The event saw the participation of 45 Year 12 students from Norwood Morialta High School and 56 other students from 13 schools and 10 different countries around the world.

The visiting schools were from Brazil, Germany, Greece, Japan, China, Vietnam, Hawai’i, New Zealand, Queensland and Italy (represented by five students from the Liceo Ginnasio Statale Francesco Vivona in Rome).

The aim of the initiative was for all participants to feel empowered to enrich humanity through global connections and deeper understanding, and to improve their skills in critical thinking and team work.

During the five-day event, students were divided into groups and focused on the most pressing global issues: poverty and hunger; education; gender equality; clean water and energy; and climate change.

On the first day, participants gathered for an official ceremony in the theatre on the Senior Campus.

Principal Jacqui van Ruiten opened the ceremony, which was also attended by Member for Hartley, Vincent Tarzia.

The school band performed before students heard from the summit’s keynote speaker, Tim Costello, Chief Advocate for World Vision Australia.  

In his speech, Mr Costello reminded students of how fortunate they are to live in a country where equality exists and respect for human rights is guaranteed.

He also noted that most of the world isn’t as fortunate.

Mr Costello encouraged his young audience to always work towards creating a better and fairer world.

“Your generation is the one that truly can have a world vision,” he said.

After lunch, the groups of students gathered at 14 round tables and got to work.

They continued to work over the following two days, meeting with entrepreneurs and going on excursions in between.

All of the foreign students who participated in the event were hosted by families during their stay, allowing them to improve their interpersonal skills and work on integration and inclusion.

On the last day, the result of the students’ work and various cultural performances highlighted the diversity and richness of the group.

We spoke with several students from Norwood Morialta High School, who said that “Italian is the best language to study”.

Some are studying Italian because it’s their grandparents’ mother tongue, while others have chosen to study it because it was the language they learnt in primary school and they want to continue improving.

The school’s coordinator of languages, Helen Toulou, couldn’t be more pleased with her students’ enthusiasm.

When asked about their experience, the Italian students visiting from Rome said they were impressed by their peers’ punctuality and the presence of mentors their age, roles that don’t exist in Italy.

They added that they didn’t struggle with their English and that it was interesting to work in groups and share different ideas to come to a solution.

The group was also shocked by the competency of their Australian peers when it came to using technology, adding that in Italian schools they use only books.

They also noted how helpful the Australian teachers were, always encouraging students to reach their potential.

The Italian students were very popular, with many people wanting to speak in Italian with them.

“Australia is more beautiful than what I thought, and anyone who comes here feels at home,” one of the students said.

Principal van Ruiten said the summit was an “enormous success”.

“The students have gained a deeper understanding of global issues, learnt from others, made new friends and developed creative solutions,” she added.

“I’m very proud of our school and our students!”