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Where are they now? - Issue 28

Where are they now? - Issue 28

A look into our Past, Present and Future

Where are they now? # 28 Elizabeth Parsons 

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.

Damals - back then... 

Year of exchange: 2009/10 

Group Leader: Valerie Rozen 

School: Methodist Ladies' College Perth 

Sponsor: Köppern 

Town / city of exchange in Germany: Lübeck 

A lasting memory from your Exchange 

Endless laughter during Wintercamp and Free Travel with my dear friend Isabel Hewitt. 

Studies on Return from your Exchange 

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. 

Und jetzt - and now... 

Career Path  

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. 


What are you doing now? 

I have the joy of teaching Chinese and English and being the Head of Year 9 at Preston High School in Melbourne. 

How SAGSE influenced your life's journey 

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. 

Further Comment 

I am extremely grateful to be a GASSie.

Next month 

Stay tuned for Edition 29, which will feature someone from 2007 who is now in Minneasota working as a Research Project Manager.

SAGSE Alumni Membership 

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.