Hannah's Year in Australia
In introducing Hannah, Youth Service Director Wayne stated that the vision of Rotary Youth Exchange is to create a more interconnected and understanding world and to to make the world a more peaceful place, one exchange at a time. The rationale is, that if the students experience different cultures and meet people from all around the world, they will be more understanding of foreign people and countries in the future. The program objectives are to:
- Develop personal self-confidence and maturity
- Develop a lifetime of international friendships
- Develop a real understanding of different cultures
- Develop new language skills
- Develop a base for future education and career goals
Wayne gave Hannah full marks for achieving all of these objectives.
Opening her presentation, Hannah stated that her decision to go on Rotary Youth Exchange was the best decision she has ever made. The experience has changed her in ways she could not even begin to imagine. She has made lasting friendships with other students from all parts of the world and though this has become more aware of international affairs. She went on to say how her experience with Rotary has taught her the importance of community service and she was happy to have had the opportunity to serve both through Rotary and her school.
Hannah gave special thanks to her four host families, who each gave her a unique cultural experience. She marvelled at the way each took her in as a member of the family. She really enjoyed having both older and younger siblings and formed a special bond with each.
Education at Warwick Senior High School was a very important aspect of the exchange and Hannah enjoyed her classes especially her favourite, Modern History. She also formed special friendships with the other students.Through her school, Rotary and the generosity of her host families, she had the opportunity to travel to many parts of Australia including Sydney, Melbourne, Moreton Island, the Goldfields, Esperance, Karijini and Coral Bay.
Her exchange year enabled Hannah to achieve a number of her personal goals but also made her a more rounded and independent person. She has one more year of school to complete before hopefully pursuing her ambition of working for the embassy.
At the conclusion of her presentation, Hannah presented flowers to her four host mothers as a gesture of appreciation of all they have done for her. 2016 - 2017 Rotary Club of Karrinyup President Trish presented Hannah with an Akubra hat as a memento of her year in Australia.