Friday 27 April 2012
By Philip Cachia,
Principal, Our Lady Help of Christians Primary School
IN SEPTEMBER 2011 myself and three of our senior school teachers flew to Bandung Indonesia to visit our sister school, Maria Bintang Laut School (Mary Star of the Sea School), to establish a formal relationship.
Since that time our children have used various forms of communication, such as letter writing, email and Skype, to learn more about Indonesia, our nearest neighbour. During the year, we have also had various fundraising efforts, including a Crazy Hair Day, to sponsor a visit to Australia by three teachers from our sister school.
Finally, on 23 March, Ibu (Ms) Lanny Yuniarti, Principal of Maria Bintang Laut School and two of her teachers, Ibu Elvira and Ibu Rosalina, arrived in Melbourne. That day, the school put on a wonderful ‘Welcome Ceremony’ for our special guests, which included the opening of our Sister School Garden and culminated in a whole school “shuffling” demonstration on our main school yard.
Over the weekend, our guests visited a cool Phillip Island, where they were able to see some Australian fauna, including the world famous Penguin Parade. On Sunday our guests celebrated Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral with Archbishop Denis Hart, were moved by the Mary MacKillop Museum and spent some time at the Victoria Market. On the Monday and Tuesday it was down to business, visiting our classes, viewing alternative teaching techniques and sharing their own Indonesian culture with the children of Our Lady help Of Christians School. This whirlwind trip was the journey of a lifetime for these special overseas friends, who took back many new ideas that will enrich the children at our sister school for many years to come.
We look forward to September 2012 when another five of our Junior/Middle teachers will visit our sister school in Bandung, further enhancing and broadening the relationship between our two schools.