By Claire Bennett
It’s hard to envisage, as I sit here contemplating the typically Australian landscape of Coolangatta beach and gnawing the ear of my chocolate Easter bunny …
… but the fact is, in just 15 days, I will be flying to Munich to participate in the Student G20 Conference! I will be representing Macquarie University as the Secretary General on the Round Table for Humanities, and presenting a paper on the politicization of the Australian colonial ‘History Wars’. There are eight Round Tables working in parallel at the Conference, each with a Macquarie University representative:
- Economics and Finance
- Law and Human Rights
- World Politics and International relations
- Social Affairs and Medicine
- Ecology, Environment and Energy
- Design, Technology and Innovations
- Education and Youth
- Humanities: history, philosophy, linguistics, arts and journalism
This is, truly, a once in a lifetime experience! I hardly know what is making me most excited at this point! I have travelled to Germany before, but never to Munich, and it will be fascinating to explore a new pocket of the world – particularly one so rich in history. I am also extremely excited to meet the other delegates, drawn from over 200 universities across the world. Many of these students I may never have crossed paths with, had it not been for this shared experience, and I plan to make the most of the seven days!
Some fast facts about Munich … it is the third largest city in Germany after Berlin and Hamburg. The name Munich, or Munchen, means “by the monks place” as the city was originally founded by monks and first mentioned in 1158. Approximately 80% of the city centre has also been restored after the widespread devastation rendered in WW2. It’s a shame that the conference does not fall on the last two weeks of September, as Munich is also home to the international beer festival Oktoberfest!
There are so many activities being fit into one week that I have a feeling I’ll need to get my stamina up over the next few days! But, action-packed and challenging as I’m sure it will be, I’m determined to take time to soak up the surroundings and enjoy every moment of this fantastic opportunity. The program thus far includes an Official Opening and Closing Ceremony featuring a Concert of Classical Music and Jazz Performance; business meetings with leading politicians and academics; Panel sessions for all delegates and Joint discussion sessions!
And the weather forecast… well, it’s a bit early to tell! But, we’re looking at 8-18 degrees on average! Perfect!
I’ll touch base again from Munich! I’m off to brush up on my German phrases…
 Anon, (2014) ‘About Munich’ Discover Munich (online) Available: http://www.discover-munich.info/about_munich.php
 Joce, W. (14.3.14) ‘5 Fun Facts about Munich’ Veneretravel Blog (online) Available: http://www.venere.com/blog/munich-fun-facts-9869/