Ja­pan ad­ven­ture beckons

Broome Advertiser - - Front Page - Jakeb Wad­dell

Stu­dents from St Mary’s Col­lege will pack their bags and fly to Ja­pan to­day for the cul­tural jour­ney of a life­time.

A strong his­toric link that dates back more than a cen­tury will be hon­oured again to­day, as Broome stu­dents fly to Ja­pan and em­bark on the cul­tural jour­ney of a life­time.

Nine St Mary’s Col­lege girls will be ambassadors for the town when they travel to sis­ter city Taiji to build on a 110-yearold re­la­tion­ship and im­merse them­selves in the Ja­panese life­style.

The ex­change group will visit at­trac­tions across Osaka, Hiroshima and Ky­oto be­fore the trip cul­mi­nates in Taiji, where they will at­tend school and stay with a host fam­ily.

Among other cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties, stu­dents will teach lo­cals about Aus­tralian Rules foot­ball, en­joy an evening bar­be­cue at the Taiji wharf and visit Nachi Falls.

St Mary’s staff mem­ber Anthea Demin, who has been on the trip five times, said the col­lege played a piv­otal role in build­ing links be­tween Broome and Ja­pan.

“Our town have his­tor­i­cal ties linked to Ja­pan from the early days of Broome’s pearling his­tory,” she said.

“Mem­bers of the Ja­panese fam­i­lies of Broome sup­ported and as­sisted the founders to build our school in 1908.

“Still to­day, stu­dents have strong his­tor­i­cal ties and fam­ily con­nec­tions with Ja­pan.

“This school ex­change pro­gram is a per­fect op­por­tu­nity for the stu­dents to be ambassadors rep­re­sent­ing the school, their town and their coun­try.

“With each trips, the stu­dents grasp the chance to learn about a dif­fer­ent cul­ture and share their own through home­s­tay.”

Hav­ing at­tended the tour for the past two years, head girl Juanne Ig­na­cio en­cour­aged the stu­dents to get the most out of the op­por­tu­nity.

“With­out a doubt, vis­it­ing Ja­pan was the most mem­o­rable and best ex­pe­ri­ence I have ever had,” she said.

“To wit­ness strong con­nec­tions be­tween two towns was in­de­scrib­able, and I left with so many new friend­ships.

“Every­body will be shy at the be­gin­ning, but I urge the par­tic­i­pants not to be afraid to com­mu­ni­cate be­cause the more you put in, the more you will get out.”

The stu­dents will bring with them one thou­sand origami pa­per cranes held to­gether by string, know as a sen­bazuru, to present to the Chil­dren’s Peace Me­mo­rial in Hiroshima.

Se­nior teacher Michael Lake said the tra­di­tion hon­ours Sadako Sasaki, who died of leukaemia af­ter the city’s atomic bomb­ing.

“Our prayer at the top of the sen­bazuru says “never again” in English and Ja­panese,” he said.

Pic­ture: Jakeb Wad­dell

Pic­tures: St Mary’s Col­lege Broome

St Mary’s Col­lege stu­dents dur­ing last year’s visit to Ja­pan.

Erin Victor, Scar­tisha Nin­gella and Michael Lake taught staff mem­bers at a Ja­panese school about Aus­tralian Rules foot­ball dur­ing last year’s trip.

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