VOLUME 41 NUMBER 1
SUIHAA President’s Report
The Bo Children’s Hospital Project
Nuli on Radio
Promoting International Fellowship
Cover Photograph: - IHWW Conference, 2009
‘REFLECTIONS ON A FERRY’ SYDNEY
DENNIS SCHATZ, U.S.A
Giving a Peaceful Future for Children
Disabled by War Crimes
100 Projects for Peace
International House Can you help with the project?
96 City Road, Chippendale
N.S.W. 2008 Australia
Phone: +61 2 9950 9750 (when attended). Calendarfest 2009
At other times, in office hours, a message
can be left at 61 2 9950 9800
Fax: +61 2 9950 9804
SUIHAA Strategic Planning Workshop
Wild Endurance Event
Summer School in the Silicon Valley,
Courtesy of SUIHAA!
2008 - 2009 SUIHAA COMMITTEE Biographies
President: Roger Wescombe
firstname.lastname@example.org Walter Westman Lecture 2009
Secretary: Gwen Ng
email@example.com Hans Freeman, 1929-2008
Treasurer: Binh Pham
Publications Officer: Margaret Horan International House Alumna Volunteers
Webmaster & Richard Ng
With South African Non-Profit Organization
Database Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org
email@example.com Keith Suter, Fellow of International House
Functions Officer: Karen Rowe-Nurse
60s Representative: Lan Wehrhahn SUIHAA’S New Income - Generating Initiative
70s Representative: John Gascoigne
80s Representative: Joan Rowlands
90s Representative: Chris Tan
Piano Concerts Raise Funds for the Bo Project
00s Representative: Wafa Dabbas
IHMA Representative: Michael Neely
Member: Graeme de Graaff
Minute Secretary: Julia Krattli
Bo Project Convener: Gwen Ng
Tribal Elder: Joan Rowlands
News of Alumni
Design & Printed by Scart Graphics, Sydney
2 The alumni news
THE FUTURE (THIS MATTERS!)
Roger Wescombe President, SUIHAA
A summary report of the October 2008 SUIHAA Strategic Planning Workshop
appears elsewhere in this newsletter. The Workshop project was led by
Philayrath Phongsavan, John Gascoigne and Alexandra Cordukes. It involved
preliminary focus groups, external convenor David Turner, and representatives
of IH management, current IH residents, other IH alumni and the University.
Since the Workshop, the International House Council, at SUIHAA’s suggestion,
has set up an Implementation Committee to develop formal proposals for
the future development of the Alumni Association. The changes from
what we have at present might be small, or they might be huge.
The Workshop expressed an elevated view of SUIHAA’s role, seeing it as “the
custodian of the culture and experience of International House” and having a
mission to “build and foster networks” and even to “become a significant player
in fostering international understanding and cooperation through the global
extension of its works”.
This vision is both grand and credible. New York’s International House sets the
example through, among other things, its formal Non-Government-Organisation
status with the United Nations; our Alumni Association is already building part of
a children’s hospital in West Africa; and one of our current residents has won a
US$10,000 grant to support the victims of war crimes in the Middle East.
Council’s Implementation Committee has met twice and is exploring the ideas
developed by the Workshop. It has the tasks of understanding the Workshop
Report and devising a plan for incorporating its findings into Council’s plans for
the future of International House and its connected entities.
The current “connected entities” with varying degrees of autonomy, are: Council’s
Development and Finance Committees, the Implementation Committee, the
Fellows of International House, the International House Members Association
(IHMA), and the Alumni Association (SUIHAA).
In thinking about the role, work and facilities appropriate to an Alumni
Association, the Implementation Committee has started to consider whether it
should recommend the creation of a further “connected entity” in the form of
an “International House Foundation” to stand beside the Alumni Association. A
Foundation could fundraise, and by virtue of its membership and financial strength,
promote the objectives of International House in ways that extend beyond the
capacity of the Alumni Association. Or perhaps the Alumni Association should
be incorporated within a Foundation. At the very least, the Alumni Association
could share the office and clerical facilities that a Foundation would need.
There is a lot of thinking to be done over coming months and it will benefit from
the input of any alumni who wish to express views. Please send comments to
Gwen Ng who is a member of the Implementation Committee (PH Phongsavan
and I are members also). The address for comments is: Ms Gwen Ng, SUIHAA
Secretary, International House, 96 City Rd, Chippendale NSW 2008 Australia.
It gives me great pleasure to welcome a new Newsletter Editor to the SUIHAA
Committee. Margaret Horan is very interested in the objectives and operations
of International House though she has never lived there. In recognition of her
interest, and her willingness to undertake the huge task of editing Alumni News,
Margaret was made an Honorary Member of SUIHAA at the committee meeting
of 3 April 2009. Margaret is a former workplace colleague of mine and has
undertaken formal study in editing and proofreading. With confidence and great
gratitude I wish her a long and happy association with International House.
JUNE 2009 3
I hope you will all forgive me for starting this piece with a cliché, day trip to the Blue Mountains was organisesd by Michael Patoka
but time really does fly when you are having fun! My role as Acting for any interested residents. About thirty five participated. Reports
Director will come to an end in just over six weeks yet it feels like indicated that all had a fantastic day, managing to squeeze in
only yesterday that I started here at International House. most of the major sights. The cost of the trip was subsidised by
the House and IHMA, leaving the total cost to individuals of only
It has been a remarkable eleven months. I have learnt so much $50.
and gathered a wealth of amazing experiences that will stay
with me for the rest of my life. The current residents know I am Flag Dinner: Held on the third Friday of semester, this was its
constantly reminding them to get involved, and not to waste this usual colourful, festive success. The gorgeous range of national
wonderful opportunity. Well this goes as well for anyone lucky costumes from sparkling saris to the good old shorts and thongs
enough to find themselves working here! By understanding each reflected the enthusiasm the residents have for this event. This
other’s backgrounds and revelling in all those unique qualities we year the formal dinner was followed by an IHMA Quiz and musical
can make such a difference to the way the world works. I have performance night. IHMA have embraced the notion of reducing
been privileged to meet some brilliant young men and women the amount of alcohol at various functions, and I am pleased to
from a breathtaking variety of backgrounds who no doubt will go report that this night was seen as a great success by all those
on to shape global directions in their chosen fields of endeavour. who attended.
Working at International House has given me fresh insights into
student life and reminded me just what energy and passion exist IH CHESS Tournament: This lively tournament was held on the
in students. Saturday following Flag Dinner and I was somewhat worried about
participation levels but the residents didn’t let me down, on the
We have had a wonderful and frenetic start to 2009. Below is a day we had sixteen registered competitors. The competition was
brief sample to give past residents a taste of how rich and vibrant overseen by Michael Patoka, using our impressive new outdoor
life is at IH in the year 2009: giant chess set as well as a few other new sets purchased for the
event. Our winner, Ben Dickinson, will go on to compete in the IH
Orientation: IH conducted a full five day orientation program that World Wide Online CHESS competition.
began with a Welcome to Country speech by Redfern elder Allen
Madden that was both informative and confronting, followed by a Shelly Beach Snorkelling Trip and BBQ: Les Noffke, our Catering
range of formal and informal sessions that covered all aspects of Manager, is to be congratulated on sharing his passion for our
life at IH. The key element to the overall success of orientation Australian waters by leading a day trip to Shelly Beach near
was the smaller social floor based activities. The residents of Manly, and introducing our residents to the delights of snorkelling.
each floor were taken out by a Senior Resident for an activity The group was blessed with an Indian summer’s day and warm
that was designed to focus on team building. One floor went ocean temperatures. About twenty eight residents participated
indoor rock climbing, another group played WII sports on the and Les was assisted by Senior Residents Nisha D’Souza and
large screen in the wool room and yet another floor played “speed Raja Sukhdeo (both mad divers and first aid trained). The House
friend making” (a twist on speed dating) at the local chocolate supported the event entirely, providing the BBQ lunch and the
shop. Orientation concluded with a very successful barbeque for snorkelling equipment. The residents came back raving about the
all residents and Calendarfest. We send a very big thank you experience and all the sea life they encountered.
to all those Alumni who sent Calendars in. The commencing
residents really do appreciate this token of your interest in them. Around the World Dinners- North America/South America: We
have now held two - semi formal dinners, the first themed around
International Womens Day Dinner: Was celebrated by IH North America and the second around South America (our plan
on Friday 6 March. Associate Professor Mary Louise Caldwell is to get through all the continents by the end of the year). Food
delivered an intense video presentation on the dire condition has been an eclectic collection of delicacies from the regions
of maternal health care in Pakistan. The presentation sparked and after dinner speakers have provided us with insights on the
a very lively Q&A session on the topic. The presentation was issues faced in these parts of the world. Todd St Vrain from the
followed by a formal dinner and IHMA ran their first disco of the US Studies Centre (and an Alumnus of IH New York) presented
year on this night with a Mardi Gras theme. A big end to the first an interesting talk on Obama’s America. And current IH resident
week of lectures! Juan Jimenez gave an impressive presentation on life in Chile.
The dinners are aimed at encouraging residents to embrace and
International Movie Night: Sunday nights have become the revel in the diversity represented at IH.
night to stay in at IH. Michael Patoka, the Assistant Director,
coordinates a weekly international movie evening featuring a I hope that has given you, our Alumni, a small insight into what
presentation about the host country, followed by a movie from that life is like in the House in the year 2009, (perhaps even reminded
country. An extended Q+A on the country featured usually follows you of how wonderful it was to be a student here!). Now may
the presentation. These evenings have proved to be a wonderful I say to you…get involved with your International House, the
success and have had a consistent number of approximately opportunities presented by sharing in the life of IH are endless
fifty residents attending. Refreshments and snacks subsidised and remarkably rewarding. Alumni are always welcome at any or
by the IHMA also help to woo the crowds and create a movie- all of our events. Come and see us, or drop us an email to find
like atmosphere with the smell of fresh popcorn wafting through out what our upcoming events may be.
the house. Countries hosting so far and respective movies to
date include: Australia – Kenny, Colombia – Extreme Colombia, I know that though this may be the end of my formal involvement
Netherlands – Blackbook, Russia – The Admiral, USA – American with the House, I have the suspicion that I will continue to take
History X, South Africa – Tsotsi. an active interest in its future development and certainly in the
directions that our current residents ultimately take. It has
Blue Mountains Day Trip: On the second weekend of semester a become not simply a job but a way of life, thank you for the
4 The alumni news
The Bo Children’s Hospital – building to start in October!
The Bo Children’s Hospital project is a major project of the Eighteen months ago SUIHAA members started the massive
Rotary Club of Turramurra, and SUIHAA, with the assistance task of donating, and finding others who would donate, a
of the University’s Advancement Office, is giving the highest total of $100,000 to build and equip an outpatients clinic
priority to supporting the project. This is the first such project for the Hospital. So far over $45,000 of the $100,000 has
SUIHAA has engaged in during its 40 plus years of existence. been forwarded to the University of Sydney appeal for this
project. Another $55,000 to go! If you have been thinking
Bo is a city in the heart of Sierra Leone, one of the poorest
of helping this dream become reality (and thereby making a
nations on earth and with an unacceptably high infant mortality
real difference to the lives of the children of Sierra Leone),
rate. Rotary and SUIHAA, inspired by Dr Nuli Lemoh, are
please send your donation now. The donation form can be
working to dramatically improve the health and survival rate of
found elsewhere in this newsletter.
the children of Bo by building a hospital which will include an
outpatients’ clinic with diagnostic facilities, operating theatre Work will start on the building of the hospital in October this
and a ward (initially with 20 beds – but later with 60) and a year – at the beginning of the dry season in Sierra Leone. The
Health Education and Research Unit (to train nurses and plans have already been drawn up and a building manager
paramedics, educate parents and children on nutrition and is soon to be appointed. And the Bo Rotary Club is fully
disease prevention, and research local health issues). involved in the planning and decision-making, as community
“ownership “of the project is essential to its long-term
JUNE 2009 5
SUIHAA chapters around the world
Last July Pauline Lyle-Smith held the inaugural SUIHAA Reunion in support of the Bo project at her home
in London (see photos on the SUIHAA website). Now Pauline has offered to host another such event – and
extends a warm invitation to all SUIHAA members and friends who will be in London in early July 2009.
Please see details in the invitation below:
invite you to their London home for the
The University of Sydney
International House 2009 Reunion
on Sunday 5th July 2009, 4.00pm
6 Beltram Road, Fulham, London SW6 3AJ
RSVP by 26 June to:
020 7731 3277
Subscription: £20 includes £10 donation to the
Bo (Sierra Leone) Children’s Hospital Project
Dennis Schatz and Bob Kuzelka have shown great enthusiasm useful website called you send it, see http://www.yousendit.
about organizing a SUIHAA reunion in support of the Bo project com/ so they worked fine on the day.
in the USA. However, the SUIHAA database revealed that
SUIHAA members are scattered throughout the vast continent, We were lucky enough to have some representatives of two
without any sizeable concentration in a specific centre. It has Rotary clubs in Melbourne, David Redfearn who is about to
therefore been decided that a centralised SUIHAA Reunion become President of the Moreland Rotary club and his wife,
be scheduled on the weekend of 26-27 June 2010 at IH and George Mills, who is a member of the
Philadelphia – to coincide with the Worldwide International Central Melbourne Sunrise Rotary, as well as chairman of a
Houses Conference which will be held there from June 20-25 Rotary International committee.
(with a Worldwide Alumni Event on Saturday 26 June).
Philadelphia claims to be the original International House Some of our attendees requested that Nuli send a more
(certainly preceding the Rockefeller in New York), so the detailed business plan outlining how the money gets to the
occasion will have special significance and be a big event. hospital committee, what is planned for each stage, and how
The Director of IH Sydney will definitely be attending the much each stage is anticipated to cost? Best plan might be
Conference and is looking forward to meeting as many of our to send this to me and I can forward to them. This would
alumni members as possible. be very helpful for them to plan precisely how they can be
More details will be made available as soon as possible – but most helpful in this venture. Len Harrison also suggested that
please note the date in your diary now. some equipment could be sourced from the Royal Melbourne
Hospital, but a list of what will be required to fit out the hospital
Hong Kong Chapter would also be helpful if that could be provided.
In November last year, the IH Development Officer made
contact with alumni at a very successful dinner in Hong Kong Prabhati Milton, married to John Milton (both 74-75), one
(see photos on the SUIHAA website). Avis Wong and others in of life’s prime movers, has offered to keep enthusiasm for
the group are actively planning another function this year – the Bo project going by organizing a “Taste of spice” night in
and will (hopefully) also raise some funds for the Bo Children’s Melbourne, so watch this space! All of you think of whom you
Hospital. More recently, though, Avis has been distracted by could invite!
her wedding, which took place in April.
Melbourne Chapter During the early stages of organisation of the Melbourne
Margo Honeyman and Birute (Leveris) Don organised a very function, it was discovered that Bronwen (Bryant) Smith was
successful SUIHAA/Bo function in Melbourne on Sunday 3 actually working in Fiji (not Melbourne) – and very interested
May. Many of those present made donations, one at least in meeting other SUIHAA alumni there. The Bo Convener has
being very large. Margo writes: now put Bronwen in touch with Nehal Kapadia – and a meeting
for coffee will soon take place.
John Webb spoke eloquently about India and Australia-India
relations, I attempted to speak to Nuli’s slides and Alison Western NSW Chapter
Lemoh was fantastic to answer questions and provide points Last year, when the University of Sydney organised a function
of accuracy on them. We renewed old friendships, ate lots of in Dubbo, Chris Owens contacted SUIHAA alumni living in the
scones, jam and cream, and Birute Don took photos. John region and hosted the first meeting of SUIHAA’s Western NSW
had previously sent me his slides, all 38mb of them on a very Chapter. Another similar gathering is currently being planned.
6 The alumni news
Bo Sydney chapter events The film was introduced by the producer/photographer, Michael
The Sydney group has held, and is planning, a series of social Dillon AM, one of Australia’s leading Cameramen/Directors
events designed to give alumni from different eras the chance of Adventure and Expedition Documentaries, a Fellow of the
to get together, as well as have the opportunity to hear and ask Royal Geographical Society and the Director of the Himalayan
more about the Bo project and (hopefully) decide to contribute Foundation. After the screening, Mike answered questions
to it. Functions which have already taken place include: from the audience, then everyone enjoyed home-made cakes
Lane Cove Walk
In November 2008 we held a walk along the Lane Cove The film was fascinating and thought provoking – and very
River in Sydney, followed by lunch at the home of Ruth and relevant to the Bo Hospital Project. It was hearing an interview
John Maltby. We set off early in the morning – theoretically on radio about Sir Edmund Hillary’s work with the Sherpas that
to avoid over-exposure to sun but in fact to encounter cool inspired Nuli Lemoh to begin his own journey - towards the
rainy conditions. A fast group set off first, walking at speed building of a children’s hospital in Bo, Sierra Leone.
and finishing at a coffee shop before lunch. The more
Sierra Leonean family
leisurely group wandered along, chatting, and made it back in Mr Chernor Bah and
comfortable time for lunch. his daughters Nawal,
The walk was a great success socially. About 50 people
participated and many donated to the Bo appeal as well as
paying an entry fee.
Among the ‘leisurely walkers’ were John Friend, Lan Wehrhahn, Craig Collie, Members of Turramurra
Gwen Ng, Sara Friend, Richard Madden, Margaret Lemoh and Richard Ng. Rotary
“Beyond Everest: The Ongoing Climb”
This award-winning film documents Sir Edmund Hillary’s fifty-
year relationship with the Sherpa people of Nepal. After the
first ascent of Everest in 1953, Hillary asked some of his
Sherpa friends what he could do to help them. They asked
for a school for their children. This request started Hillary on
a life-long project to provide education, health care and other
assistance to the Sherpas.
Trivia Quiz Games Auction
Date: Friday 4 September 2009 Chatswood Golf Club
Time: 7.30pm Beaconsfield Road, Chatswood.
Entry: $20 per person
Food and drinks available from the club
Information and bookings: HYPERLINK “mail to: Bo@suihaa.org.au” or 0403 97 22 60
Tables of 6-8 Form a table Bring family and friends
Great prizes to be won!
Hope to see you at one of these events!!
Best wishes from the Bo SUIHAA Sydney chapter:
Ros (Wood) Madden, Gwen (Burrows) Ng, George Rosier, Genny (Ferguson) Kang, Liz and Percy Wong,
Robyn (Walker) Bradley, Rashi Kalra, Ruth Maltby, Rosemary Williams, Anne (Seale) Gotsis, Graeme de Graaff.
If you would like more information about SUIHAA’s work on Bo, or about forthcoming events,
please e-mail Bo@suihaa.org.au
JUNE 2009 7
Roger Wescombe The campaign for a children’s hospital in Bo, Sierra Leone has expanded to the
airwaves. On 4 May 2009 Nuli Lemoh (’67) was a guest on the ABC Radio Life
Matters program hosted by Richard Aedy. Alumni with access to the internet
can hear the broadcast by accessing www.abc.net.au/rn/lifematters.
Nuli proved himself a radio natural. In a polished performance he painted
a picture of the Bo of his childhood, of his departure from Bo to take up a
scholarship to study medicine at the University of Sydney, of his subsequent
marriage to fellow IH resident Margaret Bromley, of his career as a paediatrician,
and of the inspiration to get a children’s hospital in his native town.
After his father had died in the 1950s, Nuli, then a primary school student,
earned his school fees by gardening for his primary school principal. His
scholarship to Australia depended on his success in writing an essay on why he
wanted to study in Australia. He said that early in his candidature for a medical
degree very few students wanted to sit next to him. He attributed much of his
successful adaption to Australia to the advice and support he received from his
counsellor, Yvonne Chamberlain.
Nuli met his fellow IH resident, Margaret in 1967 in a Christian discussion group,
and that was that. Well, almost, anyway. There was opposition to the mixed
race marriage from both Margaret’s and Nuli’s family, but it could not prevent
the result that we now all celebrate.
Nuli described the problems with children’s health services which he encountered
on the family’s return to Bo in the 1980s, problems which were partly answered
by some aid from Canada. And then his and Margaret’s decision to return with
their children to Australia in 1990 as the civil war grew worse and worse and
Nuli reached the stage of having gone five years without a holiday.
As Nuli told the story, the current campaign arose from his being inspired by Sir
Edmund Hillary’s achievement in building schools and hospitals in Nepal, and
his realisation that he should and could do something similar in Sierra Leone.
Rotary, friends and SUIHAA are the ones helping him to do it.
It’s a great story and Nuli is telling it to audiences throughout Sydney, and now,
8 The alumni news
Promoting Fellowship - IHWW Conference, 2009
Charlene Griffiths (Acting Director, IH)
International Houses Sydney and Wollongong Houses, IH Sydney has started utilising the IHWW
played host to the International Houses' framework to instigate sporting games between
World Wide Conference (IHWWC) from 12- IH Wollongong and IH Sydney, participate in the
14 January, 2009. The Vice-Chancellor Dr IHWW chess championship in addition to engaging
Michael Spence opened the event. Wollongong’s leadership team to support training
and motivation of our Senior Residents.
About twenty delegates attended the IHWWC
including house directors and senior staff The other benefits included professional
from New York, London, Philadelphia, Chicago, development of staff involved as well as the
Alberta, Brisbane, Melbourne, and Auckland. networking opportunities to seek advice from
people dealing with similar issues, managing
The IHWW Conferences are held every eighteen business within the structure of the values of
months and allow the house directors and key International House.
staff the opportunity to discuss a range of issues
affecting campus residential communities. The overall response from delegates was that
they strongly agreed that the conference was
This year International House conducted a week- beneficial for their professional development,
long program that had a particular emphasis that it was extremely well organised and reached
on alumni relations and creating world's best their expectations.
standard for residents.
Of all the activities, the Harbour Cruise was a
The conference enabled International House significantly popular activity and received rave
to raise its profile both with the University reviews. Another feature of the conference which
of Sydney, with our IHWW counterparts in delegates enjoyed was their trip to the Nan Tien
addition to local alumni and students of other Temple in Wollongong and the opening of the
Houses. Through networking with other “Postcards from the globe” at IH Wollongong.
Some of the 20 delegates on tour
of Sydney University
From left to right:
Clive Brock-Director, IH Auckland,
Bill McCartney-Director, IH Chicago,
Alison Hemsley and
Lindsay Oades-Directors IH Wollongong,
Donald Cuneo-President IH New York,
Simone Jeffers Director of Development and
Tanya Steinberg–Director IH Philadelphia,
Jane Munro-Director IH Melbourne,
Denise North-Chair of Council IH Sydney,
Nancy Hanneman-Director Global Education,
University of Alberta,
Carla Tromans -Director IH Brisbane,
Peter Anwyl-Director, ISH London.
JUNE 2009 9
GIVING A FUTURE FOR CHILDREN
DISABLED BY WAR CRIMES
Bjørnar Snann Lassen
is the title of the project I decided to write a proposal about, now four months ago. It all
started in October last year when Alexandra Cordukes at the IH office had a presentation
of the Davis 100 Projects for Peace provided by the Davis Foundation. At this presentation
Alexandra told the audience that the foundation had never received any proposals from
students at IH Sydney, and she urged us all to think creatively and submit some proposals.
So I started working on the proposal during my The project proposal in itself is two fold: to
summer vacation in Norway, and submitted establish an educational centre for disabled
my proposal to the IH office in mid January. children, and to establish a kiosk/small
After an assessment at IH Sydney the office shop for a family having their only income
picked two proposals, one of them being mine, generating person injured and disabled by war
and forwarded the proposals to the Davis crimes. The purpose of the kiosk is to give
Foundation. Two months later they contacted economic security for the family, but by also
me with the happy news, that I was one of the providing economical sustainability for the
lucky students to receive the funding. educational centre. The centre and the kiosk
will be established around the southern part
The Davis Projects for Peace is now in its third of Lebanon in areas where there is a lot of
year, and is an initiative for all students at the undetonated cluster bombs, where injuries
Davis United World College Scholars Program are frequent, and where there is a strong
schools and residents at International House need for reconciliation and peace building.
world wide with the objective to encourage The educational centre will serve the disabled
and support peace building. The initiative children in the district (Caza) of Bint Jbeil with
is for students to unfold their creative ideas a mixture of workshops and activities once a
and implement them through a peace project week. The weekly meetings will be for 10-14
anywhere in the world during the months disabled children in the age group of 10-15
from June to August. In a competition with 90 years of both sexes. Here they will disconnect
campuses, 100 projects will be selected for from any stress and trauma that they might be
funding at $10,000 each. experiencing by participating in fun activities.
Johnny Han-Wei Chang (left) and Bjornar Snann Lassen
10 The alumni news
Through these activities, such as painting, jointly with Yazbeck, start making connections
dancing and writing the children will express with these key stakeholders in the municipality,
themselves about their hopes, ambitions and and assemble community members to run
dreams. the centre, including economists who can
help with the business financial management
The program will go over five weeks, and start plan. Also we will be initiating agreements with
over again with a new group of children for vendors and finding a suitable location for the
a new five weeks, and so the program will project, and most importantly finding a family
continue. The family will play an important role to run the kiosk.
in the educational centre by directly helping to
execute the workshops and activities. We will The project will leave a very positive impact for
help the family to establish the kiosk, make the people involved. The children will generate
connections and contracts with vendors, and a better ability for self-expression of emotions.
eventually hand over the kiosk for the family They will be more confident and active in the
to run on their own. We will also help them to local community and develop skills in self-
budget and teach them how to manage the dependence, and allow them to reach their full
economy of the business. potential. This centre will provide a safe place
for the children to come and communicate and
To help me on this project is a Lebanese to get information. We believe that this centre
student also studying at the University of will provide a psychological wellbeing for the
Sydney. Nathalie Bou Karam and I have children and give them a positive self-image,
established contact with the International allowing them to lead more peaceful lives.
Labor Organization (ILO) in South Lebanon In an area where more than ninety percent
Program Coordinator, and the ILO Vocational of all buildings were demolished by the war,
Rehabilitation program assistant for South where the majority of the inhabitants cannot
Lebanon, Tania Yazbeck. Tania is our focal find jobs due to their limited knowledge and
point in our collaboration with ILO. Ms Yazbeck capacity, and where individual families do not
is from South Lebanon and is working as a have capital to rebuild their businesses that
national disabled specialist. Another person were destroyed, the kiosk will give hope where
who has been involved in the project helping hope is needed. ILO register that people are
with the budgeting is Johnny Han-Wei Chang, searching for someone who can guide and
my friend and roommate at International help them to be economically independent,
House. and this kiosk will be a great start for them to
enter the market. Hopefully, establishing this
Our project will be implemented in July 2009 shop will start a chain reaction where one job
in the district of Bint Jbeil. According to generates another occupation, rebuilding the
Yazbeck this area is the most damaged area local community towards peace.
after the last war, as well it is the area where
she has the best knowledge and where the If this goes well we hope to be able to
implementation of our peace project will have establish more of these kiosks and centers
the biggest impact. Also ILO has contact with if we can receive funding for them. First of all
a larger number of people with disabilities we are trying to establish one more kiosk to
and persons that could help us to establish make the educational center more viable in
the educational centre and the kiosk, such terms of economics. Then we could proceed
as the head of the municipality and other key to establish more kiosks and centers.
stakeholders. If we get the funding, we will,
JUNE 2009 11
100 Projects for Peace
Charlene Griffiths We are very happy to announce that an International House resident, Bjørnar Lassen and fellow
(Acting Director, IH) University of Sydney student Nathalie Bou Karam are the first students of the University to successfully
apply for a grant from the IH (New York)-affiliated, Davis Foundation’s 100 Projects for Peace. Bjørnar
is an international student from Norway who is doing his Masters of Engineering and in his second
semester at IH.
100 Projects for Peace is an initiative set up by the Davis Foundation that invites all International
House students world wide, and students at the Davis United World College Scholars Program
schools, to design projects for peace anywhere in the world, which they will personally implement.
Every year the 100 best and most doable projects receive $10,000 funding to implement the projects
in June/July. The objective is to encourage and support motivated students to create and tryout their
own ideas for building peace.
Yearly, a total of one million dollars is made available for the Davis projects for peace by Kathryn
Wasserman Davis, a well-established and accomplished philanthropist and internationalist. The
project was started in 2007 on the occasion of her one-hundredth birthday, designed to support the
marvellous ideas students have. Due to the overwhelming success in 2007 she has continued the
project in 2008 and 2009.
Throughout second semester 2008 the 100 Projects for Peace initiative was broadly promoted at IH
to inspire residents to come up with innovative ideas to submit to the Davis Foundation. It was the
promotion at IH that gave Bjørnar the idea of participating in the project.
Bjørnar has been fascinated with Lebanese culture, language and people for many years and thus
decided to investigate whether there would be a feasible project in this geographical region. By
contacting various NGOs such as UNICEF he was able to make valuable connections such as Tania
Yazbeck from the International Labor Organization in South Lebanon, who assisted him in organizing
The actual aim of the project is to aide people in the southern region of Lebanon Bint Jbeil, where
there are large quantities of undetonated cluster bombs, which frequently detonate and harm the
residents. The project is therefore designed to help disabled children as well as a family whose
income earner has been impaired by the bombs.
Bjørnar and his colleague Nathalie will be travelling to Lebanon this July for three and a half weeks in
order to implement the project they have worked so hard on. Bjørnar states he is extremely excited
about finally realizing the project but is also anxious and slightly nervous about the sights he will be
confronted with in the war struck region.
In the coming weeks leading to Bjørnar and Nathalie’s
departure they have countless preparations to take
care of. They would therefore much appreciate any
help they can get to help them execute their vision.
Any students or alumni who are interested in being
part of this phenomenal project can get involved by
contributing ideas for workshops or other activities.
Furthermore, they are looking for people to help
them build more, and stronger, connections with
people in the region to help them prepare the
project. Financial help to assist them expand on
their ideas would be much appreciated.
Bjornar Snann Lassen and Nathalie Bou Karam
12 The alumni news
More on Davis Projects for Peace:
Can you help with this project?
Bjørnar and Nathalie have worked closely with
contacts in Lebanon to ensure their efforts meet
the needs of the affected community.
They will both head to Lebanon in July this year
to begin the implementation of the project.
IH Acting Director Charlene Griffiths says the
project is a great opportunity but a few more
obstacles need to be overcome.
“The Davis Projects for Peace grant is a fantastic
endorsement to a really important project,” she
Richard Warwick After successfully securing a grant as part of the “But the whole IH community needs to get
IH Resident Davis Foundations Projects for Peace, current behind Bjørnar so we can really ensure the
International House student Bjørnar Lassen is project makes a difference.”
looking for more assistance to implement his
peace project for South Lebanon. While busily preparing and developing their
project here at Sydney, Bjørnar and Nathalie are
Bjørnar and fellow student Nathalie Bou Koram, also trying to attract more funding to give the
both aged 22, are the first University of Sydney initiative every chance to succeed.
students to successfully obtain a grant from the
Davis Foundation, which grants funding to 100 “I’m really looking forward to implementing this
student-run peace projects across the world plan… to do something I really care about, it will
each year. be a great opportunity,” said Bjørnar.
Bjørnar and Nathalie’s project is to be based “It’s vital that we address the street-level
in the South Lebanon district of Bint Jbeil, one ramifications of armed conflicts and I think
of the most heavily affected areas in the 2006 through this project people of IH can really give
Israel/Lebanon conflict. back to the international community and make
The project consists of developing an income
generating kiosk for a family that has had their “Hopefully we can raise enough funds to do it
source of income destroyed by the conflict and right.”
establishing an educational centre for children
that will serve those disabled and traumatised Bjørnar is being assisted by other IH residents,
by the conflict and the resultant danger of drawing on their interests and expertise to
unexploded cluster bombs in the local area. develop and organise the project.
The proceeds from the kiosk will also be used If you would like to see the ways you can help
to sustain the ongoing costs of the educational Bjørnar and the implementation of his Davis
centre. Foundation Peace Project please contact IH or
email Bjørnar at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bjørnar says both locations will play an important
role in the welfare of the affected community.
“In an area where more than ninety percent of
all buildings were demolished by the war and
where most people cannot find jobs due to their
limited knowledge and capacity, and where
individual families do not have capital to rebuild
their businesses… the kiosk will give hope where
hope is needed,” said Bjørnar.
“We believe the educational centre will help
the psychological wellbeing of the children and
reinforce a positive self-image, allowing them to Bint Jbeil – Dahnoun
lead more peaceful lives.”
JUNE 2009 13
A festive mood prevailed The Calendarfest committee supporting Functions Officer, Karen Rowe-Nurse: (L to R)
Lan Wehrhahn, Wafa Dabbas, Roger Wescombe, Julia Krattli, Richard Ng, Gwen Ng
SUIHAA introduces itself to new first-semester residents of IH at an occasion known
as Calendarfest. This tradition was established in 1998 by Toshiko Mori and every
year since then alumni members from all over the world have sent calendars for the
new residents as a gesture of friendship and welcome “across the years and seas”.
Again this year SUIHAA members sent more than enough calendars for all the new
arrivals – and the SUIHAA committee would like to thank everyone for their support
and generosity. A letter explaining the significance of the Calendarfest tradition,
and giving the name, years at IH and email contact of the donor, was inserted into
each calendar so that the recipient could send a note of thanks – and maybe even
establish a new friendship.
This year Calendarfest was held on Sunday evening at the end of the IH Orientation
week. The calendars were displayed on tables and racks in the Coffee Shop.
After the SUIHAA committee joined the residents for a superb barbecue in the IH
courtyard everyone gathered in the Coffee Shop where Roger Wescombe (SUIHAA
President) explained what Calendarfest was all about and the students selected their
calendars. The calendars made a beautiful display and the residents appeared to
really appreciate not only the gift of a calendar to decorate their rooms, but also the
sentiment and good wishes which accompanied the gift.
Karen Rowe-Nurse is to be congratulated on assembling the calendars so
14 The alumni news
STRATEGIC PLANNING WORKSHOP
25 OCTOBER 2008
he workshop achieved its general objective of carrying out a SWOT (Strengths,
Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis of SUIHAA, putting forward
elements of a mission and vision statement and reaffirming its values.
These activities were the subject of vigorous discussion, to which all participants
contributed. There was insufficient time to examine the pathway to the vision in
great detail, however some key goals were identified as needing to be achieved by
The workshop findings are summarised below. In each section there was consensus
on two or three key points, but the wide range ideas that were put forward
demonstrated that participants had thought deeply about the issues at hand.
The meeting was clear that SUIHAA’s mission was to build and foster networks in
keeping with its role as the custodian of the culture and experience of International
House. The vision went further, with the proposal that SUIHAA become a significant
player in fostering international understanding and cooperation through the global
extension of its networks. It was also recognised that this area of endeavour is
becoming more competitive and that SUIHAA would need to develop a recognisable
brand identity to gain attention. In order to proceed down this path, a number of
immediate goals were identified: growing the database, conducting further research
on members’ needs and wants, overhauling the existing website and establishing
a new electronic portal as part of the University’s forthcoming Encompass project,
due to go live in August 2009. Close liaison with the University’s Alumni Relations
Office was seen as essential for achieving this important goal.
Although the ‘big picture’ emerged very clearly, there was insufficient time to
consider a number of other issues:
• SUIHAA’s funding, which was identified as a weakness
• Retaining experienced Committee members, whose retirement was seen as a
loss to the organisation, and rewarding them for their contributions
• Recruiting younger alumni to the SUIHAA Committee
• Developing programs to improve intergenerational communication
• The proposed expansion of International House, which was identified as a major
opportunity for SUIHAA.
SUIHAA is to be congratulated for its innovative approach to its strategic future,
however further work is now required. Next steps should include:
• Drafting updated mission, vision and values statements, consistent with the
goals of the workshop for consideration and adoption by members
• Giving more detailed consideration to the goals and timelines required to achieve
the proposed vision
• Giving consideration to the issues that were not addressed in detail at the
• Preparing individual action plans for gathering further research, growing the
database, overhauling the current website and liaising with the ARO in establishing
the Encompass portal.
• Prioritising these action plans.
David Turner (Workshop Facilitator) & John Gascoigne (SUIHAA committee
JUNE 2009 15
WILD ENDURANCE EVENT
Commitment and passion are just two qualities that were
shown by six competing IH Sydney residents over the weekend
of 2 and 3 May in the Wilderness Society’s annual Wild
Endurance Event. The idea was brought to IH by the Assistant
Director, Michael Patoka who was looking for a team-based
physical and charity fundraising challenge to put to the 2009
The weekend consisted of a one hundred kilometre hike
along a gruelling track in the Blue Mountains. With another
six residents (including one former IH resident currently living
in the Blue Mountains) acting as support crew – the IH team
exceeded all expectations and completed the event in an
outstanding time of thirty hours and thirty minutes.
Training for the event, which was open to all residents, included
walks through the Royal, Lane Cove, Kuring-gai Chase and
Sydney Harbour National Parks and of course in the Blue
The six competitors (photographed above from left to
right just before the race began on Saturday morning During the event itself the competitors were blessed with
at 8am) were: perfect weather conditions. As the rain poured down in Sydney,
the Mountains had clear skies, allowing the wonderful moon
Michael Neely: ‘I am a Civil Engineering student with and stars to shine bright as the residents walked through the
a wide range of interests - everything from bridges to night towards the finish line in Katoomba.
bulldozers. I enjoy new experiences and challenges, and
appreciate the importance of preserving our remaining The team climbed onto cliffs, under waterfalls, through rivers
pristine environments. Participating in Wild Endurance in and around mountain gorges. The race started in Megalong
support of The Wilderness Society is a chance to satisfy Valley where they climbed up onto Narrowneck Ridge, then
these predilections, and I am glad for the opportunity to continued under the magnificent Katoomba cliffs and around
share this with a close group of fellow International House the Three Sisters. On through the Jamison Valley, around the
residents.’ Anderson and Ingar fire trails, returning to Katoomba via Leura
and Echo Point to finish at Katoomba Oval.
Michael Patoka: ‘I am 29 years old and the current
Assistant Director at IH – a live-in role. I saw this In order to complete such an amazing feat, the team of
challenge as twofold: to involve the students in a charitable endurance walkers relied greatly (and gratefully) on the efforts
fundraiser and as a means of pushing the students’ mental of their support crew. This team was made up of current IH
and physical boundaries.’ students, including: Alexandra, Charlie, Marta, Michelle and
Alison Theriot: ‘I am a 24 year old postgraduate student, Antonia, and Jacob, a former IH student. The support crew
pursuing a Master's of Science in Design Science at the worked tirelessly throughout the day and night to provide the
Faculty of Architecture. My focus in the Design Science walkers with hot food, a comfortable place to rest, well needed
program is in the areas of Sustainable Design and bandages and well earned massages for aching legs! Most
Illumination Design. I am an advocate for the environment importantly, they provided wonderful encouragement and
and thus have chosen a career path oriented around moral support and were well known amongst the organisers as
the built environment in order to promote sustainable the best support crew in the race.
development, fight climate change, and abate further
environmental degradation.’ With the event described as “one of the most difficult events
on the continent” the IH team crossed the finish line on Sunday
David Buckley: ‘I'm a 27 year old postgraduate student afternoon to huge applause from support crew, fellow residents,
pursuing a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, with the Acting Director and families, and were greeted with cakes
a stream in Geographic Information Systems. I love nature and a cleansing ale to celebrate the mighty occasion.
and wildlife and expect the Wild Endurance walk to be a
great and personally challenging experience.’ This will truly be remembered by all residents involved, both
competing, supporting, and assisting with fundraising.
Andrew Hilliar: ‘I am a 20 year old Medical Science
student, hoping to study Medicine in the future. I ran the The competitors do still have their fundraising pages open for
Marathon last year, and wanted a new physical challenge contributions, and you can show your support to the house
to be a part of. I love nature and spend lots of time in the and competitors by donating to the Wilderness Society at the
bush – so am keen on doing my bit for the environment.’ following link:
Patric Horne: ‘I am 24 years old and I have a passion For more information on the event, the cause or residents
for the outdoors, sporting activities, natural sciences and involved, and to make donations, you can visit the Wild
rocks; and thus am busy with my Masters in Geology, Endurance event home page at (team IH1): http://www.
Geophysics and Ore evaluation. I have always cared for the wildendurance.org.au/
environment and strongly believe sustainable development
should be implemented in a more effective and efficient Or email Michael Patoka – the Assistant Director who organised
way as to assure a greener future for our planet.’ the event for IH Sydney: email@example.com
16 The alumni news
From left to right:
Andrew Hilliar, Michael Patoka,
Michael Neely & David Buckley
all enjoying a cleansing ale after
crossing the finishing line.
The team getting food, massages and
general rest from the support crew,
in checkpoint 1 – 26 kilometres into
The support crew preparing dinner before the
walkers arrive (spaghetti bolognese) at 9 pm
in checkpoint two. At the time the walkers
commented on the delicious food, though
they had been walking for over twelve hours!
A great photo of the sun setting on the
cliffs of the Blue Mountains.
Support crew Michelle and Antonia provide
massages for Andrew & Michael after dinner
at checkpoint two.
Checkpoint three at 7am. Walkers keeping
warm and rested in the early cold hours of the
morning after walking through the night – only
19 kilometres to go in sunlight. Some very tired
bodies and faces – finding the energy and
courage to carry out the final leg.
Team huddle before the race began.
The walkers, having just climbed up from
Megalong Valley onto Narrowneck Ridge
– a very hard, long climb, stopped to
take a snap of how they were feeling.
JUNE 2009 17
SUMMER IN THE SILICON VALLEY,
COURTESY OF SUIHAA!
I began calling International House in the March of 2008, when
I moved to Sydney to pursue a Double Masters degree at the
Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Sydney. In
Semester 2, I was invited by the faculty, as part of my Master
of International Business course requirements, to apply for
the IBUS Special Project. The International Business Special
Project is an elite course carried out during summer and winter
school, for a period of two weeks. Sydney University makes
use of its global academic ties and its links with industry
across the world to organize a student consulting project with
some of its high-achieving postgraduates, for mutual benefits
of the company and the students. For instance, in the summer
of 2008, a dozen students travelled to Bangalore, India to
interact with faculty from the Indian Institute of Management,
Bangalore while consulting for an IT company. Similarly, in the At the very heart of this trip was the consulting project we were
2008 winter school, a group of students went to France for undertaking. On the very first day, we arrived at the offices of
a project in the wine industry, while liaising with the London Symantec, the world’s leading anti-virus software developer,
Business School. owning the majority of the market with its various ‘Norton
With the help of SUIHAA, I was able to accompany 12 of my Anti-Virus’ offerings for businesses and homes. After signing
fellow postgraduates to the Silicon Valley, California for the non-disclosure agreements, thirteen students were divided
Special Business Project, in December 2008. In the course of into three groups and each given one prospective business
two weeks we stayed at the NASA Research Centre and the plan from the Symantec Advanced Concepts unit, which deals
Stanford Guest House while attending lectures at Carnegie with new ideas stemming from internal research. Our mandate
Mellon West and the Stanford Business School, the mecca of – to come up with viable go-to-market plans for each of the
graduate business education. nascent ideas. We were presented to by top management –
Mark Bregman, the Chief Technology Officer; Joe Pasqua, the
Dhati Subramanyam in the Silicon Valley Vice President of Research; Art Wong, the Vice President of
New Business Investments and others, who metaphorically
popped the hood of Symantec and explained to us its history,
strategy and inner workings in great detail, better equipping us
for the task that lay before us. The next twelve days were filled
with the lectures, talks, working lunches and company visits.
We were addressed by entrepreneurs, visiting academics,
venture capitalists and authors from the Bay area and IT-
hotspot suburbs of Palo Alto and Mountain View. We also
had the amazing opportunity to visit and tour the facilities of
industry-leading companies such as Cisco, Google and Ideo,
and interact with their management to better understand
issues of innovation, entrepreneurship and strategic growth.
All the while, outside of our 8 am to 8 pm schedule, we
were also working on the projects that had been assigned
to us, researching, brain-storming and ideating. The course
structure for the Special Business Project, after all, is one of
problem-based learning. Here, one is faced with a problem,
the solution to which is subjective and open to interpretation
and all other inputs are supporting, helping us approach the
issue from new perspectives, and aiding us by giving us ways
of thinking rather than solutions.
I have to say, this one unit of study taught me more in two
weeks than most other units did in one entire semester.
Hearing about concepts like marketing or finance from people
within industry who have grown their own businesses from
scratch to multi-million dollar revenues and visiting the head
offices of some of the most influential IT companies in the
world was the kind of real world learning that the classroom
just cannot replicate. Being in the Silicon Valley alone, driving
down streets with the head offices of firms like Apple, IBM,
Yahoo! and Microsoft down every sidewalk was breathtaking.
Thank you SUIHAA, for helping me on my way. Without this
experience, I would not be who I am today.
18 The alumni news
Biography of Chris Tan
Chris Tan (‘98-‘02) was born in Taipei, Taiwan and moved to Perth in 1989. After seven
years in Western Australia, he moved to Sydney in 1996.
Chris lived in International House from 1998 to 2002, during which time he successfully
completed a Bachelor of Engineering (Information Systems) as well as a Master of
Commerce (Finance and Marketing). Chris was appointed one of three senior residents
during 2000 and 2002.
Chris has further embraced a lifelong learning spirit by completing a Master of Business
Administration (Executive) from the AGSM after moving out of IH. Despite a busy life in
work and school, he has never stopped supporting his favourite AFL team, West Coast
Eagles. He also enjoys travelling when the opportunity arises. He has recently visited
the South Island of New Zealand and Seoul, South Korea.
In February this year, he married Masami Tominaga (IH 2001) in Sydney and they have
since bought a place in Killara. Furthermore, they are expecting a baby boy in July.
Biography of Wafa Dabbas
Wafa Dabbas is a member of the 2009 elected SUIHAA committee. She serves as the
00s representative. During 2008, she showed enthusiasm, commitment, and was an
Wafa stayed at International House between 1999 and 2002, after she changed the
course of her career during senior years, and became a student at the University of
Sydney. The House was her first home away from Jordan, her country of origin. Her
stay at the House has deepened her international understanding, and has helped her
develop a better awareness of people’s cultural differences.
Previously, she served in various roles at Ministry of Planning and International
Cooperation, and Ministry of Public Works and Housing in Jordan. She represented
these organisations in several international courses in countries such as the United
States, Sweden and Japan.
Wafa Dabbas holds a BSc and MSc in Civil Engineering from Jordan and England
respectively, and is a member of the Institute of Engineers Australia (IEAust). She has
also submitted her PhD thesis to the University of Sydney. She is fluent in Arabic and
loves trying her French. Travelling is one of her favourite leisure activities, and home
decorating is among other activities that she enjoys.
Biography of Karen Rowe-Nurse
Karen Rowe-Nurse lived in International House whilst studying law in 1980 and1981.
She shared a room with Denise North, (currently Chair IH Council), for the two years
they both lived in the House. After having decided that she did not want to be a lawyer,
Karen completed a BA at Wollongong University and set off to see the world, travelling
to Europe in 1985-1986. She did what every Aussie in London does when backpacking
- worked in pubs in the West end of London between bouts of travelling. After returning
to Sydney she undertook a Graduate Diploma in Librarianship and put her legal skills to
work by working as a law librarian in various law firms in the city.
In 1988 she married Gordon Nurse and in 1991 had their first son Stuart. Three other
boys followed: Cameron in 1993, Declan in 1995 and Liam in 1998. After Cameron's
birth Karen worked as a part-time law librarian at the University of New South Wales,
going back to fulltime work in 2005. She is currently the Law Librarian at the University
of Notre Dame Australia (developing the law collection) and a part-time researcher /
librarian at the NSW Institute of Psychiatry. She is the Registrar for the Sydney University
Swim Club, a committee member of SUIHAA and involved in various other activities
with her kids including Scouts and School P & Cs.
JUNE 2009 19
WALTER WESTMAN LECTURE
Following the successful inaugural Walter Westman lecture in
September last year delivered by Dr Steve Hatfield-Dodds, Head,
Policy Analysis and Projectures Branch of the Commonwealth
Government’s Department of Climate Change, the next Walter
Westman lecture at IH will be given by John Connor (date yet to
be confirmed). John graduated as a lawyer and early in his career
worked in the field of environmental law. He has since used his
expertise in a variety of posts: as a researcher for Peter McDonald
(the State Independent Member for Manly), with the Nature
Conservation Council of New South Wales and (in 1999) the
Australian Conservation Foundation. In this last post he developed
links with the farming sector in addressing problems such as the
links between salinity and climate change which he was later to
build on when he became Chief Executive Officer of the Climate
Institute of Australia in 2007, a position he still holds. Prior to taking
John Connor up this role, John was the co-convenor of the Make Poverty History
campaign for World Vision.
The Climate Institute of Australia is a think tank which was established
in 2005 and is supported by private donation. As the name suggests
its mission is to undertake research on climate-related issues and to
raise awareness of how such problems might best be addressed. Its
board is drawn from those with expertise in agriculture, science and
business and it has undertaken such projects as modelling the cost
of delaying action on climate issues and the degree of community
awareness of such problems. Particularly of late John has been in
demand as a media commentator.
SUIHAA are grateful to John for agreeing to deliver the second
Walter Westman lecture which commemorates the work of the
former resident who lived in IH in its foundation year of 1967 and
was a recipient of SUIHAA’s Alumni Achievement Award. After
postgraduate work in botany and ecology, Walter went on to hold
posts in Washington (including advisor to Senator Muskie) and
positions in ecology at the University of Queensland and University
of California (Los Angeles). Walter passed away in 1991.
By John Gascoigne
20 The alumni news
Readers of the SUIHAA Newsletter probably also receive the SU Alumni
Magazine in which they will have read of the death of Professor Emeritus
Hans Freeman, with its record of his long and significant scientific
career. There were several other obituaries written at the time of his
death. That in the Sydney Morning Herald on December 5 began:
‘HANS FREEMAN was in the front rank of Australian scientists, an
inspirational teacher, meticulous and innovative researcher and
ceaseless campaigner for science in Australia.
‘Focusing his research on the application of structural methods to
biological problems, he pioneered methods that continue to have a
big impact on scientific endeavour. He established the field of protein
crystallography in Australia and his team at Sydney University was the
first to determine the structure of a protein…
…‘And he was, at times, absent-minded. When colleague Mitchell
Guss arrived at the appointed time to collect Freeman for their visit to
Hamburg, the professor had gone swimming at Camp Cove, locked his
Hans Freeman keys in the house and had to borrow a neighbour’s ladder. He went to
the wrong airport lounge and didn’t hear the boarding announcement.
The pair made the flight because it was delayed. Then he nearly missed
the connection in Frankfurt because he needed a camera battery. Yet
his whole life was about learning and he learned from this, carefully
planning future journeys.
‘Hans Charles Freeman, who has died at 79, was born in Breslau,
Germany. In 1938, his father Karl, a successful businessman, had a
tip-off from a member of the Nazi Party. Karl, his wife Lotte and their
children, Hans and Eva, left for Australia...’
It was a different sort of ‘chemistry’ which bound International House
and Hans Freeman. As an alumnus of IH in the USA he had joined with
Betty Battle, a Lecturer in Social Work, and other IH alumni on Sydney
University Campus to work for the establishment of a House in Sydney.
Hans’ sister Eva, a student of Betty Battle’s, was also involved – a
piece of history which I discovered only last year on meeting Eva for the
first time when she came from her home in London for Hans’ funeral.
We met outside the packed Great Hall after the wonderful academic
farewell to her brother. Before flying out the next afternoon she joined
us at the IH Fellow’s lunch at the House. It was her first visit to the
place which she had helped to build over forty years previously and of
which she had heard so much from Hans.
In 1967, when the House was a reality and it was time for the Provisional
Board of Management to morph into the International House Council,
the Senate appointed Hans Freeman. There he stayed for over thirty
years. And there, using his extraordinary intelligence and understanding,
he patiently, courteously, tirelessly, firmly and generously cared for
International House. He served on the House and Finance Committee
and he was a distinguished Chair of the Council.
Hans’s vision of International House was of what it could yet become.
Of all the Councilors who looked after the House during my time, he
was almost alone in being prepared to challenge a Director’s view or
proposal. His good-will could never be doubted, but true academic that
he was, he expected to be convinced of the wisdom of an action or a
policy. His respect for and friendship of a person were not reason for
quiet acquiescence. How I appreciated his being there!
From that original Council, there are only two of us left. Not seeing
Han’s gentle smile when I now visit the House gives me a sad moment.
I remember the very strange thing he said at the House Dinner on his
appointment as a Fellow of IH: ‘If I could share this award I would want
to do so with Graeme de Graaff’. I came over the years to realise that
what he meant was that he knew how much we had in common in what
we wanted for International House and its people.
Graeme de Graaff
28 April 2009
JUNE 2009 21
INTERNATIONAL HOUSE ALUMNA
WITH SOUTH AFRICAN NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION
Photo from left to right:
Thandi Mkhatshwa, Daniela Cohen, Lydia Ngomane,
Constance Rahlane, Lou Manzo, Linky Matsie.
Front: Briget Ganske, Bongekile Mhlanga.
Photo by Tracey Luszcz.
Cohen, who did a one-year Student Exchange in Sydney in
1999 while completing her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
and English Literature, has always been interested in building
bridges between different cultures. Living in International
House that year allowed her to form lifelong friendships
with people from all over the world, and remains one of her
richest experiences. Subsequently, she became an English
International House alumna Daniela Cohen (’99) has almost as a Second Language teacher and has now taught ESL to
completed a year-long term as Senior Editor and NPO Manager international students and immigrants for seven years in both
with Amazwi, a start-up South African non-profit organization Canada and France. The opportunity with Amazwi presented
focused on empowering rural women through narrative her with an especially meaningful chance to forge friendships
journalism. across the racial divides she had known growing up in
apartheid South Africa. “The most important thing for me this
Based in the rural community of Acornhoek, Amazwi’s year was to be able to genuinely connect with the journalists,
media education and development programs are focused to gain the trust of these very special women, and an insight
on empowerment, education and preservation. Amazwi aims into a community I never could have had living as I did in a
to empower rural African women to tell their stories through segregated society.”
journalism training and publishing (and thereby preserving) the
stories of their community in the Amazwi Villager newspaper, Daniela has been documenting her experience of returning to
as well as its online component. Started as a quarterly her homeland in a monthly online column titled “Homeward
student newspaper in 2007, the Villager has developed into Bound” for the Canadian Immigrant magazine.
an important monthly publication containing news relevant
to local rural communities and distributed in Acornhoek, “One aspect that I was excited to work with this year was
Thulamahashe, the Oaks and Hoedspruit. my writing. The column was a perfect way to ensure I wrote
regularly as well as getting me to reflect on and somewhat
In 2007 the Amazwi School of Media Arts (SOMA) trained work through the complex experiences I was having.”
fifteen unemployed Sotho and Shangaan women between the
ages of 22 and 34 as narrative print journalists with a focus Daniela is also interested in pursuing a career in international
on South African cultural, social and rural issues. This year, development, and felt her position with Amazwi would give
five SOMA graduates are participating in a full-time journalism her practical experience on the ground. She feels she has
internship with the Villager newspaper. learned a lot this year, and is eager to continue to work on
Since January 2008 Daniela has been mentoring the journalists projects which enhance the quality of life of people both in
through the process of editing their stories for publication, as South Africa and worldwide.
well as managing the organization’s fundraising and marketing
projects. She is very grateful to have had the experience of To learn more about Daniela Cohen, visit her blog located at
volunteering with Amazwi for the year. http://southafricanvoices.wordpress.com You can also read her
column at: http://www.canadianimmigrant.ca/onlineexclusives/
“I left South Africa with my family when I was in high school, features/archive?catName=Online+Exclusives%2fFeatures&
and always wanted to go back and do something to make a PageNumber=3
difference there. In 2007 I went back to South Africa to visit Please also see Amazwi’s website at www.amazwi.org for
my family and also did some touring around. It was the first more information on Amazwi.
time since I was a child that I had the opportunity to see Contact: Daniela Cohen, Amazwi, firstname.lastname@example.org,
more of the country and was blown away by its beauty. After +27.72.771.2597
that, I started actively searching for a long-term volunteer
opportunity in South Africa. I was drawn to Amazwi’s principles If you would like to cover Daniela’s story and her work with
of empowerment, education and preservation, which I strongly Amazwi, please contact Daniela via email –or- Amazwi’s
endorse, and was glad when I discovered its location near the founder, Maggie Messitt, (email@example.com) to set up any
Blyde River Canyon. It seemed a perfect fit.” interviews. Photographs are available per your request.
22 The alumni news
KEITH SUTER, FELLOW OF HOUSE
Keith Suter, Roger Wescombe,
Denise North, Charlene Griffiths,
Graeme de Graaff
n 22 November 2008 Keith Suter became a Fellow of International
House. His Fellowship recognizes the exceptional quality of his
contribution to International House over the whole period of its
existence and the exceptional abilities that equip him to be an outstanding
contributor to its intellectual and cultural life into the future.
Though Keith’s full-time employment has normally been outside university
departments, he has earned not one, but two doctorates, and is currently
working on a third. He has lived in, and contributed to the life of, most
University of Sydney Colleges.
His learning is in areas that are of central interest to International House
as a centre for the generation of international understanding. His first
doctorate was on the international law of guerrilla warfare, and his second
on the economic and social consequences of the arms race. His current
doctoral research is on the effectiveness of the Uniting Church.
His extra-curricular interests are likewise of relevance to International
House. He is one of the 100 members of the prestigious think-tank,
The Club of Rome, an honour he shares with such notables as Mikhail
Gorbachev, Bill Gates, Al Gore and Jimmy Carter. He has an exceptional
knowledge and understanding of international affairs in the areas of
politics, law and business.
He is a highly-regarded radio (2GB) and television (Channel 7 ‘Sunrise’)
commentator on international affairs with regular appearances in both
media. He has given innumerable addresses to Uniting Church and
community organisation audiences and is on the professional speakers
His appointments have included:
• Chairperson, International Humanitarian Law Committee of Australian
• Chairperson, International Commission of Jurists (NSW)
• Director of Studies, International Law Association (Australian Branch)
• Variously, State and National President of United Nations Association
• President, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney
• Consultant on Social Policy at the Wesley Mission
He was awarded the Australian Government’s Peace Medal in 1986.
He was Rostrum’s “Communicator of the Year” in 1995. He received
a Rotary Paul Harris Fellowship in 1997. He has written a number of
books on international affairs.
JUNE 2009 23
- GENERATING INITIATIVE
Roger Wescombe o pursue effectively its objectives SUIHAA ACN offers a wide range of products including
needs an ongoing source of income. It fixed lines for homes and businesses, mobile
receives income as each new member joins, voice, as well as mobile broadband, which
and an occasional donation from a member who provides wireless high-speed internet access.
perceives its needs. But these will be insufficient For further information about the ACN product
sources of income in the long term. There are portfolio, visit www.acnaustralia.com.au.
major disadvantages in imposing an annual or
occasional fee on members: the sheer cost in SUIHAA is excited about this initiative and
time and resources for the organisation and its your support can assist. Should you have any
members, of a system of annual or occasional queries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
fees, would mean a great deal of waste and
au. Please note, however, that if you sign
possibly the loss of thousands of members.
up with ACN your contract will be with ACN,
not with SUIHAA or International House.
The SUIHAA Committee has decided to take
Please satisfy yourself in advance that the
an entrepreneurial approach to the matter by
becoming an agent of the telecommunications offered ACN contract suits your needs. But
services provider, ACN Australia. if it does, and you become an ACN customer,
you can be confident that some benefit will
From June 2009, Australia-based SUIHAA accrue to SUIHAA. One member of the SUIHAA
members, families and friends will be able to committee is an employee of ACN. Neither I,
sign up to a range of ACN telecommunications nor to the best of my knowledge and belief, any
products through SUIHAA. A small fraction of the other member of the SUIHAA committee, has
revenue from the sale of such services will be any pecuniary interest in ACN.
passed, by ACN to SUIHAA.
Three Things … Karen Rowe-Nurse
Three things you didn’t know about IH:
1. IH owns a small Rembrandt, currently resting in the archives of SU.
2. Steamed iceberg lettuce was served as a vegetable in the early 1980s.
3. Residents started wearing their pyjamas as a protest against the early (6am) house photos in 1981.
Foundation Day Lunch & Address Speaker and date to be confirmed
Stargazing at the Cabin & BBQ 16 August
Bo Fundraiser Trivia Night 4 September
Walter Westman Lecture 17 September (Subject to confirmation)
Spring Back to Sydney Alumni reunion open day 31 October
SUIHAA AGM & Lunch 29 November
New Video on IH
The Director and Residents are impressed with the new publicity video for International House.
Hosted by the photogenic Dhati Subramanyam and featuring many current residents, it is a cheerful,
entertaining romp around the House. Alumni with access to the internet can find it at http://www.usyd.
edu.au/internationalhouse by using the “IH Videos” button.
24 The alumni news
Coming to SUIHAA in June 2009!
You can sign up your home, business, mobile and wireless broadband services through SUIHAA and receive
a range of competitive offers. Hereunder, the ACN advertising
Sign up ACN services NOW!
1. You can download the full product catalogue and Customer Authorisation Form (CAF) from www.suihaa.org.au.
2. Visit www.acnaustralia.com.au for service terms, conditions and network coverage.
3. Fax the completed CAF to +61 2 9476 2633 or email a scanned copy to email@example.com.
JUNE 2009 25
PIANO CONCERTS RAISES FOR THE BO PROJECT
n December 20th, 2008 some fifty people, including
several alumni braved the pre-Christmas traffic on the
freeway from Sydney to Newcastle to come and hear
Tonya Lemoh play a memorable concert a t the Stuart and Sons
Tonya,daughter of IH alumni Nuli and Margaret Lemoh, graduated
from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 1996. After gaining
her Masters in Music at Cincinnatti , USA, she moved to Denmark
where she currently lives and performs as a solo and chamber
She was in Australia to spend Christmas with her family and
offered to give a performance in aid of the Bo Children's Hospital
Project. Wayne Stuart, designer and manufacturer of the unique
Stuart and Sons piano, generously offered
the use of one of these magnificent instruments in the intimate
atmosphere of the piano factory studio.
L to R: Thanks to a number of innovations this Australian-designed piano has a distinctive
Adele Swain (’67),
clear and resonant tone, together with a wider range of notes than standard
Margaret Lemoh (’67-‘68), pianos.
Nuli Lemoh (’67),
Pianist Tonya Lemoh, The audience on this occasion had an exciting and unique experience. Tonya’s
Christabel Wescombe (’75). selection of works by Bach, Brahms, Debussy ,Ginastera and Australian composers,
Miriam Hyde, Margaret Sutherland and Elena Kats-Chernin had a wide-ranging
appeal. With this instrument she brought a fresh dimension to familiar composers
and an intriguing encounter with contemporary music.
Our own Elena Kats-Chernin’s work,“Variations in a Serious Black Dress”, was
a highlight, engaging the ear and the eye with its adventurous chords and the
use at times of elbows and forearms to play the notes! The designer of the piano
commented that he had never heard some of the harmonics the piano yielded
during the performance.
A bonus to the programme was the sumptuous afternoon tea provided, along with
the opportunity to explore the factory workshop.
Two days later Tonya performed the same programme at the Fox Valley Community
Church Activities Centre in Wahroonga, Sydney. This time the piano was a standard
piano, but the concert was just as enjoyable. The two concerts resulted in $5000
for the project, a most heartening result.
Wafa Dabbas has fond memories
of the Flag Dinner of 2000, when
she was a resident of IH doing her
PhD. Wafa likes this photo because
of its vibrant colours and because of
the wide ranging representation of
Alfa CHASANAH, INDONESIA (’88-’90, ’96-’01)
Wafa DABBAS, AUSTRALIA (’99-’02)
Ekaterini LYMBEROPOULOU, GREECE (’97-’01)
Mariana PREGNOLATTO, BRAZIL (’99-’00)
Miriam TAVERNIERS, BELGIUM (’00)
Michelle CHALMERS, AUSTRALIA (’99-’02)
Nilukshi NANAYAKKARA, AUSTRALIA (’00-’04)
Hanne Cecilie HOELFELDT-LUND, NORWAY (’00-’01)
Anna McADAM, AUSTRALIA (’00)
Gina Chin-Chin KUO, TAIWAN (’99-’02)
26 The alumni news
THE INTERNATIONAL HOUSE ALUMNI
AWARD FOR ACHIEVEMENT
The International House Alumni Award for Achievement is an award of the Council of International
House to recognise an alumnus who has made a significant contribution to society. The award is
a ceremonial pin. Previous winners of the Award include: Brian Farmer, Walter Westman, Virginia
Teodosio, John Webb, Nicolas Stuart, Anne Walker, Alina Wojcik.
The selection committee must take account of the extent of each nominee’s contribution to society
and may also take account of:
• The contribution of the achievement to international, intercultural or interracial
understanding and friendship;
• The extent to which a nominee has been unrecognized or under-recognized
for the achievement;
• Any other matter which the selection committee considers relevant to the selection
of an appropriate awardee.
The selection committee comprises the President of SUIHAA, the Secretary of SUIHAA and a member
of SUIHAA elected by the SUIHAA Committee. The deliberations of the selection committee are
confidential and may be conveyed only to the Council of International House. Nominations may be
made on a nomination form downloaded from the SUIHAA website or by using the information set out
below. Nominations for the 2009 award should reach International House by 30 June 2009.
NOMINATION INFORMATION REQUIRED
1. Full name and address of nominee
2. Full name of nominee while staying at International House
3. Course undertaken by nominee while resident at International House
4. Year(s) nominee was resident at International House
5. Details of the nominee’s achievement
6. When was the achievement (explain short and long term effects)?
7. Where was the achievement and where will its benefits be felt?
8. By what does the nominee appear to have been motivated?
9. Was the activity of the nominee performed on a voluntary basis or as
part of his/her employment?
10. How was the achievement accomplished—what techniques were used,
organisations involved, media enlisted or innovations used?
11. Attach any substantiating or illustrative material
12. Full name and address of nominator
13. How long and in what capacity have you known the nominee?
14. Names of supporting referees (if any)
15. Signature of nominator
Please mark the envelope containing the nomination “Private and Confidential” and address it to:
SUIHAA Alumni Award Committee,
96 City Rd, Chippendale
NSW 2008, Australia
JUNE 2009 27
NEWS OF ALUMNI
Nop Seniwongse (’67-’70) receiving in Germany. Pauline has been leading
the Best Paper Award on Construction the way in London with activities in
at the 2008 American Society of Civil support of the Bo project. Alumni
Engineers - AEI Conference, held in attending included Adrian Buzo, Gwen
Denver, Colorado. & Richard Ng, Denise North, Rosemary
Williams, Hasan and George Rosier.
Dr Victor Valdez (‘69) of the Philippines
was the recent recipient of the 2008
Outstanding Professional of the Year (L to R) Val Hazlewood, Karl & Lan Wehrhahn, Pauline Lyle-Smith
Award in the Field of Dentistry. The
award was presented to Dr Valdez in a
ceremony in Manila. This is the highest
award bestowed by the Professional
Regulation Commission upon a
professional as recommended by his
peers for having amply demonstrated
professional competence of the
highest degree and having contributed
significantly to the advancement of his
Victor is now retired but active still as
a consultant to the Philippine Dental
Association. His wife Lagring is still
practising as a dentist and says she will
do so until 90! Victor’s son Magno is a (L to R) Val Hazlewood, Marion Weiss, Lan Wehrhahn, Pauline Lyle-Smith
The award was reported in the journal
'Timek' which is the 'Official Publication
of the Provincial Government of La
Union' a province in northern Luzon in
Pauline Lyle-Smith (’69) made one
of her occasional visits to Sydney in
May and was the guest of Lan and
Karl Wehrhahn at their home for a
large reunion with fellow alumni on
Saturday 2 May. The gathering also
celebrated the visit of Marion Weiss
(’67-’68) who has lived for many years (L to R) John Gascoigne, Graeme de Graaff, Joan Rowlands
28 The alumni news
Julia Krattli (‘99-‘01) is enjoying Hazel Smith (Dr) Agriculture (‘87-‘90) hands to us when we were in difficulty
living in Sydney and teaching maths to writes that after years off the IH radar, (moving out of a flat to a new flat, going
teenagers at a small school in the south and the last ten living in the UK, she is to the airport picking up a friend from
of Sydney. She is finding her new role planning to move back to Australia with I’sia or leaving A’lia for good, and so on).
of Year 7 Adviser challenging but also her two daughters (10 and 13) and new He used to work for United Nations as a
very rewarding. Earlier in the year Julia husband in 2010. car driver that provided and distributed
travelled to Peru, Bolivia and Patagonia Asruddin Barori Tou (’82 – ’86) wrote aids to Indonesian people especially in
and is already planning her next trip. In to advise his change of address and the eastern part of Indonesia.”
what remains of her spare time Julia then became engaged in an exchange
enjoys playing floorball (innebandy/ of e-mails with Roger Wescombe and Asruddin was impressed to learn that
salebandy)- the latest Swedish indoor Graeme de Graaff. Asruddin did his Ph.D Graeme and Lauris still ride their bikes.
hockey craze to hit Sydney! at Macquarie Uni from 1992 to 1996 And Asruddin’s children? “I have a son,
when, he remembers fondly, students a year-nine student to go to an upper
An announcement from the Washington from Indonesia had an “Indonesian secondary school, and a daughter,
State Pacific Science Centre about our hero”: Roger Dadd, a North Ryde a year-six student to go to a lower
alumnus Dennis Schatz (’69-’70): It's resident. “He would always give helping secondary school.”
becoming routine around Pacific Science
Center - every few years we report that
Dennis Schatz, Senior Vice President Christopher Moore (’74-‘76) hosted a splendid musical event at his home on
for Strategic Programs, is being Saturday 4 April. It was to raise funds for the Bo project. During his time as
honoured once again. Last Saturday, SUIHAA President, Christopher had given his wholehearted support to the project
Dennis received the Faraday Science and is continuing that support by a series of musical events utilising his own Stuart
Communicator Award, presented piano. The April event included some items by Christopher himself, and other items
annually by the National Science by several of his gifted piano students.
Teachers Association. This award
recognizes and honors an individual
or organization that has inspired the
public's interest in and appreciation of
science. Dennis joins an elite group of
highly prestigious honorees: last year's
winner was the PBS series NOVA, and in
2007 the award was presented to NPR
Science Correspondent Ira Flatow. Go to
www.pacsci.org/dennisschatz/ to read
a recent article in the Pacific Science
Center eNewsletter that gives a more
complete story about Dennis and this Christopher Moore with some of his talented piano students Christopher and Nuli, comrades in arms for the Bo project
This is a picture of 6 alumni from 5 different
counties meeting up in Antigua Guatemala's
Central Parc for New Years celebrations on 1
January 2009, 12.01 AM.
“Best wishes for 2009 and may IH continue
to bind us all, especially now that one of us is
returning to Sydney!”
Guatemala photo from left to right:
Hector Barrera, Mexico City, Mexico (IH 2003-05)
Masa Crnjakovic, Zagreb, Croatia (IH 2003-04)
Marten Dresen, Rotterdam, Netherlands (IH 2004)
Noel Bakhtian, Palo Alto, CA, United States (IH 2003)
Mile Stefanac, Toronto, Canada (IH 2003-2006)
Fadua Musalem, Monterrey, Mexico (IH 2003)
JUNE 2009 29
MEMBER FEEDBACK TO: SUIHAA, International House
96 City Road, Chippendale
N.S.W. 2008 Australia
MEMBERSHIP UPDATE & RE-CONNECTION
The SUIHAA database is usually updated within a week. We recommend that
members use this feedback sheet or the form provided at the web site. We are
happy to help you if you have lost touch with a friend from IH. Place your letter in
a sealed envelope and send it to us. We will forward it.
Please tick and supply information.
In providing this information, you acknowledge that your name and years at IH
will be shown on the SUIHAA website and searchers will be able to send you an
email (without knowing your email address or other contact details).
Your contact details will also be made available to International House and
Sydney University. If you do not want your personal information merged with
the University of Sydney database, please let us know.
My address was correct but I provide additional information below.
My address was not correct.
(Please print clearly)
Title Mr Mrs Ms Miss Dr Prof Other
First Name:........................................................Surname in IH:............................................................................
Year(s) in I.H:.....................Current Surname (if applicable):..................................................................................
Can we release your home phone number to other SUIHAA members? Yes No
News/Comments (You can also email to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Bo Children’s Hospital Project
Title: Mr Ms Mrs Miss Dr Other
First Name/s: Last Name:
City: State: Post Code:
Country: Phone Home: ( )
Phone Business: ( ) Email:
Please accept my gift of $20 $50 $100 $500 Other $__________
Gifts made within Australia are tax deductible.
Please direct my gift to -
BO CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL PROJECT (45301 DO 580)
Cheque (payable to The University of Sydney – Bo Children’s Hospital Project)
Credit Card: Visa MasterCard American Express Diners Club
Card No: ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
Expiry Date: ___ ___ / ___ ___ Cardholder Name:
I would like my gift to remain anonymous
Thank you for your generous support (SUIHAA Newsletter June 2009)
Please return this form to: Advancement Services
Level 6, Jane Foss Russell Building G02
The University of Sydney, NSW 2006 Australia
Fax: +61 2 9351 5688
ABN: 15211513464 Charitable Fundraising No: 10369
CODE: 45301 P FF DO
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with information about the University, its services, events and achievements. It may be passed on to groups affiliated with the University, such as alumni
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