Posted by Barry Thornton

As featured in the Guardian Express
 

NEDLANDS is a long way from Senegal and Switzerland, but it has been the proud home suburb of Rotary exchange student Lea Renevey.

The 17-year-old student from Avry, a Swiss village with a population of less than 1900, has been living in Nedlands for almost a year.

Francois and Genevieve Renevey adopted Lea from a health post in Dakar, Senegal, when she was an infant.

Lea speaks French, German, English – and some Italian – and is an active member of the community in Avry as well as in Perth.

Back home, she is active in her village’s youth group and is studying hard to pursue her dreams.

“After college, I want to go to the university to learn medicine and surgery. I want to become a neurosurgeon,” she said.

She is a runner, gymnast, ballet dancer, advanced scuba diver, and surfer – who also finds the time to sing and play piano and guitar.

A voracious reader, Lea has travelled around the world with her family and has learned much about the world. She will be returning home to Switzerland in the first week of July.

Perth Rotary immediate past president, Graham Peden, whose family hosted Lea for part of her stay in Perth, said she had been a wonderful student and would be missed by the many friends she’d made here.

“The Rotary exchange program is supported by most of the 100 clubs in WA and helps students develop lifelong leadership skills, learn a new language and culture and build lasting friendships with other young people around the world,” he said.

Any parent or student wanting to find out more about the exchange program can go to www.youthexchange.asn.au.

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