World School Australia 2017
After months of preparation, Ellie, Asha, and Holly from Year 12 together with Miss Laming finally embarked on their World School 2017 journey to Australia.
Following a jam-packed 24-hour stopover in Dubai, they made the 14-hour flight to Brisbane, where they were met by the welcoming committee of St Paul’s School. After a short stop at St Paul’s they jumped on a coach to Noosa North Shore, where they spent the next 5 nights.
It was a brilliant, albeit busy, first week! Miss Laming started her days at 5.30 by running to the beach with staff from Finland and Australia, while Ellie, Asha and Holly were kept busy from 6am until 11pm every day! The days included painting boomerangs, paddle boarding, rock climbing, raft building and mountain biking. They also spent a day at the beach, where the delegates were kept busy, practicing life-saving techniques shown by the team at Noosa Surf Club, playing games, swimming through the surf and exploring the shops.
Ellie, Asha and Holly gave their country presentation during the first week too, presenting with great professionalism, as well as humour. This year, each country was given two ‘Global Design Challenges’ to present on, revolving around the theme, ‘The Future of Food and Water’. It was fascinating to find out different perspectives on global challenges and was also a brilliant opportunity to learn more about each country. The delegates worked incredibly hard throughout the Forum to create solutions to the challenges, and produced some amazing results by the end.
The Invicta delegates also put on a fantastic performance, with the help of Katie Mason (one of the 2016 World School delegates) as their choreographer. Performance night was a wonderful way to share and immerse themselves in the cultures of others, and each and everyone's warm reception to every performance made the experience greatly enjoyable!
From Noosa, after an excellent day petting kangaroos and koalas at Australia Zoo, the delegates made their way to Brisbane, where they met their wonderful host families. The days that followed were spent sightseeing, working at St Paul’s and Queensland University of Technology, and showcasing Invicta and the UK on Booth Day.
The last day came around all too quickly. The teams presented their solutions to the Global Design Challenges to a panel of experts and discussed what they could bring back to their schools and implement successfully; Asha, Holly and Ellie all did a terrific job!
The traditional tree planting ceremony was held in the afternoon, followed by the farewell ceremony, dinner and party in the evening. The day was full of emotion, but the delegates have already started planning when and where they will travel to visit their new friends!
The UK delegation would like to thank Jon Andrews, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning at St Paul’s School, Dr Paul Browning, Head of St Paul’s School, and Daryoosh Matsudaira, World School Director, for making it such a memorable event. St Paul’s were brilliant hosts, organising an outstanding programme, including a range of activities and wonderful excursions. An awful lot of work goes into the Forum, and the whole team, staff and students, truly made it an event the delegates will never forget.