It has been announced that 18 year old Alice Chandler will be the first young person to be sent to Bathurst in New South Wales as part of the friendship initiative between the Australian city and the Cotswold town of Cirencester.
Bathurst Regional Council approached the Cirencester Town Council with a view to forming a friendship in 2015. Since then, a series of events have taken place to further the friendship between them including various Bathurstians visiting the Gloucestershire town as well as the Australian High Commissioner.
Cirencester businesses have shown their support for the friendship initiative by agreeing to sponsor it; some of this fund has been used to send Alice to the other side of the globe as part of an educational opportunity and she will be expected to gain information that will help support next year’s lucky candidate as the plan is to send someone every year.
Alice has recently completed her A Levels at Cirencester College and achieved an A* in World Development, an A in Geography and a B in History. It was due to her academic nature that Libby Reed, the former vice principal of the college, put her forward for this opportunity.
Alice leaves on 4 October and will be in Bathurst for their world famous race – Bathurst 1000 on 6 October, where she will be a guest of Bathurst mayor – Graeme Hangar.
“I am not nervous, more excited,” Alice explained. “It is a great opportunity and I intend to make the most of it. I will be in Bathurst for three weeks and during that time I intend to visit Scots (college) and the city’s Youth Council.
“There is also a mental health charity called Head Space that I am interested in and would like to get involved. I want to look into how different groups and societies of young people view politics and how they can be engaged – it will be interesting to look at the difference between the UK and Australia.
I will also get the chance at the end of the month to go to the Invictus Games which are being held in Sydney,” Alice added.
Gloucestershire business mentor Simon King visited Bathurst in early 2018 and has been advising Alice on where to stay and sharing his vast contact book with her. He said: “This is a landmark moment for the friendship and I would like to thank the Cirencester Community Development Trust Ltd, Cllr Mark Harris, Cllr David Fowles and Cllr Clare Wardell as well as the mayor Nigel Robbins for their support in making this happen. TheEarl Bathurst has also played a pivotal role as he was the first one to go over in 2015 and wished to thank all the businesses, in particular Aura, for their support in making this opportunity for a young person to travel to Australia.
“Alice is a trailblazer for the friendship and our plans to send someone over every year. Anyone wishing to be involved should get in touch with the friendship now as I am sure we will be inundated soon. Alice will be sending regular updates and posting blogs and pics on our social media channels. We will also keep the press updated on how she is getting on – good luck Alice!”
To get in contact with the Friendship with any information please email: firstname.lastname@example.org