Welcome to this new-look edition of Alumni News! We're excited to present this first ever all-online newsletter. A new system which will bring you the latest news from alumni and the House on a quarterly basis. We’d love your feedback on this edition and any improvements which you might have — it is something of a work in progress and we expect that any bugs will be ironed out in future editions.
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It’s been a busy year for SUIHAA so far. Beginning with an incredibly successful O-Week and Calendarfest, the year was punctuated by a host of new initiatives, including the first ever SUIHAA Classical Music Soiree, held in March, the return of regular debates and sporting fixtures between SUIHAA and IHMA. More recently, we celebrated Foundation Day at the end of Semester 1 with a lovely dinner and keynote address delivered by Nic Stuart, recipient of the Alumni Award for Achievement, who reflected fondly on his time in the House. The first ever SUIHAA Treasure Hunt was held as an O-Week activity for new residents in Semester 2 and involved residents competing in teams to find out little-known facts about the House and its history. Check out the website (above) for the finer details.
In events coming up, our Annual General Meeting will be held on Saturday 21st September commencing at 2:00pm and will be followed by refreshments and drinks in the Wool Room. If you’re in Sydney, come along and catch up with us! If not — please remember to update your details and stay in touch!
IH Resident 2007-11
The House has certainly had a busy period since the 45th anniversary in April 2012. We have welcomed many new residents/alumni entering the House this year with a small number to come this July. I have to state from the outset that overall the House has had a very smooth period mainly due to the excellent character of our residents and the dedication and hard work of our IHMA Committee. It never ceases to amaze me how much the residents put into the IH community and how the Passing of the Light continues from group to group without fail.
I would like to acknowledge the IH Staff and thank them for their resilience and patience during a difficult time with the implementation of a change management plan late in 2012, albeit in a reduced scope than first anticipated. The staff managed to ensure that our services and support to its resident community continued without interruption despite the loss of some staff.
The SUIHAA Committee has worked tirelessly to ensure the association continues to connect our alumni globally. The Committee have continued the traditions that residents in the past have experienced, namely the Calendarfest, and introduced some new events like the resident music soirée and alumni reunion.
I am pleased to announce that the House is growing its scholarship endowments and in May 2013 the House awarded the inaugural Cormack Rowlands Award to Tiffanie Sugianto, a resident from Indonesia and current Chairperson of IHMA. Tiffanie will carry out her project to build a computer lab in an orphanage in Manufui, West Timor, to help the children gain skills which will assist them to gain employment in the future. I am also delighted to report that we received a Davis Projects for Peace grant of US$10,000 which was awarded to one of our residents, Ladu Boyo II from South Sudan, for his project to building a girls dormitory in Kabe Secondary School in Central Equatoria State, South Sudan. This is the fourth project our residents have carried out in five years under this wonderful program.
The House, in conjunction, with SUIHAA is continuing to raise funds for The Graeme de Graaff Fund. We have currently raised 60% of the required funds to make it a full residential scholarship. I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who have contributed to this fund and encourage alumni and friends of the House to help us reach our goal of $300,000 in the very near future.
International Houses Worldwide Inc. (IHWW) is going from strength to strength and I had the pleasure of attending the 80th anniversary weekend of events at I-House Chicago in which they dedicated their lounge as the Rockefeller Lounge. This was followed by the IHWW conference hosted by I-House New York. It was an honour to step foot into such an historic building and one which is considered to be the founding community of I-Houses worldwide. Their buildings are stately and welcoming, and the House has a great sense of history. It was certainly the highlight of my trip to the US to be part of this conference at I-House New York. Delegates also attended the 9/11 memorial site which was a very moving experience. The memorial is a wonderful dedication to the many people from around the world who lost their lives on that faithful day. Twelve out of the sixteen Heads of International Houses, which are members of IHWW, attended the conference and all are dedicated to upholding what Harry Edmonds dreamed of back in the beginning — to gather all nations for the purpose of furthering peace and understanding through the fellowship of living together — peace through contact.
I look forward to meeting with IH alumni at the next reunion and invite you to visit the House at any time. On behalf of the Council and the Residents, I would like to thank our alumni for their continued support to the House.
Director, International House, The University of Sydney
New residents were welcomed to the House and the alumni association by the traditional Calandarfest at O-week. Over 80 calendars were donated by alumni from around the world which were snapped up quickly by new residents. Some residents were lucky enough to find a letter from the calendar donor inside the calendar welcoming them to the House and the alumni association. Two residents were surprised with special calendars donated to them by former residents of their rooms. After the calendars were handed out, residents were treated to dessert, featuring the SUIHAA sundae bar and 2 cakes donated by Joan Rowlands, one of which was baked by SUIHAA committee member Julia Krattli as charity night auction piece bought by Joan last year.
Friday 7 June 2013
Alumni, staff and residents celebrated the foundation of the house over 45 years ago with a celebratory dinner and a pre-dinner speech by one of our own alumni, journalist and author Nic Stuart. Nic gave a heartfelt, funny and thoughtful speech to the audience outlining the role International House had in his life. There was advice to the current residents to study hard but not to the exclusion of having a great deal of fun and a moving explanation of his recovery from a terrible car accident which left him with terrible physical injuries and also a brain injury. He then went on to speak about how that accident changed his life in ways that he could not imagine, most of them positive. It was a terrific way to celebrate the founding of the House and our heartfelt thanks to Nic and his wife Catherine McGrath for joining us.
This was the last formal dinner of the year and those residents leaving the House at the end of semester were farewelled. The residents continued to celebrate the beginning of stuvac with a party in the WoolRoom.
Nic Stuart was a resident of the House from 19181 to 1983, studying Arts and Law. He was Chairperson of IHMA during his final year in the House and was later elected as SUIHAA President in 1986. He received a Master of Arts, majoring in was studies from King’s College London in 1984 and returned to Sydney where he joined the ABC in 1985. Nic worked in Radio News, ABC Radio Current Affairs, and ABC TV, and was the ABC’s Indochina correspondent before returning to Australia after a severe car accident. In 1998 Nic was presented with the Alumni Award for Achievement for his work in furthering international understanding through his insightful reporting. Today Nic is a regular columnist for the Canberra Times, and has written a trilogy of critically acclaimed books analysing Labor and politics: Kevin Rudd: an unauthorised political biography; What Goes Up: behind the 2007 election; and Rudd’s Way: November 2007–June 2010 (all published by Scribe). He is married to Catherine McGrath, the political editor of Australia Network. They live in Canberra and have three children: Anastasia, Eugenia, and Maximilian.
SUIHAA Functions Officer
“What do chemical engineers actually do?” is a question I've been asked many times before. Although it sounds like a simple question for a chemical engineering student, I often found it hard to give a definitive answer. Luckily the Graeme de Graff scholarship took me on the 2012 annual Melbourne industry trip for third year chemical engineering students organised by the Sydney University Chemical Engineering Society. I went in hope of finding an answer.
The first day of the trip took us to the Clayton CSIRO where we observed the latest technology in areas such as polymer engineering and carbon nanotube science. From there we moved on to the Australian Synchrotron, the largest free standing piece of scientific equipment in the southern hemisphere. The particle accelerator is used to produce high intensity beams of light from the x-ray range to the Infrared range which are used by various research groups from around the country and overseas to conduct research into physics, chemistry and medicine.
The next day we headed out on a tour of the Carlton Brewery and got a close up look at the different production processes, the cleaning process and saw the robotic bottling facility. A specialty tour took us behind the scenes giving us a look at the quality testing facilities and the pilot plant used for testing new products. We then finished the day with a tour of CSL Biotherapies where whole blood is separated to make specialty blood products and medicines. As parts of the plant were down for maintenance we got a behind the scenes look at some sections of the plant normally off-limits to ensure cleanliness.
Our final day we visited Envirotank who produce fibreglass tanks for chemical storage that are sent to places all around Australia. We watched the mesmerising production of fibreglass tanks and saw firsthand the testing procedures used to ensure the tanks will contain their often dangerous and flammable contents safely.
The trip allowed me to see a variety of chemical engineers in action and showed the variety of jobs they do. I saw chemical engineers working in a variety of industries working in a number of roles, whether it is in a control room, a lab, an industrial site or an office. It really makes apparent the wide range of places that chemical engineering can take you. I also got to see the theory behind chemical engineering finally put into practice, allowing me to see how the basic set of skills learnt at university applied to so many industries. Without taking engineering studies out of the class room it is hard to understand the magnitude of scale that some of these chemical processes have, seeing a few sites in real life really gives this some context.
So if you ask me now “what do chemical engineers do?” I might be able to give a slightly more enlightened answer and give some examples of what chemical engineers actually do, however at the same time my answer may be even less definitive than before, because I know from personal experience now that the possibilities are endless.
Recipient of Graeme de Graff Scholarship in Semester 1, 2013
IH Resident 2010-12
On April 12th 2013 at The Square, The University of Sydney, a new tradition had begun. The International House outdoor soccer team, representing IHMA, hosted a soccer match against a team comprising of ex-residents, representing SUIHAA. It was a huge success. 15 ex-residents played for the SUIHAA team, over 20 current residents participated for the IHMA team and many more spectators arrived to witness the tense and exciting match.
The rain earlier in the week ensured the game was played in wet, greasy conditions. But that didn't damper the spirits of the players or spectators that arrived. Thomas Gatling (fiancée of Deputy Director Katy Cuthbert) was the referee. Luckily the rain stayed away on the day of the match which saw players of previous IH soccer teams challenge themselves against the current IH outdoor soccer team.
It was current resident Shun Yang Ch’ng who scored the first ever goal in a SUIHAA v IHMA fixture, heading the ball in from a nicely timed cross into the box. Shortly after, Nikhil Mishra scored a screamer — a right-footed shot from outside the box, sailing over the goalkeeper's head before dipping into the goal, to give IHMA a 2-0 advantage.
SUIHAA desperately needed to find some inspiration to get back into the match, which they found through Gianpaolo De Base, heading the ball into the goal a few minutes before half-time, leaving the scores at 2-1 to IHMA at the half-time break.
The second half saw SUIHAA increase their intensity to avoid a repeat of the slow start in the first half. After many close chances and shots on goal, it was Bruce Park who scored the equaliser for the SUIHAA team. The rest of the second half was a tense affair as both sides worked hard for the elusive winning goal. A few shots on goal and desperate goalkeeper saves later from both sides left the inaugural SUIHAA v IHMA soccer match game finish with a 2-all draw. With no time left to play extra-time the result remained.
With the match ending in a draw, the players can't wait long enough for a rematch. If you're interested in playing for the SUIHAA team next year, contact Farhan Ahammed via firstname.lastname@example.org. Further details will be announced soon.
SUIHAA Communications Officer
IH Resident 2008-11
As a recipient of the Graeme de Graff Scholarship for Semester 2 2012, I had the privilege of attending two amazing week long congresses that happen every year in the space industry. My passion for space has always been central to the things I’ve done from a very early age. My first ever memory in my life was staring at the desert sky of Dubai, looking at Orion ‘The Hunter’ constellation and getting a feeling of awe that was overwhelming. The Congresses I attended in September and October 2012 brought me back to that moment when I was a child and reminded me once again why I love what I do and would go through the stress, anxiety and hardships to be the best in the field. The congresses I attended were the Space Generation Congress (SGC) and (IAC) both in Naples, Italy.
Naples has had a long tradition in the aeronautical and astronautics industry. This and a dedication to Professor Luigi Napolitano are what inspired the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) to hold it in Naples last year. The SGC is a congress held by and for, top university students and young professionals in the space industry, with a passion for space who are selected from among applicants in the Space Generation network internationally. With SGC, the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) aims to hone and promote the voice of the next generation of space sector leaders on the topic of international space development. SGC is endorsed by the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs. This year the congress dealt with space policy topics in industry, agency, society, exploration and earth observation. My topic was on society where the group I worked with tried coming up with a solution to using Space for Humanitarian Relief, more specifically, conflict resolution. We used a Systems-of-Systems approach and crowd-sourcing as a way to identify and label a conflict area. We eventually concluded with setting up an independent body that liaised with all parties/stakeholders in a conflict scenario that would identify, coordinate and implement a required strategy.
The IAC was the finale where, students, professionals young and old could meet and greet with the best and brightest in the industry. Topics in space not only included engineering and space sciences but also in space law, space medicine, space policy, entrepreneurship, economics all of which I and other students realised were essential elements for the engineering and science to work. Opportunities were made available where we met astronauts and science celebrities. We mingled with the cream of the crop only to add fuel to our fire when it came to space. It was truly an international experience and for someone to represent and come from International House, living in an inter-cultural community only reminded me of how lucky I was coming from such a society. Everything I learnt at International House with respect to other cultures and having the right rapport was realised in this atmosphere.
The SGC and IAC were incredible experiences - something I will not forget and make my way to again. The friends and colleagues I made and met were truly invaluable. The encounter only made me more passionate and work harder hoping that I will one day be able to build real space ships and eventually make my mark in changing the world.
Recipient of Graeme de Graff Scholarship in Semester 2, 2012
IH Resident 2008-13
As an undergraduate student, I lived in International House at Sydney University with 200 students from Australia and all over the world. I was taken by the experience of the exchange students, who had travelled far from home to experience living and studying in another country. The mission of the house was to “nurture a resident community of scholars who are committed to the value of international understanding and fellowship” was inspirational, and I felt enriched living in such a diverse community. But I noticed at the time that cultural differences were difficult to fully conquer, and one of the primary reasons for this was the barrier of language. In our globalizing world, the ability to communicate fluidly and efficiently is the most important skill in cross-cultural interactions.
While I wasn’t able to go on exchange myself in undergraduate, I entered my doctorate degree with the intention of spending some amount of time studying overseas. I started research in natural language processing — teaching computers to understand human languages — and I was intrigued at the potential for computers to help open up knowledge and understanding across the world. I had heard of the Fulbright program, but hadn’t seriously considered it until halfway through my first year, when each of these threads began to come together. The centre of excellence in my field are the great computer science universities of the United States, and Fulbright could help me achieve new personal and professional goals. I submitted my application and was awarded one of twenty-five Australia Fulbright scholarships in 2012. I would be funded to spend a full year in the US.
Before I left Australia, I had a sense of just how prestigious the Fulbright program is. But it was only when I arrived in the US that I realised just how highly regarded the program is there. Practically everyone I met knew of Fulbright and held it in high esteem. Through the Fulbright alumni groups in the US and the enrichment seminar, I have met hundreds of incredible people from all over the world from all walks of life. I consider it a grand privilege to estimated similarly to these individuals, and I also feel a responsibility to repay the faith that Fulbright has placed in me. Fulbright is an opportunity that goes beyond monetary resources. It has allowed me to join a worldwide family that will give me more opportunities in the future. This being said, I would have appreciated more frequent Fulbright events, particularly when I first arrived in the US. As a visiting student researcher, I did not have the social network from classwork and degree programs, and would have appreciated more focused efforts to connect other visiting Fulbright researchers in a similar situation.
The year I spent at UC Berkeley was eye opening. Graduate school in the United States is a completely different experience from in Australia in many ways. The rigour and intensity of the program is simply outstanding; only the very top applicants are admitted, and each one spends over a half-decade in high-quality coursework and innovative research. It’s usually twice as long as Australian graduate students spend and the difference is telling. Students typically come in better prepared due to the arduous admissions process, and often have a good idea of what they are interested in and want to do. Their skills are sharpened through two years of coursework, giving them a broad intellectual foundation before the concentration in a thesis topic. The three to four year PhD in Australia is effectively missing a year and a half of the academic training that American students undergo. I now have a much greater appreciation for the role of the lengthy doctorate, and how it builds the best graduates in the world.
Whilst I was in the United States I visited cities and towns across 11 states, including many of the big cities, but also more far flung destinations. Each and every state was different, making the country seem like a conglomeration of many independent, diverse countries. Berkeley and San Francisco are very similar in mindset, climate, and disposition to Australia, and are definitely not representative of the US as a whole. I saw the first Starbucks in Seattle, witnessed urban decay in action in Detroit, and marvelled at the metropolis of New York City. I walked through the early days of the independence movement in Boston, and enjoyed the stunning beauty of the lake and mountains in Salt Lake City. I beheld the glittering capitol in Washington DC, the ravages of war at Pearl Harbour, and the stunning seaside drive down Highway 1 California. The United States is an incredibly beautiful country, wild and diverse, but complicated and tragic too. I saw all of these facets and more in my travels.
I learned much about the American people and their outlook, the way they see themselves in the world. The US is often maligned and judged by domestic and international observers. The country’s long history of active diplomacy, its status as the western world’s superpower, and the deep, riven conflicts and inequalities in the country lend themselves to easy insult. Coming from a country where big government is par for the course, the overwhelming distrust of government in the US is difficult to understand. In its place, trust is placed in the individual, the enterprisers, and the entrepreneurs. Much is made of the abysmal state of many US Government programs to support those who have fallen on hard times. But less is said about the enormous non-profit sector that operates in its place, and the burning desire of many individuals who work to make the plight of others better. Less is said about the overwhelming propensity for philanthropy that pervades the US, the compulsion to give back to one’s alma mater, or charity of choice. So much is said about the US without fully understanding the way that the country functions, and I feel that now, I understand this better than ever before.
That being said, there is much to be dismayed about in the modern US. Inequality is stark, and nowhere is this more obvious than in San Francisco. The resurging technology boom has made the city an incredibly expensive place to live whilst driving away many of the people who historically contributed to the city’s reputation as an artsy and progressive beacon. There are homeless out on the streets at every corner, surrounded by two bedroom apartments renting for at least $5000 a month. It is almost inconceivable that the richest nation in the world has such obvious problems of poverty; that it cannot feed, clothe, and house all of its people.
Overall, my Fulbright experience was special and meaningful. It was a challenging year, as any first year spent in a different country always is. I would advise potential applicants to approach Fulbright with the view of coming back a different person. Treating Fulbright just as a time where you work elsewhere in the world means that you miss out on many of the benefits, and you should be ready to embrace different cultures, views, and experiences. Fulbright has greatly expanded my horizons and given me new perspectives on my own research work and the United States as a country. It is rare opportunity to live in another country for a year, and be admitted to a prestigious group of extraordinary international scholars. I hope that I can live up to this in the years to come.
Recipient of Australian Fulbright Scholarship, 2012
SUIHAA Communications Officer
IH Resident 2007-09
IH Sydney is part of a loose worldwide network of International Houses. Last year I spent a nine-month Fulbright exchange in the United States, and decided to experience life in another international house half a world away in Berkeley, California. I remembered my time in the Sydney house very fondly, and hoped that the Berkeley experience would be similarly fulfilling.
I-House Berkeley was built in 1930, and it was the second International House constructed. It was funded by magnate John D. Rockefeller and spearheaded by Harry Edmonds, the founder of the wider International House movement. Edmonds had casually bid good morning to a young Chinese student in New York, and the astonished student professed to him that no one had spoken to him in three weeks he had been in the city. Inspired by the experience, Edmonds convinced Rockefeller to support his vision to improve the lives of international students, leading to the establishment of the first House in New York. I-House Berkeley soon followed, and living there is really like taking a step into history; old newspapers and photos from throughout the 82-year life of the House decorate the walls, and much of the fit and finish is distinguished wood. There are 600 residents in the house, and as per the usual American practice, all undergraduate students live in twin share rooms. Graduate students and visiting scholars typically choose to live in the single rooms.
The House is perched at the top of a gentle hill at the east edge of UC Berkeley. The higher floors have spectacular views over the San Francisco Bay; the Golden Gate Bridge can be seen in the distance on a clear day, while San Francisco, Oakland, and the Bay itself are also clearly visible. The rest of the university stretches west from the House, with no part of it more than a 20-minute walk away. Just behind I-House is California Memorial Stadium, the enormous 72,000-seat home of Berkeley’s college football team. My arrival in late 2012 coincided with the completion of stadium reconstruction, and I had the pleasure of attending the first game played in the new stadium. College football is a religion in the United States; the stadium was packed to the rafters, overflowing with noise and excitement for the new season. Sadly, the California Golden Bears lost their first game, and continued to play poorly for the rest of the year, but I hope that better times are around the corner with the new facilities available on campus.
I-House Berkeley is fully catered, though each resident has a stipulated meal allowance. The allowance expects that residents will only eat approximately 2 out of 3 daily meals in the dining hall per semester; as the months roll by, those people with excess meals (I was one of these, with roughly 30 meals left at the end of each semester) readily come to the assistance of those who have run out. The food is as good as any other college environment I’ve visited, and there is substantial variety thanks to the economies of scale from having 600 residents. Three hot meals are served each day, with multiple options always available. Regionally themed dinners and lunches cropping up on international holidays such as Diwali, Chinese New Year, and St. Patrick’s Day. On top of this, there’s a separate café in the House as well, operated by an external agency. It’s useful for when you’ve missed dinner, or need something outside of the hours that the dining hall is open. All residents get nearly $150 of free café credit each semester, which many people spend on their daily coffee. Of course, American food has a certain reputation, and the sugary array of cereals, breads, and soft drinks in the dining hall were a testament to this. Nonetheless, a fresh salad bar and less unhealthy alternatives to frosted raisin bran and cinnamon bread were always available. I certainly found no real reason to complain over the quality of the catering.
The rest of the facilities are similar to those in IH Sydney. There are six residential floors, all of which are co-educational aside from the female-only eighth floor. There are separate male and female bathrooms on each floor, and the female bathrooms are locked, with keys only issued to female residents. The bathrooms are actually very recently renovated, and are very pleasant to use with new fixtures and spacious room. The House has music rooms, a large Great Hall filled with comfy couches and a television, a library, various function rooms, a large auditorium — all the things you might come to expect from such a place. But the overall residential experience is subtly different in many ways.
200 residents live in IH Sydney, meaning that it is possible to meet and get to know every single other resident. There’s a special kind of community feeling that develops in this sort of scenario, one that I think is impossible to create with 600 residents in a single building; it isn’t even possible to fit everyone in the Dining Hall at once! I found that I was meeting new people every day, every week, up until the day that I left the House. I found myself wishing that there were some more granular level of organization — perhaps a division into something akin to houses at school. That way, residents living in sub-wings of the building could get to better know one another.
The Berkeley International Office is housed within the building (very convenient for many residents!), and the House has an Events office and a constant flow of external events through the function rooms. This has the unfortunate side effect that many of the House’s public areas are off limits to residents on a rotating basis, depending on whether they have been booked for external events. There are literally hundreds of people who have no affiliation with the House wandering through each and every day. It’s somewhat intrusive, somewhat akin to the feeling that strangers are always walking through your own home. At Sydney, I never felt this sort of intrusion, and it made the place feel more homely.
The large size of the House manifests itself in other ways. There’s no housekeeping service; you rent towels and linen for each semester from the Resident Support Center. The Center also has vacuums for loan to clean your room, appliances like fridges to rent for the semester, and various necessities like soap, shampoo, and toothbrushes for purchase. There is a resident council as well as a Program Office, and both constantly run events for residents. However, most events are small and accept just tens of residents each. There are very few—if any—events that the entirety of the resident body can attend, and many of the House’s function rooms require registration for resident use as external groups often book them. The fear of liability that permeates the entire United States also forces many social events to take place outside of the House. I think this encourages many residents to ignore events in the House entirely. There must be hundreds of residents whom I did not meet during my year simply because we never had an opportunity to cross paths.
The orientation events at I-House Berkeley consisted primarily of a retreat, where you joined a group of roughly 70 residents, some returners, others new, on an overnight trip out into the countryside north of the Bay Area. The notion of being sent away as soon as you moved into the house aside (and on your own dollar to boot!), it was a great way of being introduced to large group of new people very quickly. There were physical and intellectual activities, getting-to-know-you games, group competitions, and more. It’s a great way to start out the semester, but after the retreat there are essentially no more orientation events organised by the House. I found myself quickly wishing for follow up events. One thing that I think IH Sydney gets right these days is the week-long orientation program, with multiple diverse events, many of which are free of charge. This way you can meet people in a number of different contexts, and reinforce connections over a longer period of time. However, something like Berkeley’s orientation retreat to kick off the week, followed by multiple smaller events would be a fantastic way to really build a strong community.
Despite I-House Berkeley not having the same kind of magic I remembered from Sydney, I made many new friends there, and enjoyed many travels, discussions and cultural exchanges with them. To its great credit, the House organises many activities aimed at showcasing California and the US to international students, including trips to the countryside, tickets to sporting and dramatic events, cultural festivals and celebrations, concerts and dinners. Whilst I would have liked these events to take on a wider scope in terms of potential attendance, I found them invaluable in discovering more of the real America, beyond the big cities and tourist attractions.
And of course, when you live in an environment with hundreds of people from all around the world, it’s hard to not be swept up in the magic of international exchange. There is so much diversity on offer; each meal is another chance to travel around the world — particularly around the American-European portion that is hardest to reach from Australia. I’ll always have a special place in my heart for I-House Berkeley, and I’ll fondly remember my year. If you do get the chance to spend time there, I strongly encourage you to take it.
Recipient of Australian Fulbright Scholarship, 2012
SUIHAA Communications Officer
IH Resident 2007-09
Ian Hudson AM
A founding father of International House
In March this year a crowded Anglican church at Sydney’s leafy Wahroonga was greeted by the triumphant and truly magnificent brass of the Sydney Salvation Army Band. The church was Ian Hudson’s own parish, the Band from the other end of the religious spectrum, was from one of the many charities which Ian had so generously worked for throughout his long life.
International House was well represented — by the Director, two former Directors, a former Assistant Director, two ex-chairs of Council and alumni who had known Ian at different stages of his long association with us.
It was a particularly wrenching time for this writer. For in farewelling Ian Hudson we were saying goodbye to the last of the people who had brought International House from inspiring dream to the great place which we now know.
Ian’s business acumen and incredible capacity for hard work had made him a wealthy man. He shared his wealth with a rare generosity. He shared his energy over a wide range of organizations. In International House we might well have thought that we were the only interest he had, apart from his business and his family. There were many people in other organizations who felt the same!
Ian’s wealth was not generally ostentatiously displayed. The exception was his attachment to a ‘good car’. His grand Rolls Royce was updated to the latest model every couple of years. As it always bore the number plate IH001 and was frequently parked outside the kitchen at International House it was not uncommon for newly arrived residents to assume that it was the House car. Just one of their disappointments … It used to amuse me to see the Rolls parked in the forest down at Belanglo, having arrived there by 6am to get started on the day’s building of the Log Cabin. After his ‘retirement’ Ian arrived one day for a Council meeting—in a Bentley, which displayed the IH001 plates. When asked what had happened, his straight-faced response was: “Oh, it would be pretentious for a retiree to drive around in a Rolls”.
Ian had become the Rotary District Governor in 1966. He had already been very active in the fund raising for International House. The Rotarians had responded splendidly to the urging of the University’s Harold Maze and Professor Elkin to take up the project started by the Student’s Representative Council. But by 1966 the project (the largest ever undertaken by Australian Rotarians) was struggling. It was Ian who rallied the forces and drove them on until the job was done.
Many of the Rotarians understandably moved on to other things. But for Ian the bulldozers and the cement trucks were just the beginning. He came onto the IH Council. Over thirty years he rarely missed a meeting. He served on every sub-committee. He used his expertise and his contacts to foster every project. He gave generously and quietly when funds were needed and he made sure that his friends did too. All this while still running a business, attending to his duties as the Royal Thai Consul, being the father of five children and a growing bunch of grandchildren, and driving other Rotary projects in Australia and Thailand. Of all his ‘charities’ his amazing fund-raising work for ‘The Salvos’ was outstanding. It sprang from his experience of a dreadful battle against the Japanese in Papua. The Salvos had been there doing what they could for the survivors of the bloody mayhem. Ian vowed then that if he survived the war he would support them. I saw no trace ever of bitterness for the former enemy. I believe that his dedication to IH and its ideals had come at least in part from his conviction of the absurdity of war as a solution to international affairs.
Ian received honours from Rotary International, the Australian government, the King of Thailand, the University of Sydney and of course he was a Fellow of International House.
He is survived by all his children and by his wife Sheila, his quiet supporter and friend for 68 years.
Graeme de Graaff
Director, International House 1967—86
Belinda Kendall-White ('70-72) is enjoying life to the full in Tasmania, and continues to work as a presenter/producer with Print Radio Tasmania and as an English language tutor.
Siaw-Yean Woon ('09-11) recently attended the 5th International Symposium on Non-Surgical Contraceptive Methods in Cats and Dogs and continues her work with the Sentient, a non-profit organisation dedicated to animal rights.
Michael Brown ('77) returned to Sydney for a couple of weeks at the start of this year and reconnected with alumni including Mick Egan and Nikki Simler. He dropped in to the House to say hi!
Peter Pun was recently appointed as a Honorary Professor at the University of Hong Kong and directs an institute on urban planning and development aimed at exchanging ideas between Hong Kong and mainland China.
Mealy Truong ('70) wrote in with some amazing news - he has beaten his prostate cancer after a seven week treatment course in Paris - and sends his regards to all those whom he caught up with at the 45th Anniversary.
Chuji Yasuda ('73) wrote in to congratulate the SUIHAA debating team on their recent victory against the IHMA team. He is currently working in the Institute of Teacher Education at Waseda University, Japan, and would be deligted for any IH alumni visiting Tokyo to drop by for a visit!
Lilla Kurniawan ('95-97) invites all SUIHAA members to beautiful Lombok, Indonesia, where she recently relocated to. She recently gave birth to her first child, Zaira.
Ronil Lalji ('98-99) also welcomed his first child, Esme in mid-2012, and is now based at the Clinical Faculty at the University of British Columbia.