2 Tulalip tribal members to travel to Australia

TULALIP — Two Tulalip tribal members will spend a month in Australia as part of a Rotary International team.

Niki Cleary, a Tulalip journalist, and Carlos Echevarria, a Tulalip police officer, were selected as part of a five-member team that will travel throughout Australia in October.

The Rotary Foundation’s Group Study Exchange Program continually sends teams between Rotary districts worldwide for about a month. Exchange team members are not Rotary members, but they are encouraged to join the service organization when they return from their trips. Teams are usually led by Rotary members.

Cleary and Echevarria will travel with support from Rotary’s District 5050, which covers northwest Washington and parts of southwest British Columbia. The other members of the traveling team are from Canadian First Nations tribes. It’s a unique team for Rotary, Cleary said.

The team will stay with Rotary members in Australia in various areas of the country, including in areas where aboriginal groups reside. Aboriginal issues will be one major theme of the trip, Cleary said.

“Australia is where tribes here were 100 years ago, in terms of self-governance,” Cleary said. “It will be like stepping back into history, to see how they’re working to protect their people.”

Echevarria said he is eager to speak to police officers throughout Australia and compare notes on strategies to fight crime.

Echevarria is a sergeant with the Tulalip Police Department. Cleary writes for the See-Yaht-Sub, the tribal newspaper, and produces and reports for KANU-TV, the tribal cable television station.

Reporter Krista J. Kapralos: 425-339-3422 or kkapralos@heraldnet.com.

Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange

n Exchanges occur between Rotary clubs internationally.

n Trips are organized by individual clubs.

n Professionals between the ages of 25 and 40 are invited to apply.

n Applicants should not be current Rotary club members.

n For more information on District 5050 and future GSE trips, go to www.clubrunner.ca/5050.

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