Based on looks alone I think the 2011 Heywire team could have won anyone over last night. We were dressed to the nines for the gala dinner and ready to blow the socks off anyone who crossed our path. I’m scouring the internet (I possibly use the word scouring loosely)for pictures so the world can see how awesome everyone looked but to no avail. Oh well, imagination it is then.
The gala dinner in Old Parliament house is a way to neatly wrap up the forum. Everyone that’s been involved gets to come together and eat nice food and talk a lot. Because some of the Heywire winners were under eighteen there was colour coded wrist bands- green for the young-uns and black for the older peeps. What I loved was that EVERYONE had to wear one. In the interests of even footing and equality even the older MPs had their over 18 wrist bands on. I thought that was really cool.
The night itself was amazing. The speeches were amazing. Janet, Jarrad and Dana, hats off to you. Our guest speaker Stella was awesome. Everyone was awesome. The food was awesome, the little foam cows on our tables, the people we got to sit next to, our MCs (Tom Ballard and the lovely Natalie). Awesome awesome awesome. We networked and plugged our ideas and shared stories. I came home with a bag full of business cards.
And if we proved one thing last night it’s that country kids can nutbush. Our education system serves us well there. And for anyone who’s never nutbushed for the entire track- its pretty hard work.
We trickled reluctantly out of parliament house at midnight to the spectacular view of new parliament house, lit up like a Christmas tree. In one hand we all clutched our framed certificates and in the other our foam cows. We sang all the way home on the bus. I think I need to learn some more main stream songs. Its all well and good being able to sing “if you really loved me” all the way through but it’s not exactly karaoke is it?
It was one of those nights when bed seems like the most painful option. So we had origami lessons with Claire and chatted. Jack and I found ourselves sitting outside making a list of excellent words. As people drifted past and came to join our table we quizzed them on their favourite words. Everyone has one. There’s a tip if you want a conversation starer. So now Connect Four isn’t the weirdest thing I’ve done at 2am.
Going to bed sucked. Saying goodnight and being unable to follow it with “see you in the morning” was pretty hard. So we put it off to the last possible moment. Somehow I’ve survived all day on less than three hours sleep. And I’m still conscious. I’m rather proud of that actually.
The coda to the whole thing came as I was juddering about in the skies above Grafton in the teeny Rex plane. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that decent clearly. There’s so much more forest when you see it from the air. It made me realise that we really are patches of civilisation in the wilderness. And that’s a huge part of what the country is about. You can ride your bike to a place where you can pretend to be the only person on Earth. There will always be more trees than buildings. And more grass than concrete.
And I’ll always be proud to say that’s where I’m from.