A look into our past, present and future!
This month we look back to the turn of the millennium. Simon Moss was on his exchange in Germany when the year 2000 ticked over. Since his exchange he has stayed very busy and nowadays he is the Co-founder and Managing Director of 'Global Citizen' in New York, raising awareness and money for a range of social justice issues. 2020 has therefore been a busy year for him.
An Interview with Simon
Year of exchange: 1999/2000
School: Trinity Grammar, Kew
Town / city of exchange in Germany: Havixbeck / Münster, Nord-Rhein Westfalen
A memory from your exchange: I was and am still amazed that Germany in 1999 had more ways to recycle than Australia (or America where I live now) has ever had. The first week I was staying with my host family, I offered to clean up after dinner, and I stood paralyzed there for minutes in front of six little bins under the bench in the kitchen, not knowing what went where. Eventually my host sister had to walk me through what each of them meant, including checking that I understood that grün was green and gelb was yellow.
Studies on return from exchange: Arts and then a Masters in Development Studies at the University of Melbourne
Simon is pictured in front of Burg Hülshoff, which he cycled past every day on the way to school. He was living in a converted barn on an old estate just outside of Havixbeck, near Münster, which is where Annette von Droste-Hülshoff lived - she of the 20 mark note, for those of us old enough to remember!
How did the SAGSE exchange experience influence your life journey and career path since then?
I'd never been on a plane before going to Germany. My 10 weeks there didn't just massively improve my German (which it did), it changed my sense of the world. Learning about Germany's history, culture and people introduced me to the expansiveness of the human experience, but also the common threads that tie us all together. As I learnt more about the world, and especially about global challenges like poverty, climate change and pandemics, the exchange experience grounded my sense of global citizenship, which a decade later resulted in me co-founding Global Citizen as an organization.
A decade on from that, we have campaigned to secure USD$50b in commitments to fight poverty, improve global health and protect the planet. Most recently,
we secured USD$6.9b in commitments to fight COVID-19, including a ‚Ç¨383m commitment from Chancellor Merkel (https://youtu.be/xSDVqG1IFe4).
And, I'm pleased that my exchange experience has left me with good enough German to try and do work meetings in German before my long-suffering team in Berlin tell me to stop and switch back to English.
We'd love to have your contribution
Former 'Stipis'/ Gassies / Aumni can visit our website at
where you can take out / renew your SAGSE membership and / or make a donation to the SAGSE Victoria Alumni Scholarship. Our goal is to continue to send at least one scholarship recipient per year, fully funded by alumni donations, and every bit helps.