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Year 8 students of Japanese were delighted to receive letters from their new pen pals last week, many with photos, lollies and souvenirs enclosed. Pictured is our post pack of more than 40 letters ready to be sent to Japan and Koharu Sensei holding the exciting package of responses. Correspondence between the students is building anticipation as we await the arrival of 18 students from our Sister School at the start of Term 3 – their first visit since 2019! The Hikarigaoka girls will visit Gippsland Grammar in Week 2 and 3, providing our students with the chance to learn more about Japan and use their Japanese. Families who are willing and able to welcome a Japanese student into their home between July 24 and August 8, and those who are considering offering a term-long homestay for our 12-month exchange student, are asked to email The Languages Department is very grateful for your support.

We are also excited that 20 high school students from Mie Prefecture will also be visiting Garnsey Campus for an overnight visit in August, as part of their Australian tour, boarding at Blackwood House. After such a long time without any international guests, we’re delighted to provide these real-world learning opportunities for both our students and our young guests.

We’re also looking forward to the annual Japanese Speech Contest – both our own Gippsland Grammar contest in July and the state-wide competition held in Hawthorn on Sunday August 27. Last year our Years 8-10 students impressed and delighted adjudicators with their fluency and creativity, delivering set speeches and speeches of their own composition. This year our many Japanese guests will be able to help them prepare!

Rohan Jayatilake

Head of Garnsey Campus