I have to agree with Armando Dias.  The trip from the U.S. is 15+ hours
including getting in and out of the airport to where you are going but
it is definitely worth it.  I have made the trip many times as I am from
Kansas but live in Melbourne.  The jet lag is definitely the hardest
part to deal with, but hanging around with a group of friendly,
cheerful, quietly professional, wonderful people makes it all
worthwhile.

I have lived here for 7 years now and still enjoy every day as if it
were the first.  Australians are great travellers and a very high
percentage travel internationally every year.  It astounds most of them
when they discover that a huge portion of U.S. residents never leave the
U.S. and quite a few never leave their home state!  

That is probably because Australia is not 'on the way' to somewhere
else.  You have to go to Australia to get there - or leave the island
continent to get somewhere else.  It's not as easy as driving into
Mexico or Canada.  It is a wonderfully ethnically diverse community with
an exciting blend of different cultures that gives the people living
here a real sense of international 'community' (not to mention some
fantastic restaurants!).  Although there are some rumblings in the
political arena (that's nothing new) the Aussies still go out of their
way to welcome visitors to this wonderful country.

The only prerequisite is to have a sense of humour and to be able to
relax and enjoy yourself while you are here.

I look forward to meeting all the COMMON Conference visitors and to yet
another outstanding IBM Midrange Users Conference.

Alan Smith
President, COMMON Victoria
Application Div. Mgr. COMMON98

MIS Manager, Toorak College 
Old Mornington Road
Mount Eliza, Vic 3930

Direct: (61-3) 9788-7255  (61 Australia, 3 Victoria)
Switchboard: (61-3) 9788-7200
Fax: (61-3) 9787-5888

Email:  Alans@Toorakc.vic.edu.au <mailto:Alans@Toorakc.vic.edu.au> 
Website:   www.toorakc.vic.edu.au <http://www.toorakc.vic.edu.au> 

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