Unfortunately, this years Asian Pacific Children’s
Convention was severely disrupted due to the presence of H1N1 (swine) flu both
at the Marine Camp as well as the Global Camp where the Peace Ambassador
program was held. This led to the cancellation of much of the APCC program including the school
visit, host family stay, performance event and Energy and Ecology forum. Given
the difficult situation, the children coped remarkably well. We were lucky
enough to be able to meet our host families and enjoy four days with them after
the Marine House Camp, although we were not allowed to stay in their homes. In
this time we went sightseeing and got to sample some Japanese food.
meeting for the selected Ja’s was a sleepover meeting.
At this meeting the
children spent the night together and bonded as a group, while learning more
about their responsibilities as a JA and what to expect on their visit to Japan.
During this meeting we also
spent some time playing games and preparing the performance to do at the Bridge
Club Festival while in Japan
On the 17th May 2009 the
Japan Club ran their annual Japan Festival at the Box Hill town hall.
this opportunity to meet at the Box Hill Guide Hall and make some Okonomiyaki
for lunch and play some traditional Japanese Games before heading over to the
festival to have some fun together.
There were plenty of things to see and do, all
with a Japanese flair and we can’t wait to meet again to go to the festival
Festival, held annually in Melbourne, was the perfect setting for
Bridge Club Australia to host the 2009 Bridge Club
Reunion. Over 20 children attended and the Australia Japan Society funded a
Kite making activity that all the children activity participated in.
The highlight of the event was catching up with fellow JA's but fun was also
had making and flying Japanese sled kites, eating a shared picnic and then
participating in the Osaka Festival events.
Ambassadors (JAs) for the 2009 APCC have now been selected and
training for their big adventure has begun.
At our first official training meeting we chose our cultural presentation
background music - Celebration by Kylie Minogue, and we started thinking about
the dance moves for the presentation.
We also discussed the program outline for the APCC and informed the JA's and
their families about the marine house and host family expectations. There were
lots of questions that the new JA's had for past participants and everyone is
excited about the next meeting in April, a sleepover meeting where we work on
our presentation and meet last years JA's.
Ambassador (JA) selection process started late last year in the hope to find
eight eager eleven year olds to represent Australia at the 2009 APCC. After submitting applications
through their school Japanese teachers, a fun day was organised to observe how
the children interacted with similar aged peers. After close observation twenty
children were selected and later invited to be interviewed. After the interview
between the child and representatives from both the APCC liaison office in Australia (The Australia Japan Society
of Victoria) and the Bridge Club, an announcement was made as to who was
selected to attend the 2009 APCC.
The lucky 8 children have been selected and now the preparation begins.
Three meetings are planned to be held over the next six months. Firstly there
will be an information session to allow both the JA’s and their parents to
learn more about the APCC and the Bridge Club. The second
meeting will be a sleepover meeting where the children will spend the night
together and bond as a group, while learning more about their responsibilities
as a JA and what to expect on their visit to Japan. During this meeting there
will also be time to put together a performance to do at the Bridge Club
Festival while in Japan. The third and final meeting
will be held to collect any final information, practice the prepared
performance and swap collected souvenirs so each child had a box full of things
to give out to their new friends at the convention.
During the PA camp in 2008, PAs and BC Japan
members discussed what we should do as a common activity for 2009 and concluded
that we will focus on promotion this year because we think it is important to
inform the public about the APCC and understand how the APCC is trying to spread peace and co- existence. Thus, we launched the
"100,000 SMILES" project which intended to spread the aims and the
message of the APCC and BC to 100,000 people by the time of the next APCC. The target was exceeded, and
below are the details of Bridge Club Australias contribution.
Total Smiles Collected
Stephanie presented to a PROBUS Community
Stephanie JA 2008
Stephanie presented to her school
Mariah presented to her school
Mariah JA 2008
Chanel presented to her school
Chanel JA 2008
Adam presented to his school year 3 to 6
and more in-depth to his class.
Adam JA 2008
Mat presented to his school year
Mat JA 2008
Brayden presented to his school class
Brayden JA 2008
Amelia presented to her school
Amelia JA 2008
Stephanie had a full page article in the
Burwood Bulletin newspaper reviewing her APCC experience and hope for the future.
Adam wrote an article that was published in
the Multicultural Victoria Magazine.
Aug - Nov
Articles written by 2008 JA’s and PA’s were
published in the Australia Japan Society Newsletter
All 2008 APCC
12343 SMILES IN AUSTRALIA!
In late September the Australia Japan Society hosted a hanami picnic, held in the Rhododendron Gardens in Olinda, Victoria. The Cherry Blossom Trees were in full bloom and the view was spectacular. Past JAs, PAs and Bride Club members attended and the day was enjoyed by all, the 2008 JAs especially enjoyed the tea ceremony held under the trees.
On August the 24th, the 2008 Bride Club hosted a reunion for the 2008 APCC JA's. The day started with a set menu lunch at Kinkaku restaurant where we all tried Tempura, Yakitori, Okonomiyaki, Gyoza and Sushi.
After lunch we went to Paper Haven Scrapbooking Shop where we made front pages for our new APCC albums and also made photo frames to send to our host families in Japan.
We had a great time and it was good to see everyone again!
The 20th APCC was held in Fukuoka in July 2008. The chaperone Janet Whittle accompanied the eight selected children: Adam Payne, Brayden Longley, Andrew Tang, Matthew Teasdale, Stephanie Clare-Cover, Amelia Ryan, Mariah Kennedy, Chanel Pardoe.
The Exchange Camp was held at the start of the project for five days at Marine Camp where the children had the opportunity to mix with nearly 350 children from all around the Asia Pacific region. This year, the children were involved in a number of activities on site including ikebana, origami, dressing in yukata and ball games. The sports day was held again this year and provided the children with the opportunity to have fun and join together in non-competitive fun activities.
Erin Maitland participated in the Peace Ambassadors program as a Special Peace Ambassador during the Exchange Camp and then later at the Peace Ambassador Camp, which involved workshops and discussions relating to the future of Bridge Club and possible activities/opportunities that members could be involved in. Erin was also lucky enough to be selected as a room leader and events host at the Exchange Camp.
Our delegation was again involved in the School Visit program and they were fortunate to be hosted by Yokote Elementary School again this year. The children attended for four days and the school had prepared many exciting activities for the group, including a day trip to Fukuoka organised by the students themselves
During the home stay time, the JAs enjoyed a range of activities including visits to the baseball, bowling, visiting Daizufu, hot spring baths and other tourist spots. The group also participated in the APCC festival in central Fukuoka where the group performed their presentation and then two days later at the APCC 20th Annaversary event which closed with the original composer of the festival song singing ‘We are the Bridge’.
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