Titjikala Trip 2018
Snap shot glimpses of our trip
Green becomes a bleached dry yellow. Undulation becomes flat. Vivid blue becomes pale and new becomes old.
As we drive away from Geelong we all know in some way that the further we venture inland, the richer our lives will be from the experiences that await us.
A three-day bus trip with the same thirteen students and four staff, including our bus driver Greg, was always going to be a little daunting to some of us as the group hadn’t spent much time together outside of the Our World classroom. Nevertheless, the experience was extremely positive – it is actually hard to think of any negatives. None of us came away on this trip with our closest friends, which encouraged us to meet new people who we would then spend all our time with over the next week. The loud music, extensive amount of card games, continuous gossip and jokes over the course of the long bus trip, set us up for an incredibly enjoyable time together in Central Australia. Although the bus was slightly crowded with tents, sleeping bags and other gear, we all had our own space we could go to when we needed a break, which was really handy if someone was overtired or having a tough day. The Titjikala Trip of 2018 would not have been the same if it was not for our group spending those three long days travelling on the bus, and being able to get to know each other in a way that we wouldn’t have been able to before.
There is something compelling about the emerging boulders, ochre red dirt and scrub that seems to both strengthen the soul and tear at your heart.
Maybe it is the majesty of what we see, alongside the history and complex fragility of what currently exists beyond.
As we Approached Uluru and Kata Tjuta I wasn’t really sure what to expect, I’d already been and seen it before so I wasn’t sure how the experience would impact me. However, the moment the school bus swung around the corner and Uluru came into view, it was as if I had never seen it before. The mind-blowing size and power the rock holds is just amazing. Over the next couple of days, we camped at Yulara with the awesome rock looking over us and explored the just as awesome but perhaps lesser known Kata Tjuta. When we had the opportunity to walk around Uluru, we were all moved by the peaceful and powerful act of just placing our hands on the side of it. Following this walk, we visited the Cultural centre where we were able to learn about Indigenous history and dreamtime stories. Here we were also able to look at the unique Indigenous art and watch some women paint. For me, seeing Uluru and kata Tjuta with my Our World class was a rare experience I will never forget.
While we are one group of many visiting Uluru and Kata Tjuta, we are a privileged few to visit the remote community of Titjikala.
Personal relationships and interactions with the people of this Community, clearly informs our students understanding of remote indigenous life and culture in a way that we could never dream of within our school classrooms.
Travelling from Alice Springs to Titjikala, the whole bus was full of excitement and anticipation at the thought of meeting the ‘Titji Mob’. Upon arriving, we met Jo, the school Principal, who welcomed us and then called out for the kids to come and meet us. The shy children who hid behind the school building as we walked towards them are definitely not the children who sit beside me as I write this. As soon as we went into the community that night, the Titjikala kids chose ‘best friends’ almost immediately, and we have since spent our time with them laughing, playing sport, running down sand dunes, writing sentences, witchetty-grub hunting and making sock puppets. We have been taught some ‘language’ and culture, as well as been able to experience first-hand the differences and the similarities between the Titjikla and Geelong Mobs. The strength of the friendships and bonds we have formed with the children here are truly something we would never have imagined possible, and we are all dreading tomorrow's goodbyes.
ANZAC DAY SERVICE AT TIJIKALA
An excerpt from our service:
Welcome everyone for attending our 2018 Titjikala Anzac Service, and for your time to remember the sacrifices that many Australians made to fight for our country.
My father and I attend the Johnston Park dawn service each year as a way to remember and acknowledge the sacrifices made by many. I distinctly remember something my Dad said to me many years ago that has stuck with me ever since. I will let you know the back-story…
The night before Anzac Day when I was around the age of 8 or 9, Dad and I were sitting in the lounge room discussing the dawn service and what our plans were - such as what car we were taking, clothes we should wear and what we would do for breakfast…plans we discuss each year. I recall having this negative thought all of a sudden, “Dad I don’t understand why we can’t just sleep in and do it at home in the afternoon, then it will be warm and we get that extra sleep”. After this, I now realise that this could have been the most selfish thing I have ever said. Dad just looked at me with disappointment and said, “Australians have sacrificed their lives to fight for us, and people now are not even willing to sacrifice a morning to acknowledge the lives lost”. After hearing this, I knew I would not forget it each year. I have no hesitation in getting up at three in the morning on one morning a year to show respect to all involved in war - whether that be Australians that took part in war or the families whose lives were changed forever. If it was up to me, we would have all been up a few hours earlier this morning, yet we all know how busy we are with the Titji kids each day and how much we need our sleep! I am incredibly grateful that we are here now in beautiful Titjikala on this sand hill, taking some time to remember the war and those lives that were lost.
We are here all together paying our respects in the heart of Australia and that is something really special. Therefore, once again, I thank you all for this, especially Miss Pryke, Ms Burr, Greg and Cian for realising how important this day is. Now over to Neve and Bella…