Matsudo Youth Delegation  

Matsudo students visit Koonung 

Koonung recently enjoyed a six day visit from our friends in Matsudo, Japan. Koonung and Matsudo have enjoyed a long association of reciprocal visits, now over 30 plus years. This visit included ten students from various schools around Matsudo who have achieved high levels of English proficiency. Two staff accompanied them, Mr Tatsuro Suzuki from Matsudo International Exchange Association (MIEA) and Ms Sakino Watanabe, from the Culture, Tourism and International Section.

After a welcome speech by our Principal Marianne Lee, Cr Tina Liu from Whitehorse City Council and Cr Tony De Fazio and Jenny Russell, the Koonung “buddies” were quick to engage the Matsudo students in developing friendships and swapping of contact details while enjoying a delicious afternoon tea.

Their second day at Koonung saw the group making an hour long presentation in English to the 7C and 7D classes. They thoroughly enjoyed the presentation and quiz culminating in students enjoying a taste of Japanese lollies. Our Year 11 and 12 students then joined the Matsudo students for interview sessions in a mix of Japanese and English. The Matsudo students were treated to some Aussie canteen food for recess before trying their own cooking skills, with appreciated assistance from Lesley Fulford, and made ANZAC biscuits. From the smiles and nods when tasting their creations, it was very successful. They spent the afternoon learning about Aboriginal culture with a session on “Dot painting” with the 7A students.

After a weekend with their hosts, Monday was an exciting visit to Healesville Sanctuary and yummy BBQ. Seeing Australian native fauna up close was a highlight for many students. The many unique animals was a revelation. The Birds of Prey was especially fascinating. Seeing these semi-wild birds perform was a thrill.

All too soon Tuesday and their departure was upon us. The morning was spent experiencing some normal classes with their buddies and some fun activities with the Year 7 and 8 classes. After lunch it was a sad farewell for the Matsudo and Koonung students.

Thank you to all the staff, especially the LOTE  and Food Technology teams, for their support in making this visit a success. A big thank you also to the buddies who gave up their time to ensure the Matsudo students were well looked after during their stay.


Paul Dailey

Languages Domain Leader