The 2016 Asia-Pacific Conference was 3 days long, jam-packed with fun seminars and inspiring keynote speakers hosted at Swinburne University’s Hawthorn campus. There were six workshop sessions during the conference; we were given a choice of up to 6 workshops to choose from during each of the workshop sessions, which made choosing only one workshop to attend at each session a very difficult choice as each workshop offered insight and knowledge to a wide range of topics. (Many complaints were made about being unable to split ourselves into half and attend multiple workshops at once.)
There were workshops for chapter-specific topics, professional development, personal development, and even a combination of the last two. A workshop that stood out was one called ‘Negotiation & Closing the Deal’. As the name suggests, the speaker discussed what negotiation entails and the steps one should take to ensure their negotiations doesn’t result in a win-lose situation. The workshop also had the most people in attendance – we got to the point where latecomers had to bring in chairs or sit on the floor.
The keynote speakers each discussed how we can make a difference in the world, even if it was a small part. Tim Marchinton (founder of Purple Soup) taught me to treasure and use my time wisely; I learnt to never give up from Alex Malley FCPA (author of The Naked CEO); Stephanie Lorenzo (founder of Project Futures) wanted us to find a way to better the world, even if it was a small part of it; and Akram Azimi (Australian of the Year in 2013) spoke about how the circumstances we were born into do not define who we are – instead, it is how we choose to live our lives.
At the end of the conference was a Gala Dinner to wrap everything up before everyone returned to their daily lives (and, for some, to the city they flew in from). Delicious food and dessert enjoyed in the company of the friends I’ve made during the past three days tasted even better, and those who ventured into the foyer found an impromptu round-table discussion with Akram Azimi, Australian of the Year in 2013. My most exciting memory of this fun-filled night was finding that the RMIT Chapter won Gold standing as well as the award for the Best Intellectual Engagement Event 2015, and being called up to receive the award along with Rachana as representatives for RMIT.
Attending the conference has given me the chance to expand my networks, meet and listen to inspiring speakers, and learn about new things through listening to the inspiring speakers who were invited and attending the workshops and panels throughout the conference. I am grateful for having being given the chance to attend the conference, and I hope I will be able to apply what I have learnt during the conference in my life from here on.
Michelle Wang, General Committee Member
Picture taken from Golden Key Asia Pacific Headquarters Facebook Page.