Beginning my New Colombo Plan adventure

Hello and welcome to Hong Kong, my subtropical and happening home for the next few months. As a Griffith University exchange student at the University of Hong Kong (a university ranked 26th in the world), I am extremely excited to be here. Staying on Hong Kong Island and living on the west side, about 100m from mountains on my left and the sea on my right, I couldn’t have ever imagined such a perfect start to my adventure – even after years of dreaming, a year of preparing, and months of frazzled organising. But now that I am here, I have a small, neat room, with a window overlooking said mountain and sea, on the 11th floor of a high rise building. I have a spectacular university nestled into the foothills of the mountains. And I have the pleasure of experiencing the heat and humidity and late setting of the sun, which all reinforce the life and adventure afoot in this small Chinese haven.

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So far I have settled into Hong Kong with remarkable ease – despite how busy and populated it is, it also feels calm and welcoming, and a bit like coming back to a second home. I last spent a few weeks in Hong Kong when I volunteered here in 2011 on my way to China to study at Zhejiang University. This time though, I will be able to dig in deeper and really explore all Hong Kong has to offer. Already I can envisage many nights of researching along to the sounds of Hong Kong in action, with special desserts by my side, and flasks full of Hong Kong milk tea in front of me.

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Looking at Hong Kong Island from the ferry to Lamma Island. My university is at the foot of the mountain on the right side of the picture.

My whole aim in coming back to Hong Kong on the New Colombo Plan has really been to maximise all of the opportunities available to me and make connections I might not otherwise be able to make (as easily) without the aid of the scholarship. Because I aim to work within the region for government and non-governmental organisations, particularly in the fields of gender equity and social enterprise, this really presents me with the perfect opportunity to launch my career and continue my life adventure. Within the first four days of arriving, I have already been offered an internship on my first meeting with the co-convenor of the Women’s Studies Research Centre at the University of Hong Kong, and been introduced to key professionals and scholars in the area of women, leadership and gender equity, all the subject of my research.

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The view of Hong Kong Island (below), Kowloon across the harbour, and the New Territories in the distance, from the top of Victoria Peak

While conducting my own research into women in leadership in universities in Hong Kong and completing my internship, I will also be launching into intensive Mandarin Chinese lessons, and photo-documenting design and creativity I encounter for my sister’s graphic and web design company. There are so many stories to be told in these streets and on these mountains.

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Yung Shue Wan and the view of the power station, on Lamma Island.

Because I have set myself an aim of at least one new adventure per day, I should accumulate some beautiful pictures and a wealth of stories which I will try to keep this website updated on. To start with, this week has involved adventures such as traipsing through some of Hong Kong’s more obvious sites – Mong Kok, Nathan Rd, Victoria Peak and Lamma Island – but as I settle in further, I will let you know of all I discover.

Please keep in touch while I’m over here, feel free to follow my adventures, and if you happen to stop by the region too, give me a holla as I’d love to catch up too!

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Hung Shing Ye Beach, Lamma Island, where I had the pleasure of reading a book on China post-1978 in the shade.

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