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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 2, No. 17. August 9, 1939


Here's all the dope from Jack Aimers, LL.B., who, with M. G. O'Callaghan (Otago), visited Australia as a debating team from N.Z.U. Students' Association. They had a great time, and worthily represented N.Z.U.

"How does Australia compare with New Zealand?" We always evaded tills stock question by replying. "It doesn't. The two countries are so different that there is no basis for comparison." But one thing we soon realised. Australia is a land of great distances. Travel 4,000 miles by rail in five weeks; travel 4,000 miles in carriages which are not heated and you will appreciate this problem of distances. For it is a problem. It even affects university life and student activities in Australia. Inter-university events do not seem to play such an important part as they do in New Zealand. There is nothing to equal the N.Z.U. Tournament, although inter-varsity contests are hold. There is not the co-operation between universities as we know it in New Zealand. For example, as far as I could gather, at the last conference of the National Union of Students, one of the most important matters discussed was whether a National Union was needed. Although it has now consolidated its position, the National Union is not nearly as strong as N.Z.U.S.A. Its greatest asset is the General Secretary (Chester Wilmot, Melbourne), a remarkably able chap oozing personality. He organised the tour, and effectively organised us as soon as we stepped off the train at Melbourne. We received a typical Wilmot welcome on our return from Tasmania. After spending a night on a boat that did everything but loop the loop, we were met by Wilmot—"Hullo, boys, have a good time in Tassle? Now, about this broadcast [unclear: script] we must . . ." The National [unclear: Union] boom if the universities respond to Wilmot's enthusiasm, but it is significant that Sydney, the largest university, did not participate officially in the tour. At every university, however, hospitality reached dizzy heights. Indeed, at one stage we wondered whether we could last the distance.