A group of 19 Year 10 students from our College recently enjoyed a transformative experience in Central Australia, as part of their ‘Our World’ studies.
Led by Cassidy Hurrell, Director of Teaching and Learning for Outdoor Education, and supported by Darcy Pearson and Greg Mather, this trip provided our students with the opportunity to see some of Australia’s most beautiful landscapes and, most significantly, engage with the Finke community.
The ‘Our World’ program allows students to explore and analyse the current issues confronting Australia’s Indigenous people. It also provides them with an understanding of the causes of different living standards and the impact of poverty.
The range of well-being dimensions associated with poverty that students examine include life expectancy, as well as key health and educational indicators.
Over the 10 days, our students took in some breathtaking sights of Uluru and Kata-Tjuta. They learnt firsthand about the history and culture of the local Anangu people. They read about many of the traditional stories, rituals, ceremonies and songs passed down from generation to generation, while reflecting upon the traditional way of life prior to European colonisation.
The most poignant legacy of the trip that students take away with them is the strong friendships with their buddies from the Aputula Primary School. Our Year 10’s confidently led sporting activities with the younger students, dug for honey ants, and played both football and softball with some very talented men and women from the community. Our final evening in Finke was marked by a BBQ that involved all of our students helping to prepare and serve food for the whole community at the conclusion of our stay.
As educators, our Principal Glen McKeeman often calls on us to promote ‘good work’, and the need for our students to be involved in work that is excellent in quality, socially responsible and meaningful. There is no denying that there was plenty of ‘good work’ from our students whilst in the community of Finke.
This ‘good work’ by our students was evident in so many facets of the trip, in particular: the relationships they built with young primary school students and community elders; the thoughtful questions they posed to healthcare workers and educators within the community; and the insightful reflective comments and discussions around the campfire. They embraced opportunities, developed resilience, overcame obstacles and did so with a caring heart and willing spirit.
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