ASB Young Alumni attend Q&A health forum with Bill Gates

By Dush Sharma (BCom '09) reports  Friday, 31 May 2013  Features

Tuesday 28th May was a historic day at the Sir John Clancy Auditorium, UNSW.

Approximately 900 people attended a dynamic forum with Bill Gates including UNSW students, staff and alumni, supplemented by school students and health industry professionals from the broader Sydney community.

Special guests included NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell, Health Minister Jillian Skinner, UNSW Chancellor David Gonski and Vice Chancellor Fred Hilmer.

After meeting with the federal political leaders in Canberra, Bill Gates made his way to UNSW to field questions from the diverse audience to conclude his whirlwind 14 hour visit to Australia.

Discussion was facilitated by Tony Jones, host of the ABC's Q&A program, and the forum was broadcast later in the evening on ABC TV. Questions addressed to Mr Gates covered topics as diverse as vaccinations in the third world, health industry funding, Microsoft's tax arrangements, leveraging personality in the workplace, the morality of personal wealth and the finite nature of human life.

A number of ASB Young Alumni including myself were lucky enough to secure a ticket to the event, and we were all impressed by Mr Gates' responses and overall world view.

Melissa Ran, an ASB young alumnus and co-founder of startup Mijura, was inspired by his approach to business and problem solving.

"Bill offered me a new perspective on how people who manage to make a significant impact on the world think and act. They are incredibly action-oriented," she said.

We were all very thankful for the opportunity to be apart of this unique once-in-a-lifetime experience. I found that Mr Gates made every topic he discussed appear simple and he refused to get stuck in arguments over details.

"I feel privileged that this world-class forum was held at UNSW. I feel very proud to be an alumnus of the ASB." Ms Ran said.

Watch the full Q&A session with Bill Gates