Tuesday 3 July 2012

“Living Books” at CQUniversity Melbourne

During Library & Information Week this year we introduced the concept of “Living Books” to the Melbourne Campus Library of CQUniversity. Interesting members of the community came along and talked to students and staff about their life. Each “Living Book” chose a title and wrote a blurb. A copy of the blurb was posted outside the meeting room where the book met “readers”. For Melbourne's international students talking with the “Living Books” gave an insight into some Australian characters and an opportunity to practice English.

Gamil Abou-Lehaf  gave himself the title Why I call Australia Home:
Gamil Abou-Lehaf’s coming to Australia in 1966 was to be for a temporary period while he saved enough money in order to study in France.
Things did not work out this way and he had no choice but to go on making a living and try to settle in.
He thought when he left Egypt, that he had an open, liberated mind as a result of his French educational background in Cairo and his enjoyment of listening to foreign music and watching foreign movies.
Instead he encountered a totally unexpected cultural shock that made him despair. He was at a loss as to how he could achieve any successful outcome. It was not the language he couldn’t understand but the delivery of it and the directness of people’s opinions that he couldn’t handle.
A very patient Australian wife and many years of teaching children at secondary school to helped him come to terms with the situation and sort out the mixed cultural bag that he carried from Egypt. Getting rid of double standard attitudes, impractical beliefs helped him adjust and become a very satisfied and happy citizen of Australia.

Gamil Abou-Lehaf and students

David Cherny called himself King of the Homewares:
David Cherny is the Director of Tabletop Homewares. The company imports and distributes leading kitchenware brands across Australia and New Zealand. Customers include Coles, Woolworths, Target Kmart and smaller gift outlets.David is an Australasian Business Council Member for Gresham Lehman, Austin, Texas. In this capacity he advise overseas investment companies regarding investing in Australia companies.David was educated at Scotch College until year 8, he transferred to Kingswood College for year 9 and 10. Despite not completing secondary school David is the Director of thriving import business.

David Cherny and students

Roger Wilson’s title was To Live a Life Upon the Ocean Waters:
Roger Wilson was born in 1930 at East St. Kilda. He went to sea shortly after the 2nd World War at the age of 16. By 21 he had travelled the high seas and been around the world. He’d worked his way up from deck boy to Able Seaman.
The philosophies of equality, fair play and fair pay became important to him. In 1949 he joined the Communist Party of Australia and in 1950 he attended the 2nd World Peace Congress which took place in Warsaw, Poland.
Roger worked as the Assistant Secretary of the Seaman’s Union of Australia between 1959 and 1984.
He continues to work to improve the living standards of people with the national “Fair Go for Pensioners” coalition. “Fair Go for Pensioners” seeks to influence all levels of Government concerning the lives of senior Australians.

Roger Wilson and students

The experience and my Halal compliant cake were both a huge success with students and staff.

Jane Wilson
Library Manager, CQUniversity Melbourne

Photographs by Barb Watson
Library Technician, CQUniversity Melbourne

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