A Journal Entry From Down Under!

G’day again,

Since last time, a lot has happened. We presented our dialogue on slavery, which was received very well. It was a relief to have it over and done with, which now leaves us with only our cultural performance, which has been approved by the Hwa Chong students, so pretty much we (Australia) can now sit back, relax, and enjoy the rest of the summit.

With this mindset, all 3 of us have been participating in the dialogues given, namely one on the health system of Singapore, and the Land Transport Authority. The health system talk was very informative, with the entire talk being able to be summarized in one graph. This diamond graph showed 4 points on it: Affordability, Quality, Accessibility and sustainability, which showed that it is only possible for a health system to have 3 of the 4 criteria. This outlined to us the success of Australian Healthcare System compared to that of Singapore, or any other country that asked a question in that session.

Following from this was a trip to the EDB, the highlight of which was watching Cheryl (Hwa-Chong facilitator) get caught falling asleep during the middle of the presentation, despite herself warning us in the bus to there on: “making sure you try to stay awake during the entire presentation, and try to get to sleep earlier at the boarding school.” This resulted in numerous “pay outs” on her once the story got around. This location was also the first time that we were able to try Singapore’s NEWater, which takes “used” water, and restores it to its original chemical structure (shout out to my chemistry teacher, Mr. Matheson), by means of a number of filters. This was certainly a unique insight to what the future of water may be like, should we ever run out.

Finishing the day was a river cruise, which was an opportunity to relax and enjoy the view, as well as watching more people join Cheryl as “sleep offenders”. While it was difficult to listen to the commentary, the overall view and photos that were taken will do justice to the iconic Singaporean skyline, even without the history to accompany it.

Today was a relatively quieter day, starting with a trip to the Land Transport Authority, which I took a particular interest in, as civil infrastructure and transport are things that I wish to study later on in life. The overall message throughout this presentation was clear: public transport (at least in Singapore) is the future. The only issue is trying to get more people to use public transport, which will not only reduce congestion, but will also make the roads much safer to be on. The ways that the LTA were utilizing to try to convince people to use public transport were very entertaining, including offering a free service to people who catch public transport before 7:45am, and also to promote biking in Singapore. These are no doubt things that I will take into consideration later on in life.

A quick trip to the Public Utilities Board (PUB), to see where and how the NEWater that we tried yesterday was made concluded the day, and soon we will be departing on our night safari of the Singapore zoo.

See you next journaling session.

Elliot Cichero (Australia)

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