Flagging the start of an epic journey for two teens
TWO Gladstone teenagers have been presented with Australian flags at an official meeting ahead of their 12-month Rotary exchange programs.
Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd handed the flags to Lily Furness and Hannah Clifford on behalf of the Australian Government as they venture off to Poland and Denmark respectively.
They are part of the Rotary exchange program which allows students from across the world to spend time in other countries with Rotarian families.
Due to fly out from Brisbane on January 19, Lily and Hannah are representing Gladstone Midday Rotary and Gladstone Sunrise Rotary as ambassadors during their exchange.
Lilly said she was looking forward to finally meeting up with her host family, with whom she's been in contact.
"We do get hosted by a Rotary club but if they can't find a host family in that club they'll find another one in the city," she said.
"I'm hoping to learn a new language and see a lot more than I have in the past years, as well as travel around Europe and experience the culture of a new country.
"There's a sense of anticipation because I'm not sure what to expect.
"I've been messaging my host sister and have gotten to know her quite a bit...they're a small family but it will be great."
The girls are tasked with spreading the values of not only Australian Rotary clubs but Australians as a whole.
Hannah said she'd been pleasantly surprised with what awaited her overseas.
"At first I wasn't sure about Denmark because I knew nothing about the country, but the more research I did I was really happy that's the country I got," she said.
"I hope to make a lot of new friends and get to know myself better as well.
"Rotary is all about connecting with people and that's the whole point of the exchange program."