Asian Correspondent » Bond University Asian Correspondent Thu, 02 Jul 2015 10:36:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 International education: From Albert Einstein to Kofi Annan Mon, 26 Jul 2010 11:19:58 +0000

By Rebecca Biazos,


If you are anything like me, the main thing you know of Albert Einstein is his theory of relativity. Right? So I was surprised to find myself quoting Einstein in my PhD thesis recently. As a new PhD candidate with Bond University in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences I am still in what I would call the “honeymoon” phase of my PhD journey. That is, I am relishing the chance to delve into the detail of my topic, spend days and weeks reading the latest journals and historical texts and have recently just started in earnest my writing tasks.  Of course, this is mixed with the stress of gaining approvals and access to key stakeholders I need for my research and starting to try and turn my rough scribbles and words into a cohesive argument.  


In my readings, one of my favourite quotes that I have come across was from none other than Albert Einstein himself, as quoted in Kegley (2006);


There is no scientific antidote (to the atomic bomb), only education. You’ve got to change the way people think. I am not interested in disarmament talks between nations…. What I want to do is to disarm the mind. After that, everything else will automatically follow. The ultimate weapon for such mental disarmament is international education.


My thesis is based on the premise that international education represents one of the most powerful tools that a country has in its public diplomacy toolkit.  Yet despite this immense power inherent in international education,  the Australian government and education providers have failed to capitalise on this valuable asset. Einstein’s quote reminded me that whilst the context of my research and my methodological approach are both new and innovative, the concept of international education as a tool for greater understanding and peace has been proven time and time again.


In these turbulent times, with global challenges of security, environmental degradation, economic crisis and social cohesion creating a career that can literally change the world would be more than just a noble aspiration but a wise career decision.


I can personally attest to the value and the diverse applications of gaining qualifications in international relations. Approaching international relations as an undergraduate or post graduate at Bond University offers students a range of international work placement and internship opportunities. My fellow graduates are in diverse careers including those working in government, business, international organisations and non government organisations – all in their own way, impacting the future of our world.  As a Bond graduate and now a Bond student once again I was captured by this quote from Kofi Annan (former UN Secretary General)


 “The world is at a critical juncture, and so are you…. Go ahead and make your plans… and don’t stop learning. But be open to the detours that lead to new discoveries”.


I am now actively seeking out those detours with the goal of new discoveries for my own scholarship but also that of the university and the broader community. If you want to play on the global stage- what are you waiting for?


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Conversations about change and identity Mon, 26 Jul 2010 09:50:49 +0000

The unconventional and dramatic turn of political events that gripped the Australian  Parliament, its media and the nation in the twenty four hours across June 23-24 have unexpectedly brought some interesting layers in the Australian story to the fore. 

With a federal political system that operates on the premise of a three-year electoral term, Australians regardless of their political persuasion are generally used to an upbeat political tempo.  Of course, that is not to say that political leaders or administrations change at every election, but even when an administration is returned at election, there is a certain amount of ground shifting that is accepted at those key points in the cycle.  However, the swift political manoeuvrings that saw former deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard replace Kevin Rudd as the Australian Prime Minister overnight, and the immediate aftermath of such moves (including the relegation of Rudd to the backbench) were unprecedented, and made for compelling reading and viewing across the nation. 


Once past the debate relating to Prime Minister Gillard’s gender, hairstyling, wardrobe and marital arrangements already occupying much of the reporting space, there appear to be two broad conversations of interest to those seeking to understand what this change in leadership means for the Australian story and identity.  One, what do the Australian people feel and think about the process and outcome of this change?  The other, how will this leadership change be perceived internationally, and what impact if any, might it have on Australia’s global identity and positioning? 


In relation to the first conversation, the fact that the political agenda moved quickly back onto the business of the day, hardly missing a beat; that the opinion polls responded positively, and that the stock market remained steady, all demonstrate that the Australian nation has adapted to the leadership change, at least for now, with ease.  Yet there are threads of tension emerging within the domestic conversations, including the extent of accountability in party processes, the influence of political factions over decision-making, and the appeal of the individual over that of the political party.  Each of these tensions, and other issues of domestic concern will need to be unravelled, explored and understood in the months ahead prior to a forthcoming federal election.  The election itself will provide the people of the nation with the opportunity for direct response.     


As far as the second conversation goes, there has been minimal analysis and reporting evident through the media, a result perhaps of the current fixation on World Cup Soccer.   Australian diplomats across the globe would no doubt be working to ensure their international counterparts were fully briefed and reassured about the changes.  However, time will be the test, and I for one will be watching this space with interest.  This should all make for added dynamism and diversity in the conversations to come, particularly as we explore the Australian identity from an international perspective through the course of next semester’s International Relations dialogue at Bond University. 



Dr. Caitlin Byrne is an Assistant Professor of International Relations at Bond University, and will be teaching The Australian Identity from an International Perspective in the September 2010 semester at Bond University



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United stand against bullying – the Bond difference. Part 2. Wed, 07 Jul 2010 14:09:12 +0000

It is not every day that you can make a notable difference in your community, your country or even internationally. However, this is exactly what happened as a direct result of the Bond University January 2010 Negotiation class’ anti-bullying campaign.

The ‘One Goal, One Community’ Negotiation anti-bullying movement was without a doubt, one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Through the commitment of 12 students, we were able to initiate change in our community – having over 10,000 members sign a commitment sheet to stand up to bullying! Not only did schools and universities in Australia contact us in the hope of replicating our program but also educational facilities in the United States of America.

The opportunity to apply our practical knowledge to a real-life project was not only beneficial to the development of our negotiation skills but also gratifying. Our group consisted of motivated and like-minded individuals, from diverse backgrounds, who were dedicated to making a difference in our community.

The assignment allowed us to put theory into practice and observe the constructive power of higher-level negotiation skills. During the process, each member needed to negotiate with several stakeholders, including other associates, students and staff of Varsity College, the Bond University network and the greater public. I hope to see many universities worldwide reproduce this program and teach teenagers how to move beyond the horrors of bullying and stand empowered for life.

This ‘Negotiation’ class completely surpassed my expectations for many reasons. The three most notable causes for this were:

1.        Dr. Amy Kenworthy: Our teacher was 100% committed to our vision and helped it come to fruition. We wanted to create the largest, student run anti-bullying campaign in the world – and we did – and she was our biggest supporter!

2.        Our project had a major positive impact on the Varsity community. We had the opportunity to apply our knowledge and skills in an unfamiliar environment whilst also making a difference. The media covered our story, which allowed for the spread of our positive message around Australia and also to internationally.

3.        Our group was remarkable. We worked endlessly to create a program that would benefit the wider community. Our team ranged in age and consisted of members from over six different countries. It was such a rewarding experience working with team members that were dedicated, intelligent, pro-active and interested in making life easier for teenagers in our neighborhood.

Being a Bond Business student is both satisfying and intellectually challenging. We have the opportunity and are encouraged to receive many personalized services. Examples include, tutoring from our lecturers, networking events with industry professionals, internships with our ‘dream’ companies and individualized career development services. I have taken advantage of all of these services offered and I believe that the students that do have a competitive advantage when applying for jobs in the workforce. In August, I am fortunate enough to be travelling to Washington, DC to complete an Internship in my ‘dream’ industry – Media.

The next couple of months will be full of many challenges as I prepare for this great adventure; however, one thing I know for sure is – my negotiation skills will come in very handy!

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United stand against bullying – the Bond difference. Part 1. Wed, 30 Jun 2010 03:31:25 +0000

Bullying is a major concern for everyone, everywhere. In Australia, research has indicated that one in every six school children is bullied each week[1] and one in every four employees has been bullied at work[2]. This devastating phenomenon is global, with current research showing that 30 percent of U.S. students in grades six through 10 are reporting being involved in moderate or frequent bullying[3] and students throughout many European countries are stating the same (e.g., in a 2008 large scale study 48 percent of students in the UK, 43 percent in Scotland, 35 percent in Portugal, 33 percent in Italy, and 29 percent in Germany reported bullying as a significant issue in their school)[4].


As a result, Bond university students enrolled in a business school negotiation subject partnered with a local elementary, middle, and high school (Varsity College) to create a 10,000 person strong, local community-oriented, united stand against bullying. As part of their negotiation course run during the early part of this year (2010), 12 Bond University students worked to create a targeted anti-bullying presentation for over 180 Varsity College Year 10 students. Their research indicated that bullying is an issue for everyone – not just Year 10 schoolchildren – and with Bond’s focus on engaging students in real-world, real-time, professionally oriented projects, the Bond student team recognised that they needed to engage others in this initiative. As a result, they created the ‘One Goal, One Community: Moving beyond bullying and empowering for life’ initiative, targeting 10,000 community members to sign a pledge to commit to behaviours that will better society and put an end to bullying.


Within three months, the Bond students negotiated to have 10,000 wristbands donated to the cause (by a local Australian award winning promotional products business, AAC ID Solutions), and in less than two weeks during mid-April of this year, the Bond students used their newly acquired negotiation and persuasion skills via face-to-face and personal communication only, to elicit 10,889 commitments from members, friends, and families of the local Varsity community to engage in positive, anti-bullying behaviours for life.


The Bond students incorporated research indicating that people are much more likely to engage in behaviours that they have committed to both in writing and verbally (rather than just having someone else ask them to do it with no commitment on their part at all) into the program with the design of commitment sheets and the criterion of personal communication as a pre-requisite for anyone to sign and receive/wear a wristband. Their subject on negotiation and persuasion taught them how to engage people, how to frame issues, and how to elicit the highest forms of commitment from others via the use of carefully structured communication and powerful visible signals like wristbands for creating public awareness and social support.


The service-learning community project embedded in this negotiation subject is designed to teach students material that they can integrate and apply immediately. This is achieved via learning that is real-world based and readily accessible to them in their future personal and professional lives. This initiative is a great example of a high-level, theoretically-based, synthesis learning oriented experiential project – our Bond students created a 10,000+ person-strong positive change in a community in a very short period of time. The skills they needed to create that change can be applied in any organisation in any part of the world. And that is our “Bond difference”… we offer small classes, personalised teaching, committed faculty, and real-world professionally-oriented projects aimed at targeted and applicable skill development – all of this designed to create a passion for continuous challenge and life-long learning in our students.


Dr. Amy L. Kenworthy

Associate Professor of Management and Director of the Centre for Applied Research in Learning, Engagement, Andragogy and Pedagogy (LEAP) at Bond University

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Returning to study Wed, 30 Jun 2010 03:08:33 +0000

Returning to full time study after a five year break can be a challenge. I am just five months into my three year PhD in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Bond University… and what a journey it has been thus far.


The last time I stepped on campus was in 2005 when I finished my Master of International Relations. Completing my Masters at Bond marked an important stepping stone in my international career. After my graduation I took up a senior government position with the Queensland Department of Education and Training and have not looked back since. Studying international relations in a university where international diversity is truly lived, not just espoused, was intellectually challenging and enriching. Considering the impacts of foreign policy, global politics and diplomatic practice with students from various backgrounds and cultures was invaluable.


Now, fast forward to 2010, I decided that I could keep working harder or I could get smarter… So I am back to complete a long standing dream – to get those two letters – Dr – before my name. Completing my Doctor of Philosophy will be a three year journey – it will come with its challenges but also rewards. I have found the process so far rewarding on both professional and personal levels. Being able to really delve deep into my subject area (international education and its relationship to public diplomacy) and to indulge my research interests has been a welcome break and change from corporate pressures.


Just this week my 12 year old daughter is on campus with me enrolled in the school holiday tennis camp… at the end of her session we walked across campus and she was enthralled with the buildings, the students and the atmosphere… perhaps another Bond student in the making?

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I see dead people… Wed, 30 Jun 2010 02:41:11 +0000

An Anatomists Blog – “I see dead people”  by Dr Allan Stirling

Human anatomy is the scientific study of the position, relationship and spatial organisation of the structures in the body. It includes subdivisions of disciplines such as histology – the microscopic examination of cells and tissue, neuroanatomy – the study of brain, spinal cord and nervous tissue, embryology – the study of the development of the foetus and gross anatomy – the study of a cadaver or model of a human.

In recent years the way scientists and doctors investigate, study and teach these subjects has changed with emerging technologies and at Bond we are no different. Our purpose built anatomy lab opened up at the end of 2009 and allows us to embrace new technologies and use them to enhance and improve the way we teach our subject.

Our lab features a high definition projector and eight high definition LCD televisions located around the room to show slideshows and media files. We also have six computer workstations for the students to use as an additional resource with anatomy software and online resources at their fingertips. We have 48 microscopes for the students to use in their histology study, with a high definition camera mounted to the lecturer’s microscope to demonstrate on the big screen what they should be looking at.

With a keen interest in technology myself I believe this is only the beginning – increasingly students are using laptops, netbooks and mobile devices such as iPads in their study. I have an iPad myself and have already started to develop custom applications for the Bond anatomy programme that will run on the students iPhones and iPads!

The story doesn’t stop here however – we have developed a suite of anatomy video podcasts for the students to use in their study time and help with their exam preparedness. These can be downloaded onto iPods and iPhones and students can listen to them when it suits them. The students report that they listen to the podcasts in the gym, on the bus and I am pleased to report that I even ease the boredom of ironing for several of the students!

Technology continually improves and as it does we try to adopt aspects of it that we feel would help us most – a  emerging area of interest in the world of technology is the use of augmented reality in games and education. This holds great promise for the way we interact with our environment and I can see huge potential in the way we can use this form of technology to teach anatomy. For this reason I am collaborating with several of the computer programmers within the University to create mobile anatomy teaching tools and augmented reality applications that could be brought into the anatomy lab and perhaps add another dimension (the third dimension?) to my teaching.

Watch this space …

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Women on boards Wed, 30 Jun 2010 02:30:00 +0000

Last weekend I graduated with a Ph.D. from Bond University. The graduation ceremony itself was monumental – the culmination of three years of sheer intellectual and physical effort, and not just on my part, but also on the part of my partner, my children, my friends and academic supervisor, and so many others who supported me in the Ph.D. journey. The celebrations afterwards were jubilant – with graduates, their families and friends alongside academic staff milling about on the university grounds, and all buzzing with a shared sense of achievement and pride.

When I reflected later on various aspects of the day, I came to think more deeply about the keynote address given at the graduation ceremony by Australian business leader, Kevin McCann. McCann, an active participant in corporate Australia, and non executive director on a range of company boards from Origin Energy Limited, and Bluescope Steel Limited to the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust chose that opportunity to share his concern about the very stark absence of women on Australia’s corporate boards.

I was a little surprised that this was the topic for such a keynote address. Looking around the room at the array of graduands, it seemed that the gender mix was in fact about equal across disciplines. And yet, I shouldn’t have been so surprised. As McCann pointed out, women only make up a meagre seven percent of Australian corporate directorships, and while statistics in this area are notoriously patchy, this represents a drop of about two percent over the past 10 years.

The topic of ‘women on boards’ has attracted much rhetoric over the years, yet McCann’s words had substance behind them, of which more than a few in the audience took note – even in the midst of graduation. McCann is one of a group of 10 leading Australian businessmen who together, are leveraging their significant influence and mobilising for change at the board table. Working with organisations like the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Business Council of Australia, these business leaders are driving new strategies, including the targeted and tangible mentoring of women into senior decision-making positions in the corporate world.

The challenges that stand in the way of sustaining and delivering that robust diversity into Australia’s corporate world are by no means trivial. They are bound in a complex tangle of social, political, economic, cultural dilemmas and tensions of modern life. To date, the will and motivation for unravelling that tangle has been insufficient. However, corporate leaders, with some pressure from the Australian Stock Exchange now recognise that it is increasingly bad for business if things don’t change. To be clear, this is not just an issue about getting women onto boards. More so, it is an issue of better, resilient and competitive decision-making and governance, where Australian company boards more accurately reflect the diverse workplaces, communities and marketplaces they serve.

The selection of McCann to deliver this keynote address was an inspiring and deliberate choice. Here is a man who is involved at the highest levels of decision-making and influence in corporate Australia delivering a clear and simple message – that diversity of thought and experience is important for Australia’s future. This is a message that resonates with the Bond University ethos and my Bond experience, and now provides a superb launching point for our aspiring graduates.

Dr. Caitlin Byrne – Assistant Professor, International Relations

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