I wish to thank the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust for giving me such an incredible opportunity and supporting me every step of the way. Thank-you also to Advice NI for the support and the trust you put in me to head off for six weeks on the most amazing adventure.  The learning for me, both on a personal and professional level, has been inspirational, fun and invigorating.

My journey would not have been possible if it were not for the many people, both here and in Australia and Japan, who shared so generously their knowledge and contacts which helped me plan my itinerary.

The generosity of the many people, both staff and volunteers, who made time for conversations and planned out itineraries for me so I was able to experience the cultural aspects of both countries as well as learn about the projects that I visited, was truly humbling. I spent a full day at the Ekka in Brisbane, experienced the nightlife in Sydney, slurped noodles in Tokyo and Uji, drank saki and had an onsen experience in the mountains of Nikko. Thank-you too, to the wonderful interpreters who went above and beyond their job in Japan, helping organise appointments and cultural visits. I hope someday I can return your kindness if ever you visit this part of the world.

Thank-you too, to those that hosted me across two continents. In Brisbane I stayed with a friend, originally from Belfast and her family and was able to take time out to take my beautiful god daughter to the park. In Japan I spent my first two weeks in an AirBnB with a wonderful family who were so helpful and kind, providing me with a home from home.

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