June 18


Bucket List and Parliament House

By lilly

June 18, 2024

architects, Australia, Canberra, history, MGT, parliament house, pc, typing

I’m planning a trip to Australia later this year and my MasterMind Buddy suggested writing down a hundred things I want to do. A bucket list. What a great idea. I am at number ten. Canberra. I’m seeking to retrace some of my experiences while living in Australia and thought it would be good to take Josef to Canberra, the capital city of Australia.

I first went to Canberra with my parents when we travelled around Australia. As an adult, I was asked to lead a pioneer missionary centre of the Unification Movement, probably in 1977, maybe 1976. I’m writing this all down now so at least if I have something it can be confirmed or negated. As much as I love correct data collection, I concede sometimes the personal subjective impression is still better than no story at all. So here I am.

My first stint in Canberra was interrupted when I was asked to take over leadership of the Unification Church centre in Adelaide in 1977. I came back to Canberra as centre leader in 1984 after a year pioneering in Hobart, the capital of the island state of Tasmania on the southern tip of Australia’s East coast.

MGT Architects
It was during this final term in Canberra that I worked for the architects of the New Parliament House, Mitchell, Guirgola and Thorp.
I had decided to go to America where my fiance had moved, from Austria and needed a well paying job to cover my expenses. So I registered with Manpower as temporary staff.

Typing Test
I was caught off-guard as they wanted a typing test and I had only taught myself on the industrial type-writer, my draughtsman father had given me for my 13th birthday. I managed the minimum requirement and they began placing me in positions where I was immediately offered full-time employment.

Since I was centre-leader and had a number of other full-time but non-paid committments, I declined but continued accepting short-term consultancies. Pretty quickly I was the typist of choice for the architects of the New Parliament House at MGT, Mtchell, Guirgola and Thorp. I was being called in every week and then even referred to the Cost Consultants who needed a reliable data assistant with a known accuracy record.

Thankfully, I had already collected my computer experience in the aftermath of the Professors World Peace Academy conference on Interdisciplinary Approaches to Peace. We got our first computer in our garage office where I managed the publication of the proceedings on our brand new single drive floppy disk computer and daisy wheel type-writer printer.

It would take me too far off the track to go into all my other voluntary and political activites here. I’ll just say, I had lots of experience and energy.

PWPA professors
Chapter prize
Centre leader
Dubbo zoo
First video camera

New Parliament House
I started writing this article today because I came across a number of interesting articles about Canberra’s Parliament House. It was such fun working for the architects. One time the staff got a tour to the site and I even took a video camera and filmed much of the experience. Unfortunately I have no idea what happened to that footage. We were walking across the top of the building, which was not finished yet and received detailed insights into specific features. I remember coding the materials for the cost consultants and being astounded at all the different types of wood included in the structure.

I left Australia in 1986 and was pleasantly surprised when I returned a number of years later and was warmly welcomed and thanked for my contribution – by the tour guide! I still have the letter of invitation inviting me to attend the opening but was no longer in Australia at that time.

Living as an expat, an Australian in Austria, I acknowledge that I have lived longer overseas than in Australia. I’m glad and proud to say that two of my five sons have spent a couple of years each Down Under.

It was less than a month ago that it dawned on me that I am responsible for TCKs in the second generation. My parents immigrated to Australia in 1951 and I was born there a few years later. The terminology TCK, Third Culture Kids, first came to my attention perhaps a decade or more ago. Recently, participating in the local Filipine Community national celebrations, I was reminded that my children are TCKs, but so am I.

Now when I consider my own parents, my Mum was born when her father who was German speaking went to a part of their country which was Czech speaking to learn the language. My grandmother went to that part to learn German. So technically, I think you would need to say that my own mother was a TCK. She was born in 1928, after the first world war in a part of Czechoslovakia which had historically experienced changing dominion and soveriegnty. She told me she was bullied and mobbed for being German or Czech wherever she went. She had German schooling but was an outcast due to her Czech mother. They spoke Czech at home, but she felt like an outsider because she went to the German school.
In Australia, she was the “New Australian”. So many of my parents generation left troubled Europe behind to make a new beginning in the new country.

Josef and I have determined to focus on positive things, so I don’t want to address current political turmoil and conflict.

So now I’ll continue writing my bucket list and consider, what do I really want? My parents left Europe to give me better opportunities. I stayed here in Austria so all five of my boys could complete their schooling at the Vienna Boys Choir.
I’m meeting so many mobile people through the course of my daily activities. Last Saturday, at the Aussie Pub, here in Vienna, I met Aussies who live here and Aussies who live there.


word processor
typing for MGT

I’m grateful for opportunities and choices.


https://www.nca.gov.au/education/canberras-history/parliament-house# written by Romaldo Giurgola






About the author

Consultant, mentor, motivational trainer

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