Friday 10th March
Year 6 Girton student, Abraham Harrington, will represent Australia in July at the 2023 BRIDGE Summer Camp and Asian-Pacific Children’s Convention (APCC) in Fukuoka, Japan.
Known by his teachers and classmates as Abe, the 11-year old is one of just four successful applicants from an Australian Primary School who will join students from around the world in the 10-day event, which includes an Orientation Camp, Homestay Program, school visits and a celebratory event.
Each year, Australian Primary Schools are invited to nominate one child to be considered for selection to attend the APCC. The successful applicants are chosen based on their interest in Japan, a positive attitude towards new experiences, and their ability to act as a proud representative and Junior Ambassador for Australia. To be eligible, children must have been born between 1st August 2011 and 31st July 2012.
Girton’s Co-Head of LOTE, Mrs Liz Blanks, said Abe was selected after careful consultation with his Japanese teacher and Year 6 teacher. “We felt it was important to nominate a student who would be suited to an international travel experience and would represent Australia with pride,” said Mrs Blanks. “Abe is considered to be happy, kind, empathetic, well-mannered, and importantly, courageous enough to cope with being away from home.”
According to Girton Year 6 teacher, Mr Mark Di Fede, Abe has a confident personality, and makes and maintains positive friendships across the Year 6 cohort. “Abe is well-liked by both his teachers and his classmates, and I have no doubt he will engage confidently with people from all over the world,” said Mr Di Fede.
Abe himself is feeling “shocked and a bit excited” to be selected to represent Australia at the conference. “Japanese is my favourite subject, and I am hoping to become more fluent in speaking Japanese,” he said. “I am also looking forward to seeing the beautiful scenery, like the cherry blossoms and I am excited to meet my host family.”
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australia–Japan Society has sent a group of children accompanied by a Chaperone and Peace Ambassador to participate in the unique event for the past 31 years, which invites approximately 180 eleven-year-old children from 43 regions around the Asian Pacific region to share in a truly international exchange.
After three years of a virtual Summer Camp, the APCC will facilitate the opportunity in person again this year. Expenses for airfares, transportation and meals are covered by the Asian Pacific Children’s Convention Executive Committee in Japan.