24 August, 2013

The NCV Factor: A Night of Entertainment

Over the last five years NCV has developed quite a bit of tradition in the area of music. Starting in 2010 as an evening of primarily classical music, NCV’s Music Night has morphed into a more contemporary talent quest, in the tradition of the X Factor (but without the scathing feedback from the judges!).

This semester we were treated to performances (among others) of the Maroon 5 hit “Harder to Breathe”, Nena’s cold war classic “99 Luftballons”, Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man” and Nat King Cole’s “Unforgettable”. There was also a shout out to the retiring Federal Member for Kingsford Smith Peter Garrett, with the NCV Band performing Midnight Oil’s classic “Beds Are Burning”.

The NCV Choir went retro with renditions of the ABBA hits “Thank You for the Music” and “Mamma Mia”. The night was great fun, with the NCV Band now turning it’s attention to the Inter Residence Band Night at the Roundhouse in mid September.


21 August, 2013

NCV Winter Formal Dinner 2013

Three times each year the NCV Community gathers for a Formal Dinner. Formal Dinners are part of a long standing university tradition, and usually include an address by a prominent member of the university or wider community. The meal is a bit more special than your typical college dinner, and includes entrée, main and dessert. Since it opened in 2009 NCV has held 14 Formal Dinners, with the guests drawn from the sciences, the arts, the media, law and the business community.

Dr Terry Percival
For our 2013 Winter Formal Dinner the speaker was Dr Terry Percival. Dr Percival is currently the Director of Broadband and the Digital Economy at NICTA. Dr Percival has had a long and distinguished career in electrical engineering, having worked on radiotelescopes, optical fibre technology and wireless local area networks. As part of the CSIRO team that developed WiFi technology, Dr Percival’s research has had a direct impact on almost everyone’s day to day life. Terry proved to be a very popular speaker, with his presentation prompting a string of interesting questions. At the end of his talk he was practically mobbed by students wanting to get a photo with one of the inventors of WiFi. It was a fantastic night.

During the evening we were also treated to a musical performance by NCV’s Callum Savage. Callum is undertaking studies in chemistry and physics in the university, and also maintains a strong interest in classical guitar. Callum played Stanley Myers’ Cavatina from” The Deer Hunter”. It was a lovely performance.

Above: Posing for group photos after dinner with Dr Quinn


02 August, 2013

NCV Harbour Cruise 2013

On Friday 2nd August, NCV’s Residents put on their best clothes and headed out onto Sydney’s Harbour for NCV’s biggest social event of the year, the NCV Harbour Cruise. This year the boat was again the “Sydney Harbour Ballroom” a stylish paddlesteamer. We set off from Sydney’s King Street Wharf at about 7:30, and enjoyed everything that Sydney’s iconic harbour had to offer. After enjoying some canapés on the top deck, everyone headed downstairs for more food, drinks and dancing. The DJ played everything from Beyonce to Tina Turner, and even a little bit of Stevie Wonder. As always Nutbush City Limits and the Macarena were popular items. After boat docked at 11 pm the cruisers rocked on to some of the local establishments. A great night was had by all.

This is the fourth annual NCV Harbour Cruise, with the event having become an important fixture on the NCV Social Calendar.

27 March, 2013

Welcome Week 2013

160 new people joined the New College Village (NCV) in the first two months of the year. During the last week of February NCV held its annual ‘Welcome Week’ to celebrate the arrival of the new residents and to help new and returning residents form friendships and have fun. Check out the Welcome Week Photo Gallery to see more photographs.


Many new residents had recently arrived in Sydney from overseas and interstate so a tour of the city to see the iconic Opera House and The Rocks made for happy snapping.


On Monday evening new residents met the Master, Dean, Senior Residents and Frank the Fat Penguin at a formal welcome.

Senior Residents gave the new residents a tour of the University with the helpful yellow-shirts.

A supper-crawl was held and residents went from floor to floor snacking and getting to know one another and the building.


Frank got friendly. The NCV mascot, Frank the Fat Penguin, ran a speed-dating style event for new residents followed by drinks and canapés.


NCV Residents donned dashing suits and cocktail dresses and embarked on the ‘The Classy Crawl’ to discover the fanciest establishments in Sydney.

For those who prefer a hot cup of coffee a group visited Sydney’s bohemian styled cafes.


The Dean of NCV, Dr John Quinn, is undoubtedly the quizmaster. On Thursday night NCV residents battled it out to become NCV’s Intellectual Champions.


The Senior Ministry Residents Jesse and Olivia hosted a welcome to Christian Life at NCV and let the new residents know about local churches, NCV services and bible studies.

There is nothing more Australian than a snag (sausage), steak and chicken on the barbie. The NCV Senior Resident Team cooked up a storm while the NCV bank provided live music.

Above: Three of our Senior Residents enjoying the Karaoke

Later residents had the opportunity to bring out their singing voices for karaoke.


Above: One group enjoying the 'Amazing Race' around Sydney

Residents braved a little rain to be amazing. Their map reading and puzzle solving skills were tested in the Sydney CBD as teams battled it out to win the NCV Amazing Race.

PhD, Masters by Research, Honours and ILP students took a break to meet each other over cheese and wine.


The courtyard was converted to a badminton arena while in the games room a table tennis competition provided entertainment for those residents sitting back and relaxing with delicious ice-cream and pancakes.

Later that night the NCV courtyard became an open air cinema for a movie night as the final event of Welcome Week.

New NCV residents had a great time getting to know one another in Welcome Week 2013. By the beginning of Week 1 many new friendships had been formed that may well last a lifetime.


18 January, 2013

NCV Wedding! Another First

There have been many firsts in our short four year history as a residential community, but surely one of the highlights must be celebrating our first all NCV wedding. By this I mean a wedding between two NCV residents who met when they came to live with us in the community.

Patrick & Viv exchange their wedding vows

On the 12th December 2012 (12.12.12) at 12.00pm, about 30 friends and family gathered to witness and celebrate the wedding of Vivian Shek and Patrick Chan. Both Viv and Patrick joined us in 2009 as foundation residents. Patrick came from the USA to study medicine and Vivian came from Queensland to undertake a PhD in musicology. Both have made significant contributions to the life of the NCV.

There was a video link to the USA to allow other relatives to witness the event. There will also be another celebration in San Diego (at the San Diego Zoo) later in January.

LtoR: Carmen Cairney, Trevor Cairney (Master), Viv & Patrick, Premilla, John Quinn (Dean of Residents)
The wedding took place at the Headquarters of the Lutheran Church of Australia at Rhodes (Sydney). It was a moving service that involved a short formal ceremony, a message, prayer, hymns, the exchange of vows and the signing of the marriage register. It was followed by an afternoon tea that provided the chance to wish Viv and Patrick well, before they left for a short honeymoon and then their return to Sydney where they will live in Kensington (near UNSW).

LtoR: Theresa, Sandra, Viv & Patrick, Karen (& Oliver), David & James (all residents or former residents)

Congratulations Vivian & Patrick!


27 November, 2012

2012 NCV Awards Presented at Drinks & Canapes

Dr Quinn, Pesila, Edward, Prof Cairney, Rhonda, Tamara & Platini (L to R)

On Thursday 15th November, two days after the conclusion of the examination period for the majority of students, the NCV Community gathered for the final full community function for 2012.  From 6 pm, residents enjoyed Drinks and Canapés in the Main Common Room, enjoying a selection of Australian wines and local and imported beers, along with juice and soft drink. Finger food was also served. 

This year NCV introduced for the first time a series of awards to acknowledge the unique and important contributions made by specific individuals in the NCV community. The major award, “The NCV Award”, was given to the student resident who, in the opinion of the Selection Committee, has made the greatest contribution to fostering the community life of NCV during that calendar year.  A series of “NCV Service Awards” were also presented to those who had made important contributions to community life over the last year. The award winners will have their names added to an honour board in the NCV Foyer, and also received a cash prize. 

The 2012 Award winners were announced at the Drinks and Canapés Night by the Master, Professor Trevor Cairney.  The first award of the evening was an NCV Service Award, presented to Tamara Certain for her outstanding contribution to social life at NCV. One of her nominators (and there were more than one) observed that it is difficult to think of someone who is more social than Tamara: she socializes at Formal Dinners, in common rooms and even in the MCR during the study vacation.  Moreover Tamara has rare ability to make those around her feel loved and cared for, and who is committed to making all cultures feel welcome at NCV.

The second NCV Service Award was given to Ria Dev. Ria has has been a familiar face at most NCV events since she joined the community in 2011. In particular she has been an active participant in the Bollywood dancing group and a mainstay of the NCV choir, as well as being instrumental in the organization of Curry Night earlier in the year.  Ria has been heavily involved in music, in formulating and singing back-up harmonies for the choir, and through her wonderful solos including “Rolling in the Deep” at the NCV Factor and the lead vocals to “Somebody to Love” at our Spring Formal Dinner.

The third NCV Service Award was given to Edward Law.  Edward has has lived at NCV since it opened in 2009, and has been involved in almost every aspect of NCV life: Formal Dinners, Barbecues, Research Group, Music Nights, Cultural Nights, O’Week activities and sporting activities. Edward is always willing to lend a hand, to help out with cooking, to move furniture at functions and to give a word of thanks or encouragement to the people involved. Additionally, Edward was involved for a number of years with the NCV Resident Committee, chairing and organizing meetings, and also served as an Academic Tutor in Renewable Energy Engineering.  

The fourth Service Award was presented to Platini Lee (who took most of the photos on this page). Platini moved into NCV at the start of 2009, and has in fact undertaken both undergraduate and postgraduate study during his time in the community. Like Edward, Platini has been ever-present at NCV during his time.  His particular knack and passion for photography has seen him documenting many NCV events, and his photos provide an important historical record of NCV’s development as a community over the last four years.  Platini has also been involved in other community events, giving a memorable stand-up comedy performance at Talent Night 2012, as well as putting his body on the line to support another resident’s gymnastics routine. 

The fifth and final NCV Service Award for 2012 was presented to Pesila Ratnayake. Since arriving at the start of 2012 Pesila has had a profound impact on community life, especially through the formation of the NCV Band, helping to organize the NCV Talent Night 2012 and The NCV Factor. Pesila has given selflessly of his time to organize these events, and has made his own personal musical equipment available to support those events.  Moreover, he has been committed to supporting other residents, attending almost every NCV event in 2012, and has constantly sought to meet new people and to make them welcome in the community. In the words of one of his nominators: “Pesila approaches activities and events with a strong ambition to be involved, to see them come to fruition and for them to be events where all residents can feel comfortable”.  

The recipient of the 2012 NCV Award (the major award of the evening) was Rhonda Siu, PhD student in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. In announcing the award, Professor Cairney noted that 

A passionate musician, Rhonda has been the backbone of the NCV Choir, co-ordinating practices, arranging pieces, and conducting performances. She has put in many hours of behind the scenes co-ordination work to make the choir happen. Moreover, Rhonda has also been involved in the NCV Band, playing various instruments as part of NCV band items… A keen philosophy student, Rhonda participated in the NCV Philosophy group with thoughtful and insightful contributions, and has been a constant presence at Formal Dinners, barbecues and cultural nights. Her quiet manner belies an unwavering commitment to the NCV Community, manifest through tireless behind the scenes work to support the NCV music community over the last 2 ½ years.

Congratulations to the NCV Prize Winners for 2012!


04 October, 2012

NCV Formal Dinner – 4th October 2012

On 4th October the NCV community gathered for the 2012 Spring Formal Dinner.  Formal Dinners are an important part of life at NCV, where the community hears from a distinguished person in the university or wider community.  Earlier in the year we had heard from barrister Ms Angela Pearman and ecologist Professor Richard Kingsford. For the Spring Dinner the Speaker was Dr Kevin Cullen, who is the current CEO of NewSouth Innovations (NSI), the commercialization arm of UNSW.

Kevin has had a long career in research commercialization. Prior to joining NSI, he was Director of Research and Enterprise at the University of Glasgow. Kevin has also worked for Procter & Gamble in the UK and Belgium, in the fields of technical brand management, product development, and technology development. In addition to his significant commercial experience, Kevin holds a PhD in physical-organic chemistry from the University of Edinburgh. More recently, Kevin has been involved in the development of new approaches to improve knowledge exchange to the benefit the economy and society. In particular, Kevin led the launch of the Easy Access IP initiative, designed to significantly increase the flow of knowledge from the university into the economy and society.

At the dinner Kevin spoke about the challenges in quantifying the outputs of research and assessing the university’s “impact” in the broader society. He also challenged the understanding of university commercialization departments as solely aiming to produce revenue streams from academic research. Kevin also gave some reflections on his own career, following his trajectory from PhD student to industrial chemist and eventually to technology transfer professional. Kevin’s talk sparked a number of interesting questions, and was warmly received by the NCV community. After his address, Johann van Hensbergen, himself a PhD student in industrial chemistry, moved an excellent vote of thanks to Kevin for sharing his wisdom with the NCV community. 

During the evening attendees were also able to hear a beautiful piano recital by resident Serena Ma.  Serena is currently completing her Bachelor of Commerce / Bachelor of Laws combined degree at UNSW, but continues to play piano at a high level in addition to her studies.  At the dinner Serena played Debussy’s Arabesque No. 1. It was a wonderful performance. Additionally, residents were also treated to a fabulous performance by the NCV Band and Choir, who sang the Queen hit “Somebody to Love”. The choir and band raised the roof and set the tone for a fabulous final Formal Dinner for 2012.