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.