25 September, 2010

African Night

NCV is home to students from 50 different nations. Included among these are a number of residents from Africa, and in particular from Nigeria, Kenya, Mauritius, Uganda & Egypt. On the 17th September, a group of our African students hosted the inaugural “NCV Africa Night”, which was aimed at showcasing the art, culture, language, music and food of the African continent.

To start the evening, residents were welcomed in the local languages of Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya and Mauritius. This was followed by an opportunity to enjoy some of the sumptuous food which had been prepared by the organising team. Lyz Murago and Wangari Muchiri, both from Kenya, introduced all the different dishes with some background on what they were made from and how to eat them.

Once residents were settled with their food, the African students performed a short drama based on an traditional African folktale about the origin of thunder. This was followed by a sing-along in Swahili, which was introduced to the attendees by Senior Academic Tutor Mark Dixon, who had formerly worked in Africa aboard one of the Mercy Ships. Patience Mbabazi, from Uganda, then explained some of the traditional jewellery of Africa.

The night continued with poetry, African tea and coffee, music and dance. To conclude the night, everyone joined in for an “African Shuffle”. It was fantastic to leave the evening knowing a bit more about where many of our residents come from. It is hoped that there will be more opportunities to showcase different ethnic groups and nationalities of NCV at similar events in the future.

Above: Residents of NCV doing the African Shuffle


02 September, 2010

NCV Sept Formal Dinner

On the 2nd September the NCV community gathered for the second Formal Dinner for 2010. Formal Dinners are an important part of life at NCV, where the community hears from a distinguished person on a topic of interest to a higher education community. In June we had heard from former UNSW Deputy Chancellor and Pro-Chancellor Dr Jessica Milner-Davis. This time the invited speaker was Dr Ian Pollard, well-known Australian businessman and actuary.

Dr Pollard is currently the Chairman of Corporate Express Australia Limited and a Director of Milton Corporation Limited, having previously been the Chairman of Just Group Limited (which incorporates the well known retailer “Just Jeans”). Ian has also been a director of the major Australian insurer GIO and the spectacle retailer OPSM.

Drawing from his broad background in corporate finance and advice, private equity investment and public company governance, Dr Pollard gave a fantastic address which was full of advice for those starting out on careers in business. One piece of advice which was particularly memorable was to be aware of the difference between obtaining five years’ experience and obtaining one years’ experience five times over. Dr Pollard also advised residents to prepare well for meetings and make the most of opportunities presented to them. To hear from such a successful businessman was a great treat. After Ian’s address, Nipun Seth, MBA student in the Australian Graduate School of Management moved an excellent vote of thanks to Dr Pollard for sharing his wisdom and experiences with the NCV community.

During the evening attendees were also able to hear a beautiful piano recital by resident Yvonne Chow. Yvonne is currently completing her Masters in Organisational Psychology in UNSW’s Faculty of Science, but continues to play piano at a high level in addition to her studies. At the dinner Yvonne played Franz Liszt’s “Lieberstraum No. 3”, her performance prompting enthusiastic compliments from Dr Pollard and the Master Prof. Trevor Cairney.