Program Semester and Year
January 17th-January 23rd
- We had a few lectures that day; firstly, we had a lecture from an Australian film and media specialist at the University of New South Wales. The main objective of that lecture was to discern the different mainstream media sources and their innate political bias. Our second lecture focused on how the Australian media handles and chooses which stories to run- most notably, how different media outlets portrayed the premier of NSW, Dominic Francis Perrottet, as dressing up in Nazi Uniform.
- After our lectures, most students grabbed a bite to eat and cooled off at Coogee Beach.
- We had independent study time for most of the day. After dinner, we watched “Australian Wars Part III”- The final part of the docu-series about the history of British Colonialism in Australia and how the history of the atrocities committed by the colonists and the British government was covered up.
- Today’s lecture taught us more about Indigenous spirituality, land management, lore, and myth & how ceremonies and information is passed down through the generations. The second lecture focused on European colonization’s impact on Aboriginal Australians- precisely, how the spread of colonialism intentionally and systematically displaced Indigenous people from their homes, and how their culture was forcibly removed from “mainstream” Australian society.
- Later in the day, we received a walking tour from an Indigenous woman who brought us around the city and taught us the ways in which her culture suffers from and also perseveres through the systematic structures of the city. We think it’s fair to say that most of us were incredibly moved and carried her sentiments with us throughout the day and will continue to do so for the remainder of our travels and lives.
We started our day by getting on the bus and heading to the Anzac memorial. For those who don’t know what that is, ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. A Veteran of the Australian Army gave us a tour of the building; during his tenure, his specialty was driving and fixing tanks. A powerful moment that hit home for a lot of us was the 11 o clock moment of silence. A few moments before 11, our guide passed out golden stars with an inscription of a soldier who had given their life in WW1, WWII, or the Vietnam war, and we tossed them into the center of the memorial and watched them fall into place with the other fallen golden stars and soldiers.
After the memorial tour, we walked to the Art Gallery of New South Wales. There, we were given a tour of the gallery in which we largely focused on indigenous works and the oil tank gallery. After the gallery, we had dinner back at the House and watched the film, “The Sapphires”- a spunky film about four aboriginal women traveling to sing for soldiers in the Vietnam war that allowed for some laughs and tender moments as well as educational fun.