02.04.2013 12:41 Age: 7 yrs

Two OCEANERS at the Project Directors Conference in Melbourne


I was honoured to represent the OCEANS Network in my role as the Oceania Coordinator, along with Alin, the EU-Coordinator, at the latest Project Directors Conference from the 4-6th of March 2013 in Melbourne. This was a historic event as for the first time the Project Directors Conference was held in Australia, hosted by European Union Centre at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT). The Event was a joint collaboration of The Australian Federal Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIISRTE) who worked hand in hand with the European Commission. They provided the perfect environment for the Projects Directors to meet and share ideas and to gain from past experiences. On the 4th the delegates arrived and registered for 3 days of workshops and discussions on a range of topics. Throughout the event both myself and Alin participated in all the workshops providing a student perspective on the range of topics being discussed which was greatly valued by the other delegates.

We were given the opportunity to present the benefits and services of the OCEANS Network to all the delegates on the 5th of March. We created a new Prezi Presentation which can be found here, this allowed us not only to provide a detailed and clear explanation of our network's activities, but was also an excellent showcase of our Network's new and creative potential. We were very well received by the delegates who also had a chance to hear about our own personal experiences. Talking about his own personal experience, Alin said: “Since the first AGM in Brussels, the network was of great value added because it benefited me both personally and professionally. Thanks to OCEANS, I was able to mingle with young professionals and make great new friends, but also to get a referral from a member who works in the organisation I was interested to pursue an internship after the ATLANTIS programme.”

After our presentation we were inundated with ideas and encouragement to host more events and invitations to promote the network amongst those projects present in which the Coordinating Board is actively engaging. For those who are interested in assisting with this matter, please do contact your respective regional coordinator who will be able to instruct you as to what assistance is required. With the connections that we make for the network at events like these, we are able to bring greater value to our members with more collaborations with universities which ultimately leads to more frequent and diverse events for all. Ultimately, the event was a great success for the network, building our relationships with both respective governments and extending our reach to more eligible members by getting the project directors excited about the opportunities we provide.

I will leave you with a question after I explain why I pose it. One of the speakers Mr Xavier Prats Monné, the Deputy-Director General, Education and Culture at the European Commission, left a lasting impression on me. He made the assertion that in this day and age of new technologies and open access to more information, students won't stand for mediocre professors. This has resonated with me and I discussed it with many other delegates and colleagues since. I would like to agree with the notion, I, however, doubt that it has yet been realised in our societies. I would ask the Network what they think, and whether this phenomenon will spread to other areas of society? If so, what role do International Citizens, such as the members of our network, have to play in this new world order?

By Siamak Tehrani.