Australian Embassy, Tokyo

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Address: 2-1-14 Mita, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8361 - Telephone: 03-5232-4111

"What I would like to do in Australia" - Essays written by Minami Sanriku junior high school students

1st year student (female), Utatsu Junior High School

My older brother went on last year's study tour and he told me about the fun he had with his host family and how they took him to the beach, even though he doesn't really go there anymore. Listening to his stories, I really felt that his host family wanted him to have fun in Australia so that he could forget some of his bad memories. I hope that, in some small way, I can respond to the goodwill of these people who are supporting us.

From the time I was very small, I have grown up with the sea. My experience during the disaster left me with deep emotional scars. But that experience also made me stronger. I want to overcome the events in my past and treasure the sea of Minami Sanriku.

I would like to continue to deepen the ties between Australia and Minami Sanriku and I also want to help if something happens in Australia. I would like Australians to come and see Minami Sanriku's recovery.

2nd year student (female), Utatsu Junior High School

I lost my grandmother and my home in the disaster. Immediately afterward, I left Utatsu and transferred to a junior high school in my mother's home town. I began life at my new school not knowing anyone. I felt anxious and lonely.

Shyness is one of my faults but my classmates at my new school were very friendly and were eager to speak to me. Thanks to them, I felt like I wanted to overcome my shyness and get to know lots of people.

I want to use this valuable opportunity to go to Australia as I might not have the opportunity to do so again. I am determined to try my hand at all sorts of new things in Australia. I hope that I can have many new experiences on the study tour. I also want to acquire lots of knowledge so that I can assist the recovery of Minami Sanriku and contribute to the town.

2nd year student (female), Utatsu Junior High School

After the disaster, we received lots of assistance from around the world. I lost my home, my possessions and my grandfather in the tsunami. My grandfather once told me that I should go visit a foreign country. He said that there are many things that are different to Japan and it would help me gain a new perspective and a new way of thinking. His words made me want to go to a foreign country, even if it was just once.

However, going to a foreign country is not easy. I began to wonder if I could ever travel overseas and then I heard about the study tour to Australia. I hope that the study tour can help me figure out what I'm capable of and what I can contribute.

1st year student (male), Shizugawa Junior High School

There are three reasons why I want to participate in the study tour to Australia.

First of all, my older sister went on last year's trip and I decided that I wanted to go too. My sister assured me that I would have no problems because Australians are kind and generous. But, to be honest, I am still a bit anxious. I hope that I can use this study tour as an opportunity to improve my English - it's not one of my best subjects.

Secondly, I want to experience the natural environment of Australia. I particularly love the sea and want to swim in the ocean in Australia.

Finally, I want to go because of the farmstay program. I love animals and take good care of my pets at home. In the future, I would like to work with animals, maybe raising animals. I am sure that the farmstay will give me the opportunity to see animals on the farm first-hand and I would like to utilise this experience in my future job.

2nd year student (female), Togura Junior High School

My home town, Minami Sanriku was devastated by the tsunami. The sea I love became polluted after the tsunami. Now, two years after the disaster, the production of wakame, oysters, scallops, salmon and other fish and shellfish that are a vital part of the sea off the coast of Minami Sanriku has started again. Our town has received support from many different places and we are now producing fish and shellfish that are just as good as before the disaster.

I love the sea and I want to find out more by learning about the ocean in Australia. I want to find out why the ocean in Australia is so clean and beautiful and what kind of fish and shellfish they produce there. I also want people in Australia to know how beautiful the sea is in Minami Sanriku.