Diversity & Culture


Culture Blitz: Around the World in 60 minutes!

A Diversity talk with a fresh approach! What defines a life as happy or successful around the world? Alicia presents a lighthearted look at some of the divergent cultures in which she has lived and worked: India, Russia, Chile, UK, Indonesia and Malaysia to name a few. This talk is one of the most requested. You will be amused, touched and surprised by the yardsticks used by people around the world. You will also be both inspired and challenged to think about your own life, and whether your current plans and framework are leading  in the direction that best honors you, as well as your dreams, goals and values.

Embracing Difference:

Growth comes when we learn to be accepting of others who are different to us. But before we can stretch, it helps to explore our comfort zone. What assumptions do we make about members of other communities? What are they based on: movies, childhood experiences, sports, news headlines?  What assumptions do we make in regard to lifestyle choices, belief systems and abilities? What differences – seen and unseen – are present? Crucially, what common ground so we have? How does the role of intent shape our approach? and are these assumptions, fair, true or accurate? Let’s consider the language we use, the action or inaction taken, the value judgements we make,  and the feelings (especially fear) generated when we interact with others – or perhaps, why we choose not to interact. We wrap up with simple, safe ways to widen our exposure to diversity: on mission, on campus, in our own backyard.

Volunteer Work Around the World:

Achieving a work/life balance is a work in progress for almost all of us! Alicia shows how easily we can make a difference in our communities and in other countries. She has worked for Mother Teresa at a Calcutta hospice (where she experienced an unforgettable Christmas), and a leprosy hospital. There, she also assisted a mobile clinic for basic medical care: imagine an abandoned railway station overflowing with people—and with wild boar roaming about. Elsewhere in Asia, Alicia worked at an orphanage in Jakarta, Indonesia, and later, at a seniors’ center in Chile. Make an impact with your next vacation, semester abroad, or even an “Adult Gap Year”.

Parachuting into a New Life:

Imagine parachuting into a new city, county or culture—knowing no one. Perhaps you have secured an international assignment through your work. Maybe you’re a trailing spouse. Or it might be that you’re exploring options for a semester abroad. How do you make a start, and what essential tools do you need to get you started? Alicia has relocated from Australia, to the US, UK, Russia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Chile. She explores simple steps and vital preparation before you ever pack, and how to keep your sanity and sense of humor in those early days. We’ll explore how to forge networks, develop friendships—and the delights that await you when you step out of the “expat bubble.”

Hitching a Ride in a Funeral Car:

A fun, dynamic sample of some of the world’s most intriguing cultures. Learn why every private car in Moscow is a potential taxi, and how to hitch a ride on a fire-truck, ambulance and funeral car (empty, of course). See the best way to walk in India, the flexible notion of time in Africa and Chile, and the ideal moment to arrive at a dinner party in Italy. We’ll discuss startling and humorous encounters with Eastern European paperwork and delve into work-place dynamics – for example, some unexpected and quirky differences between Australian and US office culture. Alicia also discusses her time in a bilingual newsroom in Moscow and the adventure it offered.

Customized Topic:

Alicia would be delighted to work with your organization, campus or club to build a theme that reflects your particular interest.


Alicia travels throughout North America and overseas for speaking engagements and other presentations.

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