The 2013 Golden Key Asia-Pacific Conference: Get Connected was held in Adelaide, South Australia from the 7th to the 9th of February 2013. Our gracious hosts at the University of South Australia provided excellent facilities in the heart of Adelaide city. The proximity to the city’s nightlife, parks, museums and restaurants was appreciated by the 150 delegates.
The opening night saw an official Welcome to Country by Uncle Lewis O’Brien on behalf of the Kaurna people, the traditional owners of the land around Adelaide. We were then welcomed by the Deputy Vice Chancellor – Academic of UniSA, Professor Joanne Wright, as well as the Lieutenant Governor of South Australia, Hieu Van Le. The opening keynote was the inspirational Sam Cawthorn. He highlighted the important role of positive thinking and bouncing forward.
On the second day the focus was on professional development and the participation of many companies and partner organisations provided a very valuable day for delegates through workshops, an Expo, a keynote from Curtis Walter (Interview of Stature) and a Careers Panel.
Companies and organizations that participated included Ernst & Young, Navitas, Talent2, CirilloHooper, UniSA, Interview of Stature, Wine Australia, The Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia, Codan, PwC, ACPFG, Deloitte, Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development, the University of New England, The Institute of Chartered Accountants, Adelaide City Council, SA Water and the Department of Education and Child Development.
In the afternoon a more altruistic topic of community service showed delegates the importance of continuing their GK community service initiatives. Graham Jaeschke, General manager South Australia for the Smith Family, gave a great insight into their programs and impact.
On Saturday Rachael Robertson talked about her amazing experience leading a 12 month Antarctic expedition. And later journalist George Negus summarized the biggest global changes of the last 25 years before leading a panel on the topic of ‘Affluenza’.
The Conference finished with a fun night at the National Wine Centre where delegates dressed for the theme of colour-blocking and danced the night away! Overall, a great time was had by all attendees networking and learning together.
“I just wanted to personally thank Golden Key for such an amazing experience. Being one of the recipients of the 2013 Asia Pacific Conference travel grant gave me such a great opportunity. I got to spend 3 days in Adelaide meeting and interacting with international scholars. The conference kicked off with a great welcome BBQ where I got to meet other delegates from the Asia Pacific region, as well as from North America and even from South Africa. The next 3 days were filled with amazing speakers ranging from Sam Cawthorn to George Negus as well as a plethora of exciting workshops to attend. The theme of the conference was to Get Connected and get connected we did. I networked with delegates who exemplify the areas of academics, leadership and services learning from one another we forged strong friendships. On the final day of the conference our gala dinner was hosted at the National Wine Centre in Adelaide where the delegates were dressed in super bright colors for our color blocking theme. This opportunity would not have been possible if not for Golden Key providing me with a travel grant. I would once again like to thank Golden Key for this once is an lifetime opportunity and to encourage other Golden key members to apply for scholarships while striving for academic, leadership and service excellence.” -Vitaliy Chernenko, Simon Fraser University