24 May 2007

Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA)

From the Rotary District 9750 MUNA program:

The Model UN Assembly is in its 12th year in Australia and has developed into an important Rotary project, with the aim of fostering an understanding of the workings of the UN and International Understanding and Goodwill.

Rotary International's relationship with the UN is as old as the UN itself. In 1945 there were 45 Rotarians in 29 delegations at the UN Charter Conference in San Francisco.

The UN Association created MUNA, to enable young people in high schools to simulate the great debates of the UN Assemblies. Rotary first conducted MUNA at Winnipeg in Canada. It was introduced to Australia in 1988 and since 1997 culminates in a national competition in Canberra at the Old Parliament House.

Saturday, May 19, on the 7:40 train from Central Station in Sydney, arriving into the Unanderra station in the Wollongong area at 9:30am. As measured in July 2001, 85% of Australians live within 50 kilometers of the coastline - here's one little coastal village we passed on the way.

The MUNA conference was held at the Nan Tien Temple, opened in 1995. It is the largest Buddhist temple in the Southern Hemisphere, and has the best conference facilities MUNA could hope for.

Happy Buddha

Photography is not allowed in the temple, so this is the best I could do for an interior view.

Shoes off to enter.

21 UN member nations represented at this conference; The team representing Russia won for best costumes, they were really outstanding with everything they did.

Clearly, the sombrero on a Mexico team member. We sat across the room from the team portraying the USA, 4 talented kids, with McDonalds cups and Hillary Clinton books for props. The boy in blue wore a holiday outfit complete with Hawaiian shirt, and flip-flops with white socks. The girl next to him wore an I heart NY t-shirt, very nice. The second girl wore a Yankees jersey and the second boy wore a black suit wall-street style, with sunglasses on half the time.

USA Rotary Ambassadorial Scholars with the 1st-place winning USA team from Caringbah High School. Left to right: Julie Janiski, I love New York, Laurent Oliva, Tara McKenzie, On Vacation, Jamie Fumo and Go Yankees.

22 May 2007

Royal Botanic Gardens

from an office tower

on the edge of the business district

if only they sounded as pretty as they look

many many bats in the trees

10 May 2007

Rotary - It's a Hard Life

Many many thanks to Geoff and Joan Pritchard for hosting an evening of Rotary friends. The scholars in District 9750, along with two Swedish GSE team members and others, were treated to dinner and drinks at their home near Milson's Point on the North Shore. This is their view of Luna Park, directly below, and Lavender Bay.

First thing's first: Champagne on the roof of their triplex, while making sure not to fall in the pool.

05 May 2007

Rotary PR

A little Rotary fun:
If you were to use this photo in an ad campaign for Rotary International (by inserting text in the convenient empty space on the right), what would you say? I might even have a little prize for the best idea... :o)

Photo courtesy of Toby Tanzer