Students' lakeside bonding

image - Group Jump Crop3

Ultimate Frisbee, BBQs, campfire sing-a-longs, canoe races and team building fun.

Ph.D. Student, Ailis O'Carroll describes the SEAMS weekend getaway to the mid-north coast of NSW:

The PhD students in the EMBL Australia Node of Single Molecule Science, in the Lowy Cancer Research Centre, are firm believers in a good and happy work-life balance! We discovered this once all of the labs in this new node were set up in January this year. There were a lot of new PhD students that came in with the new lab groups, and everyone was trying to settle into their new work environments, and also their new lives in Sydney. Therefore, we decided that it would benefit everyone to create a student committee that gives the students of EMBL a voice and a medium through which to organise both academic and social events. This led to the foundation of the “Students of EMBL Australia Single Molecular Science” group, “SEAMS”, with the committee consisting of representatives from all of the labs present in the SMS EMBL node.  As so many of the students barely knew each other, we decided that our first activity should be a social one and so we got to work organising a Student Orientation Weekend.

The trip was organised for the first weekend in April, in a gorgeous house in the countryside of Buladelah. On our first day we organised ourselves, 18 students all together, into two teams for team building exercises. Team A got to work on making us an amazing cooked breakfast on the Friday morning. After breakfast, we all prepared presentations to introduce ourselves and spent the afternoon getting to know more about each other and our PhD projects.  After this, Team B cooked a delicious BBQ. We all bonded playing Ultimate Frisbee on the lawn and building the fire in the fire pit area beside the house. The day couldn’t have ended more perfectly than it did, all of us sitting around a blazing fire telling stories and singing under a beautiful sky full of stars!

The next day we decided to use the lake at the bottom of the garden, and organised a canoe race. We split up into 8 teams, and each team raced to get the best lap time of the lake. It was great fun, and a really good team building exercise, with certain teams getting very competitive! We ended the day with the first ever SEAMS Regatta award ceremony and another amazing campfire, which was topped off with delicious “Shmors” and marshmallows! We were all sad to say goodbye to each other on Sunday, which shows what a success the orientation weekend was. We want to thank Kat Gaus and the other lab heads for making this weekend possible as it has really changed the atmosphere across the node for us and made our floor a really enjoyable place to work!

All images courtesy of Derrick Lau, Ph.D. student


Date Published: 
Thursday, 28 April 2016