Newbie in Brisbane

Brisbane welcomed me with heavy rain in June 2017. Growing up in a hot and humid region, Brisbane winter season made me worried. I don’t know what other people’s experiences are, but when I first arrived at Brisbane airport, my lips cracked and bled because the weather was cold and the wind hit me with no mercy. Thanks to QUT airport pick-up service I arrived safely at Iglu Kelvin Grove – Student Accommodation. I chose Iglu as my first accommodation because it was on the QUT Home website.

Iglu Kelvin Grove – Brisbane Student Accommodation

I couldn’t bear the cold and at the same time being lonely, but I had no idea who I should ask for help. I was caught up in a mix feelings that lead me to a very bad mood, until I got a message from an acquaintance.

Portrait picture of my heroine (May)

May knew that I had arrived and she was sure that I would need some help due to her past experience when she first studied abroad. May and her boyfriend took me to Westfield Chermside to buy a heater and other necessities. Without that heater I think I couldn’t make it through the night because of the cold weather. Once again, thank you May for being my heroine.

I spent nearly an entire day in both QUT campuses to memorise the map (Haha, How nerdy am I?), so I would not be running around asking for directions on orientation day.

The Cube in P Block caught my attention.

Miranda – on the left. We did not know that we come from the same country until Iglu’s staff introduced us. Surprisingly, Miranda also took the same course with me in QUTIC

Miranda and I had a great afternoon at South Bank. We were watching the sunset while drinking milk tea. I’ve heard, some people think Brisbane is boring even before getting here. Some of my friends tried to convince me to study at other majors cities, but the beauty of Brisbane touched me. Indeed, Brisbane is not very big compared to other cities, however it has everything I need.

I did not know this building is a casino until one of my friends took me for dinner in the casino’s restaurant .

View from Victoria Bridge

On the next day, I got in contact with a friend. He is a friend from high school best friend’s friend in middle school (I know, the connection sounds so complicated) , and he has lived here for a very long time.

Lyo – on the right

First, Lyo introduced me the shuttle bus from Kelvin Grove Campus to Garden Point Campus. From there we walked along Brisbane River from the Goodwill Bridge to the Story Bridge. Brisbane’s scenery along the river was calm and peaceful. It made me feel very welcomed.

Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park

At the end of the day, I knew a lot more about Brisbane and I feel so blessed to receive all the help from May, Miranda, and Lyo.

Checking out GOMA’s latest exhibition

 

 “I’m just another dot in the world”

— Yayoi Kusama

 

 

From now until 11 February 2018, Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) showcase the artwork of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. Among them, the mirror room and the obliteration room are two of her most famous masterpieces.

Yayoi was born in Japan into an affluent family and she developed an interest for art at a young age. However, she didn’t get along well with her parents and refused for her life goal to be marrying a rich man. Being diagnosed as mentally unstable, her doctor suggested her to go to New York where she worked long hours and made her name well-known in the art world. Due to illness, she eventually returned Tokyo, Japan and chose to live in a mental institution and kept working in a studio nearby until this day.

It wasn’t until I got home from seeing the exhibition with friends that I started doing a little bit research about this artist. Before then, I only knew that Yayoi was a contemporary artist incorporating polka dots into her work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • The Mirror Room

If you ask me to use one word to summarize my experience with the mirror room, I would say “infinity”. While polka dots were an important element in most of her artwork, she took it to the next level in the mirror room where you were immersed into darkness and infinite life and feel a sense of happiness as well as smallness in the endless space.

Walked into the mirror room and feel myself a part of it

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following is another mirror room where you see it as an observer through a hole. The lights change and all you see is infinity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • The Obliteration Room

This is an interactive project of Yayoi where the whole room was completely white at the beginning. Visitors were handed a sheet of stickers and they can go in and put it anywhere they want.

‘Yayoi Kusama: Look Now, See Forever’ Picture from the Internet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By the time I visited the exhibition, the room has already transformed from the minimalist style into an explosion of color, with thousands of stickers over pretty much every available surface.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The process is fun for me as a participant who has little art background. But now looking back, I can related to what Yayoi said:”I’m just another dot”. The stickers that I put on might eventually be covered by others. I’m colorful yet so small in this big world.

 

Even though I’m not a huge art fan, learning Yayoi’s story of how her conquered mental illness, made a mark in a foreign country by hard work and stayed creative at an old age made me feel really touched.

Not only did I see a sense of struggle, explosion and perseverance, I also admire Yayoi as a person who never give up and is brave enough to pursue her own dreams in spite of all the  hardship!

Experience QUT Day

Experience QUT Day is an event organised for international Year 11 and 12 students studying  in Australia. Students can get an insight of what it is like to study at QUT and also network with other high school students.

Even though it was raining, about 70 students showed up to the event, some coming all the way from Gold Coast and Cairns.

I was helping with registration and was happy to see so many young faces looking forward to university life.

The event started with a presentation by Jimi Bursaw from Leadership, Development and Innovation Program on “Future of Uni, Work and You”.

Most of the students were very engaged with the presentation and which made students think about why university is important to them.

The most exciting part of the event was the Experience QUT Team Challenge. Students formed teams and then went to different stations hosted by faculties as part of the challenge. Each faculty representative was responsible for designing challenges and gave teams feedback on their performance. It was simply amazing to see students from different high schools form into groups and develop friendship.

This team challenge was hosted by QUT Science and Engineering faculty. Students learnt about simple programming and how to control a robot to take a certain route in order to finish the game.To be honest, it was not a simple task . Students needed to learn the basic programming quickly in order to finish the task. Team work  and being efficient was really important.

After almost 2-hour of the team challenge, winners and runner-ups were announced with different prizes. Students were also given the time to talk to student ambassadors about the courses and their study experience at QUT.

It made me think of myself in high school, although I wasn’t as active in seeking tips for starting uni as those young and passionate high school students. I did hope to have a chance to talk to seniors about their experience at QUT, so that I could know better what to expect. Experience QUT Day was indeed a golden chance for high school students to find out more about uni life. Good on you for attending!

2017 Dragon Boat Regatta

Several weeks ago, I received an email sent out by QUT Business Faculty where they are looking for paddlers to join 2017 Dragon Boat Regatta representing the Business school. I always wanted to do some kayaking or canoeing on Brisbane River, therefore I joined straight away.

Photo from Yousef F. Kurashi Art & Photography

It turns out to be one of the most exciting events that I have ever participated since the beginning of my university life.

Dragon Boat Regatta actually has its roots in ancient China. Qu Yuan, a Chinese poet known for his patriotism and contributions to classical poetry committed suicide due to extreme despair to the situation of politics back then. In order to keep fish and evil spirits away from his body, villagers beat drums and splashed water with their paddles on dragon boat.

Photo from Yousef F. Kurashi Art & Photography

After three training sessions with Te Waka Dragons, the big day finally came. The final race was hosted on Brisbane River in South Bank.

On the day, there are more than 15 teams. The race was very competitive as all of the team devoted 100% to the race. For us, although we did not get to the finals, we can say at least we tried and had the best fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are thinking about joining a QUT Flagship event and meet new people while getting more fit, definitely join next year’s Dragon Boat Regatta!

Day Trip to Mt Cootha

Finally, my exam week came to an end and now it is time to have a bit of fun!

I had a friend coming from Melbourne to visit me straight after exam and we just did a day trip to Mt Cootha which turned out to be quite successful.

Here are three reasons why Mt Cootha is a perfect place for a day trip:

1.Botanic Gardens is located right at the foot of the mountain

A highly recommended way to enjoy Mt Cootha is to take a bus to the Botanic Gardens and then hike up to the summit after a nice tour at the beautiful gardens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It took me around one hour to enjoy the whole Botanic Gardens. Some of the highlights include: Tropical dome, Japanese garden, Bonsai exhibition and a lake with blooming lotus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. It’s a nice work-out all the way up to the mountain

The trail we took all the way up to the summit is called crocodile trail which is perfect for a casual hike. Along the way, you will see a beautiful lake and pretty much stay cool as the trees on both sides are tall and leafy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.The view at the top of the mountain is amazing

My friend agreed with me that the view overlooking the whole Brisbane city area is amazing and breath-taking. The fun thing about hiking is that you will always get to see a great view after making some effort.

There are two cafes on the summit but you can also choose to have a picnic there if you want to have a day trip on a budget. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My day ended with a nice picnic along with the gentle breeze at the mountain top. If you go there next time, please have fun and take lots of pictures!

 

International student interview: Riley Jia Xin Lim

Image: QUT international student, Riley Jia Xin Lim. Image taken at Southbank, Brisbane.

Where are you from?

  • Malaysia

How long have you been in Brisbane?

  • Since June 2015

What course are you studying?

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in Film, Television and New Media Production

How do you find being a part of QUT?

  • It’s great to be immersed in the multicultural atmosphere in QUT and also Brisbane which offers a lot of opportunities for international students to experience different cultural events organised by different clubs around the campus.

What do you like to do during your leisure time?

  • Watching movies, TV series and gaming.

What is your favorite quote?

  • You never try, you never know.

CityHopper: Free Ferry Service in Brisbane

Did you know that there is a free ferry service in Brisbane? Yes, you can use a free ferry service, which name is CityHopper, if you want to travel along the Brisbane River for free. This is the only free inner-city ferry service in Brisbane. This ferry can be easily spotted by its red and white colour.

CityHopper

Read more

ISAQ Welcoming Party

ISAQ (Indonesian Student Association of QUT) is an association for Indonesian students who study at QUT. ISAQ is also open to all other QUT students who have interests with Indonesia. This association holds events regularly.

Read more

Golden Koala Chinese Film Festival in Brisbane

The Golden Koala Chinese Film Festival is organised by a non-for-profit organisation aiming at promoting Chinese films and boosting cultural exchange. It is held annually in major Australian cities during the Chinese Spring Festival.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This year in Brisbane, Australian Chinese Youth Association hosted this event and there were 6 films open to public in Griffith Film School. I was very excited to hear about this event and went to see the movies 2 days in a row.

 

 

 

 

 

One the first day of the film festival, The Song of Cotton team came to meet and greet the audience. Before the screening of the movie, the director also held a workshop on film-making for all the film lovers.

The films showed during the festival covered a range of genres and explores different social problems. The Song of Cottons talks about the ageing of Mr. Sheng, the story between him and his young nanny. The Summer Is Gone shows the audience the struggle a family faced when China ended its state-owned company period and lots of companies became private owned and stable jobs no longer existed.

Film The Summer Is Gone

Black and White Film

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For those Chinese Film fans, don’t miss out this event next year!

Happy New Year!

I love the festive season. I went to the lighting of Christmas tree at King George Square in Brisbane city with friends.

Before they started the lighting of the Christmas tree, there were some Christmas carols singing performances on the stage!

Finally Santa Claus was coming right before the moment of lighting up the Christmas tree!

Brisbane City Hall and the Christmas tree with the confetti. The moment when the lighting of Christmas tree was on like magical. It was so pretty!

Brisbane City is donned with the Christmas decorations. I can feel the Christmas spirit while walking around Brisbane City.

Brisbane is so happening and fun during this festive season. There were also many other free activities and events for the whole family happening at Brisbane. You can easily find yourself occupied if you are keen.

Wish everyone a Happy New Year!