Deputy Mayor Nigel Hutton says being in a position to lead a combined delegation of State and private secondary schools to China for simultaneous signing between three schools from one city was a real coup for our region.
“While the concept of establishing sister schools relationships is not new, the ‘landmark’ signing of the three ‘sister school’ agreements will open up significant opportunities for both the Capricorn Coast and broader region to new and diverse international student exchanges and visiting study tours with China,” Cr Hutton said.
“The linking of our community through the schools program will help create huge opportunities for our regions students to develop powerful skill sets in a global workforce.
“It was an opportunity to showcase both our schools and Queensland’s education programs while experiencing first-hand the programs and teaching techniques of our counterpart schools in China.”
St Brendan’s College Principal Robert Corboy said mutual respect and understanding are gained from living, learning and immersing ourselves in one another’s culture.
“The signing of the Sister School Relationships for our three secondary schools has opened the door to opportunities and new experiences for our regions youth,” Mr Corboy said.
“As we progress the relationships, it will provide our students and staff with an opportunity to grow as members of our global community.”
St Ursula’s College Principal Catherine Dunbar said visiting Yangzhong and forming ‘Sister School’ relationships was an amazing experience.
“We were made very welcome and were impressed by the modern, attractive and well-designed schools,” Mrs Dunbar said.
“The teachers are highly skilled and very dedicated and the Chinese students complete their studies with precision and passion. We look forward to welcoming students from Yangzhong to Yeppoon in the near future.”
Local resident Caitie Hughes said she was honoured to be asked to represent the youth of Livingstone and share her passion for music and indigenous culture.
“It was an honour to witness the signing ceremony and participate in the celebrations after the event. One of the highlights was surprising my hosts by singing in Mandarin. I also sang the Australian National Anthem both in English and in Indigenous language,” Caitie said.
“Looking forward, I will be visiting our local high schools to talk about my experiences and encourage students to broaden their horizons and foster cultural exchanges between Yangzhong and Yeppoon.”
Assistant Minister for Education Brittany Lauga said she was excited by the wealth of opportunity that establishment of educational and economic links with Yangzhong will bring to our two regions.
“This has been a real credit to Council and the schools involved and I was delighted to represent Yeppoon State High School on behalf the State Government,” Mrs Lauga said.
Mayor Bill Ludwig said Cr Hutton and the principals of our three high schools must be commended for their efforts in bringing this initiative to fruition to strengthen educational, cultural and economic bonds between China and Central Queensland.
“This is also another major step forward in building on the sister city friendship agreement established 18 months ago between Livingstone Shire and the city of Yangzhong,” Cr Ludwig said.