Thursday, December 11, 2008

First 3 days of work

I started my working life this Monday with DownUnder GeoSolutions. It has been good. Steep learning curve. Been on training since the first day and may continue for 2 weeks. Funny thing is that there are currently 11 staffs and interns from the KL office having training in the office here. So it's pretty Malaysian at the moment. :D

People are nice and very casual. shorts and slippers/barefoot are common.

Gotta sleep, 8am start is not fun. :(

Monday, September 08, 2008

My Thesis Submission

I finally submitted my phd thesis.


Getting the four copies of 220 pages thesis to graduate research school for submission.


My super good supervisor Peter.



My another super nice supervisor Amitava.


Shih Ching, my cubicle mate for the whole phd journey. :D


Minh


Lanny and Jing Bo


John


Chris


Luigi


Rob


Bob

Some more photos in my gallery.

Merdeka 51st

The last 3 weeks has been crazy for me, so busy I have no time to think.
There were several celebration for Merdeka, I submitted my thesis and I left Perth to Malaysia for 3 months holiday.
This post will concentrate on the Merdeka.

This year's Malaysia independence day celebration is the most enjoyable one for me so far. I met two new friends Siow Yong and Yia Shi, I was invited to the official reception for the Merdeka by the consulate and the Merdeka ball organised by AMWA was a big success!

I wrote a short post on AMWA's blog.

On 24 August, AMWA had its annual Merdeka Day Golf.


On 28 August, the Consulate General of Malaysia in Perth hosted an official merdeka reception at the Perth Town Hall.


The finale of Merdeka celebration was held last night at the Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre. With “Wonderful Colours of Malaysia”, AMWA hosted the 51st Merdeka celebration with Malaysian cuisine, cultural performances, a fantastic live band, groovy dances, happy snaps and a lot of fun!


I met Siow Yong because he ordered tickets to the Merdeka Ball from me. And after we started talking only I found out that works very close to UWA in an area I have a lot of interests in -- audio signal processing for hearing aids. And he also turns out to be very nice to talk to.
click here for a picture of Siowyong with the Vice CG Mr Tan.

Another really cool encounter is Yia Shi aka Ivy. I first met her at the Merdeka Golf. She is a budding journalist with Asia Business Times -- a new newspaper in Perth. She came with another journalist Angel and Joe.
After chitchatting for awhile we were pleasantly surprised to find out that she came from my mom's hometown where I spent a lot of my childhood at, and her mom came from my hometown. Ha! What a small world.
We sat at the same table during the golf lunch and had a good chat. Then Angel and Yia Shi came to cover the merdeka reception, so we met the second time there. And then the newspaper company had a table at the Merdeka ball, so I met their boss Mr Peh then as well. Mr Peh is really nice as well, and I met his son who's a table tennis state representative before at UWA. Small world again.



I'm writing this post in Malaysia. :)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Beijing Olympic and possibly first Gold for Malaysia

This is a bad time to be at the end of a PhD. I'm so tied up with writing and correction with the thesis that I hardly have time to watch the Olympic. Anyhow, I did watch the opening. It is just awesome! Telstra has this ads for Olympic that carries a song with this lyrics - "we are one, and we are many...." and I thought it's a very good reflection of the drummers, the Taichi performers and many others at the Beijing Olympic opening.

I also think that the concept of a painting 'drawn' by the dancers, the kids and all the athletes is just brilliant. However, the last minute change from the super-sweet -voice singer to the super-cute-looking singer by direction of high official is a bit of a shame.

Actually this post is about tonight man's badminton final between Lee Chong Wei (Msia) and Lin Dan (China). Malaysia had never won gold in Olympic and tonight may be the first time the national anthem of Malaysia being played in Olympic ceremony. Lee Chong Wei is in good form, so is Lin Dan. Actually Lin Dan is on fire and won all his games in this Olympic in straight 2 games. They played each other many times before and Lee always win when the game is in home ground.

It's sad that Australia TV doesn't broadcast it! Why did SBS broadcast woman's badminton final but not man's?

Anyhow, I hope Lee Chong Wei will win for Malaysia, like what he did for the Sudirman Cup 2007. Go Lee Chong Wei!!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Making Google Street View into 3D

I was very excited about Google Street View in Australia. I think in a computer vision point of view, it provides such a huge amount of usable multiple views data to play with.

One idea I have is to:
1. Run the SIFT descriptor (by David Lowe) over the photos along one street to grab the interest points,
2. Ran RANSAC with rather loose tolerance to find homography match, and classify regions into planar surfaces. Maybe some super pixel algorithm will be useful to grow small region into bigger one based on colour information.
3. Transform the Street View into a 3D cardboard style walk through like the Photo Popup I mentioned before.

I think it would work. And because we know it's on a street, there are many constraints that can be added like we know the ground under is flat and it's pretty much sky on top kind of things.

If you're reading this and implement the algorithm and got a paper published or something, just give me an honourary mention will do. ;)

On a non-technical note, here is one place that it didn't quite work out on Street View. There's clearly a road there, but it didn't show it.



Or on Street View live:

View Larger Map

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Google Street view in Australia!

Google gets down and detailed on the street where you live


View Larger Map


View Larger Map

If you know where I live, you can even see my Daihatsu parked on the side of the road. Haha! That's pretty cool.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Win a Creative Zen X-Fi with Bejeweled

The new MP3 player looks fantastic with the in-ear earphone, the sound technology. The 16GB version even support wireless LAN.

Go play the Bejeweled-like game and enter by 22nd Aug to be in the draw to win one.

I am a DIAMOND record winner. Click here to take the ZEN X-Fi Perfect Note Challenge

Damned! What a time waster! Here's my best score.

The Last Lecture rests in peace

The day finally came. But his words echo along.

We don't beat the reaper by living longer, we beat the reaper by living well and living fully.

Prof who posted 'last lecture' online dies

My previous post on Randy Pausch's Last Lecture.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Top 10 food myths revealed

Interesting myths revisited.
Top 10 food myths revealed

Amusingly WRONG:
3 Light olive oil is "light" on calories
6 Fresh vegies are better than frozen
10 Fat-free equals calorie-free

Condoleezza Rice in Perth

Another side thing is that I got within 500m from Condoleezza Rice today without noticing it. The US Secretary of State came to Perth today and dined at University Club at UWA. It's <500m away from computer science building and my house. See it on Wikimapia (CS is at top left, UniClub at bottom right).
I read the news too late.

My neighbours are very rich!

According to the latest survey, Nedlands resident has average $2091 weekly income before tax. That amounts to $100k annual income!
Man! I'm living in a very rich area with expired PhD scholarship! :`(
Anyway, hopefully I absorb the goodness of this area and will catapult myself into that income bracket soon. ;-)

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Power of Context and the Courage to Create, Revisited

We’re defining context here to mean “a fundamental set of assumptions”—assumptions that are not recognized as assumptions, and that go unquestioned—in which the world happens. When people thought the earth was flat (an analogy that grows old but never dies), that was a context or worldview that limited perception and behavior—how those folks saw the horizon, how far toward the edge they sailed, and so on. Similarly, our way of being a man or a woman, and the possibilities available to us, are given by the assumptions embedded in our culture, our language, and times in which we live. A girl born in the U.S. today would likely inherit a very different possibility for being a woman than a girl born in the 1930s or ’40s—would she be a dot-com mogul or running for president?

So if you consider the premise that the whole world happens inside of the assumptions we hold true (and if you do the math), what becomes apparent is that contexts are a mighty and decisive force. Contexts come to us by default, and we live our lives essentially unaware of their existence and of their far-reaching influence. It’s like wearing blinders—we don’t see the contexts themselves, we see only what they allow. These default contexts determine our worldview: what’s possible and not, what’s true and false, what’s right and wrong, what we think we can and can’t do. They travel with us—wherever we are, they are—shaping our behavior, our choices, our lives.

The Context Is Decisive

Click to start
.

Full Text

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A dead body found under Jojo's jetty at the end of Broadway!

Source: The West Australians

Restaurant staff find body in Swan River
12th June 2008, 7:00 WST

Staff at a swanky Nedlands restaurant found a body floating in the river last night.

Police were called to JoJo’s Café after a man's body was seen floating under the restaurant’s jetty.

A police spokeswoman said the gruesome discovery off Broadway, Nedlands, was made about 9.30pm and water police were called to retrieve him.

Major Crime officers attended the scene and police investigations are continuing.

The man, aged between 55-70, had no identification on him and police are not treating it as a suspicious death.

PERTH
JAYNE RICKARD

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A More Perfect Union

I didn't really follow much of American presidential campaign and didn't know much of Barack Obama. Today I took a 2 seconds interests in him and looked up Barack Obama in wikipedia and came across his famous speech of A More Perfect Union.

Obama was responding to a spike in the attention paid to controversial remarks made by the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, his former pastor and, until shortly before the speech, a participant in his campaign. Obama situated his response in terms of the broader issue of race in the United States. The speech's title was taken from the Preamble to the United States Constitution.

Obama addressed the subjects of racial tensions, white privilege, and race and inequality in the United States, discussing black "anger," white "resentment," and other issues as he sought to explain and contextualize Wright's controversial comments. His speech closed with a plea to move beyond America's "racial stalemate" and address shared social problems.


The address was given on March 18, ten days after Malaysians non-racial coalition gained a great leap in political support against the racial coalition in the general election. The whole Malaysia, including myself in Perth, was in surprise, shock and excitement about a new dawn in the political landscape.

I find the speech a great lecture on racial relation in the Malaysian context also. Although the situation between the white and the black in US is different from the Malays and non-Malays in Malaysia, there are much similarity that Malaysians can learn from the speech to forge a better union too.


Read the transcript here.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Here In My Home - Malaysian Artistes For Unity

free download

A song that truely warms my heart. I think it speaks the voice of many Malaysians, home or abroad.


Video, music, lyrics Downloads at their site. Spread the words fellow Malaysians. Sing along!

Update: Check here for the writer Pete Teo's interview, and Pete Teo unscripted video

Monday, May 26, 2008

Finding the Best Way to Cook All Those Vegetables

Processed tomato products have higher lycopene content than fresh tomatoes.

Boiling was better for carrots, zucchini and broccoli than steaming, frying or serving them raw.
Trade off: boiling carrots significantly increased measurable carotenoid levels, but resulted in the complete loss of polyphenols compared with raw carrots.

When salsa or salad were served with fat-rich avocados or full-fat salad dressing, the diners absorbed as much as 4 times more lycopene, 7 times more lutein and 18 times the beta carotene than those who had their vegetables plain or with low-fat dressing.


Source: New York Times: Finding the Best Way to Cook All Those Vegetables

Saturday, May 24, 2008

New umbrella!

Funny new umbrella - "Nubrella".



Right click and click play to see video.



The website: nubrella.com

Will it take off like the new rotary can opener?

Friday, May 16, 2008

Donations for China and Burma disasters

Donations for the Quake Relief in Sichuan, China:

Account Name: Embassy of The People's Republic of China in Australia
Earthquake Relief Fund
Account No. BSB:352-000 A/C: 126512
Bank Name: Bank of China, Sydney Branch.
***Telephone No. of the Embassy: 0414880919; 0408784630;0414793168

More information and other method of donation see the China ambassy website: English version | Chinese version


Donation for he Burma cyclone:

I chose Avaaz as my channel, as they claim that the money go straight to the International Burmese Monks Organization, which will transmit funds directly to monasteries in affected areas.
Burma cyclone site on Avaaz.com

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Feedback from giving talks

I have followed Jayjay (our CSSE ex-school manager, now school manager at Physics) to present at many talks he organised. At the beginning it was outreach program to high school where I showed high school students computer graphics stuffs like image morphing, video-based rendering, perspective rectification, etc.. Recently we had been going around to show the virtual 3D UWA with the new Google crown.

We did one at the UniClub auditorium to 170 high school students. And here are what they write down in the feedback form about us.

Feedback from students:
* Life is about reflecting light into dark places by using the resources you have as best as possible;
* I will remember the speakers and how they were all unique;
* My favourite was Jay Jay because I am interested in that career path;
* Tzu Yen was my favourite because he was funny and informative;
* Jay Jay and his gang because what they spoke about was cool;
* Tzu Yen, his virtual universe project was very interesting;
* The 3-D computer group was so interesting! Explored new boundaries;
* I found the computing group interesting;
* Did not enjoy the virtual tour as I found it not stimulating enough;
* The favourite was the Asian guy who showed us the designing thing on the sketch pad; ("Asian guy" I guess refer to me, and the "sketch pad" must be SketchUp)
* My favourite was Jay Jay and Gary;
* The computer man with the T-shirt was my favourite; (I'm the computer man with this :) T-shirt)
* Speakers were all awesome but Tzu Yen was awesome more; (Oh Yeah! Awesome more! I like that. Hear that Barney?)
* Some of the speeches went for a while longer than expected and got boring at some point – although they were all worth it in the end;
* I think we should have had more breaks and some speeches were too long;
* The best thing about the visit today was the speakers; they really do give us something to think about, to aspire to.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Randy Pausch reprising his "Last Lecture"



There's a 76mins full version on his CMU website - CMU website with a full transcript.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Pu22!es

I have been busy putting together my thesis chapters lately. The progress has been satisfying and the thesis starts to take its shape. Working consistently with the pace, I shall be able to submit in July. Yay!
Apart from the dry process of writing thesis, I had been doing some puzzles. Canon research lab CiSRA is having a puzzle competition. Danno told me about it as he work there and want me to never graduate. Haha!
Me, ShihChing and Minh are teaming up as Fubar Fighters to crack the puzzles. We solved the first group which was open for a long time, then this week the real battle started at the rate of 4 puzzle a day for 4 days! My brain is rather overwork. Some of the puzzles are just clueless to me!

Anyone can take part in the competition, just have to register for it and play. But Australian students are eligible to win prizes. Looks like my hope to win the camera is slowly vanishing.

A friend send me this website on puzzles which tech interviewers like to use. See techinterview.org

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Snapfish 20cents online photo print

It was advertised as 15cent a print at HP's online photo site Snapfish but 1-60 photos postage costs $2.95, so it work out to be about 20cents if you print 60 photos in one order.

Beware of a catch if you print 100 photos! Because 61-99 photos cost $4.95 in postage, but 100 photos costs $8.95! Strange arrangement and I overlooked it last time! :`(
See the full pricing here.

20 free prints for new account.
(Let me know before you register if you wouldn't mind me getting 20 free print by "telling a friend")

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Urban 3D Modelling from Video

Urban 3D Modelling from Video - University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and University of Kentucky



More video and details on their website.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Bruce Lee and Harry Potter



This is an artist impression of me after the artist saw these photos. Apparently, he thinks I look like a combination of Bruce Lee and Harry Potter (the glasses).

Muarotak has more of his comics and drawings on his site (in chinese).

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Pre-election Zimbabwe

I saw Danno blogged about his devalued Zimbabwe dollar last week. And today I stumbled upon this in-picture report of Pre-election Zimbabwe on BBC. 1US = 25million ZD?! Thousands of people have to walk 3km every day to work! 80% people unemployed, escalating HIV infection, one meal a day for many!!! That's mad!
Will Mugabe still win the election on 29th this month? He has the army in his pocket. How about the ordinary Zimbabweans?

Mugabe's good friend Mahathir has stepped down for more than 4 years. Malaysians have also shown their disgust of corruption and misgovernment by the election tsunami on 8 March. Will Zimbabwe have some new hope after the election?

Malaysia is in a much better state compared to Zimbabwe and it's really not a good comparison...

Anyway, have a look at the picture and report.
Pre-election Zimbabwe

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Malaysian opposition slays govt giants in elections

This is the most exciting General Election of Malaysia I've ever witnessed!

People's anger and frustration finally translated into real seats and gave the ruling parties a big slap on the face! It has denied the ruling Barisan National's 2/3 majority in the parliament so the constitution can't be easily changed at its pleasure.
Five states have also fall into the opposition, given them a big challenge to show the people what good governance which they preach is really about! If they can pull it through then it will pave way to eventual balance of power in the parliament down the track. Otherwise, the opposition will be seriously attacked in the next general election.


Channel News Asia has the report at 0014hrs.
(Blogger.com and many webserver were not responding when I wanted to post this late last night.)

Malaysian opposition slays govt giants in elections
Posted: 09 March 2008 0014 hrs

Special Report
Malaysia GE 2008

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's opposition has claimed several high-profile scalps in Saturday's general elections, including the sole ethnic Indian minister who lost his seat, according to official data.

The daughter of opposition figurehead Anwar Ibrahim, 28-year-old Nurul Izzah Anwar, thrashed powerful incumbent Women, Family and Community Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil in her first ever tilt at parliament.

Manoharan Malayalam, an ethnic Indian activist who is being detained without trial after organising anti-discrimination protests, was elected from his jail cell -- beating the government incumbent in a state seat.

Manoharan, who represents the Chinese-based Democratic Action Party (DAP), won twice as many votes as the ethnic Chinese candidate, in a seat dominated by ethnic Chinese voters.

Indian Cabinet minister S. Samy Vellu lost his seat in central Perak state which he has held since 1974, state Bernama news agency reported.

Samy Vellu, a loyal supporter of the Malay-led government, has borne the brunt of anger from Malaysia's ethnic Indian minority who say they have suffered decades of discrimination.

The DAP has claimed victory in the island state of Penang, ousting the government for the first time since 1969 in a stunning outcome.

Unofficial results showed the opposition is close to claiming the northern state of Kedah with the Islamic hardliners PAS and former deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim's party Keadilan securing 22 of the 36 state seats, Bernama reported.

The opposition is also in the lead in central Selangor state, traditionally a BN stronghold, it said.

The Election Commission's official tally showed Barisan Nasional ahead in the new 222-seat parliament, with 45 parliamentary seats in the bag, including eight that were uncontested.

The DAP has claimed six parliamentary seats, PAS currently has three and Keadilan has three. - AFP/ir

Friday, March 07, 2008

Malaysia Election Comedian Songs

Comedy Court made:

ELECTIONS Blah blah blah


Rough Little Indian Boys


The Family Tree


And more of other political and non-political videos on Comedy Court

Thursday, March 06, 2008

AMWA gathering at Kardinya

AMWA had a belated Chinese New Year gathering at Kardinya community center on Labour Day (3 March). I was there helping up from 9:30am for 11am start. Good fun in the kitchen chopping cabbage, cutting water melon and running around taking photos. Event finished at 2pm and we cleaned up, packed up by 3pm.
See the blog and photo gallery for more.


Chinese New Year Gathering 2008

Google SydneyTrip & UWA won the competition

This is 2 weeks old. As mentioned in the Happy^Googleplex post, We went over to Sydney on an all expenses paid trip by Google. We flew in on 17/2 Sunday, spent a day at Google office on Darling Harbour on 18th and most of the team went back on 19th. Me and Minh stayed for one more day with Danno.

Highlights:

  • We were greeted by a chauffeur with our names on a cardboard at the airport. It was my first time having my name on a cardboard at airport. But I was disappointed that there wasn't a big Google sign on it. Even more disappointed that it wasn't a Google van that took us to our hotel.
  • We were put in Amore hotel. Very nice and classy. My room was on 17th floor. Nice view.
  • Danno met us up for dinner at Pancake on the rock. Good pancake, I like it and like it a lot.
  • Monday 9am we met at Google office on Darling Harbour, in the IBM building. We met our 'competitors' too. Haha! Both other teams were from Melbourne U, both were two people team. Compare to us 8 people big full team from UWA to out number everyone, muahaha!
  • SketchUp user interface designer Matt flew in from US to give us a tech talk.
  • Will and Lysandra accompanied us in the Google office tour - but we weren't allowed to take photos beyond the reception. Bummer. But it is nice inside, open space. Food around people.
  • Our team and two other Melbourne Uni teams gave a talk on our journey of modelling, it was very informal and fun.
  • Food is great inside Google! We made our own pizza and roll from the salad bar. There was crab meat on that day.
  • XBox and Playstation with huge screen mounted on the wall for Googlers' gaming craze during lunch time.
  • We went on a tour of Sydney in the afternoon with the Googlers.
  • Winners were anounced at the hotel atrium before dinner. And our UWA team took the crown. Yes! Each of us were awarded with a goodie bag.
  • Google treated us a nice dinner on Darling Harbour looking over the Opera House. Fancy! And there were many quiz challenges from Will, fun!
  • Most of the team went back on Tuesday. But me and Minh stayed for one more day and Danno took a day off to take us to Blue Mountain. So touched, thanks mate. And Super Horatio helped clear the heavy fog for us there. It was fun. A lot more fun that last time when I went alone.
  • And at that night I stayed with my UTas best friend Jermin and Yeemei's place. They took me to a Shanghainese restaurant and I was stuffed with fantastic food. So yummy. And that night we chatted till 3am and had to go to airport at 7am.
  • Me and Minh flew back on Wednesday morning together wearing the proud Google T-shirt.
Photos are here:
Evgeni's version


Mine:
2008_02_17-19 Sydney Google trip


And once we come back, Jayjay has been at work to channel out the news that we did win the competition.

UWA News (27 February 2008)


Loconuts (28 February 2008)



Subiaco Post (1 March 2008)



Western Suburb (4 March 2008)



Joondalup Times (5 March 2008)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Turning any monitor in to a 3D VR display

Using Wii, this CMU phd student made a monitor into a portal to the virtual world!!

Turning any monitor in to a 3D VR display

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Rudd's 'sorry' address

It's 10 days old, but I just read it via Nick's blog.

On the same day, Malaysia parliament was dissolved to prepare for the 12th General Election. The inter-racial misunderstanding and stereotype in Malaysia is still very strong and the BN government keeps on squeezing on old wounds and conniving new destructive behaviours for their political survival. When will the parliament of Malaysia be mature enough to one day produce something like this, to lead the people into new era of renewed hope and inspiration.



PM Rudd's 'sorry' address
February 13, 2008 - 4:08PM


I move:

That today we honour the indigenous peoples of this land, the oldest continuing cultures in human history.

We reflect on their past mistreatment.

We reflect in particular on the mistreatment of those who were stolen generations - this blemished chapter in our nation's history.

The time has now come for the nation to turn a new page in Australia's history by righting the wrongs of the past and so moving forward with confidence to the future.

We apologise for the laws and policies of successive parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians.

We apologise especially for the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, their communities and their country.

...

We today take this first step by acknowledging the past and laying claim to a future that embraces all Australians.

A future where this parliament resolves that the injustices of the past must never, never happen again.

A future where we harness the determination of all Australians, indigenous and non-indigenous, to close the gap that lies between us in life expectancy, educational achievement and economic opportunity.

A future where we embrace the possibility of new solutions to enduring problems where old approaches have failed.

A future based on mutual respect, mutual resolve and mutual responsibility.
A future where all Australians, whatever their origins, are truly equal partners, with equal opportunities and with an equal stake in shaping the next chapter in the history of this great country, Australia.

There comes a time in the history of nations when their peoples must become fully reconciled to their past if they are to go forward with confidence to embrace their future.

Our nation, Australia, has reached such a time.

....

One of the most notorious examples of this approach was from the Northern Territory Protector of Natives, who stated: ''Generally by the fifth and invariably by the sixth generation, all native characteristics of the Australian Aborigine are eradicated. The problem of our half-castes'' - to quote the protector - ''will quickly be eliminated by the complete disappearance of the black race, and the swift submergence of their progeny in the white''.

The Western Australian Protector of Natives expressed not dissimilar views, expounding them at length in Canberra in 1937 at the first national conference on indigenous affairs that brought together the Commonwealth and state protectors of natives.

These are uncomfortable things to be brought out into the light. They are not pleasant. They are profoundly disturbing.

...

There is a further reason for an apology as well: it is that reconciliation is in fact an expression of a core value of our nation - and that value is a fair go for all.

There is a deep and abiding belief in the Australian community that, for the stolen generations, there was no fair go at all.

There is a pretty basic Aussie belief that says that it is time to put right this most outrageous of wrongs.

It is for these reasons, quite apart from concerns of fundamental human decency, that the governments and parliaments of this nation must make this apology - because, put simply, the laws that our parliaments enacted made the stolen generations possible.

We, the parliaments of the nation, are ultimately responsible, not those who gave effect to our laws. And the problem lay with the laws themselves.

As has been said of settler societies elsewhere, we are the bearers of many blessings from our ancestors; therefore we must also be the bearer of their burdens as well.

Therefore, for our nation, the course of action is clear: that is, to deal now with what has become one of the darkest chapters in Australia's history.

In doing so, we are doing more than contending with the facts, the evidence and the often rancorous public debate.

In doing so, we are also wrestling with our own soul.

This is not, as some would argue, a black-armband view of history; it is just the truth: the cold, confronting, uncomfortable truth - facing it, dealing with it, moving on from it.

Until we fully confront that truth, there will always be a shadow hanging over us and our future as a fully united and fully reconciled people.

It is time to reconcile. It is time to recognise the injustices of the past. It is time to say sorry. It is time to move forward together.

To the stolen generations, I say the following: as Prime Minister of Australia, I am sorry.

On behalf of the Government of Australia, I am sorry.

On behalf of the Parliament of Australia, I am sorry.

I offer you this apology without qualification.

...

Whatever words I speak today, I cannot undo that.

Words alone are not that powerful; grief is a very personal thing.
I ask those non-indigenous Australians listening today who may not fully understand why what we are doing is so important to imagine for a moment that this had happened to you.

I say to honourable members here present: imagine if this had happened to us. Imagine the crippling effect. Imagine how hard it would be to forgive.

My proposal is this: if the apology we extend today is accepted in the spirit of reconciliation, in which it is offered, we can today resolve together that there be a new beginning for Australia.

And it is to such a new beginning that I believe the nation is now calling us.
Australians are a passionate lot. We are also a very practical lot.

For us, symbolism is important but, unless the great symbolism of reconciliation is accompanied by an even greater substance, it is little more than a clanging gong.

It is not sentiment that makes history; it is our actions that make history.
Today's apology, however inadequate, is aimed at righting past wrongs.
It is also aimed at building a bridge between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians - a bridge based on a real respect rather than a thinly veiled contempt.

Our challenge for the future is to cross that bridge and, in so doing, to embrace a new partnership between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians - to embrace, as part of that partnership, expanded Link-up and other critical services to help the stolen generations to trace their families if at all possible and to provide dignity to their lives.

But the core of this partnership for the future is to close the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians on life expectancy, educational achievement and employment opportunities.

This new partnership on closing the gap will set concrete targets for the future: within a decade to halve the widening gap in literacy, numeracy and employment outcomes and opportunities for indigenous Australians, within a decade to halve the appalling gap in infant mortality rates between indigenous and non-indigenous children and, within a generation,
to close the equally appalling 17-year life gap between indigenous and non-indigenous in overall life expectancy.

The truth is: a business as usual approach towards indigenous Australians is not working.

Most old approaches are not working.

We need a new beginning, a new beginning which contains real measures of policy success or policy failure; a new beginning, a new partnership, on closing the gap with sufficient flexibility not to insist on a one-size-fits-all approach for each of the hundreds of remote and regional indigenous communities across the country but instead allowing flexible,
tailored, local approaches to achieve commonly-agreed national objectives that lie at the core of our proposed new partnership; a new beginning that draws intelligently on the experiences of new policy settings across the nation.


However, unless we as a Parliament set a destination for the nation, we have no clear point to guide our policy, our programs or our purpose; we have no centralised organising principle.

Let us resolve today to begin with the little children, a fitting place to start on this day of apology for the stolen generations.

...

None of this will be easy. Most of it will be hard, very hard. But none of it is impossible, and all of it is achievable with clear goals, clear thinking, and by placing an absolute premium on respect, cooperation and mutual responsibility as the guiding principles of this new partnership on closing the gap.

The mood of the nation is for reconciliation now, between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians. The mood of the nation on indigenous policy and politics is now very simple.

...

Mr Speaker, today the Parliament has come together to right a great wrong. We have come together to deal with the past so that we might fully embrace the future. We have had sufficient audacity of faith to advance a pathway to that future, with arms extended rather than with fists still clenched.

So let us seize the day. Let it not become a moment of mere sentimental reflection.

Let us take it with both hands and allow this day, this day of national reconciliation, to become one of those rare moments in which we might just be able to transform the way in which the nation thinks about itself, whereby the injustice administered to the stolen generations in the name of these, our parliaments, causes all of us to reappraise, at the deepest
level of our beliefs, the real possibility of reconciliation writ large: reconciliation across all indigenous Australia; reconciliation across the entire history of the often bloody encounter between those who emerged from the Dreamtime a thousand generations ago and those who, like me, came across the seas only yesterday; reconciliation which opens up whole new possibilities for the future.

It is for the nation to bring the first two centuries of our settled history to a close, as we begin a new chapter. We embrace with pride, admiration and awe these great and ancient cultures we are truly blessed to have among us cultures that provide a unique, uninterrupted human thread linking our Australian continent to the most ancient prehistory of our planet.

Growing from this new respect, we see our indigenous brothers and sisters with fresh eyes, with new eyes, and we have our minds wide open as to how we might tackle, together, the great practical challenges that indigenous Australia faces in the future.

Let us turn this page together: indigenous and non-indigenous Australians, government and opposition, Commonwealth and state, and write this new chapter in our nation's story together.

First Australians, First Fleeters, and those who first took the oath of allegiance just a few weeks ago. Let's grasp this opportunity to craft a new future for this great land: Australia. I commend the motion to the House.

AAP


Read the full text on The Age.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Chinese New Year 2008

I'm so happy to be at home for Chinese New Year this year. I didn't go back on CNY last year and having the whole family together is so great. We had steamboat, grilled chicken and sea cucumber with pork trotter. See photos.



Monday, January 28, 2008

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The modellers Theme Song

It's a crazy hour now but I just can't wait till tomorrow to blog about this!
Danno made a theme song for the modellers! I can't believe it!!!

It's so cool! And hilarious at the same time! And I now have a song with my name in it. You have made history Danno!

Read the post and enjoy the song on Danno's The Modellers post.

Oh ya, apparently Danno is having a Theme Songs on Request service. Danno I want one!!

Also, The Modellers has become my ringtone.

Friday, January 18, 2008

UWA 3D campus team in Media

There were a couple of photo shots by our own team members and professional photographers from the papers. And with Jayjay's media contact effort, we get quite some media exposure.

At the top of scale shall be The Australian. We appeared on the Higher Education section with each of our faces bigger than a 50cents coins.

The Australian | 16/01/2008 | Page: 21 | Higher Education
Region: National Circulation: 133000
Type: National
Size: 482.57 sq.cms
Click the picture to see the actual size, or here for the online version.


It's also on Wanneroo Times (Brad) and Western Suburbs Weekly (Myself):
Wanneroo Times | 15/01/2008 | Page: 14 | Regional Changes - Central
Region: Perth Circulation: 77098
Type: Suburban
Size: 241.78 sq.cms

Western Suburbs Weekly
15/01/2008
Page: 5
General News
Region: Perth Circulation: 48960
Type: Suburban
Size: 189.49 sq.cms


And of course, the official media release is on the competition page on Google.


Previous post on this topic

Update:
On ScienceNetwork WA (24 January 2008)


Featured on frontpage of UWA new Website.

Media release on UWA (December 21, 2007)


UWA's Prospects E-Magazine

IE Aust Student Magazine

UWA Engineering Graduate Association Newsletter - The engineering Essential

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Super Horatio Song V2

Danno has done it again with Super Horatio song! This time with his high voice and violin. It's even better than the first version!!

Click here for the full story:
Super Horatio has returned!

Download Super Horatio’s New Song while you read the story.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Recap 2007

I'm never really a big fan of New Year. It just happened to be the start of a randomly chosen counting system. Hmmm.. I think it's not random, but what is the significant of the first day of the Gregorian calendar? It's not the end of winter, not the day of longest sunlight, not the day the sun is closest to the equator... Can someone who knows tell me?

Anyhow, it's a good day to reflect. So I'd do so.

A good thing about writing diary or now blog is that it helps to retain memory. So I can look back and say "Hey! I did that and it's cool, let's do it more!" or the opposite. Here are the list of things I recalled, in no order.

This list may grow when I remember things.

And now it's new year. 2008. Happy New Year! And hope it'll be a good one for you and me.