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From Japan to the Gold Coast - A School Girl’s Journey

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Alas, it has finally arrived! Being at the tail end of my schooling life is exhilarating, yet so daunting at the same time. It’s crazy to think that it’s been more than a decade since I moved to Australia and all the amazing opportunities that have arisen within those ten years. As a seven-year-old kid moving to the Gold Coast, I could never have fathomed all these extraordinary experiences coming to life.

From my involvement in school, to surf lifesaving and being part of the Mayor’s Student Ambassador program it’s been a wonderful journey, and in the case of the latter, it is truly an honour. The Gold Coast has so much to offer for students of any age or nationality, it’s such a diverse region with a myriad of opportunities waiting at your front door.

Back in January I walked through the school gate for the first time in 2018, sadly knowing that it be my last ever first day of school. Strangely it was also kind of nerve wracking.

An Ambassador

As a final year student that also meant that we got our senior jerseys – way cool! Wearing that jersey gives me such a euphoric sense of accomplishment. That sense of accomplishment really went off the scale when I was named as a Mayor’s Student Ambassador in February. Then meeting the man himself, Mayor Tom Tate, was a fulfilling moment. Let the adventure begin!

Soon after being appointed we had our induction day. Getting to know my fellow ambassadors was an awesome experience. We all clicked straight away and instantly became the best of friends. Later that month I had the opportunity to attend a leadership conference and represent my school as one of the house captains for the GRIP Leadership program – February was a big month!

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In March the Mayor’s Student Ambassadors played an integral part in the city’s Embracing Diversity campaign. Being able to share my story and also learn about others through the interactive website was a super cool concept.

On the World Stage

April couldn’t come soon enough – the Commonwealth Games had finally arrived, putting the Gold Coast on the world map. The Games created so many opportunities for so many people. For me, as a surf lifesaver, I was able to participate in the opening ceremony as an Athlete Marshall. Greeting the athletes and giving them a warm Australian welcome was one of the biggest highlights of my year. To see all those long nights rehearsing finally pay off was one of the greatest feelings ever!

As part of the Embracing Diversity campaign the Human Rainbow was an initiative to spread the word on diversity and inclusion, and boy did it thrive! People from all different countries and backgrounds gathered together on Kurrawa Beach to celebrate the Gold Coast’s multicultural community. It was truly a wonderful sight to see everyone embracing diversity.

Mid year I joined my fellow Student Ambassadors for the Corroboree experience at Dreamworld. It was an incredibly insightful and interactive way to learn about the original custodians of this land on which we can enjoy so many remarkable opportunities.

In August I attended the Cobloaf Festival. Hands down it’s the best thing ever created. Props to the Night Quarter team for developing such an extraordinary festival. The cobloaf may have been superb, but being able to meet my childhood hero, TV and radio presenter Scott Tweedie (no, you have not been pranked by the prank patrol), absolutely topped off the night.

Crunch Time

By September I was facing the dreaded QCS exam. After nearly 12 years of schooling leading up to this you’re finally facing the moment of truth. The thought of it was quite terrifying for me, but I got over it and now can anxiously sit and wait for results… kidding… not really.

That’s it for a condensed version of the year so far, but there’s still so much to look forward to - my formal, graduation, university outcome and of course, schoolies. When I think back to how far that little seven year old girl from Japan has come it’s been an incredible journey. I’ve achieved so much during my high-school life. The Gold Coast has not only opened so many doors for me as a student, those opportunities made me strive to be the best I can be. If I can be here living the dream, so can you.