Tales from the Departure Lounge

#20 Tales from the Departure Lounge LIVE with Louis Clay

August 01, 2023 Amy Baker & Nick Cuthbert Season 1 Episode 20
Tales from the Departure Lounge
#20 Tales from the Departure Lounge LIVE with Louis Clay
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Could we do it live down under? With Amy Baker standing in as co-host for Andy, we somehow managed to record an episode on stage at The PIE Live Australia '23 with Louis Clay, associate dean at Trinity College, University of Melbourne. Listen very carefully and you can actually hear people laughing ;)

Louis was the perfect guest. A snappy dresser, he talks about his love for the finer things in life with some unique ideas on how to get upgraded for flights and get ahead in your career. He also explains to the Brits how to spot the difference between Kiwis and Aussies and what it is like to travel with academics. 

Final boarding call: India

The PIE Live Australia will return in 2024! Check out www.thepielive.com for details including dates, speakers and sponsorship opportunities. 

We respectfully acknowledge the people of the Yugambeh language region, the traditional owners of the land where we recorded this episode, and pay our respect to their elders past and present, and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

Tales from the Departure Lounge is a Type Nine production for The PIE www.thepienews.com

We respectfully acknowledge the people of the Yukon bay language region. The traditional owners of the land where we recorded this. And we pay our respects to their elders past and present. And all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples We're recording onstage at the PI live Australia. Who knows what's gonna happen..


Welcome to Tales from the Departure Lounge. This is a podcast about travel for business, for pleasure, or for study. My name's Nick and I'm joined by my co-pilot, Andy. And together we're gonna be talking to some amazing guests about how travel has transformed their. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the journey. Welcome to the podcast.

Welcome to Tale from the Departure Lounge everyone. Nick, thanks for having me on as co-host. I actually feel like one with this microphone. Yeah. So we are recording here, live from the Gold Coast Australia. Delighted to introduce Louis Clay from Trinity College, university of Melbourne. Welcome. Thank you for having me. Let's kick off with our first question, which is final boarding call. Where in the world would you like to take our listeners today? Today we're going to India and in thinking about where I wanted to talk about, uh, going, I was trying to think why, what is it about India that I really loved and I came to the conclusion it was just the level of. Excess there because I love excess. So as soon as you get there, there's so many people, there's so many smells, there's so much food everywhere. There's so many animals everywhere. Like there were cows on the road. I just love, how hectic it is actually in a really good way, and especially coming from Melbourne where we really, value that understated everything to get somewhere. India's very overstated. I just really, really enjoyed. I remember I've often had to travel with senior academics at the universities I've been at, and for some reason there's that breed of academic that they always dress like they're going mountain hiking no matter where we are. They've got like rugged shoes on and pants that have a million pockets made out of that sort of parachute material, and I'm never quite sure what they're dressing for. And they're paid a lot, so no, they could afford it, but, so I'm not quite sure why they're not, why they don't look better. And so I remember we were having a really important function where the high commissioner and very important people were coming to this very luxurious hotel. And the big boss asked one of the staff there, would it be appropriate if we wore traditional clothing at the function? And they said, well, of course ma'am. It'd be very appropriate. And she's, you know, she was a modest sort of, biologist, she wasn't a razzle-dazzle sort of person. So she went and chose a very simple linen beige number that was very, very plain. And then she said to me, Louis, are you gonna dress up for tonight? And you didn't have to ask me twice. So I managed to get someone to take me shopping through Dehi. And these people were bringing out, sir, would you like this? Would you like this? And I said, I actually need something a little bit extra. So I think what I ended up with was like a traditional Sikh wedding garment that was fully bejo with pearls on the collar and everything. And we were staying in the six star hotel, the Taja. We had this huge function and these important politicians were there. And this. Absolute Twitter of a person, me, comes down the circular staircase if all the chandelier lights just shone on me. And I saw my boss look up the staircase at me coming down and just roll her eyes because I was just meant to be there playing a supporting role to get notes for people and stuff. And I kind of stole the show, I reckon. And that's what I loved about it. And you're still breaking this outfit out at the weekends. You're wearing this. I came, the only problem was I didn't realize how warm and heavy it gets. Oh. So yeah, you've gotta make sure that you're in a heavily air conditioned room for it. But if I, I've got two of them. If I'm ever invited to an Indian wedding, I'm ready to go. Like I've got them hanging there. I know what you mean about the the heavyweight because I've been to a couple of Indian weddings from friends of mine and when you actually go up and talk to them and embrace them, they are sweating under all of that stuff. And so I've just always had fun, you know, with academics. This one wasn't in, in India itself, it was actually in China. And a really keen academic that wanted to go hiking, for example. Uh, we're in Chuan Province, which is really humid, and I've had a few drinks the night before and before going to bed, they said, Louis, would you like to come hiking with us in the morning? We'll leave at 4:00 AM And because I value my career, of course, I say yes to everything. So at three o'clock I'm getting ready to go up this mountain and these guys are all hiking up mountains. They bought these sticks with them from Australia, and I just saw two gentlemen that have one of those. Quins, that's the carriage you carry on your shoulder. And I could speak a little bit of Chinese, so I managed to negotiate how much to get me up the mountain. So they quickly put me in there and I closed the curtain so no one could see. And they raced me up the mountain and I got to the top. And then, you know, the executive dean GE gets, he goes, God, I didn't even see go past Lewis. Fit as a fiddle, your young thing. I hadn't done nothing. I was just in the carriage and gave the guy some money and waited at the top You faked a hike. That's what you're saying is that you faked to hike? I didn't. I didn't wanna say no'cause the person was important, but at the same time, I didn't wanna walk up the mountain. It's hot then. Uh, for our audience at home. They can't see you, Liz, but you, you're not someone who's wearing hiking here. Very stylish. We should explain. Very stylish. Very stylish. when you got to India, which was the first city you went to? So we're straight into Delhi and yeah, just, just beautiful. Like people are so ingratiating, like you always feel a bit guilty coming from the west because, um, there's so much service that it's almost uncomfortable. I mean, you get used to it, but it's almost uncomfortable to start with.'cause I feel like I should be doing more for myself. I mean, the problem was if you like to dress well, You tend to overeat. Typically when you travel you tend to overeat. But in India, definitely the food's so good and everywhere you go they offer you tea and cake. So you're stuffing back another cake. It's like the sixth session of the day. And then I was complaining to my colleague,'cause I said, I think the hotel washes all the clothes in hot water.'cause they're just getting as the journey goes on. And after three weeks I got back to Melbourne. I was like six kilos heavier than when I got there. Normally you'd have a protein shake with a yogurt for breakfast, and then I'm stuffing nan down my gob, like with another plate of p panier in the morning. Um, so yeah, it was, it's not good for the waistline. I think everybody can relate to the kind of hotel breakfast thing when you've been on a trip and you get used to. That kind of meal in the morning, and then when you get back and he's, oh, hang on, I'm starving because you're not eating your butter chicken for, for breakfast. That's right. Yeah. how many times have you been to India and, it's a subcontinent, isn't it? It's more than a country have. Would you like to explore more of it? Yeah, so I've been there twice and for quite long time, nearly a month each time, like it was a big. Roadshow going around. there was a place called the Roy Hotel, which was in Bang Bangalore, and it was just, it, there's this middle pool part, which I just felt like a movie star. We'd finished work, and you're just sitting there. It's tropical. You got a nice drink. It like life couldn't be better, you know? From, from someone who just worked for three and a half weeks to end up there. I just really enjoyed, I was thinking, gosh, this is quite magical. Like I, I could probably, I was like, if only they had the work from home, deal back then, you know, maybe stay a bit longer. So, favorite city in India? I like Mumbai. Yeah, I really like Mumbai. It's like got, it's got energy, like, you know, when you've arrived there. Um, and I was lucky enough, I've had a few colleagues that were based there and they took us out for a really good night. So I like that. Heaps of shopping as well. Went home, just laid in with new shirts and everything. It was excellent. we had a, an Indian guest who's the director of Brunell University in London, who's from Delhi, she talked about having a personal butler and a Butler service, something that might interest you. Yeah. Well, it was funny. I remember with one of my colleagues, we were at, oh, I forget the hotel, but we were just, Completely spent. And then she goes, oh Lord, should we go and pamper ourselves in the spa? And I said, that sounds amazing. Let's go and do that. But I think they had sort of the, the equivalent of what might've been a footman to help you change and all this kind of thing. So you're standing there and you've got a little friend there who's like, Holding a basket next to you. And I'm used to getting changed by myself, but they help you take your jacket and everything. So we were having a good giggle once we got, you know, to the chairs, we were just sitting down waiting for a treatment because neither of us had ever had anyone wait on us before. So, again, it took a little bit to get used to that. That episode with Shivani is really good because she talks about having never washed up her own cutlery before. Yeah, it was really eye-opening. Yeah, yeah. The age of 21. never washed their own cutlery before. That's a good one. The next section is called any laptops, liquids, or sharp objects. This is a chance for you to tell our audience about any travel hacks you have. Uh, I say, look, I feel silly saying it, but I think you should always try to look nice. Always Look, I. More important than you actually are. I've always done it at work. So when I started as an admissions assistant at Latrobe University, I always wore a suit to work. I was like a level four data entering applications, but that didn't stop me. the days of getting upgraded have gone a little bit because everyone's got enough points to do it. But if you dress really nicely, Like you can go through that diplomats lane or you know, if you're miss if you're, if you're found there on accident, they won't ask you to leave like, you know,'cause you just look too nice to move on. If you've got a pilot's outfit, maybe you could get it. No, I find I often wear like dark shades, so like, oh, like, so if someone is talking, they're not too sure if you are. Now, celebrity or not. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And mostly people won't stop you. Like you're not rude about it, but you just go, oh, sorry, was this not, oh, I didn't, I must've lost my way. This is interesting because I think like in general, society, we're dressing down now, okay, this is it. So most people, it's about marginal gains on the plane. wearing comfort wear, but you're the opposite. You're going. Yeah. As sharp as you could possibly get. That's right. And like always pack plenty of clothes. You know, people say, oh, I'm a light traveler. I'm not. I have several suitcases.'cause I need, especially when you're in the tropics, you need to change. All your under clothes a couple times a day'cause it's so hot. You need endless shirts because I've got changed by lunchtime. So no, I don't believe in this whole minimalism nonsense. Carry on more's. Definitely more definitely. We gotta see your wardrobe. We've gotta have a photo of your wardrobe. Definitely. Yeah. How big was your suitcase to come here? Actually, I did only bring one, one roll on to come here. But yeah, like four shirts for two days. Is it? There we go. So, okay. So talking about upgrades in the briefing call we had, you told me about a very unusual way to get upgraded. Yeah. And please tread very carefully here. Yeah. So I was, I was boarding a flight, I think it was going to Hydro Budd from Delhi. And they separate the men and women when you're getting on the plane because they wanna make sure you're not. Carrying sharp objects or something. And so the women go that way and the men go this way and you get patted down. And it was a proper pat down. Like, this guy hadn't bought me a drink yet. Like it was a proper pat down and I don't mind being silly. So I said, look mate, I'm here for business, not pleasure. Um, and you know, And people, the westerners had a little chuckle about it and I went down and sat in, you know, 53 F whatever economy seat I was in, and then this panicked looking air stewardess, she came up and said, oh, I'm very sorry sir, we have your seat up the front. I said, oh, lovely. Okay. So I walked up to the front of the plane and sat in business class and I think they had been confused that either I was complaining, there was a mix up with the ticket and I was meant to be in business class.'cause I, I said business. Or that they thought that I'd maybe being touched inappropriately and to stop me from complaining. They put me at the front of the plane. I don't really mind which one it was. I just enjoyed the meal at the front of the plane. This is shameless, isn't it? I think it's shameless behavior and it was excellent. Yeah. So, so Amy has form here, not of getting frisked, but of, of going on flights and talking to people. She's always looking for a story. Of course. Yes. I've met lots of interesting people. So I guess the question is, do you engage in some like banter? Yeah. Yeah. Um, I find one of the, uh, funniest thing is when you're waiting for your bag on the carousel. So when I travel, I like wearing. Ha. I just wear a cap often when I'm on the other end of the journey.'cause you're looking a little bit disheveled by that state. It's just an easy way to keep yourself tidy. And then I was in a Mumbai airport and there was an American, and I've got this Boston Red Sox cap, I've got Alley Lakers, I've got all the ones. They just look good, right? And he goes to me, oh, you're a. You're a Red Sox fan, are you? And I was like, oh, I don't know much about hockey, sir. And he, and he was like, and then he was like, disgusted. And I said, this is my second favorite after my New York Yankees cap, and I think their arch rivals. And so he goes, dude, you, you can't, like, you can't have both of those. Like you gotta choose one. I was like, listen mate, I don't watch basketball. You do what you want. And I think they play softball or baseball softball. Sportswear, you have to be careful you're, you are wearing it as fashion, but you know, yeah. There's some fanatics out there. Yeah. I guess if you go up to the front, you can't always talk to people'cause you're on your own bed. Right. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. That's like maybe a downside of going on the front. Well, often the um, well, often the stewardess will have a good. Yarn as well. I was coming back from Jakarta. I used my Qantas points to upgrade. So I was coming back in business class from Jakarta and the lady just spotted me from a mile away and she goes, you look like the kind of person that likes bubbles. I was like, you are very correct. And so she goes, she goes, my love, we've only got two bottles here today. I reckon they're all red people. I'll put them aside for you and you just let me know when you want some more, and so. Two bottles deep coming back to Sydney. You know, I was just, yeah, it was great. It was great. That is definitely good service. Yeah, this has occurred me since I've been here in Australia. Obviously there are the major cities and you know, you're flying in and out of these cities quite frequently, so you have. What rituals here around which airline, which flight, which bar you're gonna have a drink in, and I guess you might see the same staff again. Oh yeah. So Qantas, if you wanna see a university staff member go to the Qantas lounge, that's, that's where they'll be. That's where the business happens. Yeah. Yeah. You gotta go there. Drink your body weight and bubbles. Get on the plane, the carry on. What those carry on trolleys are designed to keep you upright as you, as you board up your meet in the Qantas lounge. So I always love going to a big conference and then heading back to Melbourne or wherever it is.'cause you can just see, oh, there's the director of such and such and that's the executive dean and all that sort of thing. I think next time you go there, there might be a sea of agents waiting for you. So say, wanted to talk about partnerships. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. this next section is called what's the purpose of your visit? I'd like to know how a bubbles drinking stylish guy like you got into international education. the whole thing's all been a bit of a wonderful accident, really. So I'm from New Zealand, if you can hear it. So I, I moved to Australia 17 years ago. I think I was 22. So no one in my family had ever finished university. All. Finished school. No one had gone to university. Everyone I knew worked in a factory, so I managed somehow to get through high school and I managed somehow to get through university. So I went to the University of Waikato, and I'll never forget on orientation day, the girl in front of me, when we are choosing our subject, she goes, oh, you know, I'm Samantha, and. I'm doing economics and public policy. What are you doing? I didn't actually really know what we were there for, but I saw what she had circled on her enrollment paper, so I just copied her. As it turns out, I was all right at economics and public policy, so I did a double major in economics and public policy and in my worst subject, like there was calculus in the economics in the third year, and I'm really not good with stuff like that. I've got exactly 50% and it was a compulsory subject, so. That was my first experience with education. So when I wanted to leave New Zealand, I knew I was gonna come to Australia. I went down to Flight Center and I asked the lady, I wanna move to Australia. And then she goes, clackity clack, it's 180 9 to the Gold Coast, 1 99 to Sydney, or two 19 to Melbourne. And I said to her, where do you recognize should go? And then she goes to me, well, I haven't sold any tickets to Melbourne this week, so if you bought one of those, you'd be doing me a favor. I said, no, go to Melbourne. All right, so. I just jumped on a plane and went to Melbourne and I'd bought like some pants and stuff to look smart when you get there. And I borrowed the iron and I ironed them when I got to my accommodation. And I just started walking down Burke Street asking for jobs. And the third place I went into was a jewelry store. And, uh, I said, oh, I'd like a job. And then she goes, how long have you been looking? And I said, well, as long as I've been in Australia. She goes, how long have you been here? I said, about two hours. And then she goes, well, you coming tomorrow. I think I like your style. You're coming tomorrow. Then. Um, and so I started working there and then I was. Answering phones in a call center of a financial planning organization. And I did that for a while. And then I wanted to do my master's degree and my boyfriend at the time, he actually worked at Latrobe University. So I went to Latrobe University to study my masters. And because all of my classes were in the evening, I managed to get a job data entering the international applications in admissions. And because I came from a finance background where everything's so high pressure, All of a sudden being in this university administrative capacity where sort of everyone has 15 minute tea breaks and a full hour for lunch, I would just pump out the work thinking we have to meet Target. And I think the executive director quite liked the look of that style at the time.'cause he's like, this guy just cranks stuff out. And so I started there as a level four. If people know the university sector within two years. I finished my master's in two years full-time, and after the two years I was the manager of admissions at the university at Latrobe University. So I went 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 in two years. That's quite fast. That's quite fast. And then I went to the University of Melbourne and managed admissions there. And then I got a job as the associate Director of Admissions at. Um, the University of Adelaide and while I was there, they had a huge restructure and I ended up the Director of International at the University of Adelaide. And I did that for a few years and it was nice, but I really missed, I really missed Melbourne. So then a job came up as the associate Dean, um, at. Um, Trinity College at the University of Melbourne. I'd met the dean at a function much like this before and I took that and went back to Melbourne. But I suppose I love, I love education'cause I'm probably living proof that you, it helps if you go and do it, you know, it definitely makes a difference. So if I'm telling students it could change your life, I think I'm being authentic when I say it. Yeah. What I love about what I love is the marginal gains. Of wearing a good suit that you probably more than you could afford at the time and working through your tee brakes. It is like rocket fuel in higher education careers. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Um, also going back to the very start there. how do you explain your current life and job to your family back home? Oh, they, they have no idea what I do. So my parents worked at Ford Motor Factory their entire lives and so did pretty much everyone else I knew. So I think they think I'm a bit lazy'cause I don't get dirty. So, but they know I work, they know I work in an office at, yeah. Yeah, so I think I, I don't talk too much to them about the sort of life we live.'cause it's, it almost sounds like if you're from. Kind of that working class background in New Zealand. You don't want to make people feel bad because you are having this fabulous life in Australia. So, you know, my mum will complain about the cost of something and you know, I'll complain about the cost of organic oatmeal, body wash for my little dog, you know, or. The price increase of your shiatsu massage now because the pet salon's full. I still work. Yeah. So yeah, it's just a very different lifestyle. I actually don't disclose too much to them'cause I just don't want'em to feel bad. And can I ask, you said also that you always knew you were gonna mute Australia. Mm-hmm. So why was that? Everyone I knew that went to Australia just prospered like, and I don't know if that was just our magical view of going to Australia, but I mean here on the Gold Coast, it has the highest percentage of New Zealand citizens in Australia here.'cause everyone moves to the sun. But I just thought I knew, I knew I had to go somewhere. I actually wanted to go to England, but I wasn't sure what to do about a visa. So my paternal grandfather was from the uk, but he passed away before I went and inquired about a passport and he had to be alive for me to qualify.'cause otherwise everyone in New Zealand would have a British passport too. So I couldn't go to the uk, but I could come to Australia'cause I knew I didn't have to sort out a visa and so I just jumped on a plane and came here. What was your first impressions of Australia Hot? It was 38 degrees. So when I left New Zealand it was 21 degrees in. February the third, I think it was in 2006. And I landed, and the doors opened at t Marin and I walked out and then I walked straight back, back in and I said to the lady on the Avis car hire is something wrong today. And then she goes, she and she was like, and from from New Zealand, she had a really Aussie accident. She, oh, no love, you're all right in a, a abital. I was like, why is it so hot? She goes, oh, summer, love you. I, alright. So I got on the Sky bus and went into downtown Melbourne, but I just thought, what on God's green Earth is this, this 38 degree? It's like you've opened the oven door, like hit you. Yeah. What have you done and how, okay, so you have a dual perspective here around the way people say Australia, New Zealand, like it's one place. Mm Uh, we were talking about it before we, we recorded this about. The difference in accent and how you spot the how different types of people. How do I do that? How can I tell the difference? Oh gosh. Oh, I suppose I'm allowed to say this to me. New Zealanders always look a bit more provincial than Australians. Mm-hmm. There's something, it's a nice simplicity, but there's something I can always tell the pace, you know, if it was an engine, it's sort of a 1.6 liter rather than a 2.2. Like it's just sort of, not quite as fast, but it's still good. It's economical. Takes you everywhere you want to go, but it's not racing down the freeway. We've got a kiwi cheering in the audience. It is, it's, it's, you know, it's that Corolla. It's, does it what you need safe and yeah, the safe and reliable, popular, reliable, cheap to run, you know, whereas Australia's a bit glitzier. Yeah. And okay. And. Do you see yourself in the future moving back to New Zealand? No, I think Australia's my home now. Okay. Yeah. I've got my mom and dad back in New Zealand and like they're not getting any younger, but other than them, I think all of my identities here now. So what I really love about Australia and Australia's'cause I love Kiwis, but Australians. Really celebrate success. They're quite, they're quite an ambitious, aspirational sort of people. And I know sometimes they don't see themselves like that. They'll talk about tall poppy syndrome, but I know my partners from the UK and I'm from New Zealand, I find that culture's far more prevalent in our respective countries. I find Australians actually really love to do well and they love you to do well. Like, so if you get a promotion at work, everyone's Oh, good on you, mate. You know, get stuck in. When I was in New Zealand, I'd get a promotion in the post office I worked at and then you have to have lunch on your own.'cause everyone doesn't like you now'cause you're getting paid 40 cents more an hour like, and so it's totally different. That's really fascinating. this section is called Anything to Declare and the stage is yours to tell us about. Trinity College or something else that maybe that you're passionate about? Oh, do you know what occupies so many of my thoughts now is I'm trying to figure out how can I never live in the cold? How can I always be in the warm'cause? I love Australia in the summer, but Melbourne's miserable in the winter. Like, hang on, I can, we just stop here. All I've heard since I've got here is the weather in Melbourne is. Is is bad. Yeah. I, I concur. I say it's the, it's the Manchester of Australia. Can someone explain what this is? It's a relative, I think a Brit. Yeah. Yeah. Maybe not comparatively, but in Australia it's probably about as cold as it gets, I think. That in Tasmania. So what I think about all the time, I was thinking how can I, I was like, does the University of Melbourne need like a Barcelona campus that I could spearhead or you know, something like this? I was thinking, surely, surely, if anyone deserves it, it's me to be able to go to live six months in Europe in six months here. And I was thinking, I'm just consumed with it now. I'm always on, there's some European website where it's got. Like country homes in France for sale for like$200,000 or something. And they're just amazing. I mean, like Australia's lovely, like I live in St. Kilda, but when I think about how much I've paid and how much I'll have to pay for the rest of my life for this two bedroom postage stamp, you know, I was thinking. Gosh, imagine if we were in Tuscany or something, we'd have a palace like, so that's what I always think about and probably none of it's gonna come true. I'll still be working and living in St. Kilda in another 30 years, but it's just really nice to think about, to keep you happy in the meantime. And it's easy just. You need to just start dressing as a vice chancellor uh uh, and, and you'll get there. Yeah. Well, the only problem with dressing like a vice chancellor, like we always had this little joke. It was like, what's the difference between a shopping trolley and a vice chancellor? Like what is the difference? You're like, you can fit more food and drink into the vice chancellor, you. But you gotta be careful with all those morning teas and stuff that you won't fit the clothes anymore, do you? Can I just ask you, Robert, on this section about Trinity College?'cause I don't actually know much about Trinity College. Oh yeah. So Trinity College, it's actually part of the church. So we have the Theological school, which trains Anglican ministers. We have the Residential College, which has around 400 domestic students who live on campus at the University of Melbourne. And we have the Pathway School, which teaches foundation studies to students who can't gain direct access to a bachelor degree at the University of Melbourne. So the college itself is 150 years old and Trinity College Pathway school's about 30 years old. So we've put, we're the preferred pathway provider of the University of Melbourne, um, and sort of 80% of our students who come to study make it to the university, and the other 20% will usually go to another university within Victoria mostly. So, no, it's a great, it's a great place to work. We have really the, the, the. Kids were from about 16 to 19, so they really are babies when they come to us. So we've got a, that overlay of sort of guardianship for under eighteens. We make sure that their accommodation is appropriate for them, and it's probably a lot more pastoral in its approach to looking after the students because they're not that independent yet. So our goal is that by the time they leave us, That they've been brought up to speed in sort of a western context of expressing themselves.'cause by the time they get to the University of Melbourne, they're gonna have to be in a learning environment with like the top students in the country. So we've gotta make sure that they're not just not equipped academically, but that sort of cultural enculturation into an Australian style of learning has been completed for them. We're obviously here at the PI Live Australia conference and you're networking with colleagues. Like what, what are people are talking about? Like what, what are you getting outta the conference here? Um, I think it's, so, you know, we had this huge lockdown in Victoria in particular, and so it's been. Now we've got the run of conferences and workshops that you can go to, and I just get a real sense from everyone that they're just so happy that there's something that they can engage with their stakeholders, both within Australia and overseas. Because this part of the industry, which is a really nice part of the industry, basically died for maybe three years. Like Qantas has extended my, my, um, what are the. Premium membership three times.'cause they don't want to lose all the conference goers from their flight schedules. Yeah. Yeah. So, um, I think that's what everyone's missed is that ability to network. I mean, the reality is you often meet your future boss or your future colleague at these sort of conferences. I mean, the industry in Australia is huge, but it's also small because every time when you go somewhere, oh, where are you now? And. You are now there and you're doing this, and you are doing that. So I think that's what it is.'cause especially you within any industry, in any institution, it's really easy to become, um, well institutionalized, that you don't have any context beyond yourself. So I think when I see the presentations or when I hear the conversations of people next to me, it makes me. Actually question, um, if we've taken the right approach to what we are doing or we are just doing what we know. And so that's what I like about it is that you kind of, it's like if you were training at the gym just on your own, how would you know if you're actually in good shape? If there wasn't someone else who's actually got bigger muscles and you're like, I might have to do something. Look at them. Yeah, it is definitely very collegial sector. I was laughing about the fact that people were checking in at the registration desk, getting their badge, and then saying, so what's the plan tonight? Where are we going? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. I mean, that is a big, that is a really, it's no coincidence I've seen you on. A party boat cruise across, across the waterways. I've seen you in the casino, but I mean, actually it says more about me than you probably. Yeah. Yeah. Oh look, I think that's a really big thing. That's why I love Australia and Australians. I think Australians know how to live, like in New Zealand mostly people will go home on a Friday after work and maybe grab a butter chicken and you know, warm it up at home. But Aussies are like knocking off sort of four o'clock on a Friday, happy hour starts, and then, oh, when's the last train back home? We'll do that later. Yeah. So I think, you know, if we, if we'd had a drink, I could really guide you into some more stories. I've got a feeling you've got many, many more stories. Uh, if I said to you, what's one of the funniest things that you've experienced or the scariest things, go for it. The funniest thing of my career, what comes to mind. Um, what, so I reckon the funniest thing that what, what always makes me giggle is that I'm so not from an academically inclined family or background. And now like, I'm called the associate dean, which like sounds pretty cool and like, I know, like I've been with the same group of people that we've all sort of risen in our careers together, and most of us are just the engines that could, right. And so what I always chuckle about is that I would've never thought going to high school in South Auckland that one day I'd be at what is essentially the most premium. Institution for foundation studies in the country as the associate dean. How bizarre. Like it's as far away from my fabric as he could possibly be. And so I walk into work every morning and the manicured lawns and beautiful gardeners doing all this stuff. And I just think God's got a sense of humor, hasn't he? We we're nearly out of time, so. Lewis, thank you so much for doing this, for coming on the show. We are live in Australia with a live audience, so please join me in giving a big round of applause for Lewis. Thank you.


Hello everyone. Thank you so much for listening. As always, you can get in touch with us at Sick Bag at Tales from the departure lounge.com. See you all soon. Tales from the Departure Lounge is a type nine production for the pie.

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