A Night At The Museum

This post is written by our guest blogger Joyce Mok , ASC Student Services Coordinator.

Sometimes you stumble on an event which is so rich, it makes you smile days after it is over. Last week, Roxanne and I had the privilege to attend an “after dark” event at the Queensland Museum. A celebratory event showcasing Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islanders’ history, heritage and culture. The night featured talented young artists from Digi Youth Arts (creative space for indigenous youth), panel discussions, poetry, weaving, live music, roving performances, visual art and short films.

The night began with a moving ceremony, welcoming us (guests to this land) through song and dance.

Welcome to country

A Welcome to Country ceremony

With Welcome to Country over, we wandered the rest of this treasure trove of all things old and large. There was a room full of dinosaur bones, beetles and an assortment of deep sea creatures you only hear about in Jules Verne stories! I was in awe of the creative Creator who made these diverse beings.

With access to rooms and exhibits, we stumble upon a young performer. Motivated by her Aboriginal and Jamaican heritage, Aurora  Liddle-Christie uses her art as a platform to explore the experiences of people of colour within Australian society. Her poetry strong, bold, engaging!

As we weave past artifacts and gigantic termite mounds, it was only natural we end our night expanding our skills in weaving. Practiced by both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, each cultural group uses particular materials, techniques, patterns, colours and design based on the plants found in region.  Children are taught at an early age to make baskets for collecting food, nets of fishing and even toys.

Weaving workshop with Torres Strait Islander

Weaving workshop Torres Strait Islander style

I (and Roxanne) certainly enjoyed our night out at the Queensland Museum and look forward in the coming months in sharing experiences like these with the ASCers.

A librarian writes…

This post is written by our guest blogger Stephen Morton, CHC librarian and fountain of knowledge.

G’day. I’m Steve, the College Librarian at Christian Heritage College (CHC) which is located in a leafy suburb of Brisbane which is “down-under” in Australia. Brisbane weather is (generally) warm and sunny with the occasional tropical storm or cyclone thrown in for good measure. There are wide open spaces, and the outback is just over there “beyond the back of Bourke”.

Steve at work

CHC has the pleasure of hosting the Australia Studies Centre through which the CCCU Best Semester program brings students from the States to Australia, so that these students get the opportunity to broaden their horizons through experiencing the cultural and contextual differences found in studying abroad.

Over the last few years, we have asked our American students to let us know where they are from by placing a pin in a map of the States to identify their home town or home college/university. We have enjoyed meeting American students from almost every U.S. state.

ASC students and their hometown

Some of the things that we soooooooooo appreciate about our American visitors are: their thirst to experience life in ‘Straya (Australia); the passion to deepen their experience and understanding of God; the wide range of accents that we get to hear (and try to understand); the way they introduce us locals to our own indigenous cultural heritage that is often overlooked when it comes to teaching and learning in our schools; that they arrive as visitors and leave as friends.

We like to tease them about the wildlife and dangerous creatures that are found in Australia (you should be visualising Steve Irwin and his “Crikey!” antics right now). When we tell our Americans about the “bookworms” that occasionally visit the library, and explain that they are actually green tree snakes or carpet pythons, the looks of horror are a sight to behold (they are non-venomous, though). But, we balance this shock with the wonderful experience of… (hopefully) meeting our resident koala,

A friendly local

our growing family of ducks,

Wood duck family outing

and our wonderful sunsets that are best enjoyed from the bench seat at the front of the CHC library.

CHC sunset over the campus

Then, you realise that coming down-under for your Best Semester at CHC is simply a great opportunity to experience another unique corner of God’s creation.

Come on down and share your life experiences with us, as we share our country and its stories with you.