Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Post Thirty Three: GLP GLP GLP!!!

Like most everything else at Macquarie Uni, I have not been particularly impressed with the GLP here. However, as part of the program we are invited to a prestigious event called the "distinguished speaker series" and since I wanted to have the event on my transcript, and the speaker actually looked like he could be interesting (though in the past, looking interesting and the GLP usually do NOT mean interesting), I thought I would give it a go. But I did not expect much. I was actually pleasantly surprised this time! I had a great time, and the talk was fascinating. Definitely worth the trip.

The Global Leadership Program hosts a 'distinguished speaker' every year to have a talk about some Global Issue or another. This years speaker was Waleed Aly, a well-known Australian figure in both the Islamic sphere and the Australian Media.

drinks beforehand

fellow glp'er Alicia, and guest Angie
(note the purple jacket lurking in the background)

The speaker

Mr. Aly was a very good speaker, relaxed but poised, and comfortable and engaging in just the right ways to win the crowd but keep his talk informative and knowledgeable.He spoke largely about the idea of identity, the ideas of prejudice, and the phasing out of National identity due to more global views and identities, or multiculturalism.

I particularly enjoyed his remarks regarding what he saw as the amazing differences in U.S. culture across America. That is, one can go to a small town in Washington, and then another in Alabama and get very different experiences. He contrasted this with the more homogeneous Australian Nation. Not that Australia is homogeneous and identifiable, but there is more commonality in its people and their differences than the U.S.
This pretty much affirmed my experiences in my travels around Australia, I thought I was being stereotypical when I thought of Australians as all belonging to one big town in a sense. Again, not that I saw Australians as 'the same' all over, just they are similar in the same ways and differ in the same ways across Australia. However, it was nice to see that my views and observations had not been entirely without merit.

Sydney Town Hall
Lawrence University Memorial Chapel
Also, fun fact, the Sydney Town Hall (the building we were in) room that we went to the lecture in was VERY similar to the Lawrence Chapel!!! Same balcony, stage, and seating design, even had an organ in the front! Just further affirming that I was supposed to come to this, gave good reason for the thing.

It was a great way to conclude my GLP here. Though I do have one more optional session on Ethical Living, I am pretty much done, and this talk was a fun way to end.


  1. Hi! I'm Priya from Singapore. It's really nice to read a blog about Macquarie University, as I will be joining the Uni this July 2011, to start my postgraduate course in Professional Accounting :) Your blog has been really informative for me. I got an accommodation in the MQU Village. Thanks for your blog as I found a lot of information about life in MQU. Keep posting. :)

  2. Thanks for the post Priya! I am glad you find it informational, is there anything in particular you would like to know about?

    I am just curious, how did you find me?


  3. Love that purple jacket, lurking in the background.