Our next three meetings after the consulate were very informative. Both the Ernst & Young and the Baker McKenzie meetings discussed differences in American and Australian approaches to legal and financial issues. There was an interesting discussion as to how an interviewer may get information from a less than cooperative interviewee by analyzing body language, use of fake files and other visual props, eye contact, and long awkward pauses.
Australia, like the U.S., but unlike the U.K., does allow for facilitation payments to get a process moving faster; but not to make something happen which would otherwise not.
The trip to New South Wales District Court was informative as well. The judge described the differences in solicitors and barristers and we had a couple of opportunities to watch barristers argue for their clients in court while wearing the traditional robes and wigs.
The history we have explored has been very interesting. It is well known that colonial Australia had its origins as a British penal colony, but I didn’t realize that it was selected because Britain’s first choice (America) was no longer available after the American Revolution. The Australians have only in the past few decades begun to appreciate and explore their unique history.
The Blue Mountains tour was amazing between the natural scenery and wildlife. We rode cable lifts through the mountains for spectacular views of the Three Sisters formation and interacted with kangaroos, wallabies, and koalas at the Featherdale Wildlife Center. By the way, there is an amazing chocolate store in the town of Leura on the way to the Blue Mountains.