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Byron Shire
May 15, 2021

Chinese students enjoy local culture

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Chinese students and teachers watch the preparations of Indigenous performers Coedie Ochre Warrah and Mundara Baker. Photo Jeff Dawson
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Bringing together culture and creating opportunities for learning and shared experience between students and teachers from GuiXi and Shangrao cities in JiangXi province in China and Mullumbimby High School last week was a great success, according to organiser Katie Grubb from Mandarin Pathways. The kids got to enjoy a range of learning experiences at Mullum High and there was a spontaneous Australia v China table-tennis tournament at lunchtime.

‘Mullumbimby High School is embracing the 21st century learning skills that our youth are going to need for their future in an amazing way and are quite innovative in their learning programs,’ said Katie.

Welcome to country took place at Mullumbimby Community Gardens and the ten teachers and 61 students were hosted by 29 local families where they were able to get an insight into Australian life.

‘They like the way our children are taught independence, like helping make their school lunches or doing chores around the house,’ said Katie. ‘In China the kids do nothing like this because their lives are filled up with such a regimented study schedule.’

The clean environment where kids could run around barefoot, the stars and the friendly people were also highlights.

‘They said they were surprised at how friendly Australians are. They mostly learn about our country through the political things that are published and Australia doesn’t actually look that good overseas.’

On the final night host families came together and had a picnic and fire where ‘the Chinese kids learnt how to roast marshmallows on the fire and said they had the best time ever’.

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