My Visit to the Australian Consulate

AustConsulate

Today, I started off my morning sitting in LA traffic – but that didn’t phase me one bit! I had an appointment at the Los Angeles Australian Consulate in Beverly Hills. There are only 7 Australian Consulates and Trade Commissions in the United States, and luckily I have one right here in Los Angeles! When I walked into their offices, I was surrounded by beautiful Aboriginal Art pieces on the wall which made me feel instantly at home. I studying Aboriginal Art at UQ in Brisbane, so understanding the background and history of these great paintings make them so much more unique.

I had the pleasure of meeting Karen Ann Lanyon, the Australian Consul-General. Karen was eager to hop on Twitter and start following me on my campaign for Best Jobs :)She was thrilled to hear about my Wildlife Caretaker campaign and wished me the best of luck! She made it clear that I should keep the Consulate in the loop this week if I should make it to the Top 3. 

I also had the honor of interviewing with Deborah Bowman, the Deputy Consul-General. She just moved to Los Angeles 6 weeks ago, so she is ‘fresh off the plane’ from Australia as they say.

deborahbowman

Deborah feels like SHE has the Best Job in the World! Not everyone can say that about their profession, so it pleases me that Deborah really enjoys working for the Australian Consulate and is passionate about her job (‘love your job, and you never work a day in your life‘). The Deputy Consul General was very eager to hear more about my journey to win my dream job of being South Australia’s Wildlife Caretaker!

We connected INSTANTANEOUSLY when I mentioned I had previously lived in Brisbane for a year studying at the University of Queensland, Saint Lucia. She used to live and work in Brisbane as well! We chatted about our favorite places to visit in the city: the amazing farmers market they had on Sundays in front of the casino, taking the City Cat up and down the river, and enjoying the botanical gardens.

Her husband is an environmentalist, so she is already quite knowledgable about the Australian ecosystems and native wildlife. Deborah shared with me some great home stories about Australian wild animals which they sort of ‘adopted’ at their home in Canberra. We truly had some great conversations!

I came prepared with a couple hard-hitting questions for Mrs. Bowman to answer – check out our great interview below:

1- How many Australians live in California?

There are about 10,000 Aussies that live in California at the moment. 

2- What is your favorite Australian activity?

Bush-Walking! My husband is an environmentalist so we love going in the outback and exploring nature. 

3- Do you have a desired Australian cuisine?

Well, let me just say that I love cooking. It’s one of my favorite things to entertain and have people over to cook for them. I have tried all of the Australian ‘specialties’ : crocodile, shark, kangaroo, etc… I’d rather host some friends over and my own dishes though :)

4- What’s your #1 activity to do in South Australia?

My grandfather used to live in South Australia, and now my cousins live there. I’ve always loved going to the beaches in South Australia, they are beautiful. We also love to bush-walk down there as well. 

5- Favorite Australian native creature?

The Wombat – my grandfather’s house in South Australia was surrounded by stunted gum trees, which made for beautiful silhouettes in the evening time. And once the sun went down, a wombat would come waddling up to the house from on the gum trees to investigate my grandpa’s trash haha. 

6- Best advice to give a soon-to-be Wildlife Caretaker in South Australia?

Be yourself and keep up the great campaign!

Google helps us view the Great Barrier Reef- from the perspective of a FISH!

I saw this article last week, and I legitimately freaked out because it is so amazing! I even had some friends post it to me on Facebook knowing that I would love it.

It’s called the Catlin Seaview Survey. This joint project with Google and the University of Queensland (Sidenote: the school I studied abroad at when I was in college in Brisbane Australia), allows interface users to explore the Great Barrier Reef from the view of a fish, shark, octopus, or whatever sea creature you imagine yourself as.

Explore underwater life with : SeaView (CHECK OUT THE VIDEO ABOUT THIS SURVEY- IT’S AWESOME!)

Using the same variant of the Google Street View service- from Feb 23, 2012 and on we can now view (360 degrees) underwater of the Great Barrier Reef. Soon, the reef in Bermuda will also be documented in the same manner.

The chief scientist of the survey, Ove Hoegh-Guldberg of the University of Queensland in Brisbane (such an amazing school to have studied at), stated

For the first time in history, we have the technology available to broadcast the findings of an expedition through Google. Millions of people will be able to experience the life, the science and the magic that exists under the surface of our oceans.

Seaview.org

From a marine science background, these surveys will be very important for multiple reasons.When the reefs are damaged by pollution, ships, or extreme weather, the visualization of damage by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority will be greatly valuable. Not to mention it will be an excellent opportunity for those who have never seen a reef up close and personal, to take a 3D trip to another world.

The survey team captures the reef with one camera using 4 SLR cameras with extreme fish eye lenses shooting simultaneously to conceive a 360-degree image. The cameras are attached to a motorized driver-pulling underwater “scooter.” I would totally volunteer my time to be able to man one of these scooters..they look like a ton of fun :) When I did my research on the Great Barrier Reef, I had to remind myself that you can’t research without having fun and enjoying what you do. That’s one of the most (I think) important parts.

I wanted to conclude this post with a photo my friend Michelle ( http://michelleswanderlust.wordpress.com/ ) took of me when we researched for a week at the University of Queensland’s Heron Island Research Station. For any of you who have been and experience the AWE of the Great Barrier Reef, I hope you truly soaked in the beauty, wonder, and sheer abundance of life the reef provides. Live to explore, learn, and love!

Live to Explore.

Happy 23 Years Of Life To ME + Saint Patty’s Day!

So on March 15th, I turned the big (or not so big) 23. It’s the kind of in between age that doesn’t feel like a big accomplishment like when I turned 21.

It was kind of a relaxed birthday, with no real big celebration. I went to the gym in the morning, showered, packed and headed over the the boyfriend’s place. His roommate Ashley made me cupcakes and bought me a 6-pack of BlueMoon Beer (MMMm my favorite!). Then when Jack got off of work, he took me out to a nice dinner and gave me a pass to Universal Studios :) I love theme parks, he bought one for himself too so now we can go all the time! I also got a fun package from my mom and grandma, plus roses and a cake from my dad.

I kind of miss being in High School and celebrating my birthday..since in my group of friends we baked each other cakes and cupcakes and bought tons of balloons for everyone’s bday (which ended up being like twice every other week or so). I wish I could go back and relive my younger year birthdays where I had treasure hunts, and other fun adventures.

I’ve got a couple interviews soon so hopefully I will not be unemployed soon! Keep your fingers crossed for this college grad..

I’m going to Disneyland tomorrow with my friend Katie- I got a season pass earlier this year so I might as well get some use out of it right?! It’ll be a belated bday present to myself haha. I don’t think I’ll bring a camera…but hopefully I’ll get some photos this weekend in order to post them up here for your enjoyment. I feel like I’ve neglected my camera recently..maybe I’ll take some 35mm film out and about soon.

Today is Saint Patty’s Day! Hope you all have a great time with green beer and Irish friends. Here is a pic of my 2 years ago in Australia celebrating both Saint Patty’s and my 21st birthday :) I really enjoyed to dance at the time- hence the hands in the air..there’s something about bagpipes that make you go wild! Cheers!

Happy Saint Pattys!

Favorite Pic of the Day.

So today I worked my University’s New Student Orientation at the International Programs table…and I talked A LOT about my experience abroad in Australia all of last year to new students. So I’ve got Brisbane on the brain.

In saying that: Here is my picture of the day. A stitched photo of multiple photos I took of the Brisbane city line at sunset.

I will always love you BrisVegas!