In 2019, AEF worked across 20 countries developing stronger education links involving thousands of educators and students who have benefited from richer intercultural learning. We would like to extend our deepest appreciation to all our AEF schools, partners, supporters and advisors – the year would not have been such a success without you.
This year we expanded the depth and design of our work in significant ways. Our involvement in the PNGAus Partnership Secondary School Initiative brought together 150 Principals, teachers, and high school students from 12 Australian and 12 PNG schools to explore leadership, STEM, and deep intercultural experiences over a 6-month reciprocal program. The reflections of the participants highlighted the profoundly life-changing impact in growing their relationships as leaders and learners. We delivered two school leadership programs in India, through our BRIDGE School Partnership Program and the Women in School Leadership Program (supported by the Victorian Department of Education and in partnership with the Australia India Institute).
In 2019 we again developed our suite of Go Global youth programs. The STEMing from Asia Youth Forum brought new student perspectives to the innovation happening in China, South Korea, and Japan. We also evolved our Australia-ASEAN and Global Goals Youth Forums to focus on issues of human rights, ethics, and digital connectivity. Young people around Australia again demonstrated just how capable they are in discussing complex issues and designing fresh ideas to navigate these perspectives. We also introduced further dynamic resources in the form of VR tools for our BRIDGE schools and the use of new Nudel Karts in our Primary Global Goals program and supporting some of our BRIDGE school partners. To learn more about our achievements in 2019, read our Year in Review here.
AEF also developed and built on a range of new partnerships. We have worked closely this year with High Resolves and the Confucius Institute on the Victorian Young Leaders to China program, revamping and redesigning the experience. We signed an MoU with the Sydney Opera House supporting greater digital engagement with our BRIDGE schools, collaborating on our International ASEAN Youth Forum and exploring more exciting ways to link creativity into intercultural learning.
In 2020, AEF will continue to co-design new initiatives to support our strategic work. We are building our partnership with the Yutong Australian Culture Centre in developing an exciting intercultural program for the soon to be opened Melbourne Intercultural Learning Centre in Brighton, Victoria. We will be launching a brand-new in-depth youth program in Geelong called HarvestEd, which is focused on agricultural education for global citizens. There will also be a suite of significant professional learning and leadership programs including Building Global Citizenship, China STEAM Education, and further international partnership programs.
I am deeply proud of the work AEF is growing in scaling the impact and advocacy of linking the world to a world-class education. With the support of our board, our colleagues at Asialink at the University of Melbourne and amazing partners, I am excited at the ways we will continue to push the borders and boundaries of collaborative learning across the Indo-Pacific.
On behalf of the AEF Advisory Board and our incredible multi-talented team, my profound thanks to our many participants, partners, collaborators and supporters.
From all of us here, we wish you a safe and happy festive season!
Mr Hamish Curry
Executive Director, Asia Education Foundation