Canberra, what an exciting and eventful week. News Day Week, part of a UTS journalism assessment was not what I expected. I thought there’d be more nerves and a lot of freaking out. But I found I was much calmer than I expected.
I didn’t have any intentions on travelling to Canberra for News day, but a classmate, and now friend messaged me and asked if I would go with her. I immediately said yes, without consulting with my parents like I normally do. Next thing I know, I get a call from the head of journalism on Sunday night confirming I would be in the Canberra group.
I literally dropped everything I was doing and looked for accommodation and transport as well as packing my bags. We, me including 3 others decided to head to Canberra the day before, giving us time to settle in.
My parents didn’t believe me when I told them I was going to Canberra, I didn’t even believe I was going. It wasn’t until Monday night when they realised I wasn’t home that they finally believed.
Luckily for us the only guy in the group offered to drive, and thank god he did, it would have been difficult to travel around Canberra.
At first I was nervous at the fact the head of journalism hadn’t told us what we were going to write about, but I guess that’s what it’s going to be like in the real world. So I’m so glad it was like that. We spent our first night researching and contacting people to see if we could have a head start.
First night sleeping was hard. there was definitely a lack of sleep from all four. I don’t think it was because we were nervous, but for me, the bed was so stiff.
We decided to wake up at 6am and leave the apartment by 7am and have breakfast at a local cafe that was recommended to me. While we were at the cafe the head of the department called me and told us that we would be sitting in The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade references committee public hearing into the Commonwealth’s treaty-making process in Parliament house.
We came in late so missed out on the opening. In the first half, we were really confused, we didn’t know what was going on. While I was listening and taking notes I was also looking up the acronyms they were using and also using google to search up information.
We met a lot of nice people who helped us and explained everything, #ParlimentForDummies.
The hearing was actually so interesting. It was about the TPP, Trans-Pacific Partnership agree. Did you know, only about 10% of Australian’s know about it? The TPP affects every single Australian, and the government is keeping a low profile on it.
The moment we walked in, a member of the committee named, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson caught my attention immediately. He’s part of the Greens and everything he said and all the questions her asked the witnesses were so strong.
I will admit, seven hours was a bit long, it made us really uncomfortable and bored. But it was an experience which i’m grateful I got to sit in on.
Something that i’d change if I could do it again, possibly write more questions and do a little bit more research. I found I didn’t have any question I wanted to ask, and I relied heavily on my recordings.
I’d also love to have run after the witness and get a quote. But this is a learning process.
It was a rewarding experience. My only issue was, I did not get a selfie with Tony Abbott.
We visited the Big Merino when we went back!