05 July 2012
Student officer returns as Greens deputy leader
In 1997 Adam Bandt was a research officer for the RMIT Student Union. He recently returned to speak to students as both the Federal Deputy Greens Leader and MP for Melbourne, which takes in the RMIT City campus.
Adam Bandt with students at the conference.
After leaving RMIT he worked as a solicitor and partner for Slater and Gordon for nine years until 2008 and then as a barrister until 2010, before being elected to the House of Representatives.
Mr Bandt was one of two guest speakers at the Bachelor of Arts (International Studies) Student Conference, Developing Competencies for My Global Passport, which was attended by 100 people.
He spoke to students about his Greens portfolios which include Employment and Workplace Relations, Innovation and Industry, Science and Research and Assisting on Climate and Energy.
"During a recent trip to Germany people there just could not understand why Australia, with all its sunshine, was not generating more of our energy needs from solar," Mr Bandt said.
The other guest speaker was Hayley Bolding, who graduated from International Studies in 2002 and at 23 founded a non-profit organisation in Mumbai, India, called Atma, which in Hindi means Soul.
Ms Bolding led and developed Atma, which uses a partnership model to support pioneering non-government organisations (NGOs) in the education sector.
Under her leadership Atma moved in six years from a start-up to a well respected organisation engaging multiple partners on 50 sites and reaching almost 12,000 beneficiaries.
The Atma Volunteer Program has facilitated 160 volunteers to work with Atma partner NGOs and promotes cross-cultural exchange through meaningful professional skill-based volunteering.
Last year Ms Bolding returned to Australia to continue to grow and manage Atma Australia - an NGO that supports the work of Atma and its partners in India.
Dr Jose Roberto Guevara, Senior Lecturer in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, said that at the conference second-year students presented their industry research findings as part of completing their working and managing in international contexts unit.
He said this unit was technically the pre-internship course for the International Studies program and the conference helped celebrate the completion of this milestone.
"These conferences were started in 2005. We used to have them at the end of the year, but since then they have grown into a conference at the end of each semester," Dr Guevara said.
"The semester one conference is for second-year students to present their findings about the changing nature of the international careers they are interested in, while the semester two conference is when third-year students share their own experiences after conducting their internships."
Areas covered at the conference included government, media, foreign affairs, trade, human rights, human trafficking, security, community education, refugees and migration, refugee education, disaster prevention and relief and language and cultural education.
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