Australienbesuch in Coronazeiten

australiaWe had been given the opportunity to take part in a great project with the Urangan State Highschool in Queensland, Australia. Our group chose the topic “Cultural Leadership” from three different topics. We were to have meetings introducing us to the topic, some summit talks and would finally work on an end product around the topic.

We had been given a great opportunity to take part in a great project.

We would first be informed by experts from the Eurac institute and then exchange ideas with the Australien students. We first met in a Zoom meeting with everyone involved and kept in touch through social media. They were very relaxed and took life easier than we do, so it took them a little more time to answer messages or email, but they made up for it by working hard on the project. We had some very interesting discussions and we noticed that their mentality is way ahead of ours. When we tried to explain the male and female stereotypes in Europe, they had difficulties understanding. Social justice,

gender equality and cultural tolerance seemed obvious to them.

What really caught me when I heard about this project was the direct communication that I expected to have with real-life Australians. And we got that communication, for sure, we had conversations about stereotypes (about Australians, Italians, men, women), we talked about serious stuff like sexism, rape, covid and so on. We talked about respect, diversity and our take on cultural leadership. We needed some explanation for that, though. Cultural leadership sounds like everything and nothing. Two researchers, Linda Ghirardello and Dr. Pechlaner from Eurac Reseach told us about the broad concept of cultural leadership. They made it sound easy; basically an advanced concept, that makes cultural diversity and learning from minorities a priority in business. Essentially it means to listen to people’s experiences, use

that diverse knowledge to create an inclusive environment. At least, that’s my takeaway from this.

After the very interesting and educational discussions with our Australian counterparts, we went on to work on the end product of this project. A product that we wanted to be able to show all the things we have discussed and learned. Unfortunately due to the lockdown, our Italian group wasn't able to gather and make a video as was planned. We tried to attribute to the best of our abilities though and made little posters with statements relevant to the topic written on them, that we then proceeded to make pictures of, while the Australian students made a video, in which they included our pictures.

All in all it's safe to say that thanks to all the different sources of information, like the Eurac presentation, the summit and especially the discussions and exchanges with the other students, we are now well informed about the very important topic “Cultural leadership”. It was also very interesting and fun to

converse with the Australians, compare our cultures, find out about differences and learn about other views. The project was really very interesting and a pleasure to be part of.

Giovanni, Tyra, Alma (3 gym)

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