Monday: a great first full day in Australia! We started with a visit to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation--and as a former public radio reporter, I totally geeked out. The ABC is owned by the state and the public; its radio and television programs are broadcast all over Australia. I was happy to learn about ABC's log commitment to rural broadcasting and programming: as in the US, radio is important source of news and information for people who are far from urban centers. We also toured the TV studios -- my favorite stop was the special effects room, complete with severed heads and fake blood. We also saw the set of a current affairs program, whose staff had been arrested that day covering corruption allegations in Malaysia.
We spent the afternoon the Olympic stadium -- it's huge! -- and running around Sydney on our scavenger hunt. Amanda, Nic, Cam, Jesse and I found a statue of Queen Victoria's dog and a hipster man store peddling tailored shirts, whiskey and coffee. We spent a long time wandering through the botanical gardens - the statue of King Philip eluded us. A great group dinner to end the day-- I could get used to life in Australia!