Pudgy and Wudgy

Hi there in Australia !

2011 01 31 Pudgy's Portrait of State

It’s me, Pudgy the Platypus, the mascot of the “Ozzie Wozzie Westhoek II”-project in the Vrij Technisch Instituut of Waregem, a school for technical and vocational training with about 1350 students and 200 teachers (if you want to read more on this school, go to their website and click on the UK flag on the right side and you will get a presentation of this school in English.)

The “Ozzie Wozzie Westhoek”-project is a year project for the pupils of the second year (what you know in Australia as ‘year 8’, so the age 13-14) vocational training. In this project they learn in the theoretical lessons on all sorts of aspects of (life in) Australia and on the involvement of this country in the First World War (on the battlefields of the ‘Westhoek’, the battlefields of Messines and Ypres.) In the practical training (woodworks, metalworks, electricity) they create something that refers to Australia. In every term, there are also some group activities with a link to Australia and at the end of the schoolyear, the students make a trip to the former battlefields to see the places where the Australians fought and to get in contact with some local people for who the First World War is still very much part of their daily life. They also do a commemoration for a soldier that they have know from the lessons.

Australia Mackay

This is the second edition of the “Ozzie Wozzie Westhoek”-project and I am the mascot of this year.
I,Pudgy the Platypus, have been swapped with Wudgy the Horse. I am actually the mascot of the “Mackay North State High School Lest We Forget History Project” (see
www.macknortshs.eq.edu.au ) in North Mackay, Queensland, Australia. And as the mascot of this project I have travelled already six times (1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010) to the former Australian battlefields in Belgium, France, Turkey, Thailand and Singapore.

Wudgy the Horse

On 27th September 2010, I left the” Lest We Forget ANZAC 2010 Tour” when Mike Goodwin, his colleague Tracey Cameron and three of the students brought me to the VTI of Waregem where I will be the mascot of the “Ozzie Wozzie Westhoek II”-project till 4 May 2011 when Mike and his wife Roz will come to pick me up again (and to bring Wudgy the Horse back.)

During my months in the VTI, I will explore Belgium : the landscape, the climate, the life of the people here and the daily life in this school. Of course, I will also participate in the activities of the Ozzie Wozzie Kids. I will make plenty of photos of my adventures and explorations and post them on this blog, so that the friends in Mackay (and all over Australia and the world) can see how life is here in this country !

And Wudgy ? Wudgy will do exactly the same : he will explore Mackay, Queensland, Australia… and post photos of his life Downunder on this blog. In this way, the Ozzie Wozzie Kids can learn about my great country !

Because of this is a blog for Belgian and Australian people, most of (we will try ‘all’) messages and posts will be in Dutch and English.

Last schoolyear, the mascot was Ozzie the Kangaroo. She was the mascot of the schools from the Connecting Spirits project in South Australia (see www.connectingspirits.com.au ) and she was swapped with Wozzie the Horse from Waregem. Ozzie arrived in a postpac on 26th January 2010 and Wozzie was sent to Australia (also in a postpac) on 10th February 2010. Both mascots were swapped again on 9th December 2010 when the Connecting Spirits students visited the VTI on their “CS 2010 trip.” Ozzie became a close friend of me during the months that we shared together here in Waregem and I can tell you that Ozzie was a real celebrity in the VTI and in Australia…

Cheers !
Pudgy the Platypus


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