Papuan nuns enjoy their time at Marian College

ARARAT - Marian College and St Mary's Primary School recently enjoyed a visit from two nuns from Papua New Guinea.

Sister Helen and Sister Joanne spent about two weeks visiting the schools and experienced teaching in another culture, as well as seeing how Australian schools work in comparison to Papua New Guinea.

Sister Helen taught with Ararat's Sister John at a youth centre in a small suburb in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea more than 10 years ago.

"It is the first time we have had visitors from Papua New Guinea and it is also the first time that these two particular people have come down and their connection is through me," Sister John said.

"I taught in Papua New Guinea for 15 years and with Helen for four years."

Sister Joanne is an elementary teacher in Papua New Guinea and covers a broad range of subjects. She said the biggest difference in the two countries is the number of specialised teachers Australia has.

"In Papua New Guinea you have only one teacher in a class, but here when I went into the classrooms I saw different teachers go in to teach different subjects," she said.

Sister John said Sister Joanne sat in on several art classes, which she found highly beneficial.

"Joanne was with Bernadette the art teacher over at St Mary's and was helping while the children painted sheets to put in the Art Show at the Ararat Show," she said.

"So that was good because she had a variety of artwork from the students to look at, so that was a great benefit and she can take ideas back from that lesson."

Sister Helen, who is a high school teach in Papua New Guinea, spent time at Marian College taking part in cooking and textile classes.

She said she had also noticed a number of differences in how classes are taught in the two countries.

"This has been an educational trip for us. It (the school) is better equipped compared to ours," she said.

"Mostly we teach outside because we don't have enough classrooms.

"I got a new recipe to take home and I've now learnt different ways to decorate and add additions to the cakes to make it more creative."

Sister John said the students were very welcoming of the visitors, while the Marian College and St Mary's staff had been helpful and offered lesson ideas that the two ladies could take back to their schools.

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