Joyeux Noël! Gesëende Kersfees! Feliz Navidad! Sung Tan Chuk Ha! Chuc Mung Giang Sinh! Bada Din Mubarak Ho! God Jul! Buone Feste Natalizie! Sawadee Pee Mai! Nathar Puthu Varuda Valthukkal and a very Happy Holidays to you!
What a year 2016 has been!
At the inaugural Innovative Leaders Series Dr Jason Fox encouraged everyone to think of a word that would inform their approach to everyday life and define their year. GLP Staff decided on catalyst. It was our hope that the GLP would be a catalyst for you, as students. That it would inspire and equip you to learn, take action, and create positive change in your world through your experiences.
So, what’s happened this year?
Here are just a few of the things that made our 2016 & captured the spirit of our Word of the Year:
- The first year of the Innovative Leaders Series.
- We introduced the 50|50 GLP ILS Gender Pledge- Each year the GLP pledges to engage at least one male and one female Innovative Leader to speak at our two annual ILS events.*
- We recognised the hard work and tenacity of GLP students in selecting our Excellence Award Winners. You are a talented group! Read about Priscilla, Perri and Tierniegh’s experiences.
- We offered almost 190 Colloquia and Think Tanks, including 5 new topics on indigenous culture globally, language and leadership, and South East Asian politics.
- We ran a new special Auburn Cultural Day, where students took part in an interactive learning experience, the Refugee Camp in My Neighborhood. 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. More here.
- We reflected on the legacy of the GLP as we farewelled Dr. Albert Lim who ran over 220 Colloquia and Think Tanks in his 11 years with the Program.
- We decided to practice what we preach and volunteered for Good On You, a social enterprise that makes it easier for consumers to rate brands on how they perform on labour rights, the environment and animal protection. More here.
What are GLPers up to over the holidays?
Feliz Navidad! Six lucky GLPers are off to Chile in 2017 to take part in academic courses, historical tours and cultural activities in Chile’s capital, Santiago. Chileans kick the new year off with a number of cabalas (good luck traditions). You might like to eat lentils for prosperity or 12 grapes, one for every month of the year, for wealth. For romance, wear yellow underwear inside-out but make sure you turn them back the right way after midnight to ensure your happiness.
메리 크리스마스! GLPers on the Sookmyung Winter Beyond Borders Program in South Korea will be having a much colder January. The only East Asian country to recognise Christmas as a national holiday, Koreans celebrate Christmas with a blue dressed Santa Claus, affectionately known as Santa Haraboji (Grandpa Santa).
Some GLP students are travelling home for the holidays. Of the 3500 GLP students, over 800 are international students, coming to Macquarie from China, India, Vietnam, the Philippines and South Africa. During Winter in China, the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year is marked with particular customs and festivities. Known as Dongzhi, which literally translates to ‘the extreme of winter’, the festival’s origins trace back to the philosophy of yin and yang – the darkness of yin slowly gives way to the light of yang. Dongzhi is celebrated by eating hearty dumplings in the colder North and a sweet dish, tangyuan, in the South.
Please note the GLP office and the University will be closed over the Christmas and New Year period, from Saturday 24 December 2016 to Monday 2 January 2017. We will be back in the office on Tuesday 3 January 2017. We look forward to seeing you in the New Year!
* GLP recognises that gender is defined as the socially constructed characteristics of women and men and is primarily a mode of self-identification. GLP recognises that it varies from society to society, can be changed and includes (but is not limited to) people who identify as agender, as bigender or as non-binary.