Photo and Quote Competition

We are delighted to announce the winners of our Host Family Photo Competition for 2016.

The competition was open to host families who recently hosted an exchange student or are currently hosting an exchange student through Student Exchange Australia New Zealand. 

A big thank you must go out to everyone who participated, your photo's and captions were fantastic and we will be highlighting them on social media. 

The Top 3 are as follows:

First Place

“Our exchange student, Hirari, added so much to our family and made a different and special friendship with each of our three kids. She embraced the experience she had been offered and wasn't afraid to try anything. Her positive attitude inspired us to do many things we had been meaning to do but just never got around to. While Hirari was staying with us we visited all the tourist attractions in our home city (the ones you always mean to visit but don't), went caravanning for 2 weeks around Victoria, went on the cruise we'd been talking about doing for years, went to all the live sport that we could, went for more family walks, played more family games, essentially, we fitted in about 3 years worth of activities into 10 months. We had hoped hosting an exchange student would be good for our kids to help open their eyes to the world, to learn about another country, speak a little Japanese and make new friendships. It did all that and more. We still miss our gorgeous Hirari everyday and can't wait to visit her and her family in Japan one day.”

Second Place

’Hosting students has given my children new big sisters! They call them sisters, treat them sisters and argue with them like sisters! My children came into my life through foster care and hosting has given them a world view and goals and ambitions of their own to do exchanges! They have learnt new languages, games and customs that they otherwise wouldn't have! It's opened their eyes to the world!’

Third Place

"The exchange program has provided unexpected experience for our only son (Charlie, aged 5) and exchange daughter (Anne, aged 15). Despite the age difference we watched an amazing relationship develop from a novelty, to close friends, to a lifelong brother/sister connection. There is an amazing intimacy and a familiarity that Charlie and Anne share that has made an indelible mark and sense of connection that had previously been missing."

Congratulations to our winners and thank you to all of our fantastic host families who sent in entries.

2014 Winners

First Place

First Place is awarded to the Wheatley Family from New South Wales for their fantastic family photo submitted with two of their overseas exchange students, Alessandra from Italy and Anna-Maija from Finland.

The Wheatley Family submitted a number of high quality pictures but the one we selected as the winner was ‘Big Banana, Coffs Harbour’

This is what Amanda (Host Mum) said about the families hosting experience "Being host parents has provided us with an amazing experience; meeting many new friends, sharing special bonds that will last a lifetime, having opportunities to see things in Australia that we would never normally see. 50 words is too little to write about our adventures; hosting is something we will continue. With 6 months of constant exchange and over 15,000 photos between us all, selecting 15 photos was extremely difficult."

Second Place

Second place goes to the Tipper Family from Northern Territory for their photo “Photo Bombed...by a camel” The Tipper Family submitted some beautiful photos with their exchange student from France, Julie.

This is what Judy (Host Mum) said about his hosting experience "What a pleasure it is to welcome Julie into our family! The exchange program is a fantastic opportunity to share our Aussie customs and culture and have the privilege to experience hers. We have had the good fortune to travel much of Australia while Julie has been with us and in-fact, many friends and family have commented she has seen more of Australia than most Australians! We often say how courageous she has been to make this journey, leaving her family, her friends and her home, to embark on such new and unfamiliar adventures. Having Julie with us has reinforced how incredibly brilliant (and big ) our country is and how lucky we are to live here! We have found Julie fits into our happy family well and we enjoy helping Julie improves not only her language skills, but also life skills as she continues to bloom into a happy, confident and well-rounded young adult with many fantastic and exciting life experiences. We are strangers no longer; now family and share our hearts and home!"

Third Place

Third Place is awarded to Lennart and the Kameta Family from New Zealand, for Lennart's photo "The best view I ever had".

This is what Lennart (Exchange student from Germany) said about his hosting experience "In these pictures you can see some of my highlights till now as well as some photos of my everyday life in my host family. My absolutely favourite pictures are the two, where I'm in front of the sunset. But I also loved my trip to Hobbiton movie set. So these are the photos which represent my exchange till now the best."

Lennart submitted some great, fun photos taken with the Kameta family earlier in his time on exchange, which shows the close friendships that were developed during his stay in New Zealand.

2013 Winners

First Place

First Place is awarded to the Laine-Barclay Family from Northern Territory for their fantastic family photo submitted with their overseas exchange student, Yuri from Japan.

The Laine-Barclay Family submitted a number of high quality pictures but the one we selected as the winner was ‘A Family Camel Ride’

This is what Rachielle (Host Mum) said about the families hosting experience "Having Yuri join our family this year has given us the opportunity to re-experience things with her for the first time and giving us an excuse to take short breaks as a family. Yuri quickly became part of our family, spending a lot of time sharing the differences between her life and experiences in Japan with our kids, which has been an eye opener for them. My youngest daughter and her have formed a great bond, with many hours of colouring in, origami birds, cards and board games and Yuri's patience with Poppi is an example of her polite nature. We've shared so many first experiences with Yuri, that will have a special part in all our lives forever, from her first time camping, first encounter with a green frog, swimming in the beach, vegemite sandwich, learning to live with the family dog, crocodile, bushwalking, stars at night, easter and the list could go on and on. It's been fun!"

Second Place

Second place goes to the Laver Family from Western Australia for their photo “Boys and little ones walking: Zach and Carew walking hand in hand with the little ones in Yanchep Park.”

The Laver Family submitted some beautiful photos with their exchange student from France, Zachary.

This is what Jo (Host Mum) said about his hosting experience "Our 12 year old son was the only one who was not keen at all. But now Zach is here, they get along quite well, sharing games on ipods / iphones and hanging out with friends. It has been great for him to have a ‘brother’. My 6 year old girl who is always the life of the party keeps on hugging and talking to poor Zach! Zach has taken everything in his stride and it has been a great experience for all of us."

Third Place

Third Place is awarded to the Shew Family from Northern Territory for their family photo.

This is what Anne (Host Mum) said about their hosting experience "Over the five months Leo became one of our family. She loved to cook, loved photography, loved exploring our beautiful country with us and explaining to us the differences in her country. As a family we got to know each-other all over again as we welcomed this at first stranger into our home and soon Leo was a big sister to Kimberley and an eldest daughter to Mum and Dad. Our lives have been enriched and with face-book we stay connected in the virtual world for now. Seeing the world through new eyes enriched us all."

The Shew family submitted some great, fun photos taken with Leo, which show the close friendships that were developed during her stay in Australia.

2012 Winners

First Place

First Place is awarded to the Tetley Family from New South Wales for their fantastic family photo submitted with their overseas exchange student, Miriam from Italy.

The Tetley Family submitted a number of high quality pictures but the one we selected as the winner was ‘Sunset Ayres Rock.’

This is what Dean (Host Dad) said about the families hosting experience "It was the perfect day to climb the rock. We explained the cultural aspects of climbing the rock but there was no stopping them. I wish I could include the video of the day."

"The photo that best represents our experience is the "Climbing Ayres Rock" photo. Miriam had only been with us for about 3 weeks and the photo symbolises the anticipation and excitement of receiving an international student with the feelings associated with climbing Ayres Rock and the almost instantaneous bond that is made when they arrive."

"The excitement and joy we see in Miriam's face as she experiences the wonders of Australia are reflected in the enthusiasm we have in hosting her. I can't think of a better thing to do. We aren't olympic athletes but we are winning gold medals for Australia."

Second Place

Second place goes to the Donoghue Family from South Australia for their photo “Paula and the children at the Big Rocking Horse”

The Donoghue Family submitted some beautiful photos with their exchange student from Germany, Paula.

This is what Robert (Host Dad) said about his hosting experience "Our family hosted Paula from Germany this year and it was the most wonderful experience. How did hosting impact our family? The positive impact having Paula stay with us for five months was incredible. We spent more time together as a family and got to see our local area through new eyes. Most importantly though, Paula was a fantastic role model for our younger children. Thank you Paula!

We had such a great time with Paula and cannot thank her enough for the great influence she has been on our own children.”

 

Third Place

Third Place is awarded to the Sherriff Family from Tasmania for their photo titled 'Nina and the Sherriffs."

This is what Jodie (Host Mum) said about their hosting experience "We loved taking Nina to the top of the world in Mount Field Tasmania, she was truly a part of our family and always will be. We miss her terribly. x."

The Sherriff family submitted some great, fun photos taken with Nina, which show the close friendships that were developed during her stay in Australia.

2011 Winners

First Place

First Place is awarded to the Vallance Family from North Queensland for their fantastic family photo submitted with their overseas exchange student, Alice from France.

The Vallance Family submitted a number of high quality pictures but the one we selected as the winner was ‘Alice and her host family experiencing Eungella National Park.’

The photos submitted show the warmth of the relationships that were developed during Alice’s stay in Australia and the activities that are a part of Australian culture.

Second Place

Second place goes to the Roberts Family from Victoria for their photo “Kirstine catching lambs for Ken to mark.”

The Roberts Family submitted some beautiful country and farm life photos with their exchange student from Denmark, Kristine.

This is what Sharon (Host Mum) said about her hosting experience “Hosting Kirstine has brought our family closer together. We’re doing things we used to do when our kids were little, like boiling the billy, having a BBQ and baking apples up the paddock. She’s helped us remember how to have fun when we’re working and take time out for adventures.”

Third Place

Third Place is awarded to the Miller Family from Western Australia for their photo titled 'the girls occupy themselves via my pantry while at home."

This is what Tanya (Host Mum) said about their hosting experience, "Our exchange student Sarah (France), my daughter and her best friend - the three were inseparable during her stay and we travelled extensively with the three of them."

The Roberts family submitted some great, fun photos taken around Western Australia, which show the close friendships that was developed during Sarah’s stay from France.

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