Beyond the Classroom and to the Kitchen

Since taking a seat in my first University History lecture I have been immersed in stories – I’ve witnessed racial-tension spilling across America, I’ve seen ancient conflict on the Mongolian steppe, I’ve followed the wayfarers of the Pacific as they navigated the unknown.
In this, the last semester of my degree, I pause to reflect on why I’ve enjoyed these subjects and why I do history. As ‘the future of work’ focus seemingly shifts toward STEM, a soon-to-be Arts graduate like myself could be left asking the same question that an elderly lady upon the train asked me the other day – ‘what are you going to do with a degree like that?’. Though struck, in this encounter, with nothing to say, if I were to be caught on the train with the same lady, my answer to that question would now be – ‘tell stories’. I love history because I love stories. No matter how good an idea, without the ability to communicate it, it remains unrealised. Stories, I believe, hold the power to communicate, convince and create. This power reaches far beyond the classroom.
Aside from stories, I also love cooking. When asked what organisations I would be interested in working with in History Beyond the Classroom, the Monday Morning Cooking Club found its way to my list – an outlier amongst the museums and libraries, though a perfect match for my passion for food and history. Since 2006 the women of Monday Morning Cooking Club have been collecting, testing, curating and preserving the recipes of the Jewish community – sharing them with Australia and beyond in three spectacular books so far. For me, what makes these books so special are the stories. Around each recipe in MMCC’s books, a tapestry of Jewish culture, heart-warming personal memoirs and heirloom, culinary histories is woven. My project will be focused on helping with the collection of these stories.
Enrolling in this subject, I could not have imagined that I would have the opportunity to combine my love for stories, cooking and history whilst working with a group whose books I have been a fan of since first picking them up years ago. I am beyond excited to take history beyond the classroom and to the kitchen.
If you are in need of some culinary inspiration yourself, the Monday Morning Cooking Club website features some of their amazing recipes –

Sydney Jewish Museum

For me, choosing this course was a way to help me translate 2 ½ years of in class education into the real world where I can give my time to a non-profit organisation, and in turn my knowledge and skills could grow. My major is Jewish Civilisation, Thought and Culture, a passion for Jewish history, which has stayed with me since year 8 in 2010. Then after taking multiple courses at university on periods such as the destruction of the first and second temple in Jerusalem, the Spanish Inquisition, Emancipation, the Holocaust, as well as the modern State of Israel. Thus, I reached out to Breann Fallon, who is the Education Officer at the Sydney Jewish Museum, and was given the opportunity to go in and discuss what I could do at the museum.
The museum opened in 1992 after transitioning from a community centre, formerly known as the Maccabean Hall since its opening in 1923. The museum displays many artefacts and memorabilia that are more than just inanimate objects, they speak the experiences of the Holocaust from many perspectives, in ensuring that ‘its uniqueness in history is never forgotten and that it is recognised as a crime against humanity with contemporary and universal significance’ ( It is the museum’s mission to educate all its visitors on the consequences of racial hatred, and thus to ensure that racial tolerance is adhered to presently and in the future. Especially since many of the museum’s visitors are school students who come to learn more about the Holocaust through the museum’s displays as well as through survivor testimony as they give their story to the students in person. Thus, it is extremely important to the museum for notions of racial tolerance, human rights and social justice to be educated to these students, as they are the beneficiaries of this world in the future.
I was invited by Breann to the museum on the 17th of August in order to see how I could help them, and in turn come up with a project. The day looked like this: 9am to 10am I got to explore the museum to gather some ideas; 10am to 1pm I would observe the Museum Education Program, which included listening to Egon’s testimony as a survivor of the Holocaust, then a seminar to help the school kids further understand the importance of studying the Holocaust, and then a guided tour analysing artefacts and resources around the museum; lastly, from 2pm to 3pm Breann and I would brainstorm some ideas for what I could do at the museum. My first hour exploring the museum was how I could interpret what the museum wished to portray to its visitors, with a lot of thought going into the set up, especially that of the use of the Star of David at the centre of the museum. As you go further up the stairs, delving deeper into the history of the Holocaust, you start to lose your sighting of the symbol, then as you get to the top floor you can once again clearly see the Star of David. These architectural layouts symbolise the feeling of being lost and confused, then once you find the end everything becomes clearer and the pieces are put back together, renewed, or transformed. Other exhibitions of the museum that was memorable was the Children’s Memorial, which included a wall of photographs and names of children, importantly individualising the 1.5 million child victims of the Holocaust. Lastly, the Human Rights exhibition is an important space to start conversation about the past, current, and future challenges of human rights. Thus, these were the areas that Breann and I discussed when asked what parts of the museum interested me in order to see where I could fit in.
First of all, prior to going to the museum I was told not to plan anything, and to put the organisation first, and my project last. However, I did have expectations as an individual who loves to overthink everything, and analyses many possible outcomes. However, I did not expect to walk out of the museum with the plan that Breann, Roslyn (Head Curator), and I had conjured up. Both Breann and Roslyn mentioned the Maccabean Hall and how they would like to incorporate that part of Australian Jewish history into the museum, as previously they have not had the time or the hands to do so. Thus, we brainstormed some ideas in order to execute this idea, such as an interactive map showing the various spots of interest associated with the “Macc”, including the Jewish War Memorial at the entrance, as well as pointing out surrounding buildings like the Gay and Lesbian Holocaust Memorial in Green Park. Furthermore, we thought of an audio walking tour including those spots with further information.
My next meeting was on the 6th of September, with a day including researching through the Resource Centre, with the help of Tinny, reading articles such as Barbara Linz’s essay on the history of the Maccabean Hall, Avril Alba’s ‘The Holocaust Memorial Museum’, as well as a compilation of articles part of the Australian Jewish History Society Journal. From these works I gained an in depth understanding of the Macc and how it contributed to the Jewish community, especially as a centre welcoming refugees after the Holocaust, helping them settle into this new environment through programs such as English classes.
Prior to the day, Breann informed me that she had set up a session for me to interview a man named Jack, a Holocaust survivor who moved to Australia after the Holocaust and was deeply imbedded in the Macc community. I’ll admit, I was very nervous to conduct an interview, I made sure I wrote down every question under the sun relevant to understanding what it was like to be part of the Macc community, so as to not miss a detail. My interview with Jack went very well, his story at the Macc was very inspiring and left me in awe of how such a space could mean so much to someone’s renewal. “The Maccabean made me realise life keeps going, and I was happy afterward, and my life start all over again”, is one statement Jack made when reminiscing the social dances he used to attend at the Macc, where he also met his wife, whom he later married at the Macc. Now my goal with Jack’s interview is to utilise it as much as possible, in conveying to those who would like to know more about the Macc, how important the Hall was and still is to many people in settling into Australian society, as well as maintaining their Jewish roots. Lastly, I was given the opportunity to explore though the archives of the Australian Jewish Historical Society, going through countless documents regarding the Macc, such as: the minutes of meetings; a membership card; an appeal to raise funds to build the Maccabean Hall; as well as Annual Report Brochures.
There was so much I didn’t get to go through, but I will definitely get to it as what I did find was so important and interesting in uncovering various aspects of the Hall prior to its opening, as well as during. I’m looking forward to gathering all this information and sharing it in order to show the story of the Macc for the Sydney Jewish Museum.


The organisation that I have chosen to work with for my project is Kentlyn Rural Fire Brigade, which is located in the community of Kentlyn. Kentlyn is a small community in the Campbelltown region, surrounded by Georges River and a vast nature reserve, where the minimum subdivision of land is 5 acres. For this reason, there are a lot of areas that are at risk of being fire hazards. This first became of interest to me as around the time that this semester began, there were a couple of rather dangerous fires and hazards in Kentlyn where the Fire Service needed to be actively involved. Seeing the hard work that the Fire Service puts in for my community, I thought this was the perfect opportunity for me to give back.
The first barrier that I encountered with KRFB is that fact that they are a voluntary service, and do not meet on a standard regular basis as many other organisations do. This was particularly challenging as I awaited confirmation that they would like to work with me, as I was struggling to think of any back up ideas and wasn’t sure of what I would do if they did not think my project was appropriate. During this time, I took it upon myself to look into the voluntary Fire Brigade a little more to gain a deeper understanding of the role that they played in the community. It is through this that I began to realise the vast history of the community of Kentlyn which intrigued me into this project even more. How could this community have such a fascinating history yet there was no collective memory of it all?
After a few (stressful) weeks, KRFB responded to me and said they would be happy to work with me, which was great! I met up with Ben, a member of KRFB and discussed my project in a little bit more detail. It was in this meeting that we arranged some further time for me to spend with KRFB to find out even more about what they do and the role that they play in the Kentlyn community. At this point in my project, I have a basic understanding of the role that KRFB plays in my community and I am excited to build on this and create an online space for the community to gain further knowledge about the great history that we share and the importance of KRFB, particularly in such a fascinating area of Campbelltown.
Our visit to the Sydney Jewish Holocaust Museum was very interesting for me as it allowed me to see the relevance of public history. It was through this experience that I realised the way that public history can provide a great space for many people to come together to recognise the past and appreciate the struggles and successes of particular people. For this reason, I am even more excited to continue working with KRFB in the aspiration that my small project may act as a piece of public history for years to come.

A venture into public history

‘Be prepared for new adventure’
This is the motto used to encompass the vast organization of Scouts Australia which provides youth and adults ages 5 to 25 with fun and challenging opportunities to grow through adventure. From traditional skills such as camping and bush-craft to more adventure oriented pursuits such as abseiling, hiking and rafting, this youth development organization fosters the growth and development of youth with values of leadership, teamwork, problem solving and communication. Throughout my project as part of the HSTY3902 course, I will be working with my local chapter; 1st Picnic Point Scout Group which has been operating since the 25th of September 1958. Located on the banks of the Georges River in South West Sydney, the group is a staple of the local landscape working with hundreds of members and several local organizations including other Scout groups in the South Metropolitan area in the pursuit of education, adventure and community.
My experience with the group traces back to my own youth between 2004 and 2011 where I was a member of Scout group. Throughout my time with the group I learnt valuable skills such as knot tying, camping and survival skills, first aid and lifesaving and took part in overnight hikes, rafting, rock climbing and abseiling to name a few. The highlight of my experience with the scout group was the 2010 Jamboree; a triennial, 10 night camping gathering for the Scouting organization across Australia. These memories with the group and my relationship with the leaders who are still closely involved with the running of the chapter a decade later are what drew me to work with this awesome local organization.
After reaching out to Robert who runs the organization and being reminded of my less than ideal behavior from when I was seven we began throwing around ideas for my project with a focus on the collaborative construction of history. With the organization coming up to its 60th year and having undergone substantial growth since it’s well documented 50th anniversary the idea emerged to construct a scrapbook to commemorate the past ten years of the organization. After meditating on this and discussing with this organization, I decided that this might be too large scale of a project to fully commit myself too and moved towards exploring the recent establishment and growth of the branches Venturer group. Venturers are a mix of fun, adventure and personal challenge that brings together youth aged 14 to 17 in an inclusive and fun environment. I thought that this group specifically would be interesting to work with as it is more independent and member driven than its predecessors which allows interesting opportunities to create a public history in collaboration with both the leaders and youth in the group.
Moving forward, this project will involve meetings and close collaboration with the 1st Picnic Point Venturer group where I will piece together a content piece that explores the re-establishment and growth of the branch over the past few years and why this is important to not only the individuals involved but also the wider community.

Australian Living History Federation – Berrima Training

On the 1st of September, I attended the ‘Berrima Inter-Group Re-Enactment Training’, an event in which several historical re-enactment groups from around the Blue Mountains come together for a number of reasons: to discuss upcoming historical fairs, to argue about historical inaccuracies, to compare equipment and clothing, and to collaborate with cooking recipes and blacksmithing techniques. Most importantly of all, however, the groups come together to fight.
The Berrima Training been held twice a year for almost a full decade, and that much is obvious by the professionalism of its organisers. The day begins with a group huddle organised by Alex Barnes, part of the Revolting Peasants re-enactment society, and clearly one of the most experienced combatants of the crowd. He goes over the ground rules for the day, identifying which parts of the body can or cannot be struck, the regulations applied to those with weapons, and points out the locations of injury registers and first aid kits. Re-enactment combat is a dangerous thing – blunted swords are still full-weight bars of metal after all – and these re-enactors rely on insurance that demands strict regulations. Steve, a member of the Medieval Archery Society, asks if striking with the butt of a hammer is allowed – his group have been training with them, but he wants to make sure that everyone is on the same page. After some brief discussion, the move is allowed, and the re-enactors begin the arduous process of donning their armour.
Combat at Berrima Training takes place in three main ways. The first is simple one-on-one combat, in which two combatants fight until a ‘kill’ is scored, usually through a clear strike to the torso, legs, or head (provided the combatants are wearing helmets). Secondly, there is the melee, in which a group of combatants encircle a single fighter. One by one, combatants will enter the circle and fight the centre fighter, with the victor of the dual remaining in the middle to take on the next challenger. Finally, and in my opinion most excitingly, there is the ‘shield wall’. In this exercise, the combatants split into two teams, and each team nominates a ‘king’. The king gets two bodyguards, and the rest of their team forms a shield wall to protect their leader. Then the two shield walls charge at each other, with a team winning once they have ‘killed’ the opposing king. The fighting is fascinating to watch, a hotchpotch of plate armour and soccer shin pads. Certain elements of historical accuracy are sacrificed in the name of personal safety, but it remains an enlightening display of the practicalities of medieval fighting. The classic myth of plate armour restricting movement, for example, is completely blown away the first time you see a fully adorned combatant roll out of the way of a rogue javelin.
Of course, it’s not all about the combat. During the lunch break I had a chat with Sigorlean, a member of the Europa re-enactment group. Sigorlean, who had been involved in re-enactment for almost twenty years, had given up on combat training years prior, instead focusing on the other elements of lived history. Indeed, even his name reflected this – he was Steven on any other day, but during re-enactment he chose the name Sigorlean as a more era-appropriate name. Sigorlean invests himself in several different fields of historical life – he stiches his own clothes, drinks from earthenware cups, and even his lunch for that day was accurate to his era: prunes and flatbread. Most impressively, however, was his musical performance. Sigorlean could play both flute and Swedish bagpipes, and did so while the others fought. He also was a scholar of Old English and took the opportunity as I interviewed him to recite several examples of alliterative verse, including the classic Beowulf.
The Berrima Training was a thoroughly entertaining and informative experience – and it wasn’t even one of their public events. It is more than a simple indulgence in Game-Of-Thrones style combat, it allows people who are really passionate about their history to engage, and hopefully encourage others to become involved. For every kid that gets into history through reading old myths and legends, there are kids who miss out because they do not have that opportunity or passion for reading. Historical re-enactment, to these people, is a unique avenue to get involved. Plus, the sword fighting just plain looks cool.

The Bankstown Multicultural Youth Service (BMYS)


The BMYS’ first ever sign (late 80s or early 90s). The sign looks like it has been attacked by a giant cat.

Thursday. It’s about 3 in the afternoon and I’m already two coffees in. Nestled behind the Bankstown railway station is a quaint café which I’ve walked past many times but have never been to—until today. I don’t usually drink coffee twice a day since it keeps me up at night, but at the time I was trying to keep up with the youth worker who had taken me there. Only 24, Kurtis Lyon is a father, a full-time youth engagement officer and above all, a young man with positive aspirations, so it’s no surprise that up to ten coffees a day and sleep on a needs-be basis is the norm for him.
“Streetwork”, Kurtis says, “is the foundation of BMYS”. What BMYS does is nothing short of phenomenal and what many people—myself included—would consider to be potentially dangerous. At night, the youth workers venture into Bankstown’s alleys, parks, and other hotspots where young people with disadvantaged backgrounds often gather. Not all of them exhibit deviant behaviour or engage in criminal activity; many of them don’t have a safe home to return to or a father/mother/brother/sister figure to look up to.
Kurtis explains to me that it’s sometimes difficult to approach these young men and women because they initially think that the youth workers are “undercover cops”. But with repeated contact, most of them begin to understand what the youth workers are trying to do and wholeheartedly welcome such support. BMYS is unique in that it throws away a centre-based approach in favour of pounding the pavement: Outreach, their flagship programme, is one such example of their aggressive work ethic.
BMYS and its youth workers are refreshingly unconventional in both practice and philosophy. They are anything but figures of authority. Homebass, a popular but now defunct space established by BMYS, gave young men and women from different cultural backgrounds a chance to interact with one another without fear of prejudice. It is in such environments that they are afforded a rare opportunity to open up and to tell their stories. The youth workers are not there to tell them what to do and what not to do: they’re there as a mentor, a friend, or even a brother or sister; a father or mother.
And it has been this way since at least 1988, the year in which BMYS was first incorporated. The history of BMYS is very much the history of Bankstown, which means that it’s a history with equal parts strife and equal parts hope. Bursts of mass immigration from the 80s and onwards have given my community a lot of time for fighting and a lot of time for working things out. At the centre of this story is Bankstown’s youth.
There are many reasons why I approached BMYS but the most important one is this: a crisis of identity. You see, I have lived in Bankstown for as long as I can remember but I didn’t attend high school here—the formative days of my youth were spent away from my local community. Having enrolled in HSTY3902 and viewed many amazing pieces of local history, I have seen the influence which local communities can have on an individual’s identity. What is it that allows someone to claim to be from a certain place and not from another?
There is just so much to learn and to get through but to my surprise, my greatest fear is not that I won’t meet the submission deadline in time. Rather, how can I approach this project without making it seem like a 20-page article or a 20-minute video is the sum of BMYS’ achievements? It’s been a fast-paced two days since I’ve started working with BMYS but it’s already clear that all that they’ve done and will continue to do cannot be put into words, pictures, or numbers. But anyway… we’ll see.
annual reports.jpg

Annual reports dating from 1990 to the present as well as a series of CDs, cassette tapes, and floppy disks… I’m going to start organising things before getting into the detective work.

Riding For The Disabled

Riding for the Disabled (RDA) is a not-for-profit organisation, which runs equestrian activities for people of all ages with various disabilities. It is a nationwide organisation split into individual local branches, and it provides vital physical and psychological therapy for its members. RDA Fitzroy Falls is an important organisation in the Equestrian community of the Southern Highlands. It has been run for over twenty years by Angus and Neatie Malcom at their riding school, with the help of loyal volunteers and very well trained ponies.
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RDA member enjoying a ride on her pony, aided by one of the volunteers
(Photo from the Southern Highlands News)
One of my very first horse shows was the ‘Chicken Run’, a charity gymkhana that aims to bring the equestrians together to raise money for the RDA. Dressed in bright pink on my shaggy Shetland pony, my poor mother led me up ditches, over jumps, and through obstacles. At the age of four, I was not aware that I was involved in a fundraising day, but was amazed that that so many people, old and young, had all come together to participate in the same event. Now, twenty-one years later, the Chicken Run is still held annually and its proceeds are essential in allowing Angus and Neatie to continue their vital work.
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A Chicken Run Competitor
(Photo by Julie Wilson)
When I approached Riding for the Disabled in Fitzroy Falls, they were initially confused. What did RDA have to do with a history degree at the University of Sydney? I explained that our project this semester aims to recognise the importance of including the voices of individuals and community groups in the construction of local and national history.
Following a great meeting where we sat down and discussed where they were at as an organisation, we identified a key project which I can help them with. I have yet to discuss with Neatie and Angus how much they feel comfortable with me sharing publically, but I am hoping that I will be able to divulge more details in following blog posts.RDA Fitzroy Falls has a rich history that I would love to record and I am hoping that part of my work with them will allow me to do that. In particular, I am very keen to speak to the riders, both past and present, to hear their stories and how RDA has impacted their lives. Ultimately I hope that through my work, RDA Fitzroy Falls will receive greater recognition in the wider community and I very much look forward to building on our project together.
RDA Australia Website:
RDA Australia Facebook:

The Australian Museum

The organisation that I have chosen to work with is the Australian Museum, located next to Hyde Park in Sydney. This organisation is the oldest museum in Australia, is a non-profit organisation, and is home to a large collection of artefacts from Indigenous Australia and the Pacific, biological specimens, and minerals and fossils. I am particularly interested in the Australian Museum because I am an Australian who grew up overseas. Until I moved to Australia I didn’t know anything about Australian history, let alone Indigenous history and culture. However, I did notice in Australian schools that what I did learn about Aboriginal history was how it intersected and became part of the national history, such as the Stolen Generation and the Mabo Case. Both of which were cases that had a powerful influence on Australian culture.
My Dad was a member of the Australian Museum growing up and it was a place he always took me to whenever we came to Sydney. Having this personal connection from my memories of visiting and also being in the process of completing a double degree Bachelor of Science and Arts, the museum was the perfect opportunity for me to combine my knowledge in my areas of study. With social meaning from my memory and attachment to this place, this especially made understanding the connection between local and national history more present in my eyes.
I have now volunteered within the Australian Archaeological collections department for four weeks. During this time I have helped to sort through, re-bag, and relabel excavation artefacts, input data into the museum system and catalogue, and reformat and name digitalised images. I am concerned whether there will be a specific project that I could do, as established organisations such as the Australian Museum already have well organised departments and staff members to complete these projects. However, there is a constant need for volunteers as their overwhelmingly large collection and constant visitors means that there are always things that need to be completed. I hope that in the coming weeks I will be able to focus on and find a specific project, or perhaps a group of small projects, that will be beneficial to the museum. I believe this project will also increase my understanding of the hard work that goes on behind the scenes of a museum in order to create public engagement with the wider community.

Naval Historical Society of Australia

I first got into history when I was around twelve years old, after watching a film and then reading a book series about the British Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, so I basically owe my entire scope of interests to naval history. It remains my basic go-to topic if I don’t know what else to study, and makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. I’m not Australian, so the option of finding a local community or getting inspiration from my parents or surroundings wouldn’t work. Which is why I first looked for naval societies, and found the NHSA (Naval Historical Society of Australia),
As I’ve mentioned in the collaborative document, the NHSA deals with knowledge, research and learning about the history of Australian Navy. I visited them last Tuesday (August 28), and the entire visit was wonderful. I was met by John, head researcher, and David, the secretary who had been emailing me before we met, at the pass point of Garden Island Defence Precinct. We got to the building belonging to the NHSA, and I was told it used to be a boatshed. Almost everyone in the society is a retired naval officer, and, naturally, I was the youngest person in the room — which made me a little wistful, actually, about the general disinterest of young people in history. This is not the first time I think about this disinterest, and I suspect history education in schools usually is to blame. Granted, getting into history as a philosophical paradigm or wanting to understand humanity won’t be on any kid’s to-do list, but with enough tools, the subject could be so engaging and exciting even to children, let alone teens.
Anyway, I was a bit anxious before coming, but everyone was so welcoming and sweet and willing to talk to me. John gave me a tour around the society’s library (my eyes were flashing red the whole time, it’s a fantastic collection of books and I hope to get my hands on some of them if John lets me) and the heritage museum next door. As John explained, the NHSA only deals with archives, literature and knowledge, while the physical objects and artifacts go to the museum. John also showed me the oldest European graffiti (right upon the First Fleet arrival) on a rock behind the museum, and turned out to like the Napoleonic Wars just as much as I do; he told me a little about himself serving in the Navy as well. I wish I could ask everyone so many questions about their service.
I have two tasks now, one of which I’ve already completed over the week, actually. John asked me to compile a document with all the links, phone numbers, addresses, names, titles and so on useful for research. The NHSA gets a lot of queries from people about their relatives and ancestors serving in the RAN (Royal Australian Navy), or other types of questions relating to research, so they use a vast variety of resources, from museums and societies to websites, archives and the Department of Defence. John has two heavy folders with cut-outs, print-outs, documents and phone books, and he usually doesn’t need them (the man has a memory like an elephant), but he’d like to pass his job on one day, and his successor could use a list. So I’ve been typing all that information into one neat document, occasionally checking if the links still work or if the addresses are still relevant.
Also, the NHSA publishes “Occasional Papers” with stories from naval history or research, and they’re all compiled on their website in pdf format; president of the society, David, asked me to put them all on the website as posts, so that’s what I’m doing from home now. It’s good that I can work from home, because the NHSA only works on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and I can only visit every other Tuesday. Even though I’d like to visit more and talk to them.
Not sure if I have any ideas for a project separate from my current volunteering: when I’m done with the task for David, I’ll ask if they want me to do anything else. If there turns out to be no new work to be done, I’ll come up with a project of my own, but for now I’m happy just to be useful and contribute in any way I can.

Rule of Law

This course perplexed me. Going into it I didn’t really no what to expect. What was I to be doing? What was going on? 4000 words is a big essay. Just your usual student freakout things. However, from the first lecture this course had me excited. As Michael was describing what our project was to be or what it could be on I found myself running through the ideas in my head thinking of all the things I could possibly do. I though about going back to my home in WA and doing something with a community group there but the logistics made that almost impossible. Very quickly I began to run out of ideas and my being new to Sydney made finding a local organisation extremely difficult and stressful.
It was at this point in my research I stumbled across the Rule of Law Institute. This non-for-profit institute struck me due to its previous name, The Magna Carta Institute, which drew me in, wanting to know more. I emailed their education coordinator, Jackie, and she quickly got back to me saying she had something I could work on. I went to their office on Macquarie Street, excited to find out more about this organisation that I had never heard of. I met with Jackie who instantly began to describe the work Rule of Law has done, from lobbying the government to adhere to the rule of law to educating students in NSW and beyond about the importance of the rule of law and how we must all make sure that the rule of law is upheld.
I was immediately spellbound, sucked into this world of legal matters that I had never before delved into. Jackie then began to explain my project, stating that I would be doing research into the state of the rule of law around the world, focussing on Australia, Poland, Zimbabwe and the Philippines. I realised that this project was the one for me, linking my double majors with history and government and international relations through its use of both research and analysis from a historical and political framework.
I have been pointed in the direction to look, now I must find the research and delve into the historical issues surrounding the rule of law in these countries. Wish me luck!