Saint Ignatius College Geelong

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    From the Principal

    Article by Mr Michael Exton

    Our engagement with Asia

    On Friday the 17th of August, six of our senior students, teachers Ms Elana Cole, Ms Julia Hall and I had the honour of attending a special celebration at the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra.  We were personally invited by His Excellency YTH Bapak Kristiarto Legowo (Indonesian Ambassador) to attend an official function to celebrate the Republic of Indonesia’s 73rd year of independence.  I am very grateful for the warm hospitality of the Ambassador and his colleagues and the valuable opportunity this visit provided our students and Indonesian teachers to develop their language skills and further their understanding and appreciation of Indonesian history and culture.

    After a very warm welcome, we witnessed a flag raising ceremony, the Independence Day Proclamation and a performance by Indonesian pop star Michael J.  Then we enjoyed a traditional Indonesian banquet.  To finish our visit, we were very honoured to be invited to a special meeting with the Ambassador, his Deputy, and the Attache for Education at which we exchanged expressions of gratitude and our desires for the strengthening of relationships between our two countries.

    I was very proud of the senior students who attended; they were great ‘ambassadors’ for our College.  They all studied the Indonesian language and made the most of this opportunity to practice their language skills and deepen their intercultural understanding of Indonesia.  Each student was presented with a certificate acknowledging their endeavours to strengthen bilateral relations by the Ambassador.  Well done to students - William Bothe, Emily Henry, Alexander Henry, Luke Lawson, Debra Lu, Brent Keast, Keira Ford and Emily Jones.

    This is the third year that staff and senior Indonesian language students have been personally invited to the Indonesian Embassy for this celebration event.  This honour is a tribute to my colleagues, Ms Elana Cole and Ms Julia Hall, who are well-respected teachers of Indonesian Language. 

    Following the formalities, the students visited the Australian War Memorial and then the National Art Gallery where they explored the Indonesian section.

    Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia is one of the cross-curriculum priorities of the Victorian Curriculum.  Our College has a robust Indonesian Language program from Years 7 to 12.  It is a credit to our Indonesian Language teachers and their students that we offer such a valuable program as part of the College’s curriculum. 

    Another valuable and exciting opportunity that many of our Years 10 and 11 students have coming up is the biennial Indonesian Language Tour.  On Saturday 15th September, Twenty-two students, four staff members and one alumnus (teacher assistant), depart for a 13-day trip to Indonesia.

    We will also have another group travelling to South East Asia for the annual East Timor ‘immersion’ experience. Twenty Yr 10 & 11 students will travel with two staff members and a Destination Dreaming Leader to Dili and the Arturo Island.  They depart on Sunday 16th September and return on Wednesday 26th September.

    Also, while I am mentioning trips, I wish 17 students and three staff members all the best for their Italian Language Immersion Trip.  This group departs the day before the Indonesian group and will visit Rome, Pompei, Sorrento, Mensanello, Florence, Bologna and Venice before returning home after what promises to be a wonderful experience over 20 days.  The students will be involved in a homestay program for six days of the trip.  As well as providing a tremendous cultural experience, the students will have many opportunities to practice their Italian language skills.

    I wish all of our student and staff members travelling overseas at the end of this term a very safe, rewarding and enjoyable time.

    Mr Michael Exton  Principal


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