Our lifestyle is quite particular.  Leon and I like to stay active in different social circles that reflect our interests.  That’s been particularly important to me since retiring and relocating.  We are both involved with the BC Exchange Teachers’ Association (BCETA), as we were with the Canadian League for Education Exchange (CLEE).  As you may know, I keep a blog of activities for both those groups.  We recently were invited to a reception by the Australian High Commissioner.  I posted the story last week and this week our picture was featured on their Facebook page.  Exciting, yes?

Here’s the post:

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HE Tony Negus in the centre surrounded by former exchange teachers.

This past Monday, a group of Canadian alumni were invited to a reception hosted by the Australian High Commissioner, Tony Negus. The event was held at the Pan Pacific Vancouver Hotel.  The attendees were a diverse group made up of educators, students and business people who have either studied/worked in Australia or are Australians studying or working here.  It was the first reception of its kind and we were so delighted to attend.

The High Commissioner told us how he held a contest for a Christmas card design where a great number of students participated, illustrating their idea of what Christmas is like in Australia.  The best 3 submissions were then used as the official Christmas greetings for the High Commission.  (You can view some of the winning entries on the Australian HC Facebook page.) The process highlighted the fact that there are or have been a great number of Australian educators in Canada, which sparked the idea of reaching out to the education and business sectors to strengthen networks.

Other guests were Melissa Stenfors (First Secretary and Consul in Ottawa), Kevin M. Lamb (Post Manager and Honorary Consul in Vancouver) and Nerella Campigotto (CANZBA).  The event was a great opportunity to meet other former exchange teachers living in the lower mainland, as well as new acquaintances who have a link to Australia in their capacity.

For those of you in the Vancouver area, you might be interested in attending the ANZAC Day Commemoration on April 24, 2016 which is held at the Cenotaph downtown Vancouver. Take time to browse the Canada, Australia, New Zealand Business Association site for other events they organize.

As a result of this meeting, I’ve been able to promote our relationships with the Australian High Commission and we are hoping to include the High Commissioner or his local representative Kevin Lamb in future exchange teacher events.  I’m quite pleased with that.