Mind takes shape

Written by Tevita Vuibau for the Fiji Times, 14/9/2013

WITH three weeks done and dusted on this Asia Pacific Journalism Centre Mining, Media and Fellowship program, the breadth of knowledge bequeathed to us is already more than we ever hoped for.

Concepts we once never thought of have started to take shape in the mind of each of the 11 journalists on this fellowship with each now looking for ways to apply them in their own country.

And the University of Queensland’s Centre for Social Responsibility on Mining and the city of Brisbane has been a gracious host to this part of the program.

What about those Wallabies?

Last week, I wrote that I was trying my best to get tickets to the Australia vs South Africa game at Suncorp Stadium, and my search was successful.

And though the Wallabies did not get the result, it was still quite an experience to be at Suncorp Stadium and get a feel of the atmosphere.

OK, who am I kidding?

The pain and disappointment from that game was only compounded by the price of the ticket. And by the fact that I had to bear the cheering of a fervent group of Springbok fans seating right behind me, and they let me know every time the Boks scored.


With the world watching, millions of Australians went to the polls and the Tony Abbot-led coalition was voted into power. And now the new government’s foreign policy in the Pacific and Fiji will be a point of interest.

After conversations with many of the presenters at the APJC and the University of Queensland, it is clear that each camp had their supporters and their doubters. And some even think that the current administration will not make much of a change to their foreign policy.

North Stradbroke Island

As part of our studies with the University of Queensland we were taken on a field trip to North Stradbroke Island and to the University’s Moreton Bay Research centre.

The island has special significance and is home to aboriginal tribes known collectively as the Quandamooka people. The island is also home to large sand mines which have long been a source of conflict for the island.

The journalists were also able to learn about the culture of the Quandamooka people from cultural officer Matt Burns.

We also learnt how to throw boomerangs and I was told by our APJC liaison, herself a woman, that I threw like a girl. Needless to say I only had one go at the Boomerang throwing.

We were also able to visit Brown Lake, a traditional meeting site for aboriginal women on the island.

The name Brown Lake comes from the tea tree leaves that surround the lake and turn it brown when they fall in.

Missing journalist

Trying to keep a group of 11 inquisitive journalists together would drive any sane person straight to the mental asylum.

We all have moments where we wander off away from the group and the latest incident was one we all had a good laugh at.

Every morning and in the afternoon we catch a ferry to and from the university, and sometimes the scenery along the river can be so interesting that we forget our stops.

And this is exactly what happened to one of the journalists with our group, she got so carried away taking in the sights that she missed our stop and ended up riding the ferry all the way to the city.

That was an effective albeit unpleasant way to teach us to stick together on excursions.

In the next two days we will be travelling to a country town called Scone to visit an open cut coal mine which is something that we are all looking forward to.

So until next week – Go Wallabies!