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Bicentennial Journey 2019

On 15th January 2020, Outramian student volunteers, Danish Hazrin Bin Zamrin of Secondary 4/2 and Clement Aw of Secondary 4/3 attended an appreciation event for volunteers and guides for the Singapore Bicentennial event of 2019. The bicentennial team including Sharon Ong (S4/2), Vonshae Koh (S4/2), Nurhadlyna (S4/3), Giovann Koh (S3/4) and Jayh Rai (S3/4) were also invited to an appreciation dinner for the Bicentennial volunteers at Gardens by the Bay on 22nd January 2020.   

Serving as exemplary youth leaders for the school and community at large, both Danish and Clement had volunteered for 38 days at the Bicentennial experience at Fort Canning. They both found the tour guide experience daunting at first, but agreed that it was a very meaningful and fulfilling one in the end. 

Danish commented that, “It was an experience that I never had before. It was scary at first but awesome later on, especially in between the sessions of volunteering I had. I met others like me, and they gave peer feedback on my ‘storytelling’. I was so happy I volunteered for the event as I have gained much confidence in public speaking. I would love to go for more of such events.” while Clement believed “I really found it worthwhile and it and it was a really great experience. This was the first time I was facing a large number of people. It allows me to practise my public-speaking skills.   

Danish and Clement started their journey as Storytellers with mixed feelings. While excited at the prospect of being part of the nation’s historic commemoration, they were both nervous about their own ability to face members of the public. By the end of their experience though, they have grown to become confident speakers and active contributors to the community.  

Their role as Storytellers was to interact with visitors to the Bicentennial Experience. On their first training session, they were given scripts to memorise. This made the boys nervous. But they knew that the only way forward was to overcome their anxiety and start rehearsing their roles.   

Their positive attitude towards performing the huge role pulled them through. By the end of their first stint, they felt much joy and sense of achievement. They enjoyed every moment of interaction with the public and felt a sense of satisfaction in sharing their historical knowledge on Singapore with others. After their first stint, they were already thinking about the next, eager to return. After their second stint in May, they were determined to spend their June holidays as a volunteer, excited to contribute as much as they can towards a cause they have now fully embraced.   

Their efforts were recognised by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat who mentioned their names in his speech during the launch of #futuretogether.   

When asked what motivated them to be an active contributor of the national event, the two teenagers claimed that it was the joy they had learning about Singapore history and the meeting of new faces from all walks of life. They also added that they were thankful that the school had given them the opportunity to develop the various skills, values and attitudes through such a meaningful experience.