In January 2008, I decided to migrate to Australia and wrapped up the school that I set up in China for ten years.
Since settling in Melbourne, I became interested in learning more about the culture and social environment of this newly adopted country.
Soon after my son enrolled and studied at The Lakes Primary School in the northeast of Melbourne, I became participating in the election of representatives for the School Council, and came up with a slogan of “Bringing an oriental element to the governance of the School Council”. I was then elected to be the first School Councillor of Chinese background in the history of the school, as later documented in my blog.
After over a year and half in the position, it provided me with an insight into how public schools operate in Australia, including teachers’ employment and curriculum contents, as well as extra curriculum programs such as understanding of nature, civic participation, ethical understanding in a social context and how the parliamentary and educational system works within the various levels of the Australian government.
In the ten years that followed, after being involved in the planning and organising of the 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017 Melbourne Chinese Writers Festivals, as well as a number of arts exhibitions from China, promoting cultural exchange and building up platforms for social networking.
The thought then came to my mind of doing something to foster a closer relationship amongst younger people and students between Australia and China.
In the meantime, my son has transferred to the Doreen Primary School, where he studies well and started to develop what suits him best. I became appreciative of the quality of the education he received, and that led me to stitch up a visiting and exchange relationship for students between the Doreen Primary School and the Yi Yuan Primary School in Guangzhou. And through this exchange program, I became earnestly aware of the need for young school students in the fast developing China to have access to a safe and reliable window to the outside world as part of their learning and development, and especially in the mastering of a foreign language.
I came up with the idea of developing a student website which would allow young students to have the opportunity to learn and make friends with other students from outside China in a safe and secure on-line environment. This takes me to what you all see as the studentslink.org website.
I am grateful that many people have since given me a lot of support and assistance including the Vice Consul General, Mr Huang Guobin, from the Melbourne Chinese Consulate.
I wish to take this opportunity to offer my deepest appreciation and thanks to those who have given me their support and constructive advice.
I earnestly hope that this studentslink.org website would become and provide a safe and healthy link between students of China and Australia, and beyond that to link up with students from any other countries who have similar desires to participate in a sister schools program. It is anticipated that as the number of users of the website increases, the studentslink.org would become a truly global platform for young students from many countries to learn, to make friends and develop their language skills, where parents and teachers can join and participate.
In Melbourne, the 7th of October 2017
中澳青少年国际交流学院院长 姜晓茗（笔名：北笑笑） 女士的话
刚到墨尔本的时候，我7岁的儿子入学了墨尔本北区的The Lakes P-9学校。作为一名教育工作者，我报名参加了他们学校的校委会委员的竞选，并以“为学校的管理带来东方元素”为竞选口号，成功赢得了那所学校历史上第一名华裔校委会委员的席位（这段经历，我把它写在了我的博客里，见http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_572567660102dxhj.html），并担任委员一年半之久。那一年半的经历让我深刻地理解了澳洲公立小学的运作模式，包括教师聘用体制、学校各项除了教课之外的所有辅助项目的运作方式，比如自然教育、社会教育、人生理念教育，以及国家机器运行机制教育体系等。
后来儿子转学到Doreen Primary School，在那里儿子成绩优异，天性得到了极大的发挥，获得了动画制作和游戏制作两项全国第一名。我也感动于学校对儿子的优质教育，促成了学校和广州花园里怡园小学的两校互访。在我接待中国来的小学生时，深刻体会到了高速发展的中国，急需一个健康安全的窗口开放给正在人生观世界观养成关键时期的中小学生们。
Mrs Belinda Kappe
Chairwoman of the StudentsLink Academy