Just Another Saturday at the Opera House

Melanie Bracht
April 4, 2014

What a busy week!
School is officially on full power as tutorials and the hours of reading started this week. Tutorials are much better than lectures because we are in much smaller groups and we get to talk to people in class.
I have already started 2 projects and have my first assignment due next Saturday worth 20% of my operations management grade. I’m not complaining though. It’s nice to be back in a routine, going to class, playing tennis, and doing homework. I set aside weekends to explore the city and yesterday I went to the government house, Hyde Park Barracks Museum, and watched A Winters Tale in the Opera House.

The Government House is in the Royal Botanic Gardens and is still in use today. The current governor of the state of New South Wales (where I live) is  Marie Bashir. She is finishing off her third term as governor and will step down in September. To become governor, the Premier of New South Wales must recommend you to Queen Elizabeth II of England, who ultimately makes the final decision. Terms usually last about five years, but they can be extended multiple times. The Governor-General of Australia is also a woman, Quentin Bryce, and must be recommended to the queen by the prime minister. The government house is still used for meetings and functions. There is one room that has all of the coat of arms on its walls. Starting from the first governor of NSW, Aurthur Phillip in 1788, each governor is given the option to have their own coat of arms created. I think it is so cool that modern day people can have them! I love this room, as each coat of arms is colorful and tells us a little bit about each governor. After our tour there, my friends and I walked to the Hyde Park Barracks.
Australia’s growth and immigration began with the arrival of thousands of convicts. After America won independence from Great Britain, GB had to find somewhere else to send their prisoners. With very harsh penalties, there were many, and so GB decided to send them to Australia.  The Hyde Park Barracks are where hundreds were housed. They slept tightly beside each other in hammocks and were sent out each day to work. For those who re-offended, there were harsh penalties. They had one contraption called the treadmill. Men were sentenced to the treadmill and forced to walk for hours on end…. and treadmills are still torture devices today. hah ;)

I find anything to do with convicts and prisons interesting, so I liked hearing the stories of men that lived in Sydney back then.

After that I rushed back and got dressed for the play. The Opera House is beautiful at night, and although the play was a bit odd, it was great to have watched something in the Opera House. My friends and I were front row and it was a great night.

And tomorrow another busy week begins! But busy is good.

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Melanie Bracht

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">My name is Melanie Bracht and I am a junior at the University of South Carolina. I am originally from Pennsylvania, but have lived in several states in the US and abroad in China. I love to travel and have been to 29 different countries. I, however, have never been to Australia and am so excited to explore down under for a semester at the University of Sydney. I enjoy volunteering, writing, and playing tennis.</span></p>

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