Whit­ford looks for­ward to Ja­panese jour­ney

Alpine Observer - - News -

JAMES Whit­ford will be leav­ing his fam­ily and friends in Myrtleford for 12 months this year.

The 16 year old Wan­garatta High School stu­dent will be say­ing good­bye to his fam­ily and friends to travel to Na­gasaki in Ja­pan with the Ro­tary Youth Ex­change Pro­gram this month.

“I’ve been learn­ing Ja­panese for four years,” James said.

“Two years with a teacher and two years by cor­re­spon­dence, and I’ll be win­ning a most im­proved award with the Vic­to­rian School of Lan­guage soon.

“One of my friends was go­ing on ex­change and I asked how he found some­one to go with and he led me to the Ro­tary club, who have been awe­some.

“My choices were ei­ther Ja­pan or Switzer­land, but I’ve been to Ja­pan be­fore and my Dad works at Ito En in Wan­garatta which makes green tea so I’ve been to Ja­pan be­fore with him dur­ing a busi­ness trip.”

James will be go­ing to school in Ja­pan dur­ing his time there and will be study­ing a gen­eral course as well as pos­si­bly go­ing on a trip to Hawaii with the school.

“It will be very dif­fer­ent over there, as last time I was with English speak­ers but now I will re­ally have to learn my Ja­panese,” he said.

“If the Ja­panese Ro­tary like me, it will cre­ate bet­ter re­la­tion­ships with our Ro­tary.

“I’m a lit­tle ner­vous about that, and the time I’ll be there.

“I’ll miss my fam­ily, and Vegemite, but will be com­ing back to a dif­fer­ent school in Aus­tralia so I might not even have the same friends as I had when I left.

“It’s amaz­ing what Ro­tary do, they en­able a lot of peo­ple to do great things and it’s re­ally char­ac­ter build­ing.”

James had been learn­ing Ital­ian all through pri­mary school but in high school he thought Ja­panese sounded in­ter­est­ing so he made the change.

It’s a good thing he did.

RE­SULTS re­leased from the Crime Sta­tis­tics Agency (CSA) last month have shown a con­tin­ued rise in crime rates across the Alpine Shire for the year end­ing Septem­ber 30 2018.

The Septem­ber 2017 to Septem­ber 2018 pe­riod saw a 26.7 per cent rise with 374 crim­i­nal in­ci­dents recorded for 2017/18 com­pared to 295 the pre­vi­ous year.

The growth rate is sim­i­lar to the pre­vi­ous quar­ter, the year end­ing June 30, where a rise of 25.4 per cent was re­vealed.

Crimes against the per­son saw the most sig­nif­i­cant rise across the re­gion with a jump from 68 to 115.

Prop­erty and de­cep­tion of­fences, drug of­fences and jus­tice pro­ce­dure of­fences also all saw rises with the lat­ter dou­bling from 19 to 39.

The to­tal of 39 jus­tice pro­ce­dure of­fences is a mas­sive 34 per cent higher than any other fig­ure recorded in the cat­e­gory for the year end­ing Septem­ber 30 since the sta­tis­tics be­gan in 2009.

In 2010 there were just eight jus­tice pro­ce­dure of­fences recorded in the en­tire Alpine Shire.

Again the re­gion ex­pe­ri­enced con­sid­er­ably higher crime rates per 100,000 peo­ple than the most com­pa­ra­ble nearby neigh­bour, the Indigo Shire.

The Alpine Shire had a to­tal rate of 1884.5 crimes per 100,000 peo­ple com­pared to Indigo’s 1430.7; Alpine also had a higher rate in each of the five ma­jor crime cat­e­gories.

In­cluded in this is a ma­jor 112 per cent dis­crep­ancy be­tween the rate of recorded as­sault and re­lated of­fences with Alpine ex­pe­ri­enc­ing 530.5 charges per 100,000 peo­ple com­pared to Indigo’s 250.7.

PHOTO: Sup­plied

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