Cowra prepares to celebrate 50 years of student exchange program

The last weekend of March will see an influx of past exchange students from both Cowra High School and Seikei High School in Tokyo, as well as many other past and present teachers and host families from both sides of the exchange for a 50th anniversary celebration of the Cowra-Seikei student exchange.

They will gather to commemorate one of the longest-running international student exchanges in Australia.

The weekend will kick off with a special dinner hosted by Rotary, who have been long-term supporters of the exchange.

Highlights will include a tour of the school, a reception for special guests hosted by Mayor Bill West, and a commemoration dinner at the Services Club, open to all former Exchange students, host families, teachers and supporters of the program.

Special guests at the dinner will include the Mayor Bill West, Deputy Prime Minister and Member for Riverina Michael McCormack, Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke and the Japanese Ambassador, His Excellency Mr Reiichiro Takahashi and Mrs Masako Takahashi.

The principals of both high schools, as well as a number of teachers both past and present, will also be present.

However, the focus of the evening will be on the 100 past exchange students from Cowra and Seikei, who will have a chance to catch up with old friends and relive their many wonderful and life-changing experiences.

The weekend will end with a BBQ lunch at the Japanese Garden on Sunday, March 29, to which anyone who has been associated with the exchange over its 50 years is invited.

Bookings for the dinner and lunch are essential. Numbers for the dinner are limited and filling fast.

The commemoration dinner will be held on Saturday, March 28 at Cowra Services Club. Cost is $65 per person.

The farewell lunch on Sunday, March 29 will be held at the Cowra Japanese Garden and is free.

RSVP for both events by, February 28 to Judi Smith, email:

Enquiries: Bob Griffiths, email: or 0412458443.