Whitford looks forward to Japanese journey
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.