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The University of Adelaide Opening Remarks by Sok Heng Lay, Chairman of IAP Forum 2013 Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Pro Vice Chancellor Faculty members Distinguished guests Ladies and Gentlemen

Good morning! I would like to warmly welcome all of you to the Introductory Academic Program Forum (IAP) 2013. It is indeed a great honor and pleasure for us to host such a forum in the campus of the third-oldest university in Australia, the University of Adelaide.

This forum is a platform prepared by the IAP staff in order to help students to become critical learners and give students opportunities to formally do presentations based on the researched journal articles they critique. More importantly, students have to be involved in organizing this event with the guidance and support from the IAP staff. This is another experience for us, and it is a valuable insight into the workings of the academic culture of the University of Adelaide.

This year, there are 73 international students from 27 countries across the globe. Their presentations will be separated into group or individual according to their fields of study. Today, there are 34 different topics, and each of us is going to practice our presentation and critical thinking skills.

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Dear friends, This is just the start of our academic journey. There are miles away that we are going to walk through for these two or four years on this journey. Fortunately, our starting point has shown positive achievement.

For these five weeks, we get to know each other, work together, think together and live together. As a result, we are friendlier and become the members of a community with a much better understanding of one another. Through this understanding we share a common goal for our future. Therefore, our theme for the IAP Forum this year is “Together, We Grow!”

The key term in our theme is “Grow”. I’m using the Cambridge Online Dictionary to look for definition because we have been trained to use online resources during our IAP program. According to the dictionary, Grow means: “to increase in size or amount, or to become more advanced or developed”.

Therefore, our main goal is to GROW. First of all, the growth of our knowledge and skills. Although we are from different cultures, races, and walks of life, we aim to equip ourselves with knowledge and skills. We want to grow our abilities to think independently, and particularly learn the know-how in order to deal with the current world’s issues such as environment, health, finance, agriculture and so on. Since we are like brothers and sisters, we want to grow together in terms of knowledge and skills and don’t want anyone left behind.

The second concept of GROW, is for our home country. Most of us come from developing countries, so we want to use knowledge and skills obtained from the University of Adelaide to grow our country’s economy upon return. We want to see our country moving toward development. According to a book titled “The Bottom Billion,”

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Professor Paul Collier claims that bottom billion people are still living in the poorest condition and they live in a group of countries that are not developing, but actually moving backwards. We don’t want this nightmare to happen anymore. Therefore, we wish to contribute towards positive growth in our home country.

I think developed countries, like Australia, are willing to grow together with us. Therefore, Australia provides financial supports to grow human resources in our countries. Through this witness, 73 of us are here in this hall today.

Ladies and gentlemen, Before I conclude my remarks, I would like to thank the Kaurna people who are a group of indigenous Australians in South Australia. Thanks the Government of Australia for the financial support for all of us here.

Also, I would like to convey my appreciation to the IAP coordinator, Dr. Julia Miller and other IAP staff for constant guidance in organizing this forum.

Finally, a big thank to our team leaders Dinuke, Lerator, JC, George, and Andy for their support. Also, we never forget Janet, Michael, Ruth, and all of the members in making this forum happen.

Last but not least, we would like to thank all distinguished guests for sharing your valuable time with us today.

Ladies and gentlemen! Please kindly accept our best wishes for good health, success, prosperity and happiness in all endeavors.

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I wish today’s forum to be very rich and useful, especially to have fruitful presentation and discussion in each group.

I would like to officially announce the opening for the IAP Forum 2013 from now on.

Thank you!

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Opening remarks by Sok Heng Lay