Earlier this month, we were pleased to welcome agents from Latino Australia Education to our Griffith campuses. In a one day extreme campus tour, 13 agents from nine countries visited the Gold Coast, Nathan and South Bank campuses. Even our Griffith Mates Oscar and Valezka were excited, missing out on their sleep-ins and getting up bright and early to meet the group in Brisbane.
“I was so excited to see how many countries from Latin America have a connection with Australia and Griffith University,” Oscar later revealed.
The day started with a scenic bus trip down the M1, past blogger Elizabeth’s favourite Gold Coast attractions. Oscar and Valezka were the centre of attention, sharing their Griffith experiences with agents from their home countries. Everyone was excited for the extreme day ahead!
Upon arrival to the sunny Gold Coast campus, the group was met by Professor Sarah Todd, Pro Vice Chancellor (International) for a formal welcome and an enthusiastic introduction to Griffith by Director Heidi Piper. (Even our staff can’t hide their love for Griffith!)
Aussie favourites lamingtons, pavlova and ANZAC biscuits were enjoyed over discussions about Griffith’s Study Abroad and Exchange Programs, while the group took in the views from the new Griffith Health Centre (a must see for visitors to the Gold Coast campus).
Deputy Director, Paul Mullally accompanied the tour group for the day. Paul’s recent arrival to Griffith from Ireland meant he had plenty of stories to share – including his disappointment at his inability to achieve the sunkissed Aussie look, and his excitement at meeting the resident wildlife on campus (more on that later!).
After a quick tour of the Griffith English Language Institute where we tested our fitness by taking the stairs (preparation for the upcoming Global Corporate Challenge?), our bus driver Karen was waiting for us. Before we knew it we were at Nathan campus…
A banquet lunch at G’s Wine Bar was just what we needed! Delicious barramundi, mouthwatering chicken curry, perfectly cooked calamari, fancy salads… we were in for a treat! Our agents had the chance to mix with staff from the various faculties as well as some of our colleagues from Griffith International.
After our bellies were full and we’d shared all our stories (and a few bad jokes about eating barramundi on barra-tuesdi) we were ready for the next part of the tour! We headed to the fourth floor of the award winning Sir Samuel Griffith Centre, where we had an amazing view of the beautiful Toohey Forest from our sustainable castle in the sky.
After learning about Griffith Business School’s sustainability initiatives and some of the amazing achievements and research of Griffith Sciences, a tour of Nathan campus was in order. We were met by two more Griffith Mates, Alberto and Carlos, and after a quick trip through the Campus Heart we were on our way to the Eco Centre. Who knew our very own Paul would be just as excited (if not more?!) than our visitors from Latin America!
Nestled in the heart of Toohey Forest, the Eco Centre features solar energy, ambient ventilation and lighting, rammed earth walls for temperature regulation, rainwater collection and more… But it was these little critters that took centre stage on the day.
This has to be one of my favourite things about the Nathan campus: the amazing flora and fauna we’re surrounded by every day. While I’m yet to personally see a koala (although they can be spotted if you are lucky enough!) I did have this little cutie pose for me just the other week…
Two campuses down, one to go! It was on the bus again to South Bank campus for the grand finale: a showcase of student works from the Queensland College of Art, followed by and drinks and canapés with the glistening Brisbane River and flickering lights of the CBD as our backdrop. At the end of the night, as we posed for a group photo, MBA Director Dr Nick Barter saw his chance! Shouts of “MBA” rang through the Webb Centre– and before we knew it our smiling faces were all over Twitter!
We had a wonderful time getting to know our friends at LAE and showing them the campuses and students we’re so proud of. And how could you not be when they’re so passionate about what they do…
“As a Griffith Mate I’ve had the chance to support people from Latin America to feel confident about their new beginning here in Australia. The best sensation about being a Griffith Mate is when they appreciate your effort and let you know how important it was for them.” – Oscar, Griffith Mate.
A big thank you to LAE for taking the time out of their trip to visit us. Thank you to all the Griffith staff involved in putting the tour together both behind the scenes and in presenting on the day. Last but not least, thanks to all the Griffith Mates and students who shared their experience, and to our photographers Kasun, Shabnam and Paolo.
LAE has 16 years of experience providing free, customised counselling services to people interested in studying in Australia. Find out more: www.latinoaustralia.com