Oxbridge Queen’s Birthday Forum June 6 – 11
Come and join Oxbridge alumni from all around the Pacific – Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Vanuatu and Fiji for our second long weekend Fiji forum. It’s a hugely enjoyable and wildly stimulating long weekend of talks, discussion – and lots of Fijian food, kava and kayaking, diving and dancing.
The weekend is being hosted by Oxbridge alumni John and Delia Rothnie-Jones who own Daku Resort, along with Deven Sharma who runs the Fiji Oxbridge group.
John (Cantab) was the founder of the Sydney debating forum, Intelligence Squared; Delia (Oxon) is the former President of the OUS NSW; Deven is the founder of the Fiji Oxbridge group and arranges regular dinners and meetings. Between them, they have an excellent understanding of the interests of our membership, and will be building on the success of last year’s meeting. (Have a look at the blog about it here.)Dinner during the 2013 meeting
The weekend’s schedule
Apart from all the things you’d expect to do in Fiji, there will be some that you’d least expect:
The concept is built around the 5 x 20 minute dinner talks – 5 people, each talking for 20 minutes.
We’ll group 5 alumni together on each evening to talk. The subject is of their own choosing but we encourage people to talk on their own specialist field as we found last year that this yields the most passion and interest. The talk can take whatever form you wish: in 2013 Jean Frederic Gagne spoke on Vanuatu where he was working – and chose to do it in the form of a quiz; Jenny Wily spoke on the law relating to the corporate veil – and did it as an armchair chat; Chris Bertram spoke about ethics in the field of medical research and paced the floor energetically as he spoke. So….whatever makes you feel comfortable.
So, over the course of five days, everyone will speak and others will enter the discussion on any, or all, of the themes, if they so wish. Depending on weather and people’s energy levels, we may schedule some of the talk before dinner and others afterwards. This year we intend to be a lot stricter on time keeping too.
We’ll serve a continental breakfast from 7.30 – 10.00; a buffet lunch at 1.00 and a formal dinner with wine at 7.00pm.
And during the day there’s plenty to do; we’ll be organising snorkelling trips to the reef, hiking up the mountain, demonstrations of making tapa (traditional decorated bark cloth), visits to the local black pearl farm – which you can join or not as you please. (There’s a list of all our activities on the next page.)
You could say it’s a hedonistic indulgence for both mind and body but we just think it’ll be fantastic fun!
A$685 plus 20% tax per head for the entire 5 nights:
* twin shared accommodation in Ocean View bures
* all excursions as listed below
Please email Delia with your booking details:
Name(s), dates, and whether you’d prefer to pay by credit card or direct deposit. She will then confirm your place, and the final payment details. She will also ask you what subjects you might be willing to speak on!
Excursions and extras included in the price:
During the 5 days you’ll also be able to do any (or all) of the following:Going off to snorkel
Go by boat on a snorkelling trip to the reef (snorkels and masks included). Fiji is justly famous for its coral reefs and abundance of fish life, and we visit snorkelling spots within a 20 minute boat ride from the resort.
Watch Mereoni, one of our staff, demonstrate how to make Tapa (Fijian bark cloth). Tapa is the traditional Fijian decorated bark cloth made by women. Mereoni, has always practiced it, having been taught it by her mother before her. She encourages you to get your hands dirty and try it yourself – at least you can make a bookmark!
Visit a local village with meke (traditional Fijian dance). They always greet us warmly; this is not the mass tourism of the main island whereMarine life on the reef
the locals have got inured to tourism. After they have shown us around, they will perform a meke (traditional dance)
Listen to an illustrated talk about the local black pearl farm, J. Hunter Pearls, and then do out and visit the farm platforms in the bay the next day.
Enjoy a presentation with slides by a marine biologist, and learn about Fiji’s fascinating marine life.
Join a daily yoga practice in our yoga shala
Hike up the mountain behind Daku. It’s a 3 km route which goes up the hillside steeply, passing under towering rain trees and delivering sweeping views of the bay