By Pat

Last Friday, the 1st of April, nearly 60 PhD students, postdocs and their guests descended on the suitably named Old Canberra Inn for a night of eating, drinking and informal awards. The dinner was instigated and organised by RSES student Paddy (not Pat) and partially funded from student efforts at the AUGEN conference. Its purpose: 1) community building and 2) a night where stories are born (e.g. “that time N was kicked out of Mooseheads” or “that sychronised chair dance by Laura and Kate”). Frustrated with the usual RSES student outfit (men: single coloured (generally maroon) t-shirt and shorts, women: workout clothes) Paddy enforced a strict dress code that was “more-formal-than-semi-formal”. This standard was exceeded.

Whilst we waited….and waited… and waited… and waited… and yet waited more for Liane to deliver our meals*, awards were distributed. Under the illusion of a nomination  and voting system, awards were really a captains pick by Paddy. Awardees were presented with a customised plaque and a pat on the back.

Most improved Canberran: Nicole Eriks (for accidentally calling Canberra “home” to her parents).

Messiest desk: James Tolley (proudly followed by Tanja Pejic and Jo Stephenson). I was refused access to the photographic evidence.

Most Viewed Blog Post: Kate Holland: Five Formainfera that look like celebrities

Best office mate: Morgan Williams (for going away for 2 months)

This award should have been awarded to Jess Lowczack after Jen Prichard detailed her exceptional efforts as an office mate, friend and overall incredible human.

Excellence in Sporting Contributions: Kate Holland

Best BBQ: Pat Carr Best BBQ by a Swiss international: Chris Renggli

The night was concluded with a motivational speech from Antony Burnham which is vaguely remembered by some.

*The venue clearly could not handle a party of 60 (despite our meal requests being sent a week early) and so RSES student Liane stepped up and became the waitress for the night.