Today was a special day for Heini Pensar (nee Kukkohovi): a “dream come true”, in her words, to be back at Bendigo Senior.

Heini, a lecturer and well-being researcher at the University of Vaasa in Finland, had not been to the college for over 25 years, since she was a Rotary exchange student at BSSC from 1997-1998.

Although the school has been renovated since her time at the college, she still recognised many of the spaces as she wandered around BSSC; those places holding great memories.

“My exchange year provided me with a lot of skills and capabilities,” she said. “The school offered excellent opportunities for integration, learning, and self-expression.”

“Even then, BSSC was a large, modern school with a great variety of subjects to choose from. My favourite classes were Fashion Design, Psychology, and Outdoor Education,” Heini reflected.

“In my Media class I learned how to create my first PowerPoint presentation—a skill I’ve used many times since. The library and computer lab were the places to be—especially since the internet was relatively new then, and laptops weren’t in use yet!”

Heini is particularly passionate about developing diverse and neuro-friendly learning. She is currently on secondment at RMIT (OpenInnoTrain project), where she is benchmarking learning and well-being services in Australian schools.

We hope Heini and her family have a wonderful time in Australia!