Artist in Residence Heads Abroad



Kathleen O'Hagan (Class of 2016) worked in the art department in Semester 1 and was a tremendous blessing to students and staff alike. Soon she'll head to Fiji to volunteer in a rural community. Kathleen shares her exciting adventure:

In only a few short weeks, I will be departing to the island nation of Fiji for a half-year volunteer teaching placement in the rural village of Bureta, Ovalau. I am going in partnership with Latitude Global Volunteering, an international charity, originally formed in Berkshire, England in 1972 to provide opportunities for young people to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

My school, Bureta District Primary School, teaches just over 100 students aged 6-14 from some four surrounding villages on Ovalau. Off the east-coast of the main island, Ovalau is a 40 min ferry ride or 15 min plane flight to the mainland. The school itself, is just under an hour's drive to the nearest town (aka. nearest supermarket and ATM) by carrier truck. For most of the children, English is a second language. Here is a map of where I am going.

I am enthusiastic to start my placement and become part of this village’s community, I will be living with a local family as well as working alongside the teaching staff and contributing to the youth’s education. It is my goal to not only work to the best of my ability and to serve with the gifts God has given me, but also be open to learn from my Fijian community's customs and way of life in the process. I can't wait to meet new people and make new friends on Fiji! It is only with the support and encouragement of my community, friends, and family that I have been able to step outside of my comfort zone (quite literally) and take on this journey. I am lost for words...I am truly grateful to all those who have not only given me their support but also their confidence!

Northside wishes Kathleen God's abundant blessings in her placement. We are very proud of this outstanding young woman.