november 22, 2000
the most recent dispatch from the field... (more)
catch up on previous news postings... (more)
Sign up to get email reminders when there is new news... (more)
nov 18, 2000
Camping and Fishing on the Kiewa... (more)
nov 16, 2000
Rafting and TAFE-ing in New South Wales... (more)
nov 08, 2000
Wine, Horse Races, Roos on the Ridge and, yes! a bit of work... (more)
nov 05, 2000
3 B's Tour east of Canberra: Bywong, Braidwood, and Batemans Bay... (more)
nov 03, 2000
A day at the galleries... (more)
nov 02, 2000
Meetings at CIT and attending an online conference ... (more)
Short of the speed of light, but close, was a shift from camping at "Chicks Camp" to a trip to Sydney. Sunday morning, I boarded a train from Albury to Wagga (Wagga), and met up with Ken and Alex, both of the Riverina TAFE colleges, for a trip to a technology conference in Sydney, which no one should need reminding, was the host two months earlier to the spectacular 2000 Olympics. Many remnants from the games remain here, including the worthy structures, statues, facilities, and the endless streams of merchandise.
But we were here for a conference for all of the TAFE institutions in New South Wales (some 95+). "Building Momentum" was the theme for discussion efforts and issues of development of online "learningware" to be deployed across the system, TAFE NSW Online.
The location was an interesting facility of the Australian Technology Park in Sydney, a refurbished set of old railroad warehouse buildings that have a wonderful mixture of old (bricks and steel machinery) with the glass and light, clean look of the interior rooms. The end building displays the original look, full of strange iron machinery and pounding of hammers (it is used for teaching blacksmithing) while the conference facility next door is all modern on the interior.
today's photos - all photos o o o o
o o Sydney
I was introduced to Tony Brady, the director the TAFE system for all of New South Wales, who welcomed me and then invited me to share comments to the audience at the end fo the conference. For the next two days, various working groups from different institutions showed progress on their developing of online learning materials. The topic areas were broad, and ranged far from just technology, to include construction, agribusiness, child study, mining, plant physiology, and quite a bit more. In my remarks, I got a chuckle out of my comment about practicing to say, "G'Day". In response to an earlier presentation highlighting concern about competition in online learning from Harvard, I commented that is not Harvard they had to worry about, but the next educational "Napster".
The evenings provided extra curricular excursions to other venues of importance, "public rooms" (pubs), nice eateries such as the Pumphouse, the International Car Show in the Sydney Convention Center, and the Star City casino (great buffets, stingy machines).
On Wednesday morning, I had a few hours to explore the area around Darling Harbour, walking around the Maritime Museum, across the Pyromont Bridge, to the City Centre. One of the many landmarks is the tallest building in Sydney, Centrepoint or the AMP Tower, which is some 305 meters (1500+ feet) high. The elevator whisks you to the top level observation deck, a glass walled chamber offering fantastic views of the entire city.
After the breathtaking view, it was time to hit the shops-- Queen Victoria Building is a classic old style structure filled with three levels of shops that just radiate "classiness". Apparently the Queen truly did visit here and commissioned the building or knighted it or sprinkled it with royal breath. Regardless, it is a beautiful place.
I did wander past a place with a familiar style a place that identified itself behind brightly colored signs as "Sydney's Best Party Place". You will have to investigate the picture to see why I was confused as to my location.
This was a very quick and limited view of Sydney, but I can see why it was a winning choice for the Olympic games. It is vibrant, diverse, modernly, but also with a sense of history. I will get to spend about 24 hours here again in three weeks on my way to Arizona, but that visit I will pretty much be focused on seeing home again.
By Wednesday evening we had returned to Wagga Wagga but not without visiting one of the more important scenic locations, "Dog on Tuckerbox". If you think this is a small corner of the world, I found 206 links to it via a search on Google! As best as I can fathom, this spot is a tribute to the pioneers based upon a poem describing events that happened as the settlers came through what is truly a beautiful region. And to mark the spot where a dog sat on a "tuckerbox" (a wagon lunchbox)... there is a statue of a dog... on a tuckerbox.
Well, Sydney has nothing on the Dog. Next stop is Friday evening in Melbourne.
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