It has been over a month since the Brisbane Model United Nations (MUN) Conference 2018, but it still feels like yesterday! As someone who does not participate a lot in university activities, I was very hesitant to join at first after hearing about it at a Business Advantage Entrepreneurship session. However, I thought it would enhance my international business acumen as part of my degree, so I went for it! It did exactly that and so, so much more!
When I told people that I would be spending my weekend – both entire days, Saturday and Sunday! – doing university-related things instead of enjoying the sub-Summer temperatures like the rest of Brisbane, many people told me that something must’ve been wrong or I needed the extra credit.
Well, what can I say? The past eight weeks have totally flown by, and looking back on my experience I have come to appreciate how valuable it has been not only to my education, but also to my professional and personal development. The Hansard Scholars’ Programme did indeed provide me with a very in-depth immersion into British Politics, and real world industry experience as a Parliamentary Intern. I was also very lucky to be in the United Kingdom at such a unique and mesmerising time, for the 2017 General Election, following last year’s referendum to leave the European Union. The program was jam-packed with classes, the internship placement, guest lectures, political campaigning, tours and events, a study trip, assignments and an exam. This is of course in addition to the usual sightseeing and experiences necessary when living in London.
Well, the past fortnight has absolutely flown by as I continue to own the experience of being a Hansard Scholar here in London. My schedule has been jam-packed as I continue to work as a parliamentary intern, attend classes, complete assignments, study and live up the London lifestyle. Yes – that does sound like a lot of juggling, and it is! But I wouldn’t have it any other way. It is difficult to believe that I have now finished my last full week in London, with only days to go before I finish on Friday.
It’s been another exciting week to mark the end of Week 5 of the Hansard Scholars Programme. Monday saw myself and my fellow scholars commence our parliamentary internships following the general election held a few weeks back. I was pleased to commence my internship with Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, who serves as the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, and Member of Parliament for Bromsgrove in the Parliament of the United Kingdom. My position sees me work in Mr Sajid’s Westminster office, which assists him in his role as the Member for Bromsgrove.
Week 4 has been another learning-rich and enthusing week with the highlight of pleasant weather for the weekend! Abundant sunlight and heat that reached the 30’s made me feel right at home as I continue to adore everything London has to offer.
As I write this, I am contemplating the thought of concluding Week 3 of the Hansard Scholars’ Programme, and perplexed where all the time seems to be disappearing to? The programme is just flying by and the experience has continued to be both involving and interesting, and so much more. Monday commenced with classes and we were lucky enough to hear from a guest speaker, Lord Norton of Louth, who serves as the Hansard Society’s Director of Studies as well as being a member of the House of Lords in the British Parliament. This session presented us with a deep understanding of Lord Norton’s role and it was a pleasure to learn from his significant political and academic experience. As part of the lecture, Lord Norton discussed elements of the United Kingdom’s Constitution which broadened our knowledge and understanding of this important convention. We also had the opportunity on Monday to partake in a guest lecture delivered by a retired political journalist. This session presented a contrasting view to others we have had in the past, and it was great to draw on the experience of this journalist. It was particularly interesting given how the media plays such a key role in the portrayal of the political environment and election campaigns. It was also fascinating to hear this journalist’s election predictions, as an experienced professional in the field, prior to election day on Thursday.
Week 2 of the Hansard Scholars’ Programme is now done and dusted and what another fantastic week it has been. Whilst it ended on a sad note due to the unfortunate terror attacks in London on Saturday night, it is clear the British are highly resilient people and will continue to live their lives, with extra vigilancy. The Police and Government authorities should be commended for their consistent dedication around the clock to ensure the people of the United Kingdom are kept safe in this difficult time. I was very pleased to see Brisbane City has joined in recognising the victims of this unfortunate attack through the lighting of our iconic Story Bridge.