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Heathmont College VIC

Using AEF's Geography resources, Year 8 students at Heathmont College in Melbourne compared the features of a major Australian city and Jakarta. To bring the topic of 'Changing Nations' alive, the school invited Asia Literacy Ambassador Max Richter, deputy director of the Monash Asia Institute.

Max lived in Jakarta and has studied the city extensively. He brought along his own photos to illustrate a location quite foreign to most of the students. Prema Devathas, the lead teacher involved at Heathmont, described the impact that his 'raw' and 'confronting' images had in illustrating the poverty, traffic and other issues facing those living in Jakarta.

However, the photos and talk also revealed many positive aspects of life in Indonesia. A student at Heathmont said that he felt that 'Indonesians value the community bond and work at strengthening it compared to us. … Australians are more self-centred, sometimes selfish and think that our own feelings, needs and opinions are the most important.'

The talk was so popular that students wanted to ask questions well beyond the allotted time.

Prema suggested that Max was seen as 'a primary resource', someone whose expertise and authority came from having lived the experience and connect with his audience.

Note: AEF Go Global Programs refer to the suite of student engagement initiatives that include the program formally known as School Business Partnerships. Asia Literacy Ambassadors, as a result, are now referred to as Go Global Ambassadors

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