The Refugee Camp in My Neighbourhood: Cultural Series, Auburn 2016

Over the last several years during my time at Macquarie University I have studied and researched refugees merely in terms of statistics; where they are fleeing from, where they are traveling to and how many there are estimated to be. We have covered an array of international treaties and domestic policies that apply to their fundamental rights as human beings.

We have not however, been provided insight into the personal stories and struggles of refugees themselves. We do not learn about the challenges they face in fleeing their country, finding permanent homes or in gaining legal recognition of their rights. We simply do not study refugees in terms of their experiences as individuals, as they seek a safe place to live and work.

It was our tour through the Refugee Camp in My Neighbourhood, as part of GLP’s Cultural Series Day, which gave me the opportunity to hear real stories from refugees themselves. Located in Auburn, a Refugee Welcome Zone as of 2004, the interactive program highlighted to us the extreme difficulties they encounter as they flee their homes in search of somewhere safe to live.


Simulated refugee camp, GLP Cultural Series Auburn, 2016 (photo courtesy Amy Thomas).

The tour consisted of several activities that captured the realities of living in a refugee camp and was itself run by a number of refugees who had experienced their own journey in seeking asylum here in Australia.

We were given two minutes to quickly choose 5 things we would take with us upon being forced to flee the country, while noting asylum seekers often do not have time to do just that. Upon entering the camp we were confronted by security. A man yelled at us in a foreign language, while taking from us our jackets, bags and the few things we had selected to bring.

This gave me a sense of how truly terrifying it would be arriving in a foreign country, where you do not speak the language, do not know what is going to happen to you or your family, and have the few things that were yours taken from your hands.

Right to Nationality (right way up).png

#15 The Right to a Nationality (photo courtesy Chloe Spackman).

To register our ‘family’ with the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) we were given documents in a foreign language that we simply could not complete. We saw what was meant to be a toilet used by hundreds of people, a mere hole in the ground, while ‘landmines’ throughout the camp reminded us of health hazards, including contaminated water and infectious disease.

The difficult decisions often faced by refugees were highlighted to us, as we were made to choose between either staying in an overcrowded house unfit for our family or risk paying a year’s rent in advance for better accommodation, without the guarantee of finding employment.


Contaminated water demonstration at the simulate Refugee Camp, Auburn (photo courtesy Amy Thomas).

The simulated camp was confronting and opened my eyes to the conditions suffered by millions of asylum seekers globally. Yet the most shocking aspect of the tour for me personally was the stories and pictures drawn by children, pleading to be released from the camps. The drawings showed stick figures crying behind fences, with sunshine and trees on the other side out of reach.

Although it was undeniably upsetting to see, I am grateful I had the opportunity to grasp a greater understanding and awareness of such a significant global issue. I feel the tour has further opened my eyes to the realities suffered by refugees and given me a new perspective on an area I thought I was already familiar with. I know I will take this experience with me through the rest of my studies and into the future as I engage in conversations surrounding human rights and issues of global concern.

Written by Amy Thomas, third year Bachelor of Social Science student and GLPer. 

As part of our ongoing Cultural Series, this month the GLP organised a special one-off opportunity for students to participate in the Refugee Camp in My Neighborhood, an interactive learning experience in Auburn. Developed in collaboration with over 100 community members and led by refugees living in Auburn the experience highlighted the challenges refugees face in finding a permanent home, the daily realities of life in a camp and resettling in Australia. Along with this experience, students received a briefing at the Auburn Gallipoli Mosque and explored the suburb and met with local residents in a scavenger hunt.

Rajasthani Warrior

It’s really interesting when you learn about the textbook version of India; how the pillars of social activity and political stability contribute to the economic growth of the nation.

I suppose growing up as an Australian-born Indian has made this textbook version one that particularly sparks my curiosity. The most intriguing part is that the textbook version is simply a vision that the world has for India; and one that India seeks to pursue.

The Cross Cultural Practicum component of the Global Leadership Program provided me with an amazing platform to volunteer in India, and to fulfill my goals of inspiring young children and empowering women to reach their full potential.

So off I went. Five flights later I landed in the middle of the Pink City, Jaipur, in Northern India in the middle of a sweltering, 50 degree summer. I always forget how crowded India is, and how the smell of spices and sweets linger in the air for hours on end.


A man pushing a bicycle loaded with supplies in 50 degree heat outside Hawa Mahal with its 953 windows, in which Queens would view the Pink City, Jaipur, 2016

The beauty about Jaipur is that the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, is cherished in almost every aspect. Gandhi once said, “If we want to reach real peace in this world, we should start educating children.

I could not agree more. The first shelter I volunteered at was located in Govind Nagar, east of Jaipur, where I saw that the power of education and the forces of home values had a huge impact on the children that were coming in and out of the shelter. The children were rescued from exploitation in bangle factories, human trafficking assaults and family violence. For children that had been through so much, they had the brightest smiles across their faces and the most vibrant personalities and of course – possessed a willingness to learn. My time with the children was spent playing cultural games, dancing to Bollywood music, covering my hands with mehndi artwork and learning about the importance of safety and security in the surrounding areas.


Sita outside the Albert Hall Museum, oldest museum in the State of Rajastan, 2016

Once I left the children, I headed to a shelter that was dedicated to empowering women to foster their own source of income. This shelter was perched on top of a hill in east Jaipur, and screamed of a Who Runs the World? Girls type of aura. I loved it. Upon entering this shelter I was greeted by dozens of women who had experienced household abuse and trauma. The women were learning how to sew sari blouses and create hairstyles and makeup looks for brides, in the hopes to be hired by a bridal party, as big weddings are frequent in India. We talked about the importance of developing skill-based experiences in order to pursue a trade in India, and the meaning of quality of life and the most important aspect of that phrase, which is happiness.

Upon reflection, the values enforced by society, namely; women cannot seek an education, nor can they work, as education and employment is for men, impacts the mentality of the children and the women in a negative, and almost isolating way that reinforces outdated stereotypes. As such, the textbook version had not lived up to the reality of India. This presented me with a classic case of the realist vs. the dreamer; the wicked problems of society and the overall stability of India.


Sita at Winter Rose Gate, Pritam Niwas Chowk, City Palace, Jaipur, 2016

Across seas, and through time-zones, I think about the children and the women and the memories created with them. I am thankful to have had this experience to volunteer in India, and will ensure this journey is imprinted further into my education.

Sita is a Postgraduate GLP student in her final year of the Master of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism. Sita was able to claim this experience as part of her Cross Cultural Practicum. 

The Cross Cultural Practicum is one of the core components of the Postgraduate Global Leadership Program. The Practicum provides students with the opportunity to participate in cross-cultural and professional experiences, including overseas study, community service and attending internationally focused events. 

Making money to make change: understanding our Innovative Leader, Audette Exel AO

“She built a career on making millions for the rich, but her true achievement has been using her legal and financial nous to make money for the world’s poorest”. (David Leser, 2012)

Audette Exel is proof that doing good is not just for some professions.

Audette with Sr. Christine - head of the Kiwoko Hospital NICU

Audette with Sr.Christine – Head of the Kiwoko Hospital in Uganda which Audette’s organisation, Adara, supports. Photos courtesy of Adara.

In fact, GLP believes that no matter what you are studying or what you hope to achieve in your career, the prosperity of our societies requires graduates of all professions and disciplines to innovate on their work for a broader social good – and Audette Exel is a sterling example of this.

In the 1980s when she was a university student in Wellington, New Zealand, Audette had already well and truly embraced her activist nature and was taking part in pro-feminist and anti-Apartheid demonstrations. She went on to complete her Law degree at the University of Melbourne and received a sought-after role at Australian law firm, Allens where she specialised in mergers and acquisitions and structured finance.


Audette discovered a passion for skydiving in her youth, she was 16 years old when she made her first jump. Photos courtesy of Adara.

As it turned out – Audette loved finance, and was clearly very talented at it too, so she figured out how to fit in to her master plan. She says that “finance was a piece of knowledge about power and how the world really operates,” she says. “For me, it was about having that knowledge to then effect change.” (Bloomberg, 2013).

In the briefest description of an illustrious career, before establishing Adara, Audette;

  • was Managing Director of the Bermuda Commercial Bank making her one of the youngest women in the world to have run a publicly-traded bank
  • was Chairman of the Bermuda Stock Exchange
  • was on the Board of the Bermuda Monetary Authority, Bermuda’s central financial services regulator, and was Chair of its Investment Committee
  • practised as a lawyer specialising in international finance
  • began her career with Allen, Allen and Hemsley in Sydney before joining the English firm of Linklaters & Paines, in their Hong Kong office, and,
  • was called to the Bars of New South Wales, Australia, England and Wales and Bermuda.

But at 35,  Audette felt it was time to get back to her original mission. After a year of research on non profits and working out just how she could contribute to helping people living in poverty, Adara (then Isis) was conceptualised.

“The answer, she decided, lay in the experience she had gained running a bank”. (Bloomberg, 2013).

It’s what she describes as ‘making money to make change’, and it comes down to one mission. “While Bill Gates and George Soros only began to concentrate on giving after they became billionaires, Exel says she didn’t want to wait until she had amassed a fortune to begin her philanthropy. “It’s the purpose of the business,” she says. “There’s one mission.” (Bloomberg, 2013).

Adara is proof that the power of business can be used to improve the lives of people in poverty.

The Adara businesses are businesses for purpose rather than profit. Their sole objective is to fund Adara Development’s administration and emergency project costs. The Adara businesses have provided millions of dollars in core support costs to Adara Development since inception, allowing 100% of all other donations received to go directly to project-related costs. (Adara).

Adara Logo

So how can you start envisaging how to apply your own unique set of skills, knowledge and experiences to innovate for good?

By coming to hear from the tenacious Audette Exel, our keynote speaker at the Session 2, 2016 Innovative Leaders Series (ILS), and by taking advantage of the post-keynote networking with other GLP students who want to do the same.

The World Economic Forum named her Global Leader of Tomorrow, Forbes named her a “Hero of Philanthropy” in 2014, in 2015 she was inducted into the Australian Businesswomen’s Hall of Fame and in 2016 she was named Australia’s ‘Leading Philanthropist’ by Philanthropy Australia.

On Wednesday, September 28, Audette Exel AO will be speaking to you as GLP’s Innovative Leader; lawyer, international finance expert, philanthropist and innovator of ‘business for purpose’. For more information on Audette Exel AO and her organisation Adara Group, check out the Innovative Leaders Series section of your Session 2, 2016 GLP Guidebook and keep an eye on GLP’s Facebook group and emails.

Five minutes with Student Ambassador, Aditi Verma

Hi fellow GLPers!

I am in my third year of the Bachelor of Environment and I hope to continue my passions for community engagement and sustainable development.

What’s something that we don’t know about you? 

I have a pet rabbit that is (possibly) a Holland lop. We named her Lola after Bugs Bunny’s girlfriend because she looked like her when she was a kid.



Tell us about some of your extra-curricular experiences. Any highlights?

I’ve had a number of extra-curricular experiences because of the GLP. The biggest highlight has to be going to San Francisco, California on a semester long exchange program. I’ve also assisted in a research project called the (re)Generation Project where I researched the connections between young people and nature and got to go to the IUCN World Parks Congress in 2014 where I shook hands with Luvuyo Mandela (Nelson Mandela’s great grandson!). I’ve also done some community service with WIRES, which has led to some interesting experiences, including watching a panicked kangaroo get tranquillised and being bitten by a Rosella. Currently, I am interning at the Sydney Opera House and learning about the implementation of sustainability in organisations whilst calculating the carbon footprint of Vivid LIVE.


Aditi with members of the California State University, East Bay Earth and Environmental Sciences Club in the Pinnacles National Park, 2015

What advice would you give to students who are currently completing the Global Leadership Program? 

I think the GLP worries students because they feel it is something they absolutely must complete during their degree and that it has strict boundaries. But that’s not true at all! The GLP is what you want to make of your time at university. It is what you are passionate about and enjoy doing, whilst giving you official recognition. The GLP’s underlying theme of creating global citizens and leaders is what gives you the potential to be world-changing and aspiring change makers. So don’t be afraid to push your boundaries, test new waters and explore your opportunities!

What do you wish someone told you on your first day of University?

I wish someone told me that university isn’t the end of the world and that failure is a part of the natural learning process. I think I underestimated the reality of university after the HSC and thought that it would be much easier and more predictable. I was so wrong! But through all those mistakes, and ups and downs, I have become a stronger and more resilient person. I learned to accept and apply constructive feedback and use these lessons to thinking more positively.


Aditi with fellow exchange students at the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, 2015

What business, person or innovation has been your biggest motivator?

I have always been driven by the idea that people can change the world for the better. I think Malala Yousafzai is one of my biggest inspirations. Along with her drive for equal education for women, her willpower and fight to change the world is what I love and am inspired by.

What’s the greatest piece of advice you’ve been given?

I think the greatest piece of advice I have been given by a lot of wonderful people (including GLP Advisor Emily!), is that whatever happens, happens for a reason and for the best. There are many challenging times where you might question why something has not turned out the way you expected or hoped for, but with one door closed, another opens.

What do you want to do when you grow up?

I don’t want to grow up any more but if I have to I would love to be involved with communities promoting sustainable development and practices. I strongly believe that people need to be involved in environmental protection and awareness in order for it to be effective and I hope I can promote this idea to others.


Aditi on a winter break field trip to White Cliffs, NSW with the Environmental Science Fieldwork (ENVE270) unit, 2015

Where would we find you in your spare time? 

I am a bit of a drifter and I like to move around a lot. But you are most likely to catch me trying to eat my lunch at Ubar whilst shooing away the bin chickens (i.e. Ibises), staring at the soils in the labs of E5A, or catching up with friends at Presse cafe.

Would you rather live by the beach or by the snow?

I wish I could have both but I might have to pick beach because snow involves me wearing so many layers that I end up looking like a giant marshmallow.


The Global Leadership Ambassadors are undergraduate students who actively participate in the GLP and want to share their diversity of experiences and enthusiasm with other students to inspire, motivate and advise them. Keep an eye out for them around campus and at GLP events.


Five minutes with Student Ambassador, Fauzan Ahmed Tariq

Hi fellow GLPers!

I am a third year Bachelor of Applied Finance student. This is my second year taking part in the GLP and I am a bit sad that this journey will be coming to an end soon, but I will be leaving with many pleasant memories. I aspire to make a positive change in this world. 

If you see me on campus come say hi! You are more than welcome to ask me about GLP and my experiences here at Macquarie University and abroad.


Fauzan in the Papua New Guinea Sculpture Garden in Stanford University, California, USA, 2013

What is your favourite food?

I love the traditional Italian style pizza with the thin crust and lots of cheese and maybe some salami slices on top as well.

Tell us about some of your extra-curricular experiences. Any highlights?

My favorite extra-curricular highlight would be that I am a qualified para glider from Army School of Physical Training in Kakul, Pakistan. I love to play soccer, and my favorite hobby is photography. I hope to start astrophotography soon because the night sky has always fascinated me.


Fauzan at a paragliding course with the Pakistan Army School of Physical Training in Kakul, Pakistan, 2013

If you could have dinner with any figure, alive or otherwise, who would it be?

Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan.

What advice would you give to students who are currently completing the Global Leadership Program?

There are lots of options to make up your 200 credit points, do not let the digits 200 overwhelm you. Try one activity at a time, and plan ahead. Seek guidance from the GLP staff, they want you to ask them. Finally, there are tons of Colloquia to choose from, go for the ones that interest you, try to gain knowledge by going to the ones that aren’t from your field.

What’s your favourite part of the program?

I like the challenge it brings. It keeps you motivated to achieve the final goal. The opportunities are endless, like going on a Canberra Symposium, where you get to meet many foreign dignitaries, or going on a semester abroad or just learning an extra language. It is totally up to you what you want to gain out of this.


Fauzan feeding a lion at the National Zoo of Australia on the GLP Symposium to Canberra, 2015

What business, person or innovation has been your biggest motivator?

My dad has been my role model from the beginning. Seeing him climb high in his military career with kindness, grace and integrity, knowing no boundaries, crossing every obstacle, thinking and planning ahead and pushing through with resilience, I wish to be like him. Plus having a disciplined life helps one achieve their goals. And this is what I try to incorporate in my daily life as well.

What’s the greatest piece of advice you’ve been given?

I have been lucky to have a few mentors in my life and some of the best pieces of advice I’ve received are from them:

“A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking because her trust is not in the branch, but in her own wings. Believe in yourself.”

“Winning is a conscious decision. Make up your mind whether you want to pass…or fail.”

“Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards.”

Your philosophy is…

being honest and straightforward.


Fauzan riding in Mona Remount Depot, an army depot spreading over 10,000 acres used to breed and train horses, Pakistan, 2016

What do you want to do when you grow up?

I aspire to become an investment banker and, after building my career, I would like to venture into politics so that I can make the world better for as many people as I can.


The Global Leadership Ambassadors are undergraduate students who actively participate in the GLP and want to share their diversity of experiences and enthusiasm with other students to inspire, motivate and advise them. Keep an eye out for them around campus and at GLP events.



5 minutes with Student Ambassador, Hana Siddiqui

Great to meet you GLPers!

I am currently studying a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in International Law and Global Governance with a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Human Resources. My future aspiration is to work in the corporate world dealing with learning and development strategies, with a particular focus on cross-cultural impacts.

Hana on Route 66 during a break from working as a summer camp counselor in America, 2015

Hana on Route 66 during a break from working as a summer camp counselor in America, 2015

What’s something we don’t know about you?

I’ve owned 13 different fish and named them all after Harry Potter characters.

You spent 6 months working in the US last year. What would be your advice to anyone thinking of doing some international volunteering?

It’s a pretty daunting idea to leave home and your loved ones for such a long time, but I definitely urge anyone to do it. My advice for someone in this situation is three-fold;

  1. Research the culture and way of life of the country, in particular the best food and where to find it
  2. Set up your Skype account before you leave and do not feel scared to call a loved one when you’re feeling a little lost. No matter the time difference!
  3. Get stuck in and make the most of the friendships, experiences and memories awaiting you!

What sorts of things have you been doing alongside your degree?

I like to keep pretty busy with a mixture of family, friends, work, sport and volunteering. This involves working part time at a childcare centre to keep the bank afloat as well as volunteering for numerous charities including Beyond Blue, Erase Racism and Daffodil Day. I took part in the LEAP Mentoring program where I worked alongside high school students from refugee backgrounds. Additionally, I coach a netball and basketball team as well as playing for my local netball team. Also my strong love for music means you might often seeing me tearing up the dance floor at Ubar!

LEAP Mentoring

Hana with her fellow LEAP (Refugee Mentoring) mentors, 2016

What advice would you give to students who are currently completing the Global Leadership Program? 

It can seem like a lot of work to get done, but just dive right into the deep end as it is definitely worth it. Do not be afraid to sign up for volunteer programs, Foreign Affairs Series and Symposia. Not only will you learn the behind-the-scenes processes of political, diplomatic and human rights practices but you’ll meet some amazing people along the way too. Also enrol in Colloquia which interest you, co-ordinate them with friends for company and do not forget your double shot of coffee for the evening sessions!

Feel free to come and say hi when you see me around and ask me questions about my GLP experience. I am always more than happy for a chat, or just to listen.

What’s your favourite part of the program?

The aspect of self-growth, which has been embedded into the program, by challenging us to step out of our comfort zones through thinking about and discussing the bigger picture. As well as the mix of theoretical and practical skills to equip ourselves for the real world and its challenges.

Canberra Symposium - Parliament House

Hana outside Parliament House on the GLP Symposium to Canberra earlier this year

What business, person or innovation has been your biggest motivator?

Eleanor Roosevelt, who helped draft the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights as well as dramatically changing the role of First Lady of the United States in the Post-World War Era.

What’s the greatest piece of advice you’ve been given?

My dad’s quote of Lao Tzu; “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

10 years from now… What do you hope to be doing?

I dream of an early retirement, living on a remote Spanish beach keeping up a healthy tan and eating delicious local food…but in reality I hope to be working in the corporate world, sitting on the board of a Human Rights committee and planning my next travel destination.

Shenandoah National Park

Hana at Shenandoah National Park during her time spent working in America, 2015

Where would we find you in your spare time? 

Heading off on a food adventure to try the newest attempt at a Nutella milkshake and halloumi stack or sitting in the sun with a good book.

What’s worse: hearing someone chew gum, or listening to someone tap their pen?

My worst nightmare would be having to listen to both, at the same time with both sounds being slightly out of time with each other!


The Global Leadership Ambassadors are undergraduate students who actively participate in the GLP and want to share their diversity of experiences and enthusiasm with other students to inspire, motivate and advise them. Keep an eye out for them around campus and at GLP events.

5 minutes with Student Ambassador, Ivana Stojanovic

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When in Italy, eat as the Italians do! Ivana in Venice during her short-term exchange to Italy, 2015

Ciao GLPers!

I’m a third year student studying Bachelor of Law and International Studies, who has undertaken the GLP for 2 years now, with more to come. My aspirations are to complete my degree alongside volunteering and experiences with a focus on humanitarian aid and international law.  In future I wish to engage in more local volunteer opportunities and also a semester exchange abroad.  

What is your favourite food?

There will never be a day when I don’t crave cheese. I can’t even think of a dish that cheese couldn’t be put on top of.

Tell us about some of your extra-curricular experiences. Any highlights?

For me going on a short-term exchange to Italy was the highlight. It not only gave me independence but taught me life skills and even showed me you can come back skinnier despite how much pizza you ate! For the next few years, I see myself engaging in GLP on a more domestic level with conferences for personal interest, rather than credit, and I’d also like to spend the summer getting involved with the United Nations or the Red Cross.


Ivana in Venice during her short-term exchange to Italy, 2015

Outside of Uni and the GLP… what do you get up to?

I’m a big fan of netball or going to the gym during the week or sometimes, if it’s a nice day, I’ll go for a run. I also do a side of photography and marketing for my parent’s business back in Canberra, as well as a hospitality job to keep the roof over the head.

What advice would you give to students who are currently completing the Global Leadership Program?

The GLP is a unique activity that Macquarie has created to allow you to explore concepts and do things that your degree would not otherwise provide. You don’t realise how valuable it is to continually expand your studies to international issues, particularly in today’s world where many of us will apply our expertise globally with travel. Take this opportunity to go beyond the textbooks (especially if you’re like me and hate reading).

What’s your favourite part of the program?

It’s very flexible to suit individual interest. For me, being able to go study a language course in Italy was something I couldn’t see myself ever doing until I was motivated and inspired by the program to travel alone and engage in the Italian culture beyond the classroom.


Ivana zip lining in Makarska, Croatia, 2015

What business, person or innovation has been your biggest motivator?

I believe in gathering a bit of inspiration from every person you come across in your life. However, I am grateful for my family and a few friends who are such hard-working and authentic individuals that constantly push and inspire me to do what I love.

What’s the greatest piece of advice you’ve been given?

For me, my European family have always had a move-on attitude to life even at the most difficult time, migrating to Australia with no valuable belongings. My dad likes to constantly remind me that if you get stuck on money you’ll miss out on living and I believe that’s something even I forget.

What do you want to do when you grow up?

During high school I always told myself I’d be an international lawyer – that’s the dream anyway. I’d really like to see myself somewhere where I can engage in issues of International Humanitarian Law or conflict and feel like I am benefiting someone else as well.

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Ivana’s trip to Dubrovnik, Croatia, 2015

Your philosophy is…

Don’t poke the bear. In other words, avoid asking or doing something that you know will provoke a negative response.

Would you rather have to swim across a 50 metre pool to escape a hungry shark or run across a football field (110 metres) to escape an angry gorilla?

I’ll take the Gorilla, I was always really bad at swimming and didn’t really swim as far as the other kids.


The Global Leadership Ambassadors are undergraduate students who actively participate in the GLP and want to share their diversity of experiences and enthusiasm with other students to inspire, motivate and advise them. Keep an eye out for them at the O Week stalls (11am – 3pm) in the Central Courtyard this week.

Network, take initiative and find your passion: Final advice from the Session 1 GLP Ambassadors

With O Week just around the corner you are most likely in planning mode for next Session. Perhaps you are madly trying to enrol in the best tutorial time. Maybe you’ve just spent all your savings on colour coordinated stationery. Or maybe you are the first hour into a long layover on your way home from a winter break spent travelling.

The GLP team has spent the last couple of weeks finding four energetic and passionate Ambassadors with a wealth of GLP experiences, including working at a summer camp in America, organising events and field trips for an environmental sciences club, learning Italian at Bologna University, Italy and interning for Pricewaterhouse Coopers in Pakistan. We’ll introduce our new Ambassadors soon but before we do, our Session 1 Ambassadors have a few final tips and tricks to help you get the most out of the Program.

James, Ashley and Yousof at the GLP pop up stall

James, Ashley and Yousof at the GLP pop up stall, Session 1, 2016


Diversify your experience and get engaged in something you’ve never tried. I made sure I tried new and exciting experiences, activities I never thought I could do, and things I always counted myself out from.

Talk to other GLP students. I am terribly shy, but it was through taking extra steps to get involved with other GLPers that I’ve made, not only valuable connections, but also top notch mates!

Ask your Ambassadors. We’re students just like you, juggling work, study and everything else, and are always keen to share our experiences with other GLPers.

Learn a language and cross that cultural border. There’s so much to gain from getting into another culture: new ways of thinking, of expressing yourself, of reading, of feeling and experiencing the world, plus the joy of being able to connect with a whole new set of global citizens!


Did you know only 3 Colloquia are core requirements of the program? Feel free to select electives that align with your interest.

It IS possible to finish the program with less than a year left in your degree! Read Tony’s blog post to find out how he did it!

Did you know that volunteering within your community counts for GLP credit? Ask a GLP Advisor today if your activity is applicable.

Perri, James and Ashley at the Innovative Leaders Series, Session 1, 2016

Perri, James and Ashley at the Innovative Leaders Series, Session 1, 2016


GLP is one of the easiest, most accessible ways to meet like-minded and driven people from different faculties. This proves to be good when you are in very structured degrees like Engineering, allowing you to explore different disciplines and meet people from respective faculties. Some of my closest friends at uni today have come from the GLP.

The best way to approach GLP is to structure it steadily in alignment with your degree duration. A lot of students burn out and it’s good idea to attend a couple of Colloquia and volunteer or intern for one organisation per Session. This steady approach ensures you are always maximising your experiences, whilst keeping a healthy balance with other commitments.

As you continue the program, start taking your own initiative to find opportunities. If you can relate it to the GLP requirements, then you can “petition for points” to have it credited and possibly recognised for more students. This is one form of leadership and the best way to learn is to bounce ideas off one another.


The feedback surveys are a great way to help GLP staff keep GLP activities relevant & interesting. Be honest in your answers.

And last but not least, connect your passions to your GLP!


The Global Leadership Ambassadors are undergraduate students who actively participate in the GLP and want to share their diversity of experiences and enthusiasm with other students to inspire, motivate and advise them. Keep an eye out for them at the O Week stalls (11am – 3pm) in the Central Courtyard next week.

The power of travel to change, inspire and engage young leaders: The Young Leaders Tour in India.


For the past few years I have let the dream of visiting India sit in the back of my mind, until the perfect opportunity presented itself: a Young Leaders Tour through India!

This unique tour brought together bright young minds to create ideas, ignite change and inspire leadership. Embracing the power of travel to educate, engage and inspire young Australians.

Without having visited India, I knew it would be challenging and confronting, as well as inspiring and beautiful. I wanted to travel around India with other young people who had the courage and desire to question why things are the way they are, and work towards finding solutions and ways to create positive change.

The Young Leaders Tour was the perfect opportunity to meet some amazing young people, learn from some incredibly well-travelled and experienced global leaders, and also see the highlights and hidden treasures of India. An application, interview and wonderful email later, and I was set to join these other young leaders in India!

Meeting the other team members in Delhi we bonded over chai tea, storytelling and sightseeing- sharing our hopes and goals for the tour.

Margaret Quixley (director of Young Opportunities Australia) and Erin Watson-Lynn (director of Generate Worldwide) were our leaders for the tour.  It was hard not to fall in love with their passion for the country, their diverse experiences in leadership, entrepreneurship and cultural immersion.

Under their guidance, we were immersed in the ‘real Delhi’ – places off the beaten track & down hidden streets. We took the opportunity to visit the overwhelming but humbling alleys of the city slums, the Supreme Court of India, the colourful markets, luxury jewellers and carpet-makers, and all the historical gems of India.

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Young Leaders Tour Jaipur, January 2016.

Throughout the tour, we participated in fascinating discussions and workshops on Indian culture and history, leadership, entrepreneurial thinking and problem-solving, career strategy, networking and international development challenges. These discussions and workshops helped build my teamwork skills, my skills as a leader, opened my mind to entrepreneurial thinking and helped me gain some valuable direction for my career and my personal life.

In smaller groups we designed an Impact Project to help tackle some of the core issues we identified in India. Some of the topics included dental hygiene, natural disaster mitigation and rural migration. The process of problem-solving and teamwork is greatly enhanced when you find yourself in a culture different to your own. It brought out the best in each of us, developing our resilience, resourcefulness and self-direction.

The spirit and humour which grew throughout our new friendships allowed us to immerse ourselves wholeheartedly in the unique culture of India, and challenge ourselves to make the most out of every opportunity.

I can now tick my dream of visiting India off my bucket list. I walk away from the tour with memories that will last forever.

Most importantly, I have come home knowing that there are other young leaders out there who are doing incredible things to change the world in their own ways. Amazingly for me, I get to call them my friends.

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Walking through Chandi Chowk in Old Delhi, January 2016

Elizabeth King is a GLP Alumni who is currently serving as a Legal Intern for the  United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials.

The Young Leaders Tour can be claimed under GLX12 Participation at an overseas symposium or conference B for 40 experiential credit points. 



Through their eyes: Student perspectives on GLP’s Brazil Symposium

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Salvador | Brasilia | Rio

“Once you have travelled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.”
— Pat Conroy, author. 

The notion of Brazil conjures up images of bright beach scapes, rain forests bustling with wildlife, football, food, and a little festival called Carnival. It is, of course, all of these things. But Brazil is also so much more.

The GLP’s International Symposium to Brazil delves into the political, cultural and diplomatic history of South America’s largest country. Students experience firsthand the rich fabric of Brazil’s cultural heritage, whilst also gaining insight into some of the most compelling issues on Brazil’s national agenda today through a range of briefings with diplomats, non-government organisations, community groups and university students.

Last week GLP caught up with three delegates from last year’s International Symposium to Brazil.

We asked them, almost a year on, what person, place or topic in Brazil do they still reflect on now? 


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Shelby S
Bachelor Law/Arts majoring in Social Justice

“The Symposium enlightened and inspired me with such depth and beauty – and as a student, has allowed me to discover my passion for human rights.

Immersing ourselves in tours around the neighbourhood of Rio Vermelho in southern Salvador and Pelourinho, Salvador’s historical down town showed us first-hand the blending of European and African cultures – with the contrast between the historical, slightly run-down buildings and lively, bustling shopkeepers and citizens being truly indicative of the city’s diversity.

Brazil undoubtedly changed my life for the better. Let it change yours.”

After attending the GLP Symposium to Brazil in 2015, Shelby decided to change her degree to reflect the passion for social justice that she developed in Brazil. 



James B
Bachelor of Arts – Politics & International Relations, Spanish and Human Rights Law & Development

“…nothing compares to forming one’s own conclusions and ideas by experiencing this flux in power, from the few to the many, on the ground.

In the old capital of Salvador, a discourse of the racial inequalities is facilitated through music and dance as the cultural connection to African roots. Organisations like Instituto Mídia Étnica, the cross-platform media network dedicated to Afro-Brazilian issues, furthers this dynamic. Inequalities in income, access to services, housing, work and political empowerment have pushed Brazil into a new phase of self-actualisation, as what some say is corruption and ineffectual leadership become less and less tolerable to a population that is newly empowered.”



Gabby H
Bachelor of Commerce (Commercial Law)/Bachelor of Laws 

“…there is beauty in these communities unlike anything else I had ever seen. The favela is bustling. Young boys shoot for makeshift goals and around every corner, and the sound of music and drumming is rife.

When I think of Brazil, two things come to mind: football and music. Our visit to Cantagalo favela brought these two together. Cantagalo is home to thousands, its houses stacked like blocks stretch up the hills just back from the picturesque beaches of Copacabana.  We were guided through the steep and weaving staircases with the help of a local guide who has lived his whole life in the favela.”


“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colours. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
― Terry Pratchett, author.  

Applications for the Global Leadership Program’s Symposium to Brazil (17 – 30 September) are now open. The Symposium is open to all Macquarie students.

Email for more information, and a link to the application form.

Applications close 9am, Monday 30 May.