Tessa Satherley is relaxing at home in Lismore after returning from Israel where she studied as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar.
Tessa Satherley is relaxing at home in Lismore after returning from Israel where she studied as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar.

Israeli insight into politics

HAVING just been awarded a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship, Tessa Satherley soon found herself in the midst of Middle Eastern politics.

Ms Satherley, of Lismore, has just spent 15 months in Israel furthering her academic studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

“My year in Israel changed my life personally and was mind-bending intellectually,” she said.

Currently completing a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science at the University of Melbourne, Ms Satherley said her time in Israel enhanced her knowledge of Middle Eastern politics, the focus of her political science major.

“Rather than take bits and pieces from academic studies, I built a depth of knowledge,” Ms Satherley said.

Staying with a Jewish host family was another ‘amazing aspect’.

“They were absolutely gorgeous, and the experience provided a great window into Judaism,” she said.

Ms Satherley said travelling to Israel on exchange had always been a goal of hers, and receiving the Rotary scholarship, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Lismore West, made the path easier.

On arrival, Ms Satherley knew only the Hebrew alphabet and how to introduce herself, but quickly learnt Hebrew.

“That was fun. Giving a presentation to Israel’s National Rotary Foundation Convention four months after learning Hebrew from scratch was the scariest thing I have ever done in my life,” she said.

And as for the political turmoil?

“Israelis hold terrifically diverse opinions on all aspects of their’s and the Palestinian’s situation,” she said.



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