Oxbridge Alumni Forum 2019

Oxbridge Alumni Forum 20192018-10-25T16:23:13+00:00
Oxbridge Alumni Forum in Fiji

Oxbridge Alumni Forum in Fiji

 August 31 – September 5 , 2019

Oxbridge Alumni Forum in Fiji
Oxbridge Alumni Forum in Fiji 2017

Serious Mornings – Adventurous Afternoons- Convivial Evenings

Come and join Oxbridge alumni from all around the world – USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand,  Hong Kong and Fiji for our sixth Oxbridge Alumni Forum in Fiji. For those who attend (and some have been coming back every year) it’s a rare opportunity to hear people with a lifetime’s experience in their field lay out some parts of their knowledge. It makes for a rich cross-referencing of thoughts and ideas in much the same way as we once did in the JCR or in late night discussions in our own rooms at college.

The weekend is being hosted by Oxbridge alumni John and Delia Rothnie-Jones who own Daku Resort and are joint Presidents of the Fiji Oxbridge Society.

John (Cantab) was the founder of the Sydney debating forum, Intelligence Squared; Delia (Oxon) is the former President of the OUS NSW. They promise another rewarding exchange of ideas and challenges.

The format of the week is simple: the mornings are given over to talks and discussions, the afternoons are free for excursions and relaxing, and the evenings promote more discussion over a good meal and several bottles of wine.

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 speakers in previous years have presented many varied and fascinating subjects: scenario planning in the energy industry, working with youth in crisis, playing a violin in a professional city symphony orchestra, the fate of New Orleans, nurturing intelligence, suing the US Treasury for lying about the greenback dollar..have a look below to see what was on offer at the August 2017 forum.

Oxbridge Alumni Forum in Fiji Coffee break

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. It’s a recreation of all the very best of Oxbridge life.

Once we leave college, many of become immersed in our chosen fields, and to hear about ideas and development in totally different fields is surely what intellectual growth is all about.

Allow me to give you a quick whizz through this year’s show:

Day 1: We started with a talk from Millicent Hughes (a woman who was once so frustrated by being unable to play rugby with the boys at school that she became a fully accredited Rugby Union referee and subsequently the rugby correspondent for Honi Soi, Sydney Uni’s paper edited at the time by Clive James). She spoke on Birth Registration – a Basic Human Right, and described how official neglect of birth registration, particularly of girls, lead to human rights abuses, especially sexual exploitation.

William Forbes gave an enthralling demonstration of Year 7 maths and showed us how to fold and refold paper to produce the Golden Angle, leading to an exposition of Fibonacci sequences (may sound obscure but I hadn’t had such fun with maths since….well, ever).

Day 2: Phil Allen and Dianne Pinder dovetailed their talks: she showed us how to make a pizza without flour (Easy swaps to low carb eating), and sent it off for baking ……….

….. whilst Phil took up the story and talked about The war on cancer (and why we are all losers) :concerning the metabolic rate of cancer. His particular targets were carbohydrates and sugar, and since then I’ve cut out the sugar in my tea.

Day 3: Chris Hughes talked about Consensus – Benefits and Problems – based on 2 medical situations of long duration and established benefit. The examples were the work on the treatment of ulcers by Robin Warren and Barry Marshall, which overturned the medical consensus of the day; and Semmelweiss’ groundbreaking work on death in childbirth, and the resistance he had to battle from the medical profession at the time. This proved the catalyst for a long discussion on the nature of how we learn and how knowledge is advanced.

Margaret Mackenzie Hooson protested that Chris had just delivered much of what she intended to talk about! but then proceeded to give a thoughtful and intriguing paper on Mindsets and Misunderstandings: an anthropological attempt at comprehending intercultural differences, in which she delved into ideas of the effort of empathy, and avoiding our all-too-immediate tendency to judge people with differing viewpoints with contempt.

The final talk of the morning was much less rigorous and had lots of pictures: Delia Rothnie-Jones (that’s me) talked about Sharks – their habits, their importance in the ecological system of the ocean, the enormous threats they face and some arresting figures on the true nature of their threat (did you know that about 4 times as many people are killed by ants each year as are killed by sharks?!).

Day 4: Eugenie Lumbers gave a presentation all about how your grandma lives on in your genes. Entitled When we were very small: how life before birth determines your health, she described the way genetic understanding has developed and how much we do (or don’t) owe our make-up to our granny.


And finally, John Rothnie-Jones talked about Fiji and its development into its modern body politic.


Dinner…… with wine

Oxbridge Alumni Forum in Fiji

Lunch in the yoga shala

Visit to Yaroi village

Return home.

Oxbridge Alumni Forum in Fiji


Book here

There is a secure booking form for payment on our Paradise courses website: you will be directed there when you click the button blow. Alternatively, you can make an enquiry by contacting us at directly: delia@dakuresort.com

Book now

Cost and booking

Single room: Aus$1300 (approx US$940) for the entire 5 nights.

Second person sharing your room: Aus$650 (approx US$470) for the entire 5 nights.

Program Includes

  • 5 nights accommodation at Daku Resort in traditional bures with private facilities.
  • Breakfasts, lunches and dinners with wine.
  • Excursions as indicated.
  • Airport transfers from Savusavu Airport to Daku Resort by road (approx 10 minutes).

Program Excludes

  • Travel to Savusavu.
  • Comprehensive Travel Insurance.
  • Optional activities not listed on the program.
  • Costs of a personal nature such as laundry, massages, private trips.

Oxbridge Alumni Forum in Fiji

Excursions and extras included in the price:

During the 5 days you’ll also be able to do any (or all) of the following:

Oxbridge Alumni Forum in Fiji

Watch a local craftswoman demonstrate how to make Tapa (Fijian bark cloth). Tapa is the traditional Fijian decorated bark cloth made by women. Get your hands dirty and try it yourself – at least you can make a bookmark!

Oxbridge Alumni Forum in Fiji

Visit a local village with meke (traditional Fijian dance).

Oxbridge Alumni Forum in Fiji

Listen to an illustrated talk about the local black pearl farm, J. Hunter Pearls.

Oxbridge Alumni Forum in Fiji

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.

Oxbridge Alumni Forum in Fiji

Picnic on a nearby beach.

Oxbridge Alumni Forum in Fiji

Join a daily yoga practice in our yoga shala.

Oxbridge Alumni Forum in Fiji

Explore Savusavu town.

Oxbridge Alumni Forum in Fiji

Just relax……

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