Group Study Exchange Team from India

On Monday 9th November we hosted the Group Study Exchange (GSE) Team from District 3050 in Rajasthan, India.

The team comprised of the Team Leader Rotarian Seema Singh from the Rotary Club of Udaipur Meera (an all female club):


and four team members: Pooja Sharma sponsored by the Rotary Club of Ahmedabad West,


Shivani Zaveri sponsored by the Rotary Club of Bhuj Flamingo


Chirantan Kothari, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Jodhpur


and Pratik Jain sponsored by the Rotary Club of Ahmedabad Metro,


The Rotary Foundation’s Group Study Exchange (GSE) program is a unique cultural and vocational exchange opportunity for businesspeople and professionals between the ages of 25 and 40 who are in the early stages of their careers. The program provides travel grants for teams to exchange visits in paired areas of different countries. For four to six weeks, team members experience the host country's culture and institutions, observe how their vocations are practiced abroad, develop personal and professional relationships, and exchange ideas. Read more about the GSE programme here.

The day was a mixture of vocational exchange and cultural exchange. Early morning saw the team divide into two, some spent time with Bill Watts at the Bendigo Bank in Fairy Meadow and the rest visited St Mary Star of the Sea College in Wollongong.

Mid-morning was a photo opportunity around the lighthouse and the chance to inspect the interior of a Winnebago motorhome. Thank you to the generosity of an unsuspecting Victorian who had stopped to have lunch with his wife. Great interest was shown by the team in the motorhome and everyone clambered inside for a guided tour! The owner kindly showed them all the features of his motorhome both inside and outside.

After this we took the team to the Mount Keira look-out to see the sights of Wollongong. Unfortunately it was a bit cloudy but none-the-less was worth the effort of driving up there.
Later President Laurie invite the team back to his home for lunch.

After lunch we were invited to do a tour of the Port Kembla facilities by Katherine McDonogh who is the Service Delivery Manager for Swire Shipping. We are very grateful to Katherine who collected the whole team from President Laurie’s home and spent a couple of hours showing us around the facilities at Port Kembla.

We were introduced in to the world of logistics and the seamless supply chain. We saw the huge ships that transport cars (3,000 cars per ship if I remember correctly). Different types of containers 40 foot ones and 20 foot ones, half height containers, open top containers for lose items and so on.

We were introduced in to the world of Freight Forwarders, local Customs, local quarantine, licensed customs brokers and dangerous goods management.

We visited the Port Kembla Coal Terminal and the Grain Terminal, specialist areas that are dedicated to the movement of coal and grain in the Inner Harbour however there were no coal ships or grain ships in port at the time. We saw huge imported turbine blades that are destined for wind farms.

The tour culminated with a visit to the Visitors’ Centre in the Port Kembla complex.
Once again a special Thank You to Katherine McDonogh for her generosity of time and spirit, it is much appreciated by the whole team.

That evening the Group Study Exchange Team attended our normal Monday meeting where we were able to learn more about their daily lives and the work that they do. Each presented an insight to their daily lives of their hopes and aspirations. 

GSE_Team_D3050 002 (Small)

GSE_Team_D3050 003 (Small) GSE_Team_D3050 005 (Small)
GSE_Team_D3050 007 (Small) GSE_Team_D3050 009 (Small)
Pratik did (one of?) his party pieces. His interests lie in mathematics, computers and computer based learning. He asked those present to give him a number and he would calculate the cube root of that number in his head. (So long as the answer was in the range of 1 to 99). After much fumbling of electronic calculators on mobile phones he was given the number 39,304.
In a very short space of time he was able to give the correct answer of 34, a very impressive feat indeed.
GSE_Team_D3050 016 (Small)

We naturally swapped club banners and at the end of the meeting the team also sang for us.

GSE_Team_D3050 020 (Small)

To Seema, Pooja, Shivani, Chirantan and Pratik we wish you well in your future endeavours and maybe you will visit us again. We hope that the day you spent with us was both informative and enjoyable.

Seema best wishes to you and the members of the Rotary Club of Udaipur Meera and the work that you do with women and children less well off than yourselves.

Pooja we would be interested to hear from you about the progress you make in your philanthropic work and the development of your NGO. 

Shivani, keep on singing!

Chirantan keep enjoying life with your joint family and who knows maybe one day you will holiday in Australia in a motorhome!

Pratik, best wishes for success with your e-learning portal

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