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Bound for Brazil

Tuesday, 6th April, 2010

* Justin Files is going to Brazil this month  as part of the Rotary International Exchange. * Justin Files is going to Brazil this month as part of the Rotary International Exchange.

Local health worker Justin Files will get an insight into Brazilian culture when he travels to the country later this month as part of South Rotary's International Exchange program.

The five-week exchange will see Mr Files travel to Maringa, in the state of Parana, and from there he will travel and give up to 20 presentations to various Rotary groups. He will be staying with seven host families and expects to learn a great deal during his stay.

"It's a fantastic opportunity from both a professional and personal point of view," he said. "It gives you the chance to build networks both domestically and internationally, and draw on the wealth of knowledge available by spreading your wings and going abroad.

"It will give me new perspectives, and an appreciation for how other people live their lives." Mr Files said he would speak about his home town and Aboriginal culture, as well as take in as much as he can from the people of Brazil.

"I'm sure there'll be a lot of people wanting to know about me, and I'll be asking a lot of questions about other people," he said. "It will be interesting to get their views on global issues and how they're dealing with these issues locally."

The trip will also provide a chance to learn about Brazil's mental health system, a topic of great interest to Mr Files who works as Team Leader of Primary Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs at Maari Ma."As it's a vocation-based group study exchange I'll be a spending a lot of time on my area of expertise," he said.

"I'll be looking to see what Brazil is doing with their mental health operations and what models they have in place." The trip will conclude with some sightseeing, including stops in Peru and Argentina.

Mr Files leaves Australia on April 26 and expects to return around June 14.

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