President Peter attended the Dickson College Secondary Introductory English Centre (SIEC) graduation ceremony for this term to provide an award from the club.  This award recognises a student who has been a good role model through the course, and comprises over $200 of items and vouchers that will assist the student in their ongoing schooling, such as a calculator, exercise books, folders, an atlas, a dictionary and a number of ancillaries.
By way of background, the SIEC provides provides newly arrived overseas students with minimal or no English, with an intensive English as a Second Language (ESL) course. Students then proceed to a main stream high school or college. The number of school terms students spend at the Centre depends on their progress.  The Club approached the SIEC in early 2011 to discuss how the club could, in a small way, assist refugee students at the school. The teaching staff suggested an award, which they have called the Sunrise Rotary Achievement Award, to a graduating student from a refugee or disadvantaged migrant background who the school considers has been a role model to other students during their time at the Centre.
It was a very rewarding experience for me to attend the graduation ceremony.  The students ran the ceremony, entertained us with a number of plays and culminated in a wonderful dance routine, in which they all had a lot of fun.  Morning tea after the ceremony provided an opportunity to meet some of the students and their families, most of whom are newly arrived migrants.  The motivation levels of the students was clear, in talking to them about their aspirations and dreams.
The award recipient for this term was Hamasa, a bubbly 18 year old young lady from Afghanistan, who arrived in Australia just 6 months ago.  Hamasa and her younger brother, who was also on the course, both want to be doctors.  Hamasa will go into main stream Year 11 next year.  She was very thankful for the award.
A great Rotary moment!