Alumni Perspectives The Lau Family Back Home in Sydney BY Barry and Julie Lau they needed some help, and the half year allowed them to settle into a good routine. The Lau Family, including parents Julie and Barry, twins Oliver and Jacinta, and Isabelle joined HKA in 2010. In 2016, the family returned to their hometown of Sydney, Australia. In this article, Julie and Barry share some of their thoughts about repatriation, getting the children settled into their new routines, starting at new schools and the value of family and friends when making a big transition. We also focused on keeping busy! Everyone missed their friends from HKA, but finding their groove in various activities helped ease the transition. Oliver has continued to play football (soccer) and has found rowing his thing this year. His artistic side is coming through with regular sessions with his school’s Art Club. Jacinta has played softball, netball, football, and touch rugby, so has been keeping busy throughout the year. Isabelle has continued with dance, is now playing the clarinet and has been a star on the netball court and touch rugby field. Through all these activities, all three of the children have cemented friendships, and they also have a strong bond with their Aussie cousins. The children now have the best of everything, with friends from around the world as well as in Sydney! It seemed like only yesterday that our twins, Oliver and Jacinta, and their younger sister, Isabelle, started their journey at Hong Kong Academy in Kennedy Town in 2010. Roll forward 6 years and we were saying goodbye to the beautiful HKA campus in Sai Kung and packing our bags to move back home to Sydney. Whilst the decision to move to Hong Kong was for work and career, our decision to move back to Sydney was primarily driven by our sense of where our kids should be educated during their senior school years. We decided to move back when Oliver and Jacinta (now 13) graduated from the PYP (Grade 5). Like all parents, we had trepidations as to how they would fit back into their new life in Sydney. We had all made firm friendships in Hong Kong and at Hong Kong Academy, and HKA was the 20 only school the children had ever known. Fortunately, we were able to go from farewells to a strong network of friends and family in Sydney. Fortunately the children proved very resilient and made good transitions, and a few choices we made as parents helped. As any parent changing hemispheres knows, one key decision is when to make a family move. We chose to go mid-year with Oliver and Jacinta, moving back half a year to complete the final year of primary school (Year 6) at our local primary school. This allowed them to form friendships in the local community before going off to a larger (private) high school with students from all over Sydney and to calibrate their learning to the Australian school curriculum. They were advanced in some areas of learning; in other areas, Isabelle, Oliver and Jacinta in 2017. The world is now a smaller place for us as parents and for our children as they grow up. To have lived in a truly international city like Hong Kong has meant that we have made friends who are now dotted all around the world. Our move to Hong Kong was a fabulous and enriching experience for all of us, and life back in Sydney is equally as rich!
Mr. Jojit Behind the Scenes HERoes Interviewed by by Catie and Will, Grade 5 students Do you have a nickname? No, I do not. Jojit is a difficult name already. I use Lindberg online most of the time. What is your favourite holiday? Christmas. It is cold, and all the festivals and the music, and turkey. If you had a superpower, what would it be? I would like to be Flash and have super speed. I have a t-shirt with the Flash logo, my work would be done in a second. What is your favorite part of the year? Do you mean season? I like autumn, you can do outdoor activities like hiking. Do you have any pets? Yes, I do. I have cats, I have one now, the other one passed away. What is your job at HKA? My job is financial controller in the finance department. How long have you been doing your job here at HKA? I joined here in 2014. When did you decide to work at HKA? It so happened to be an opportunity. I knew my boss, Dale, for a long time. He was looking for help and I was looking for a new opportunity and I decided to move here. don’t charge parents twice and that we pay providers correctly. What would be your dream job? This one! This is pretty much my dream job. After having my own child, it is important to be part of education. I am happy I can contribute my skills in a school setting. Do you have any interesting hobbies? I like pretty much the same as you, TV games. I also like photography. I do these things with my son. What is your cat’s name? Julie, it means piggy tongue in Chinese. During the winter he sits around my neck and keeps me warm. If you were going to be stranded on a deserted island what would you bring? Can I bring all my friends? Might as well, I would bring all my friends. During our interview, Mr. Jojit came across as a kind and gentle, yet energetic man. It was our pleasure to interview him for this article. What is your favourite part of your job? My job is keeping things tidy like the title Controller. My desk is messy sometimes but I like to keep things in order. Do you have a favourite band? I like Japanese music. I especially like a band called Lindberg. It is on my license plate. What is the most challenging part of your job? Let me think. We have to be very careful with the numbers. We collect money from parents and we have to use the money carefully and we need to make sure we When you were a kid did you want to work in a school? No, I did not. I did not think to be a teacher, but now I have a job that contributes to a school. 21