In an interview the Czech novelist Milan Kundera once said that “you can only understand the world if you see it from several sides.”
I had not expected my general views on China to be fundamentally changed by an Australian man sitting in a small office somewhere in Shanghai.
Yet the words of Udo Doring, CEO and Executive Director of the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, did just that. During a briefing with Udo as part of the Symposium, he emphasised that there are many misnomers about China, that it is not about to collapse or that it is “behind” in every way. Above all, he said, we must question our typical beliefs, and challenge these ideas when they might be untrue. This became more of a reality with every new perspective we heard.
I left for China knowing it is both one of the four great ancient civilisations and an advancing modern society.
We’ve all been there, New Year, New Year’s resolutions (that will likely go unfulfilled) – this was me in a nutshell. The year was 2015, I was going into the third year of my undergraduate degree, I had just started working for Macquarie University, and I felt that I wasn’t making the most of my Macquarie University student experience. However, that was all about to change when a friend of mine recommended that I consider doing the Global Leadership Program (GLP). I’d never heard of the program before, but I signed myself up in a heartbeat. However, I recall sitting in my undergraduate welcome session, and thinking to myself, that “I’m not going to be able to do this – I’ve only got till 2017 to finish this program – I don’t have enough time” – lesson #1 self-doubt will be your downfall.
When I received my acceptance email from GLP staff for the Symposium to China last year, I was beyond excited because I had never been to China before. Little did I know that my understanding of the country was about to be changed forever.
GLP Blog Contributor, Jessica Binet, shares her experiences with GLP so far…
Now I’ve known for a while that this blog post was coming up so it has been in the back of my mind that I need to find a topic. With so many ways to approach a blog – be witty, informative, funny or just factual – and as such, it took me some time to work out what I really wanted to say. I tossed up with all of these, but in the end, I decided to go with being honest.
Prior to the historic election of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Daw Aung Sun Suu Kyi in 2015, myself and 6 other students from around the world were invited by the National League for Democracy (NLD), then the opposition party, to travel to Burma to provide testimony to the federal parliament on the model tertiary funding structures of our universities. Two Macquarie students were selected to represent Australia: Myself and Nicola Amys. Attached to this program were personal meetings with student union leaders, NLD party officials and, of course, Daw Suu herself to influence the protest movement and legislative votes at the time. Burma was going through great turmoil as the government proposed to de-centralise funding to all universities, which would result in further fragmentation and division in access to education. Protests, mainly lead by the youth and students, were breaking out all across the country, with potentially deadly consequences in the military junta’s response.
I joined the GLP with little more than a year left in my Accounting masters. With a bit of thought, it is not as hard to complete the GLP in one year as you might imagine. In fact, there are many interesting ways of completing the cross cultural practicum without going overseas.
To earn my credit, I developed a video game about shadow puppets. It is called Projection, a puzzle game about light manipulation, curiosity and lost art. The wonderful thing about working on this project is that it opened up many opportunities to explore different cultures.
Session 1, 2017 Foreign Affairs Series – Speaker Profile
Name: Chris Vein
Position: Partner – PwC
Years of Experience: 30+
GLP Student Representative, Moses, sat down with Chris Vein to ask him 5 important questions in 5 minutes. Chris Vein presented at the GLP Foreign Affairs Series, Session 1, 2017 on Technology and the Future of Global Governance.
Ever wondered what a typical GLP student looks like? Well, like the diversity of characters that make up New York City (think Humans of New York), so too is every GLP student unique. You may have joined the program because you have an interest in gaining leadership skills and ended up discovering you are passionate about climate change, put these two together and boom – you’re capable of anything. The great thing about the GLP is that it’s an opportunity for people from across disciplines and perspectives to come together and think about global challenges and solutions.
As people have so many different passions and drivers, we wanted to find out more about you – the Humans of GLP – and how you want to make your impact. Here at GLP Headquarters (well, EMC2 building) we are inspired by your inspiration and so we asked our Student Representatives to take to the streets (okay, campus) to see why what you’re getting up to and what you care about most.