Connection through Melbourne Exchange program

School News

April 16, 2024

Ten very lucky St Mary’s College students recently returned from Melbourne after participating in the Melbourne Exchange Program.  We were excited for the return of the valuable exchange program since interstate travel became a challenge during COVID times.

The Melbourne Exchange Program has been running since 1988 and its main purpose is cultural exchange between indigenous and non-indigenous students. It aims to foster a greater understanding, respect and tolerance for each other’s cultures and encourage students to become a positive voice on issues of social justice and reconciliation.  

Nancy Francis, Edith Frank, Jo Jo Pigram, Delanee Dolby, Shannola Cox, Aidan McKenna, Placid Waina, Vincent Ramsey, Samuel Cheinmora and Sari McLarty were fantastic ambassadors for our College and thoroughly enjoyed their 2 weeks exploring Melbourne and experiencing life as part of Xavier College and Genazzano FCJ College.

Students experienced life as ‘boarders’ enjoying the delicious meals of the boarding houses with their fellow students, whilst spending their days learning in spectacular historic buildings, and enjoying facilities such as swimming pools, Performing Arts Centres and serene Chapels. The students experienced all that the K-12 Colleges had to offer their students; as an all girls school Genazzano and all boys at Xavier College.

Over the course of the trip students visited many Melbourne attractions including;  

  • an MCG tour with a presentation from an Australian Special Olympian 
  • attending the AFL game between St Kilda and Collingwood  
  • shopping at Melbourne Central and DFO  
  • a visit to the Melbourne Zoo and Queen Victoria markets 
  • the sights of Melbourne were enjoyed as they travelled on trams and trains 
  • rowing on the Yarra River  

Our female students looked fabulous in the school uniforms of Genazzano and the boys looked sharp in the Xavier uniforms during their 2 week stay. Students enjoyed wearing these uniforms especially, at times, for their warmth!  Students were timetabled to attend classes, assemblies and excursions all of which were enjoyed whilst appreciating the diversity of the schooling experience between Broome and Melbourne. 

On weekends the student host families offered an amazing array of activities including a trip to the the country for the girls and Go Kart racing and Luna Park for the boys. 

It was an enriching experience for both our students and the Melbourne students and we are sure that life-long friendships have been created.  

It was a busy two weeks but very enjoyable. It was a great pleasure accompanying our students and be a part of their wonderful Melbourne experience. 

A huge thanks to Ms Clare Pigram, Mr Braden Famlonga and Ms Coby Rhatigan accompanying the students during this invaluable experience, and for keeping our connection with these Colleges strong.

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