Hobsons Bay International Friendship Association

Sister Cities with the City of Anjo, Japan 安城市 – Since 1988

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Students Madison Cassie, Samuel Penfold, Brigitte Tattersall  & Emma Thomas and chaperone Michael Hick were successfully chosen to represent the Hobsons Bay International Friendship Association in the 2013 student exchange to Anjo, Japan. As the delegates make preparations for their eagerly awaited trip in August, I had a chance to catch up with them to learn a bit  about this year’s cohort. Let’s get to know them below…

Madison Cassie

Madison Cassie is looking forward to visiting Japan this year to feed her interest in Japanese culture. The year 10 student at Mount St Joseph Girl’s College considers Japanese to be one of her favourite subjects alongside biology. Japanese because of its emphasis on the learning of a strong cultural heritage and biology because of her love for animals! When not dedicating time to her two favourite subjects, Madison enjoys socialising with friends and designing.

Sam Penfold

Williamstown resident Sam Penfold heard about the great experiences of former HBIFA exchange students and eagerly accepted the opportunity to participate in the 2013 exchange, hoping to acquire some life long memories to share with his family, friends and the community. The year 9 student has studied Japanese for the past four years and developed a broad interest in all aspects of Japanese culture including its people, language and history. He is keen to expand on his cultural knowledge through the first-hand experience of living with a Japanese family. Outside of school Sam enjoys a range of activities such as tennis, hockey & sailing as well as playing the occasional computer game with his friends.

Brigitte Tattersall

Brigitte Tattersall is currently undertaking year 9 at Westbourne Grammar School. The 14 year old is a self-professed sport addict, whose commitment to sport has her playing a high level of netball and more recently, water polo. Brigitte has been studying Japanese since grade prep but has studied it more extensively at secondary school. She attributes her interest in Japanese culture to its magnificent festivities & celebrations such as Anjo’s Tanabata festival, which the delegation will visit during their exchange. Brigitte hopes the exchange will assist in further developing her knowledge in Japanese culture and language, benefiting her both personally and academically, whilst at secondary school and beyond.

Emma Thomas

Music enthusiast Emma Thomas has admitted to having caught the travel bug. The year 10 student at Presentation College in Windsor had the opportunity to represent her school in Vietnam for two weeks last year, which has given her the desire to travel as widely as possible. She is grateful to be satisfying her craving with the upcoming student exchange, through which she is hoping to gain a more realistic impression and understanding of Japanese culture by witnessing it first hand. Emma has studied Japanese language at school for the past three years, from which evolved her interest in the culture and way of life. For Emma, living with a host family and communicating in Japanese are her primary interests in the exchange program, with Japanese food coming a close second! When not preoccupied with her favourite Asian cuisines, Emma likes to keep active and busy through running, water polo and playing the guitar.

Michael Hick

Chaperoning this years young ambassadors to Japan is university teacher Michael Hick. Michael is no stranger to traveling, having previously visited numerous countries around the globe. He has also been a part of international humanitarian projects including the Eyes Wide Open project run by Rotary International. Through this program Michael traveled to Vietnam, Nepal and Cambodia, volunteering his time to assist local communities by donating musical equipment, educational material and toiletries as well as interacting with locals and teaching them English. Michael says of his traveling experiences that “the best way to explore a country is through the eyes of the people who live there”. He is looking forward to once again immersing himself in foreign culture and tradition, especially through home-stay. He is also excited that he will be able to do so whilst sharing the experiences of this year’s student ambassadors.

We wish our 2013 student exchange delegation all the best for their upcoming trip to Japan. To our delegates, immerse yourself in Japanese culture and enjoy every moment. To our readers, keep checking the website, facebook and twitter for updates including upcoming events

Categories: Exchange, Featured, General


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