For the first time our story looks at a Western Australian GASSie. Pamela Millar's amazing WA committee provides several scholarships every year, and this month we meet Liz Parsons, one of the stipis of 2009, the same year as Mark Rowe, Ishara Fernando and Eddie Cliff. Similar to last month's Travers, Liz developed a passion for China. After a few years living and teaching in China, Liz is now back in Australia. She taught German in Horsham for three years, and is now teaching Chinese and working as a Head of Year at Preston High School in Melbourne.
Year of exchange: 2009/10
Group Leader: Valerie Rozen
School: Methodist Ladies' College Perth
Town / city of exchange in Germany: Lübeck
Endless laughter during Wintercamp and Free Travel with my dear friend Isabel Hewitt.
Bachelor of Arts (German & Chinese) at the University of Western Australia, Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults, Master of Teaching (Secondary) at Australian Catholic University.
I taught English as a second language in Perth, Melbourne and Beijing before completing my Master of Teaching and becoming a secondary school teacher through the Teach for Australia program. I completed my Master of Teaching while working as a German teacher at Horsham College in regional Victoria for three years.
I have the joy of teaching Chinese and English and being the Head of Year 9 at Preston High School in Melbourne.
The SAGSE exchange allowed me to understand that there was a world outside of Perth and to develop resilience, empathy, independence and gave me the language learning and travel "bug". Since the SAGSE exchange, I have travelled extensively, including a year spent a Switzerland on Rotary Youth Exchange after finishing school.
I studied German at university, learnt Chinese and studied and worked in China for several years. I have also pursued a career in languages teaching which allows me to share my passion for languages and intercultural understanding every day with the young people that I have the pleasure of teaching. I was recently nominated as a finalist for the Victorian Education Excellence Awards Outstanding Early Career Secondary Teacher award for my work as a languages teacher and in supporting student engagement and wellbeing. I am confident that my life to this point would have not been so colourful had I not participated in the SAGSE exchange at such a young age.
I am extremely grateful to be a GASSie.
Stay tuned for Edition 29, which will feature someone from 2007 who is now in Minneasota working as a Research Project Manager.
The new year is the perfect time to take out or renew a SAGSE membership. We hope it will be safe to resume our Exchange Program this year, and whilst individual exchange scholarships are donated by our generous sponsors, we do also rely on memberships to cover our administrative expenses. You can renew and pay your 2022 membership online and while you are there, please consider making a donation towards the next SAGSE Alumni Scholarship.