Students peek through doorway to Asia

August 2, 2016

Gilang Fauzi (left) and Outreach Ambassador Julia Lees (right) holding Batik

Gilang Fauzi (front) and Outreach Ambassador Julia Lees (rear) with Batik.

Murdoch University’s Arts Outreach team recently welcomed over 250 high school students to a dynamic and engaging program, which gave the visitors a closer look at Asia, its culture and why the region is so important to Australia.

The Open a Door to Asia event aimed to assist Years 9 and 10 students see the relevance of Asia to their lives and education, and to encourage the students to study an Asian language in upper secondary school.

The diverse program included Indonesian and Japanese cultural activities and a presentation from Emeritus Professor David Hill, Director of the Australian Consortium for In-Country Indonesian Studies, about Australia’s current and future relationship with Asia.

Professor Rikki Kersten, Dean of the School of Arts at Murdoch, said having cultural literacy and an understanding of how the world looks from other people’s perspective would enable students to be valuable employees in the future regardless of what their chosen industry.

“We have such an advantage living in Perth as we share the same time zone as Asia,” Professor Kersten said.

“Understanding the perspective from other countries is what this day is all about, as the opportunities available to these students and their employers in the future are enormous.

“Indonesia for example has the fastest growing middle-class in the world. This is the country with which Australia needs to develop effective trade and business partnerships, and people-to-people understanding will underpin these key associations.

“Asia is not only our present, it’s our future and it’s in Australia’s best interest to have people that understand the region.”

Professor Kersten, who herself had a life-changing experience whilst on exchange in Japan, hoped the lives of the students who attended the event would be enriched and changed for the better by understanding life through the eyes, ears and hearts of Asian peoples.

The Open a Door to Asia event was conducted in partnership with the Asia Education Foundation.

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