I can’t think of an appropriate title for this post so I guess it’ll just be an update on everything..

There isn’t much good news about anything really – well, we got the response that we were expecting with high-power LEDs as SSVEP stimuli for our brain-car thesis project. ie, better than that with normal LEDs, which we expected months ago but didn’t achieve. It’s frustrating to have to deal with the brain and all of its unexplained behaviours. So sure, it worked.. but will it work tomorrow?

I had a pretty important interview last Tuesday with hopes of securing a free $100k. The interview went really well, too – perhaps just in comparison to the mock interview that QUT organised for me the day before which was super intense. So I was very happy after that – they asked me questions that I could easily talk about like influential leadership (see last post) and accelerating school.. I like interviews where they already seem sold by me.

I found out that Bec from maths had also had an interview, which was exciting for us – we had been sent to China together by the maths faculty so are kinda winning buddies. She tipped me off Thursday morning that she’d received an email that she’d been accepted. So, I checked my emails every 28 seconds for the next few hours, and very slowly came to the realisation that I hadn’t gotten through. Which, on the one hand is annoying because Bec would have gotten through because of her well-defined phd topic which I am very far from, but I still am pretty awesome and deserve to be on their website with the other scholars. But, I am fortunate that Bec got through and was able to give me the heads up because, had I have opened that email Friday afternoon with the expectations I had Thursday morning, it would have been quite difficult to handle.

I then followed it up with the Student Guild clubs awards night which also didn’t end the best: we were gracious losers to Natural Resources Society for Most Active Faculty Club, and Economics Finance Society for Club of the Year – what with their three events a semester. Don’t ask me, I can’t figure these things out. But I’d say 30 events, a mentoring program and a fortnightly dinner scheme is pretty active.

I get sick of doing awesome things without caring if people acknowledge them, when people actually don’t acknowledge them.




Last night, the whole year’s effort was made worthwhile. We held the GEMS AGM (in conjunction with our games night – best idea ever!) and had a massive 12 nominees for the Executive Committee of typically 6. I can assure you, this is a first for GEMS – normally whoever gets suckered in by the free food at AGMs is forced to be on the committee so we have enough to affiliate with the student guild.. But instead, we had 12 girls email their nominations in advance explaining how the club has had such a positive influence on them by making them feel welcomed and giving them access to role models that they wish to do the same for others in future. Of course we didn’t vote anyone out – that would be stupid: they’re eager volunteers.. but we did break everyone into specific sub-committees to help the group function better.

The AGM was a success (pizza was involved) so we had a bit of an impromptu focus group on what worked well throughout the year which prompted me to then put together a survey to collect everyone else’s feedback and hopefully some nice-sounding statistics and testimonials for our website-to-be!

I think that a new committee, a pumpin’ end of year party, and a sweet-looking website with compelling stats should be enough to bring the sponsors knocking!

Changing lives

Wow I’ve had a pretty big week I suppose! But then again, changing lives isn’t supposed to be too easy. And this week with the help of over 85 of my friends and family and plenty of complete strangers I managed to raise over $3,000 to give 12 girls in Sierra Leone a new lease on life with a year’s education scholarship. And I know that it’s a big number: I can tell by the reaction I get from people and how proud they all are of me. But for me, having watched the tally go up $20 at a time, I’ve become a bit desensitized. The only thing that keeps it in perspective is remembering how I felt when I first signed up and saw how much the leading girl had raised. “$800?! That’s an insane amount! Mum, one girl raised $800! I can definitely make $500 then. Surely. Hopefully. Oh, they recommend a target of $250… Well, I’ll just go for $500 and hope for the best.” Straight away it changes your perspective on things: can’t buy the pretty school dress or cute cupcake money box because they are expensive and so taking money away from the campaign. I can’t imagine how it affects Chantelle being the founder of One Girl! It’s amazing that I see her as such an inspiration and can’t imagine being so fantastic, and now people are starting to tell me the same thing! But what really is most amazing is how close I was to not participating at all: for the most part I was happy watching Chantelle’s campaign going ‘wow isn’t it incredible what she’s done’ and it only took her to be looking for someone in Brisbane to be in the newspaper that changed it all, and changed the lives of many!

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