Exchange visit from Florida checks out how we do things down under

Six intrepid Floridians received a whirlwind tour of Tenterfield and surrounds last week as local Rotarians hosted a group study exchange.

US Rotorian and retired lawyer Fred Jones led the group of young professionals sponsored to explore how their industry operates in another part of the world, in this case Rotary district 9640.

Hailing from the Orlando area of Florida, the group included a realtor, a technology expert, a banker, a firefighter/paramedic and an attorney, who each had an opportunity to spend time with a Tenterfield counterpart.

Over their one-month exchange the group will travel from Murwillumbah through Tenterfield to Stanthorpe and Warwick before returning to the Gold Coast to participate in the district conference at Sea World. They’ll be hosted, homed and fed by Rotarians along the way.

South of Tenterfield they checked out innovation at White Rock Wind Farm, and visited Danthonia and the Australian Standing Stones in Glen Innes. They witnessed a property action at Ray White Rural, discussed sustainability with Matt Sing, explored local accounting practices at Kristen Lovett Accounting Services, and visited emergency services operations and the Tenterfield Railway Museum. They also did the SoundTrails tour through the town’s historic sites.

Mr Jones said the group enjoyed their time at The Sir Henry Parkes Memorial Public School where the six graders had fun coaching them how to ‘speak Australian’. He said the students amazed him how they sat quietly and paid attention to the presentation.

What impressed him most about Tenterfield was the significant of history and family, and the beauty of its natural resources like Bald Rock and Boonoo Boonooo, all included in the tour.

There was also time for a visit to Arrajay Downs.

“It was delightful to see a small, working farm,” Mr Jones said.

“The hosts made us feel very welcome, and shared with us what they love.”

Mr Jones also enjoyed swapping ‘war’ stories with his host and fellow retired lawyer Terry Kneipp over a glass or three of Scotch.

“We had some interesting conversations,” he said.