Why Go to Sydney Australia?

by | Dec 1, 2017 | Asia, Australia | 1 comment

Why Go To Sydney Australia?


We went to Sydney for the IBA: International Bar Association Annual Conference

The IBA is the world’s biggest legal event. It is a 6-day conference for international lawyers. This is an annual event, hosted every year by a different city. This year, 4,000 lawyers from 110 jurisdictions converged in Sydney.


The International Bar Association is the world’s leading organisation of international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies. The IBA influences the development of international law reform and shapes the future of the legal profession throughout the world.


It has a membership of more than 80,000 individual lawyers and more than 190 bar associations and law societies spanning over 160 countries.


We went to Australia for the IBA and fell in love with Sydney. It is a fun, vibrant city in a fabulous ocean setting.

The opening ceremony at the IBA featured top Australian performance artists


We experienced a fabulous evening that showcased the best of Australian culture


One of the great features of the IBA is the social program. There are networking parties every evening. This is a great way to meet people from all over the world.

The opening ceremony kicked off with a fabulous performance by the Sydney Lawyers Orchestra


This is an orchestra of legal practitioners and students with a passion for music and law.

The opening  ceremony featured images of Australia that we did not have a chance to see


This image is Uluru (formerly Ayers Rock), a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Australia’s most recognizable natural landmarks. It is almost 3,000 km from Sydney. Although we did not visit Uluru, I was happy to see this huge image at the opening ceremony. If you get the chance to see Uluru, try to visit at sunrise or sunset when it glows red.

Do not climb the Rock!

After over 70 years of tourism, Uluru will be off limits for climbers from October 2019, local authorities have confirmed.

The iconic Australian landmark, formerly known as Ayers Rock, is a sacred site for Aboriginals, who have been asking people to stop climbing it for many years. A huge sign at the base of the climb reads: “We, the traditional Anangu owners, have this to say. Uluru is sacred in our culture, a place of great knowledge. Under our traditional law, climbing is not permitted. This is our home. Please don’t climb.”

Some 60,000 people a year ignored this plea and climbed anyway, but the board of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park has now voted unanimously to put a stop to the controversial practice.

Ayers Rock has great significance in Aboriginal culture. If you look closely at the photo, you can see an Aboriginal performance artist playing a didgeridoo. This wind instrument created by Indigenous Australians has a distinctive sound that carried throughout the auditorium.

If you look closely at my photo above, you will see an Aboriginal performer playing a didgeridoo, a wind instrument created by indigenous Australians.


I was thrilled to see an image of Uluru while listening to a didgeridoo

The Wuruniri Aboriginal dance group was breathtakingly beautiful

My favourite part of the evening was this sweet performance by the Australian Girls’ Choir


This fabulous choir has over 5,000 choristers in Adelaide ,Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. They have performed for Nelson Mandela, President Obama and Queen Elizabeth II. They closed the evening with I Still Call Australia Home. 

You can listen to this version from Youtube when the Choir performed during the Sydney olympics in 2000.

Our evening was not over: time to board a boat to Luna Park

Luna Park is a 1950’s style amusement park

Australians know how to host a party!

This is my idea of a wine bar!

G’Day IBA!

This band was great!

I love Australian country music!

I don’t know what this instrument is called. Do you?

This is the Queensland Tropical Pavilion at the IBA opening party

This fresh coconut-rum concoction was delicious

Pinball wizard at the opening party for the IBA

My favourite ride at any amusement park


This would have been my dream as a kid: my own merry-go-round

I did not try the Hair-raiser ride, but lots of lawyers lined up for this ride

This is the view of Luna Park from the top of the ferris wheel


We closed the opening party with a ride on the ferris wheel.

We went to a different party every night of the IBA

We were invited to a party at at barristers chambers in Sydney


Barristers gown and wig for court in Australia. A barrister let me try on her wig and snapped the pic.

This is the barrister’s wig on a stand


This barrister had lived in Hong Kong and purchased an acupuncture mannequin as a wig stand

The best part of the IBA is getting together with lifelong friends


In this photo, you see two middle (old?) aged lawyers. I see two young lawyers who became friends in Singapore 30 years ago when we both worked at Coudert Brothers, a New York-based law firm with offices around the world. When we worked at Coudert Brothers, it had the most number of foreign offices of any law firm in the world. With increased competition from the rise of other multinational law firms, Coudert Brothers dissolved in 2006.

After Singapore, Anne practiced law in England, then Hong Kong, before returning home to Sydney. We haven’t seen each other in 30 years. It felt like there was no time gap. We had a magical evening catching up on a lifetime.


See the world and see your friends at the IBA


Whatever your passion, you can make lifelong friends if you join a group.

Rose Ann MacGillivray

Rose Ann MacGillivray

World Heritage Traveller at BoomerVoice.ca
I love visiting World Heritage Sites, celebrating the world’s most fascinating places and cultures, and most of all, having fun on a trip. Join me on the road to fun and fascinating places. Thanks for reading – and remember to add your e-mail below for updates!
Rose Ann MacGillivray