INTERNATIONAL DELEGATES from 17 different countries visited Clunes last week for the 20th annual Global Connections conference.
The annual gathering of 44 educational leaders from across the world is hosted by a different school each year and has a different theme.
This year's theme was Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, with delegates focused on how they as teachers can embrace those domains through learning.
By building relationships between educational leaders from different types of education systems, the point of the conference is for delegates to look at different educational tools used internationally to enhance the educational opportunities within the set theme when they return home.
Through the chance to share ideas and learn from how different teachers educate, the delegates hope to learn about the diverse challenges in education in different contexts around the world so to enhance learning outcomes.
Isaac Quist, Executive Director of Curriculum and International Strategy at Wesley College, said the last time the conference had been hosted in Australia was around 15 years ago, when delegates visited Geelong and then Sydney.
Mr Quist has been to conferences in recent years which saw delegates travel all across the globe to places like Uman, Madrid and India.
In the next few years, delegates will visit the United States of America, China and Romania.
"This time delegates have learned about the theme as a catalyst to transform learning in schools," Mr Quist said.
"As a school leader you see it as a rich resource for sharing and learning with your peers. They all come from different places - some very big schools, some very basic, so there is a real diversity and richness of conversation."
Ben Marsland, Head of Wesley at Clunes, a residential program for Year 9 students, said all of the delegates were leaders in the own schools back home.
"Wesley is very involved in the local community here and one of the ways we try to do that is to foster a strong relationship with the primary school," Mr Marsland said.
We felt it was really important for the people who are having the experience of coming out to Australia to see a range of different educational settings.- Ben Marsland
"We are very aware Wesley College is a high socio-economic school but feel the work we do in the community supports it and builds relationships across the community."
Both Wesley College at Clunes and Clunes Primary School are connected to the community and participate in a number of events each year but they also work very closely together - and this is what they wanted to showcase to the delegates.
The trip to Clunes was an effort to display a different side of learning that Wesley offers - one that is different to how education is structured at the Melbourne campus.
Sonya Jardine, Principal of Clunes Primary School, said it was fantastic to show the strong links the primary school has with Wesley to the delegates.
"We wanted to give the delegates a feel for what it's like to be in a small, rural, government school. We feel absolutely honoured," she said.
Apart from visiting the schools, delegates visited the Australian Synchrotron and Bosch Australia to learn about the innovative work in the areas of science and technology being done in Australia during their week long trip.
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