After inviting Kobi Watson to speak at our conference, we arranged for him to visit two of the schools we have been working with. This is his account of the trip.
Straight after the conference I made my way down to Gosport with Connie and Jake from Bay House School. The next morning I was picked up by their delightful principal Ian Potter and driven to their beautiful beachside school. On arrival I was warmly welcomed and delighted to see a big message in the foyer welcoming me! Ian showed me around the school and explained a lot about Gosport’s history.
The itinerary for the day was to speak with kids from various classes around the school. I spoke about the connections the Australians and British shared at Gallipoli and how our younger generation doesn’t recognise the sacrifices people made in this war. The kids at Bay House School were lovely and were attentive when I spoke!
I also had the chance to meet with the students who went to Gallipoli in 2014 over lunch. It was great to be able to share our experiences as we could all identify with the geography and harsh terrain the soldiers faced. Mr Potter mediated a group discussion on all aspects of separate trips and the emotion we had experienced.
I then made my way up to Edinburgh. In the morning we filmed an interview which the schools hope to use in the future! I also spoke with two other classes about the Gallipoli Campaign and screened my documentary. In the afternoon Cameron, Aimee and Lauren took us up to Edinburgh Castle and we looked at the war museum. We also found a few former Portobello High School students in memorials and in rolls of honour. Although freezing we had a wonderful afternoon and made plans to keep in touch on Facebook and maybe organise with our schools a cultural exchange. I wished I had more time to spend with both schools; however I am sure we will still keep in touch!
We are delighted to have been able to set up this international exchange through our project. We hope that it may have led to better understanding of Gallipoli amongst students on opposite sides of the world, and wish Kobi well in his future career.