After a busy two weeks, Genazzano has farewelled Shadeen, Rose, Erin and Charliesha, as they began their long trip home to Broome WA, and ending another successful Melbourne leg of the Kimberley Cultural Exchange Program.
Braving the cold weather and donning numerous layers of clothing to keep warm, their stay in Melbourne was filled with a wide range of activities, including a tour of the MCG, a visit to Werribee Zoo and an overnight stay in Ballarat where they toured Sovereign Hill and saw ‘Blood on the Southern Cross’, the amazing light and sound show.
Most of the girls play Aussie Rules football in Broome, so they were excited at the prospect of attending an AFL game between West Coast vs Collingwood, however being enthusiastic Eagles supporters they went home disappointed. The girls are excited at the opportunity to one day play the game at the highest level now that the AFL has launched a National Women’s League, and were full of praise at Genazzano FCJ College being part of the AFL Women’s Umpiring Academy.
Shadeen, Rose, Erin and Charliesha were also kept busy inside school hours, attending classes, visiting Grange Hill to talk about their lives to the younger students and participating in the Year 9 immersion programs.
The exchange program creates the opportunity for students from both Genazzano FCJ College and St Mary’s College, to experience Indigenous and non-Indigenous life within schools, families and communities very different from their own. The Genazzano girls, Lourdes, Madalene, Isobel and Isabelle, were impressed by the two way education system offered in the Warmun region, where students learnt both English and their Indigenous language. The biggest difference they noticed when visiting Broome, was the importance of communities and families. The four St Mary’s students have vast distances to travel so board at the College and only get home for holidays. Read more about their time in Broome.
It is through these experiences that friendships are established, resulting in greater understanding and respect. The program fosters an increase in confidence, self-esteem and ability to appreciate and mix with people from all walks of life and cultures.
Please visit the Kimberley Exchange Program page to find out more about the history and aims of the exchange.