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Education Champions

Bridget Rothbart

Bridget (TIC - Year 13) teaches economics and enterprise at Glendowie College. Originally from South Africa, Bridget was brought up on a diary and beef farm. New Zealand has been her home for over twenty years. She holds both primary and secondary teaching qualifications and has had the opportunity to teach through to tertiary education.

As an immigrant, it struck her how little she knew about Asia, and at the same time recognised the shift of power and opportunity towards this region of the world. Her journey with the Foundation started when she went to Shanghai with a group of teachers in 2012. She has since led three groups to China, in 2015, 2017 and 2019. She has focused on strengthening ties between Xiaoshi High School in Ningbo and Glendowie College, while opening students' eyes to potential internships in this region.

She believes Asia is often neglected in the school curriculum as teachers lack background knowledge. "For real change to occur, one must plant the seed early and expose and highlight students to opportunities in Asia in terms of study, career and business, so when they start their tertiary education and/or careers they are more aware and receptive."