Our school has just celebrated the most incredibly successful Sister School visit. A group of 15 Japanese visitors (children, parents and staff) arrived at our school last Friday. Thanks to the wonderful generosity of our host families, our visitors experienced the very best of Australian hospitality. I would love to thank the following families for opening up their homes and hearts: Adams/Fletcher, Swann/Wagenhoff, Grant, McLoughlin, Wetzels, Bauer, Rawling and Webb.
Our time together was packed full of events to bring our school communities closer, as we shared our culture, shared laughter and embraced new friendships. Over the weekend families visited many places including: Healesville Sanctuary, St Kilda beach/cafes, Puffing Billy, William Ricketts Sanctuary, the Botanical Gardens, Arts Market, NGV, VFL footy matches, SKPS basketball matches, Ian Potter Gallery, St Paul’s Cathedral, and so much more…
On Monday, we held our Welcome Ceremony at the St Kilda Town Hall where John Parsons conducted Welcome to Country and sang a truly beautiful song full of richness regarding Mothers and Mother Nature. Thank you John.
At the Welcome Ceremony, every child performed a song or dance. Our orchestra accompanied Year 3 and 5. Thank you to the parents and friends who joined in the festivities.
Mick Rennie and the classroom teachers supported the children so that they shone like starts on the stage! The children sang in both Japanese and English. The Junior High School schools from Obu also saw the performances.
Our visitors toured the school and were enthralled as they watched 3SM children moving the vehicles they made and programed, as part of their coding program.
Amanda Loder conducted a fabulous activity where all hosts siblings and Ishigase children, parents and staff painted a tote bag with St Kilda scenes.
IES taught our children the 2020 Tokyo Olympic dance before feasting on an Aussie barbecue!
The entire group spent Tuesday at Sovereign Hill where they also enjoyed the Aura – Light and Sound Show.
I would especially love to acknowledge and thank the following staff and parents for their immense support to ensure the success of the program:
Our Host Families – an enormous THANK YOU!
Greg Shew and Eric McCann – endless translating!
Linda Grof – organiser of the IES events
Mick Rennie – Welcome Ceremony performance star
Maya Donesvka and Seito Kai for their wonderful speeches
Cathy Davis and Year 5-6 students – decorating the staffroom
All staff who ensured every child made a Japanese/Australian flag to wave wildly in the rain when IES arrived.
I would most particularly love to thank Al Davine who organised, prepared, washed up and then set up endless refreshments and ensured that at no time was there an empty tummy. Al’s organisation was outstanding. Mary and Dave Lister were tremendous sources of support and assisted Al at every given moment.