During the recent holidays 10 privileged Year 8 students, together with myself and Miss Georgie Todman spent 12 incredible days in Thailand. The first week was spent attending an international conference with 200 delegates from 30 schools in 15 countries, representing 5 continents, a truly international event. Watching young explorers from a small regional centre in Australia open their eyes to the amazing array of cultures present at this truly international event was inspiring. They started to discover the real nature of their diverse world.
Week two was just as incredible and even more rewarding. An organisation called “No Limit Volunteers” worked with the our delegation and 10 students from Ballarat Grammar School. This experience included a day working with elephants in their sanctuary and a day having fun on a floating house but the three days in the middle is what will be remembered. Our group built a brick wall around a crèche for 3-5 year old students from three rural villages, in the hills north of Chiang Mai. The place was beautiful, the Lisu, Akha an Karen people were welcoming and friendly and the work was very rewarding.
Longer reports will follow this event but for now here are some quick quotes about the conference component, from some of the participants.
“The cultural diversity made my mind whirl, I found the courage to express and communicate my emotions, Khun Lek was the best speaker I have ever heard, she was so humble and caring, it made me want to be like her.” Kate McShane
“The whole theme of Discover more. We can all discover something more about ourselves and others that we didn’t know. I learnt that I am more confident than I thought. The new me from Thailand is ready to try anything” Sarah Gower
“What I enjoyed most was the amazing experience of the whole of Thailand, especially the elephants and meeting the villagers up in the hills in Chiang Mai. I learnt that if you can get out of your comfort zone then you should do it. Khun Lek really inspired me to do something great when I am older, something that will help out someone or something.” Benjamin Findlay
“The opportunities we received to expand on our character with the help of the discovery framework. I also had the opportunity to discover new cultures and meet new friends from all around the globe” Lily Cleeland
“I enjoyed immersing myself in the Thai culture and that if you put yourself out there, you can get the most out of your experiences. Khun Lek’s talk was eye-opening and profound.” Cassie Silberberg
“Learning about the attributes in the discovery dash and that you shouldn’t fear getting out of your comfort zone and trying new things. Khun Lek’s made me aware of how badly people treat elephants and I found it really powerful.” Imogen Duigan
Round Square Representative