Matsudo Sister School Visit

Matsudo Sister School Visit

Straight after the Winter Break we had the pleasure of hosting our friends from Ichimatsu, our Sister School in Japan. The 10 high school students and accompanying teacher, Mrs Yukiko Arimura, were hosted by our generous Koonung families and staff member, Mr. Hasseldine and his family, for their 8 days stay.

Within minutes of arriving at Koonung, the group was whisked off to a whole school General Assembly to be formally welcomed by Principal Mrs Marianne Lee and Japanese teacher Ms Stephanie Van Ekeris. The group were then able to relax with their hosts and begin to get to know each other while enjoying their first lunch together before a tour of the school.

Over the following days, the Ichimatsu group experienced taking normal classes with their hosts and extra activities such as discussions with senior Japanese language students, cooking ANZAC biscuits, giving their own presentations that included Origami, “Darumasan ga koronda”, using chopsticks to make a toy to flick rubber bands, and performed a traditional folk dance. There were also two excursions, one to Healesville Sanctuary to see some of Australia’s unique wildlife and a day-trip to Mornington for fun on the beach, some country town shopping, and a 'fish and chip' lunch.

At the final farewell there were tears and many hugs, demonstrating a strong bond that had developed in such a short time between the Koonung and Ichimatsu students.

A very big thank you to the generous families that hosted; Mr. Hasseldine and family for hosting Yukiko, Claire Morgan for Miyuki, Nanako Masuda for Nodoka, Hudson Birch for Emina, Jacob, Veronica and Ryan Howell for Kurumi and Kou, Chloe, Jamie and Campbell Pedlar for Haruna and Runa, Ryan and Jordy McDonald for Wataru, Jasmine Newcombe for Minami, and Keanen Thai for hosting Ritsuki. A further “thank you” to the Japanese teachers Mia Poulton and Stephanie Van Ekeris for their extensive activities and support, to the Food Studies teachers, Alison Hart and Kelly Szlachetko for their generous assistance and preparation of the cooking activity, and all the Koonung staff that assisted in various ways during the visit.





Paul Dailey

Languages Domain Leader