Sydney, Australia

Sydney, Australia

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Saturday - Australian Aboriginal Elders Farewell Dinner

Saturday was the program's final full-day in Australia before the students departed to various destinations on Sunday.  The week was a wonderful journey filled with countless learning opportunities and experiences.  Students spent much of Saturday exploring Sydney and the surrounding areas on their own.  In the evening, we gathered one last time to have a farewell dinner hosted by Australian Aboriginal Elders.  The experience was remarkable and the perfect conclusion to a spectacular program.  Below are some pictures from the event, including a picture from the welcome ceremony.

We hope you have enjoyed following our adventures in Sydney, and we hope you will follow other Southern Illinois University School of Law Legal Globalization and Comparative Law courses as they travel around the world learning about different countries, cultures, and legal systems.

Until next time.

Sunrise over Sydney Harbour

Student Post - Willie Lyles

The dinner with Aboriginal Elders has to be the highlight of this trip. Hearing their stories of overcoming and triumph gave me hope that we can fix our issues with race in America. With resolve and determination we can forge a lasting reconciliation that fosters peace and understanding. It takes leadership from the top and a willingness to see those who are invisible and acknowledge their place in society.

Student Post - Nazia Hosein

Traveling to Australia was an amazing experience. I have always wanted to visit Australia, but I was amazed by how beautiful Sydney was. We were fortunate that Vivid Sydney was going on while we were there. All of the the lights were beautiful. The food was delicious, two of the places I would recommend would be Saki (a sushi place) and O-Bar (a restaurant the spins giving you a 360 view of the city while you eat). I truly enjoyed it and will be back and I would recommend it to anyone, with the warning that they should be prepared to walk a lot.

Student Post - Maria Napolez

Visiting Sydney during Vivid was absolutely amazing! All of the lights and art work displayed made walking through the city an extremely exciting experience! Staying in the rocks was fabulous! Being central to great shops, eateries, the opera house, and public transportation made exploring the city an adventurous and easy task. I particularly loved seeing the Sydney Orchestra at the opera house, and visiting Manly beach! The welcoming dinner location and views were breathtaking. I also enjoyed visiting Australia's different courts whilst exploring the city on our way to our scheduled visits. Visiting the U.S. Consulate was extremely interesting, as well as visiting Ernst & Young and Baker McKenzie. Ending the trip visiting Aboriginal elders was another highlight of the trip. Having explored Sydney for the past week and trying the different varieties of foods from Australian, to Japanese, and Italian was a way to feel a part of the Australian culture in Sydney, so ending with a glimpse into the Aboriginal culture, after learning about it prior to visiting, really completed the visit for me. Overall, this experience has been incredible!!

Student Post - Chauncy Graham

Australia was great. I ate great and bonded with classmates I've never even spoken to. We learned so much about international law. I'm really considering studying abroad again and even working abroad. I recommend the class and Sydney to everyone!

Student Post - Hillary Hines

Last Day - On our last day of Sydney, a group of us decided to take a bus out to Bondi Beach for the day. Sadly, since it is Australia’s winter, it was rather cold so although we enjoyed the beautiful beach, we did not catch much sun. We then ventured over to the Bondi Beach Farmer’s Market. The market was very similar to ones in the United States. There were tons of vendors with their own homemade products, including chocolate, cakes, produce, and flowers. We bought our lunch at the Farmers market and took a place on the lawn, sitting in the sun (it finally came out for a minute), and enjoy some live music.

Later in the evening, we went to our closing dinner with an aboriginal experience. Our hostesses were amazing, sharing stories regarding their culture’s past, present, and future. It was truly a unique experience and the food was fantastic. It was a very nice way to end what was one of the best adventures I have ever been on. Throughout this trip, I made lasting friendships and memories that will continue with me throughout my future law and personal endeavors.

Student Post - Titilayo Agunloye

Today we visited the US Consulate in Australia and spoke with the Consul General and others from the office. The experience was quite interesting. One topic that rang clear was the idea of the United States being the world police and world problem solver. As our lecturer spoke about his role as a federal IRS agent for Australia, he discussed the differences in criminal sentencing. In Australia, many offenses that would impose at least a minimum of ten years in the United States have a maximum sentence of five years in Australia. The Australian government views time from a different lens than in the United States. He went on to discuss some of the most common schemes investigated by his department, which were money laundering and trade based laundering. One of the things I appreciated most was the respect the United States gives to other countries criminal process. It is not easy to be present in another country with a less stringent process for sentencing criminals and to be in a country that does not want to change its process. I respect the decisions by US officials to not tamper with the country’s policy nor impose their own sentencing structure upon another entity. In sum, he discussed his primary mission in life was to make a difference in the world and he seems to be walking in that peripheral.

Student Post - Kristen Tomcza

On Sunday May 31, 2015, we went to two museums; the Barracks museum and the Justice and Police museum. In my opinion the Justice and Police museum was the better of the two because of the tour guide, Ivan. He has a way of telling history as though is it a story that draws you in, even if you aren't interested in the topic you end up listening. He was also very knowledgeable on the conditions of staying in the jail, the pajama girl murder & a famous child kidnapping case in Australia. I thought that the use of forensic science to aid in the solving of the cases was interesting and that without it the cases never would have been solved. The museum had also acquired furniture from when the buildings were built and some furniture was also originally from the buildings. It added character and history to the buildings. Overall, this day was the most interesting because it showed how not only the law was structured but how science played a roll in solving cases.

Student Post - Alexis Crittenden

Sydney, Australia is a beautiful place and there are so many places to visit and things to do in such a short period of time. I enjoyed all of our class visits and touristy things we did. My favorite adventure during our time in Australia was at the U.S. Consulate. Although it was a hassle trying to get through security, the speakers were great and very informative and knowledgeable in their respective fields. I took a lot away from that visit. Someone from the IRS, FBI, the Consulate General, and a diplomat ICE officer. The visit just opened my eyes even further into the many different fields you could possibly go into after law school. An officer from the IRS was the most entertaining and interesting speaker. When you think about the IRS you don't usually think about organized crime and them having a hand in certain criminal investigations. All the speakers were very engaging and encouraged me to learn more about their fields and look into maybe joining the foreign service. We visited a lot of various offices and it's just so fascinating the areas of study and things they do concerning fraud and white collar crime.

Student Post - Bradley Young

Coming off the plane in the “Land Down Under,” the differences between Australia and the States are quite apparent. Cars are driving on the wrong side of the road, everyone has an accent until the realization you have the weird accent, the green American paper dollars are traded in for strange, brightly-colored bills made of plastic and a bevy of tiny little coins that are somehow worth two dollars. Around you the animals are very different. Large white cockatoos soar through strange treetops, kangaroos hop around instead of deer, and you're told every animal you see can kill you. It is very different and a bit of a culture shock.

Then, as time passes Australia becomes more and more familiar. The history of Australia is that of white English settlers landing on a foreign land filled with indigenous people without a concept of land ownership. Strife and disease decimate the aboriginal population and the settlers begin claiming land. The settlers push westward in search of wealth and land for cattle and farms. Eventually, a country stretches from one side of the continent to the other. The world wars come and take many lives, depressions and booms occur, migrants from all over the world blend in a new melting pot creating a new fusion of culture. As one lays back on a rooftop patio relaxing with a local wine, the city skyline is filled with busy people working in tall skyscrapers. If one did not know this was Australia, he could easily think he was living in New York or Miami. Despite all the differences and culture shock, “Oz” has come to feel like home back in “The States.”