A Grafton girl?s Austrian adventure
By ADRIAN MILLER
FROM school children to police officers, media people to governors, Sonia Williamson and her fellow Rotarians met them all during a recent trip to Austria.
As part of a Rotary cultural vocational exchange to Austria, Ms Williamson and fellow Graftonian Hamish McLachlan were joined by three other Rotary members who spent nearly six weeks in Austria meeting people and exchanging ideas and stories about their respective cultures.
Ms Williamson said the experience had been incredible.
"It was a fantastic, once in a lifetime opportunity to see a different culture, and to really experience another country," she said.
Ms Williamson said she visited cities such as Salzburg, Innsbruck, Linz and the capital Vienna. She was also able to visit smaller, country areas, which she said made the trip all the more special.
"Mostly we stayed with host families which really gave us a chance to get to know the culture and the country," she said.
Ms Williamson said as part of the exchange the group visited schools, police stations and advertising agencies to talk about Australia.
She said they also met the Governor of Upper Austria.
"It gave us the opportunity to visit schools and talk to children about what we do and what we like in Australia," she said.
And it appears the curiosity of children is the same all over the world.
"The children wanted to know all about our dangerous animals such as sharks, crocodiles and poisonous snakes, because they don't get any of those over there," she said.
Ms Williamson said the group was able to bring back many ideas and solutions to problems which could be adapted for use in the Clarence Valley.