East Gippsland student leaders off to China

East Gippsland student leaders off to China

East Gippsland school principal and Marlo resident, Mark Reeves, will be in China with a large cohort of students from across Victoria from August 11-18.

Mark has been a key driver in the Victorian Young Leaders to China program, a Victorian Government initiative started in 2012. The program, known as VYLC, aims to provide a six-week in country experience for Victorian students to grow their Mandarin language, Asia-literacy and global competence.

The State Government has committed $13m for the program for another four years.

“VYLC, as it is known, allows year nine students to develop leadership and Mandarin language and Asia literacy skills through a six-week immersion in China. Being able to understand the importance of our largest trading partner is a crucial 21st century capability,” Mark said.

Mark has been a leader in this project. Of the target 1500 students Victoria-wide target over five years, his school will have provided opportunities for 500 students from regional Victoria by end of 2018 to be in China to live, study and learn.

Many of those students are from Gippsland schools.

“Students from Latrobe Valley have been regular participants, but we are delighted to have provided this life-changing opportunity for students from Yarram, Orbost, Lakes Entrance and Swifts Creek over the last four years,” Mark said.

This year, VYLC for regional students through The Alpine School is a $1m program in this school alone.

 We are delighted to be able to provide this opportunity for young people from regional Victoria, including East Gippsland,” Mark said.

“I will be in and out of China several more times this year with our 100 students over two cohorts to smooth their arrival and return preparedness.”

China is Australiaʼs largest trading partner. Business and economy in regional Australia will thrive in a globalised market in the coming decades.

“The Chinese One Belt, One Road economic plan means Australians of the future will need to understand the importance of business and social conventions to thrive in this new world,” Mark said.

PICTURED: The cohort of Victorian students who are headed to China for a week from August 11-18.