These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: SEPTEMBER

Ok 2015. You can slow down now. But seriously, how quickly has this year flown? Well I guess if it’s just going to keep on flying by, it’s important to have a quick look back on the month that was September 2015!

I’m on a BUS!!! Not sure if anything else can ever beat this one! One minute I’m on a flyer at uni, next minute… a bus! Move over Carrie Bradshaw! I’m coming for you!

Representing UOW on  a BUS!!! Carrie Bradshaw style!
Representing UOW on a BUS!!! Carrie Bradshaw style!

Welcoming Spring with a Sunrise swim. I love the fact that this is a thing! Starting a new season on the right foot by getting up early and watching the sunrise from the ocean! And if you’re with friends, it makes the freezing cold sand almost bearable!

Worth the 5:30am wake up
Worth the 5:30am wake up

Volunteering with OXFAM. For the next few months, I’m lucky enough to be involved with Oxfam, campaigning against Climate Change in support of food security and sustainable development. I’m really excited to be given such an amazing opportunity like this to become more engaged in the community and make a real difference to the world.

Hit Record TV. Firstly, i’s got Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Secondly, Joseph Gordon-Levitt! But seriously this show is soooooooo good! If you love music, art, creativity and just all round amazingness… then this is the show for you!

Glamping on the South Coast. Ok so we were planning on going camping and then we stayed at a friends holiday house so I’m going to call it glamping. It was such an awesome weekend, spending time at the beach, playing drinking games and just spending some great time with some great people!

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ASLA’s S4S Leadership Conference. I was lucky enough to attend a National Leadership conference at the University of Wollongong. I had the best weekend meeting people from all over the country, focusing on what we’re passionate about and what purpose we have. It was absolutely awesome to meet such inspiring people and really focus on what it means to be a leader.

At the S4S Conference doing our army leadership rotations.
At the S4S Conference doing our army leadership rotations.

Just generally enjoying time with great friends. This month I’ve just been so grateful for all of the wonderful people I’ve met and who are in my life right now. Whether it’s watching the Bachelorette, drinking coffee, going crazy in a study room, ordering pizza and just being there for a hug, you’re all amazing and I’m so grateful for all of your support and love.

Some of my fab friends
Some of my fab friends

Well I hope you had a fabulous September and I hope October is splendid.

Voluntourism: Are you really helping?

http://www.travelmole.com/news_feature.php?news_id=2010188&c=setreg&region=2

I recently came across this article and found it incredibly interesting and something worth addressing. Whilst I completely believe in equality, education and helping those less fortunate, it was interesting to read that in some cases, can have negative impacts on individuals and communities that they are trying to help.

“No one is saying volunteering is a bad thing, but people need to be really well informed … and know which skills they bring to the table”

I think responsibility and the main focus of volunteering shoul be at the core of a project. Not advertising things as a package and all the amazing/once in a life time things you get to experience, when the main purpose of your presence is to improve the lives of others. And that improvement should not be short lived. Strategies need to be implemented to guarantee longevity of projects and overall profit to the local community and people that volunteers work with.

I also never quite understood young adults travelling to some countries in Africa to build houses or schools when they have little or no construction skills. Are you really going to benefit a community who basically has nothing by building a ‘house’ when you have no knowledge or experience in doing so?

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Poverty tourism

The article below suggests that before embarking on a volunteering experience overseas, one should first look at themselves and see what skills they really bring to the table. By volunteering in your local community first, you can gain experience and knowledge of what you’re good at doing and improve your skills before taking them overseas.

I have volunteered in my local community in many different ways and would love to do the same one day overseas. I believe my skills and strengths lie in talking, listening, understanding and taking the time to get to know people and would therefore love to teach english overseas. However, I would only do it with a program whose intentions are true to their practises and genuinely want to make a positive difference in the world.

http://www.smh.com.au/it-pro/gap-year-the-pros-and-cons-of-voluntourism-20141220-1282f6.html