A young Oxley High school teacher is going on an in-service of a life time. Dominique Smit a language teacher from Oxley High School has been invited by the Chaoyang District Government in Beijing to attend the International Chinese Teachers Workshop in Beijing in July. The workshop will last for 21 days and will cover such diverse topics as Basic Mandarin, visit to the Confucius Institute, Introduction to Chinese Art, Music and Culture, paper cutting, dumpling making, visit to Beijing Municipal government, Pottery, Kongfu as well lectures on Chinese History and visits to historic places such as the Forbidden City and the Great Wall. All the workshops will be conducted by relevant professors from the Beijing Normal University.
The invitation to attend the workshops arose from the strong sister city relationship that Tamworth has with the Chaoyang District Government in Beijing. It comes quickly on the heels of a month long exchange visit by a teacher and three students from the Beijing Culture and Arts Vocational High school in Chaoyang District to Oxley High in Tamworth last month. The invitation to the workshops came as a surprise to the Tamworth Sister City Committee and Oxley High School. The school only had two days with which to nominate a teacher. The offer to attend the workshops was very generous as it covered all expenses for the 21 days in Beijing while at the workshops. This includes all meals, accommodation and travel expenses within the city.
The Oxley Parents and Citizens very generously donated the international airfare in order to allow Dominique to attend this esteemed workshop. Mr Michael O’Connor, the President of the Oxley Parents and Citizens stated “it as a great opportunity to expand the knowledge base of the school’s teachers which will only benefit our students.” Dominique is very excited about the opportunity that has been offered to her. She has never been to China and is eagerly looking forward to learning about their culture and language in order to use it in her teaching at Oxley.
Oxley has had a long relationship of exchanges with their sister school in Beijing. Tamworth Regional Council has a strong relationship with Chaoyang District and this is the only reason such an generous offer has been offered to a teacher from this city, commented John Green, the Chairperson of the Council’s Community Sister City Committee. Without such a strong relationship such a fantastic offer would never have been possible. Dominique will be the only Australian teacher at the International workshops.
In supporting the visit by Ms Smit Tamworth Regional Council Mayor, Col Murray said it was gratifying to see Tamworth Regional Council’s Sister City relationship with Chaoyang District bring tangible benefits for the community.`The workshop invitation is an example of how the Sister City program goes beyond international friendship. It actually creates to business and educational opportunities from which the whole community can benefit,’ Cr Murray said.