Our classes have been held at St. John's College, one of the residential colleges on the St. Lucia Campus of the University of Queensland.

The gathering area outside our classroom.

In late October, students each gave a 20-25 minute presentation on a topic of their choosing for the course on Australian Culture and Society. Here Tom gives instructions for the presentations.

Early morning practice before class.

Immigration policies and multiculturalism in Australia.

Pauline Hanson and the rise of the One Nation political party.

The changing role of the didjeridu.

Traditional and non-traditional medical practices in Australia.

Aboriginal medical practices.

The Australian patient.

The Femocrats.

The grand premier: Prize for the best overall presentation, which included two original poems which are given below. The first is from the point of view of a European settler in the rainforest, the second from the point of view of an Australian.

Poem #1

Mist in the air hangs low,
Hilltops clawing for sky.
No clouds above doth go,
To rain as name implies.

Through the forest I walk, Sprawling canvas of green. Never stopping to talk, Of this strange forest scene.
Lians drooping their loops, Motionless do they swing. A gnarly hangman's noose, Birds oblivious, sing.
The sun on high now sits, This my watch tells me so. But the eyes, as though tricked, Take in only shadow.
Bushfire in the distance, Wispy smoke up the slopes. As figs choke insistent, Their victims, tendrils grope.
Oh, the life in this place, Silent struggle rages. Unfolding, is the race, A book's turning pages.

Poem #2
Enclave of deep green,
In a land brown and dry,
Set high amidst the hills,
To overlook fields far below.

Encased in your embrace I stand, And close my eyes but to hear, The heartbeat and the lifeblood pulse, Every fern and ancient tree.
Towering, woody sentinels immemorial, Their time, how do they pass? By squeaking tree talk, gestures with leaves, And making friends with birds and vines.
Sun on its daily arc, cruises overhead, Slowly trickling through the cover, To pepper the floor with rays of golden brilliance. Kaleidoscope, twirling beneath this scene.
White waterfalls whisk my worries away to valleys where smoke wisps rise. At lookouts, my horizons explode from the view. With night, a sea of blinding stars, I come to see, That this place has rejuvenated my soul.

Hobart & William Smith Colleges and Union College
Partnership for Global Education: Queensland Term 2001