Brisbane Festival 2011 – Riverfire

Brisbane Festival 2011 is well and truly underway. This is my second year in Brisbane, and I didn’t want to miss the chance to experience Riverfire 2011. This year I choose to go to South Bank Parklands and the plan was to go early and catch a good spot to take some videos. However, thinks don’t play always play the way we want (specially when sleeping all day) and I reached South Bank at around 6pm when it was almost packed with crowds. So guess what, I couldn’t get a good vantage point and the following is a short video compilation of Riverfire 2011.

Here is the unedited long version of Riverfire 2011 videos.

There is lot more events and activities during Brisbane Festival 2011. For more details on other exciting events throughout the Brisbane Festival 2011, check out the official website. You can also follow Brisbane Festival more closely with frequents updates on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Flickr.

Here comes Brisbane Festival

It is the time of the year, which brings the city of Brisbane into a festive mode. Brisbane Festival is one of Australia’s premier festivals and Brisbane’s annual cultural event. Brisbane Festival was developed by the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council in 1996 as an initiative to foster the arts.

Brisbane Festival 2011 will take place from September 3rd to 24th. The event packed three weeks of Brisbane Festival 2011 will kick-start tomorrow, Saturday September 3rd with the Sunsuper Riverfire. On September 3rd, more than half a million people will converge on Brisbane’s riverbanks to watch the city sky ignite in a continuous burst of spectacular colour, music, and special effects.

South Bank, Kangaroo Point Cliffs, and Victoria Bridge are popular places to watch Sunsuper Riverfire. I was on Victoria Bridge last year and it was hard to find a place to put my tripod, even at 3pm in the afternoon. I guess, I would go even earlier this time, either to Kangaroo Point Cliffs or to South Bank.

Ignite Together Brisbane
Photo: Copyright Brisbane Festival. All Rights Reserved.

There are so many activities during Brisbane Festival, including many free events around the city. I would probably miss out on most events as I’m travelling back home this month, but I’m still planning to catch up few events before leaving to Sri Lanka. I’m looking forward to the Beautiful Noise show, a stylised aerodynamic performance that is premiering during the Brisbane Festival 2011. I’m also interested in the Jack Charles vs The Crown show, that could shed some light into the Aboriginal culture and history.

For more details on other exciting events throughout the Brisbane Festival 2011, check out the official website. You can also follow Brisbane Festival more closely with frequents updates on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr.

A Dinner with the Brisbane Lord Mayor Councillor Graham Quirk

Last Friday, Brisbane International Student Ambassadors were invited by the Lord Mayor of Brisbane City, Councillor Graham Quirk, for a dinner. It was a unique opportunity for most of the Student Ambassadors. This video is a snapshot from the pleasant afternoon.

It was a pleasant evening with loads of laughs and some good food. It was also another opportunity to meet some of my fellow student ambassadors after a while and we had some good times chatting away. Except for the fact that I was a bit tipsy towards the end of the evening, I think all went well. 😉

Nimal with the Lord Mayor of Brisbane Councillor Graham Quirk
Nimal with the Lord Mayor of Brisbane Councillor Graham Quirk

Photographs from: Leong Ming En

Asia Pacific Cities Summit returns to Brisbane

2011 Asia Pacific Cities Summit (APCS)

The 2011 Asia Pacific Cities Summit, takes place at the Brisbane Exhibition Centre between July 6 – 8 and brings together business and civic leaders from across the Asia-Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Americas. The City of Brisbane hosts this year’s summit under the theme “Business of Cities”, with emphasis on sustainability, connectivity, and managing growth.

Brisbane City
This summit is strategically tailored for business matching that enables businesses to meet and create opportunities with companies and contacts from the Asia-Pacific and around the world. The summit has already attracted more than 80 cities from Australasia, Asia, Europe, Africa, Middle East, and the Americas. It promises to be a grand event with over 500 delegates registered, including nearly 50 mayors, and 100 business organisations. This also marks an important statement that Brisbane is back to business after the January floods.

Brisbane - Open for Business
The program features over 40 expert speakers drawn from multinational corporations, leading world municipalities and global organisations. The exciting benefits for delegates include keynote speeches from –former Mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani, and founder of Virgin Group Sir Richard Branson.

Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group
Mayor Rudy Giuliani
Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Former Mayor of New York City

For more information visit the summit website

Personal note/Disclaimer/Hidden adgenda: The summit also hosts a Yong Professionals’ Program, which I hope I’ll be able to attend (given that I manage to prepare for my PhD confirmation that is scheduled for the same day). The Brisbane International Student Ambassadors will be there at the summit to participate on workshops, forums and seminars on professional development.

Study in Brisbane

A visit to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

I got an opportunity to visit the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary last week, with a group of Brisbane International Student Ambassadors. We got to travel on the frequent direct buses from Brisbane CBD to Fig Tree Pocket, where the sanctuary is located in. However, if we were to drive it is just a 20 minutes drive from Brisbane or 50 minutes from Gold Coast.

Koalas are one of the unique animals of the Australian continent. Lone Pine is the world’s first and the largest Koala Sanctuary, with over 130 koalas. Its main attraction for tourists and visitors is cuddling Kolas and photos with Koalas, which is a first time for me. Koala have a very low metabolic rate and rests motionless for about 16 to 18 hours a day, sleeping most of that time. So most of the koalas we could find were like soft toys on tree branches. Also the keeper mentioned that the male and female koalas are kept in separate areas to control reproduction, which I think they like next to sleeping.

Nimal with a Lone Pine Koala

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is not just for Koalas. It features a large variety of Australian wildlife, including Kangaroos, Tasmanian Devils, Wombats, and various species of birds and reptiles. We spent quite some time in feeding kangaroos. The Sheep Dog and Sheep Shearing Show, and the Bird of Prey Flight Show, are highlights of the day which were enjoyed by everyone. The day ended with feeding wild lorikeets and some of managed to feed from our heads as well.

So when you are in Brisbane or Gold Coast, make sure to visit the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary for an unforgettable wildlife experience. Entrance to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is by a nominal entrance fee of AU$ 32 for adults, while students (with student ID card) and backpackers (with YHA, VIP etc. card) get a concession fee of AU$24.

For more details on wildlife, shows and activities, and visiting information visit:

Study in Brisbane