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2011 Young Australian of the year made a visit to SIDE in August. In 2010, the Queensland sailor became the youngest person to single-handedly sail non-stop and unassisted around the world. Leaving Sydney in October 2009, she returned three days before her 17th birthday, on 15 May, 2010.

The main purpose of her visit was to meet SIDE students, which gave us a chance to put our cutting-edge technology to good use. Jessica participated in a Centra web-conferencing session with students all over Western Australia. Students living in India and South Korea joined in, making it an international event. Altogether some 35 students asked questions, listened to Jessica's inspiring story, and learnt how her determination and courage helped overcome the challenges of her remarkable voyage.

Nine students visiting the SIDE campus attended, and took the opportunity to meet Jessica in person.

SIDE Deputy Principal of Curriculum Jonathan Bromage described the event as "... a great opportunity for our students to interact with an exceptional individual. Their questions were thoughtful, and it was obvious Jessica is a great communicator. The kids were rapt and we thank the Australia Day Council of WA for making this visit possible."

SIDE uses web-conferencing to deliver hundreds of live lessons each week. It also gives opportunities for our students to participate in the wider world.