the momentum when it happens and look, I thought we were still playing pretty positively. We were still trying things and I don’t know how many they had but it felt like they had the ball for 6 sets in a row there at one stage and they kept scoring and it was hard to stop them.”

The youngest captain ever of the Broncos, Alex Glenn confided, “Definitely it’s gonna be a day that I’ll never forget in my career and in my lifetime, credits to the boys for putting the full 80 minutes and a bit more of effort. But yeah I’ll be tapping Wally’s head for the next couple of days thanking him for nailing that kick,” whilst attributing the success of the team greatly to Peter Wallace.

The Raiders has already acquired a total of 10 losses including this one, putting them in the 16th rank in the NRL Bailey Ladder while catapulting the Broncos in the 5th post. Yet in this game, they did not fail to give their opponents a tough competition as Josh Papaii (Raiders) crashed over after a sustained period of attack on their side in the 64th minute.

For the most part though, it was really thrilling for us Student Ambassadors watching the games for the first time since the Raiders nearly snatched the lead when they tied, 24-24, five minutes before the game was about to end.  But luckily at the end of the day it was dominantly the Broncos that displayed their prowess in the court.

It surely made us anticipate for more showcases of moves in their next battles against the St. George Illawarra Dragons, Gold Coast Titans, Cronulla Sutherland Sharks and the New Zealand Warriors which will still be home matches on the following Fridays of 17th June, 15th July, 29th July; and any day between 5th to 8th August respectively.

Let’s SUPPORT the BRONCOS, one of Australia’s most popular and most watched football teams by witnessing the home games LIVE at Suncorp Stadium as they fortify their grip for the NRL Premiership!

Tickets for the general public are available through Ticketek by calling 132 849 or online at www.ticketek.com.au

Don’t forget you can still sign up for a 2011 Broncos Season Membership, click here for more information.

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Brisbane Broncos may be on a relaxation hiatus, but fans of the game still have some fun “Au Courant’s Corner” webisodes to enjoy. The author of this column is back on blogosphere to have a chat with Mexico’s Mariana Walthers for the 2nd webisode of “Au Courant’s Corner”—which was launched last week to feature the lives of many students in Brisbane and their beautiful experiences from their home countries.

Also, check it out here for a glimpse of everything you can look forward to in and around the stadium.

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2011 in Study Brisbane

 

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