Port Lincoln High School has strengthened its bonds with Muroto High School in Japan to ensure a continuous cultural exchange, even if international travel is off limits for now.
The two high schools signed a sister school agreement at the end of Term One with the two connected via Zoom video link.
The schools have shared a close connection since 1994, mostly through biannual cultural exchanges with Port Lincoln students travelling to Muroto and vice versa.
Port Lincoln High School Japanese teacher Tanya Booker said the sister school agreement grew out of the friendship agreements between the two cities, as well as the inability to travel between the two for cultural exchanges due to COVID-19.
"We wanted to have something for students in between visits to continue that communication and link between students so it could be more meaningful throughout the year," she said.
The formal ceremony was held with a small group of Port Lincoln High School students, together with signatories which included Department for Education Eyre Peninsula education director Rowena Fox, high school principal Todd George, Port Lincoln Muroto Friendship Group chairperson Rob Watson and Port Lincoln mayor Brad Flaherty.
Gifts will also be exchanged between the schools in celebration, with Port Lincoln to receive a traditional glass fishing buoy covered in hand-woven netting, while Muroto will receive an artwork from year 10 Indigenous art student Leightahnee Henry, called 'Gadiya' which is Wirangu for friend.
Mrs Booker said while travel was not possible in the lead up to the signing of the agreement students had been connected through Zoom and emails, learning about each other's culture.
She said there was the hope this sister school agreement would only grow to provide further cross-cultural opportunities.
"With the signing of the agreement we hope it becomes a whole school communication and cross-cultural sharing on a bigger scale," she said.
"When travel happens again we can look at longer term exchanges with teachers and students."
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