Aquaculture interest crosses cultural boundaries

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

A recent visit from a group of Chinese students highlighted the international significance of the aquaculture program at Challenger TAFE's WA Maritime Training Centre – Fremantle.

Aquaculture Program Manager, Jean Menzies, welcomed students and staff from the Hefei 168 school and explained Fremantle’s maritime history and the College’s involvement in all areas of maritime training.

The tour was led by Aquaculture Lecturer Tony Bart, who said China and Australia shared a common interest in aquaculture.

“China is a world leader in aquaculture, having practiced it for over 2000 years, and today produces more fish than anywhere else,” he said.

“Australia is also at the forefront of the industry, and the College continues to develop new technologies to grow fish more efficiently and in an environmentally sustainable way.

“I explained some of the differences between aquaculture in the respective countries, and the students were intrigued by some of the local species, particularly our freshwater Marron.”

Principal of the Hefei 168 school, Mr Lee, said the tour was enlightening for the students and that he was impressed by the College’s training methods.

“It was a wonderful trip and we all learned a lot. The approach to teaching at the College that combines theory with practice was especially impressive,” he said.

The two-week stay was part of an exchange program involving high schools from WA and the Anhui province, and follows a visit last year from North Lake Senior Campus students.

The program coordinator from NLSC, Hannah Bremner, said the reciprocal arrangement helped promote cross-cultural learning.

“The WA Government initiated the program a few years ago, with six WA schools currently participating,” she said.

“Last year we visited Hefei, which was a tremendous learning experience as we were able to see some very prestigious science- and technology-based institutions as well as gain a broader cultural awareness.

“We were delighted to have the students from Hefei return that visit, especially as they were able to attend our annual school ball and experience a taste of Australian culture that should stay with them for a long time.”

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