Published: Wed, Oct 3rd, 2018 by Mike Newdick

I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the Australian Lawyers Surfing Association (ALSA) Conference which was held on Telos Island located in Sumatra, Indonesia, during the last week of August.

There were 20 delegates attending this year’s conference. From a professional perspective, the opportunity to discuss with Australian Colleagues the challenges and opportunities in relation to practising law across the Tasman, i.e. (the Big Island) was invaluable and as were the presentations by each of the delegates.

On a lighter note (well for the New Zealand delegate), the conference coincided with the second Bledisloe Test. There was a high degree of optimism amongst the Australian delegates given their team’s excellent performance in the first half of the first test. Unfortunately for my colleagues, tradition prevailed and I was able to let the All Blacks continued dominance speak for itself.

One of the highlights I was very impressed with was ALSA’s support for the Charitable Organisation, Surf Aid, which assists those in developing countries who are less fortunate than ourselves. There are many organisations competing for what is a limited amount of funds and through the efforts of the ALSA delegates (and one worthy of note is Ray Guinness), ALSA has assisted in providing support to enable Surf Aid to carry out its activities. I would highly recommend you visit their website http://www.surfaid.org/. I also note it has a New Zealand chapter. 

As with last year’s trip to Roti I have also attached some photos of Sumatra and Telos. It never fails to amaze me how people who enjoy far less material possessions than we do live happy and full lives. A poignant moment in the trip was walking to the airport at the end of the Conference and listening to the local children sing a song for a leading Australian Silk Tony Bannon (see photo). 

For those of you who are surfers, the Resort we stayed at was Latitude Zero (located right of the equator) and yes, I did manage to prise myself away from the more formal programme to catch the odd wave.

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