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Sunday, November 13, 2011

13 November 2011 : Good Bye Australia

Reported by Janet Floyd, Tallangatta Secondary College

Sunday saw everyone up and around early as bags were locked and brought to the dining room fom 6.30 am onwards. Everyone seemed eager to head home but at the same time reluctant to say final goodbyes.

John loaded the bus and after some final photos we headed to Tullamarine airport.

On arrival bags were unloaded from the trailer and all prepared to head inside to go through the customs checks. Due to limited bus parking close to the terminal, we all had to say our goodbyes at this point. After lots of hugs, promises to stay in touch and invitations to catch up next year in Sabah we had to part.

Whilst Janet, Deanne and John boarded the empty and strangely quiet bus to head back along the Hume Highway, Fay, Badinah, Nainey and 16 tired students headed into the terminal, keen to head home to Penampang via Kuala Lumpur with lots of stories to share with their familes of new experiences and friendships formed during an exciting week in Tallangatta.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

12 November 2011: Action packed day in Melbourne

Reported by Janet Floyd, Tallangatta Secondary College

The last day in Melbourne was an action packed day. After breakfast at the hotel Miami, we boarded the bus and John drove us to the Victoria Market - again! A frantic 2 hours was spent looking for the final souvenirs and presents for families at home.

Next we headed to the Melbourne Museum. The museum kept every body interested browsing the different displays ranging from creatures under the sea, the mysteries of the insect world and the development of the earth's surface to the mysteries of the human body and the history of Melbourne. The allocated time rapidly disappeared.

On the bus again, we headed back to Southbank where John managed to find a bus park right at the from of the Eureka building. After a quick lunch we went to the Eureka Skydeck where the lift took us skyward at an amazing 88 floors in 36 seconds. All of our Malaysian guests decided to conquer "The Edge" so enjoyed the view whilst waiting their turn in the glass bottomed cubicle.
Back on the ground, we once again boarded the bus for the DFO at South Wharf f0r MORE shopping.

View of Federation Square from the Eureka Skydeck

Finally we headed off to the Ice House. Here most had their first experience of ice skating. After a tentative start Deanne, Jane and Kimberly were soon confidently moving across the rink, whilst other stayed closer to the security of the walls to keep them on their feet - most of the time. 2 1/2 hours later all had started to feel the cold so it was time to move on again.

After returning to the Miami, we walked to Errol St, North Melbourne to try a range of cuisines for the last evening meal in Australia. Back at the hotel, it was then time to repack bags to fit in all of the new purchases ready for an early start on Sunday.

Friday, November 11, 2011

11 November 2011 : Goodbye Tallangatta, Hello Melbourne

Following a fond farewell to house families, the last school bust trip and the last Home group, we loaded bags onto the bus and John and Deanne Baude drove us off down the Hume Highway to Melbourne.

After a quick check in to the Hotel Miami, it was off to the Victoria Market with what seemed to Janet to be an attempt to buy every souvenir that could be found! The number of purchases that could be made in just 1 1/2 hours was amazing! Obviously plenty of family and friends in Sabah will be showered with gifts. This necessitated a return to the Miami to off load shopping, before heading along Spencer street to catch the city circle tram for a ride around the edge of the city towards Flinders street station.

Next we headed to Southbank for a quick meal at the food court and a stroll along the river bank, then a quick walk over the foot bridge for - you guessed it - more shopping! After another 2 hours of souvenir hunting and a much needed visit to the money changer for some, it was back onto the tram to return to the Miami and off to bed after a long day.

10 November 2011 : The Last Day At Tallangatta

Reported by Janet Floyd, Tallangatta Secondary College

Today in many ways was the culmination of the trip, especially for the students and staff of Tallangatta. It began with students attending Home Group with their hosts, then attendance at classes during the first two lessons.

After recess the focus was on final presentation for the assembly. Students had one last rehearsal for their dance performance, then were joined by the TSC choir students and Mrs Esta Styles for a rehearsal of their combined choir performance. 5 of the students then headed off to the Herald office at school so that they could be interviewed for the next edition of the local Tallangatta paper which is produced by students at the college, whilst the rest went to their final class at Tallangatta Secondary College.

During the lunch break students made their final preparations for the assembly. The bell rang and TSC students assembled, the UCAA assembly area quickly filling with rows of chairs.

We were joined on this occasion by Mr Peter Joyce, mayor of Towong Shire, Mrs Jocelyn Owen representing the Hume Education Regionional Manager, and Mrs Manry Elliott from Tallangatta Primary School, as well as several of the host family members.

The assembly began with a welcome by Mr Alby Friejah who explained the importance of the visit to the college in consolidating the sister school relationship. Mr. Peter Joyce also spoke to the assembly, emphasising the importance of sister school relationships, not only in schools but also between communities, in building understanding between cultures. He encouraged students to take up the opportunities being involved in such a program offered them. Mrs Fay Mogindol responded on behalf of SMK DPM and spoke of the importance of the sister school relationship between our schools.

The first cultural item of the assembly was a performance of 'The Rose" by the Tallangatta Secondary College choir. Next the DPM students performed a medley of songs and although all of the lyrics were not understood by the audience, all were appreciative of the work that had gone into the performance, the clarity and harmony and obvious enjoyment of the students in their performance.


Next came the exchange of sponsorship money for our first environmental project. On behalf of TSC, Josh Crothers and Maidie Dawson presented Fay with our sponsorship of 3 orang utan which are being looked after and re-introduced to life in the rain forest at the Rasa Ria Orang Utan Rehabilitation centre in Sabah. In return the TSC students were accepted DPM's reciprocal donation to "adopt" a koala to support the rehabilitation of an Austalian animal.

Once again the DPM students returned to the stage. First Valorien explained the different traditional costumes worn by the students. Then the audience was treated to a medley of 4 dances from the Sabah state.

Following the performance, several presentations and exchange of gifts took place. These included gifts to each of the school principals and the gift of a bookmark made by the DPM students to every student at Tallangatta. On behalf of the TSC staff, Sue Ledsam also accepted a gift of a traditional beaded wrist band for every staff member. These gifts were made by the DPM students. Finally the TSC students who had acted as hosts at school throughout the week, presented their new Malaysian friends with a gift on behalf of TSC.

To finish off the assembly, the DPM students and the TSC choir joined on stage to present an outstounding performance of "You Raise Me Up", a great achievement of harmony considering the students had only know each other for 4 days and had 1 opportunity for rehearsal. Alby Friejah closed the assembly, thanked all for their contribution and expressed the hope that we will meet again next year in Penampang, Sabah.

After a fantastic day, students caught their buses for the last time to spend their last evening with their Australian families.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

9 November 2011 : Indigenous Culture and Sport

Reported by Janet Floyd, Tallangatta Secondary College

Today DPM students joined together with the TSC Year 9 students to take part in workshops run by members of the Koori community to share aspects of indigenous Australian culture with all of the students. This included an explanation of some artefacts, Koori games and weaving.

Basil and Carl learning to weave.

After lunch students joined with Mr. Hale and the sports leaders class to participate in a range of sports and games. These included badminton, table tennis and dodge ball. All took part enthusiastically.

Once again the DPM students were completed on their positive involvement in all activities.

Catching the bus at the end of the day

In the evening, Alby, Con, Chris, Fay, Badinah, Nainey, Sue, Yanti and Janet spent a pleasant evening at Hollywood's in Wodonga.

8 November 2011 : Visiting an Australian farm

Reported by Janet Floyd, Tallangatta Secondary College

Today the weather was cooler in the morning, with rain clouds threatening to spoil the plans for the day, but fortunately the sun came out to ensure the day still ran smoothly.

After Home Group all boarded the bus driven by Joy and accompanied by student teacher Simon for some adventures on the farm. First stop along the way was at the Old Tallangatta lookout, where Joy explained the history of the Tallangatta and the need to move the township as a result of the building of the Hume Weir and the flooding of the area.

The group moved on to Joy and John Campbell's farm to make some new animal friends. John taught the students about different animals and the star of the show John's workmate - his kelpie dog who is a working dog. John gave a demonstration of how he works with his dog to move the sheep from one part of the farm to another. There was also time to feed the calf, check out the Harley bike and task some scones, jam and cream before heading back to school. Special thanks to Joy and John for their hospitality.

On return valuable time was spent rehearsing and checking out the SMALL stage for dance practice for Thursday.

Next students and teachers headed off to the library to meet with some students from the Students Representative Council and their teacher Mrs Rebecca Kennett. They had valuable discussions about the different leadership roles of students at our schools, aspects of school life and the life of teenagers in both communities. This was followed by a lunch of sandwiches and specially commissioned Australian themed cupcakes.

Period 6 after lunch was devoted to joint choir practice with students of SMK DPM and TSC singing together and preparing for a combined performance. Beautiful sounds echoed from the Performing Arts Centre, showing what can be achieved in a short time by students who have a common love of singing despite their short association and cultures.

In Period 7, Deanne and Varolien visited a Year 9/10 Humanities class to give their impressive presentation about the Environment, followed by a question and answer session. The rest of the group headed off to a class of Bahasa Indonesia with Ibu Yanti. This lesson featured students teaching dance to sometimes awkward but enthusiastic Australian students. Laughter could be heard ringing from the room into the corridor, proving once again that teenagers are teenagers with lots in common wherever they come from!

7 November 2011 : Welcome To Tallangatta Secondary College

Reported by Janet Floyd : Tallangatta Secondary College

On Monday morning students set of from a range of destinations with their host family members to arrive at school by 8.30 am. The range of transport included walking, cars, buses and even a boat across the river to then catch a bus! Students reported in to teachers Fay, Badinah, and Nainey to check all were well and share stories of the weekend.

Teachers Fay, Badinah and Fay were introduced to all staff at the teachers' briefing which starts off each day. Students were met by their host students and new friends and went to Home Group which held at the beginning of the day for students to check attendance and give out special notices for the day.

After Home group, students went off to a range of classes with their host students and the teachers had a meeting with TSC Principal Alby Freijah and Assistant Principal Con Madden to discuss aspects of the Victorian education system.

Following the recess break, most students went to a different class, whilst Steffira, Akyra, Basil and Carl gave a presentation about the Law in Malaysia and also the Malaysian education system to a group of Year 7 & 8 students (Form 1 & 2). They did an excellent job, spoke clearly and answered questions from the class. Congratulations on an interesting presentation.

During the lunch break, students spent time with new friends, caught up with events over the weekend and some looked at an exhibition of Visual Communication and Art work completed by the year 12 students throughout the year.

Next we took a short walk to visit the Tallangatta Primary School. Students were spread out through the different classes to join in activities and help the students with their work. This included art, reading, maths and some computer activities. Teacher Fay presented a book about Malaysia to Mrs Mandy Elliott, Principal of Tallangatta Primary School. We then worked slowly up the hill in the Malaysia-style hot and humid weather to return to TSC, collect bags, find host "brothers and sisters' to catch the bus home.

6 November 2011 : Homestay

Reported by Janet Floyd : Tallangatta Secondary College

Today students were scattered around the area with their homestay families, so had a range of experiences. Fay and Badinah spent the day visiting some places close to Tallangatta. First we drove out of the town and drove up to the lookout just out of town, to see Tallangatta nestled below.

Next we headed to the Oze-Life Sanctuary at Ettamogah just north of Albury. It was very quiet with few visitors. First we were greeted by the kangaroos who were eager to be fed, including one mother with a joey in its pouch. Next we were able to convince the worker who was feeding the animals to allow us to go into the koala enclosure. Fay and Badinah were able to pat the 2 resident koalas, although cuddles were not allowed as the koalas have quite sharp claws.

After the sanctuary we returned to Albury for lunch followed by a drive to Beechworth. Unfortunately our travels were cut short by heavy rains and thunderstorms which convinced us to turn back to Tallangatta.

Students undertook a range of activities with their families. These included sight seeing around the area, camping, fishing, cuddling lambs and other farm animals and walks around the local farms. Several students also went to visit the markets and other activities at the Celtic Festival at Beechworth, an historic gold mining town about 65 kms from Tallangatta.

5 Nov 2011 : The Arrival

Reported by Janet Floyd, Tallangatta Secondary College

After a long journey starting at Kota Kinabalu, Sabah the excited group arrived at Tullamarine airport in Melbourne at 1.00 am. They were welcomed at the airport by Con Madden, Assistant Principal at Tallangatta Secondary College and Chris Madden, a leading teacher at TSC. After clearing customs, they boarded the bus for the short trip to hotel Miami in Melbourne for a short sleep.

Following a cool start in Melbourne, the group again boarded the bus to head up the Hume Highway towards Tallangatta. On reaching Wangaratta, the bus diverted from the main road travel through the historic town of Beechworth, past Yackandandah and around the shores of Lake Hume to arrive at Tallangatta just after 1.00 pm. This journey was accompanied by an informative commentary from Con, explaining such important features as the different kind of farming, the history of key towns and the story of Ned Kelly.

On arrival the students, were welcomed by their excited host families. Introductions were quickly made and the students were soon talking to their Australian families and having a look around the school.

TSC principal, Mr Alby Freijah, welcomed the students and outlined the background of the program leading up to this visit. He also explained the importance of the program in building relationships and cultural understanding for all of the students and teachers involved. Alby also thanked the host families for welcoming the students into their homes.

We were also fortunate to have the Mayor of the Shire of Towong present for the welcome, demonstrating the support of the local community for the school and the Sister school relationship.

Following the welcome, all present enjoyed a barbecue lunch provided by the TSC hospitality students led by Ms. Dannielle Venaskie.

Families gradually departed to their homes, scattered around the area including Tallangatta, Kiewa, Tangambalanga, Ebden, Eskdale, Tallangatta Valley, Dederang and Mitta Mitta - a challenge for many to locate on their maps before departing from Penampang.

So the adventure of experiencing life in rural Australia has begun!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Sister School Visit : Departure Time

The Participants : Good Bye Sabah...We are Coming, Australia..

The time has come for 16 students and 3 teachers from SMK Datuk Peter Mojuntin to begin the Sister School Visit to Tallangatta Secondary College at Victoria for 6 days and 3 days at Melbourne. All participants arrived at Kota Kinabalu International Airport Terminal 2 at 5.00 am and boarded a 7.25am flight to Kuala Lumpur. Then they will depart to Melbourne at 1.20pm and expected to arrive at Melbourne Airport at 1.00 am (Australian Time).

With their parents....

Ticket Checked, Visa's Checked, Passport Checked, now where is my bag?...

Excitement, Happiness, Thrilled....clearly on their faces..

Okay make a line lets drop our baggage....

With me....Good Luck everybody...

With Nainey (Left) and Badinah (Right)

The Sister School ID Card....wear it all the time....:)

Good Luck and All The Best!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

SMKDPM Sister School Visit to TSC

16 students and 3 teachers from SMK Datuk Peter Mojuntin are schedule to visit our sister school, Tallangatta Secondary College, Victoria, Australia from 4th November 2011 to 13th November 2011. They will be in Tallangatta for 6 days and 3 days in Melbourne. The list of participants are :


Badinah Bianis
Fay Hameliene Mogindol
Nainey Ajik


Linda Nusi Morius
Mohd Asnawe Bin Toipi
Sharmane Suemunie Stanley Sikolis
Lana Athena Morius
Deanne Seanuau Kely
Steffira Zeandea Greater
Jesslyn Handrus
Carl Dangazu Jintoni
Basil Bulawan Bonipasius
Kimberly Vung
Jane Thecla Bensing
Akyra Adelaide Edward
Varolien Gregory
Shoba Elizabeth Satkunanthan
Vaneda Angella Joe
Rinie Sheriezah Hamdan

These few remaining weeks to go are busy with practices and preparation for events and activities in Tallangatta and Melbourne. Hopefully all goes well with the 4th November just around the corner.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Sue Ledsam Visits SMKDPM, April 2011

April 20th, 2011. I was picked up from the airport by Surie and we made our way straight to SMKDPM for the afternoon. After being shown around the school, Nanie Amat agreed to let me take one of her art classes - the students may have thought my lesson on aboriginal art was a bit strange, but they were very tolerant and ended up producing some good work, given that we only had about 40 minutes. I found it interesting, looking at the artwork on display in the room. We obviously have a different approach to teaching art, but the end result is the same - that students feel happy and proud of the work they produce.

At Kiulu River, Tamparuli, Sabah

At Tamparuli suspension bridge, tamparuli, Sabah, Malaysia

Dinner with SMKDPM's principal, madam Nurani, teacher Sabaria, Surie, Rakimah and Fatmawati at Windbell Seafood Restaurant, Kota Kinabalu.

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