Between 16-27 September, 58 Pathways School students and nine staff embarked on a journey to Central Australia to explore the region’s amazing culture and geography.
The staff attending the trip were Felipe Casasayas, Sasha Cyganowski, Alison Fisher, Rod Foster, Rebecca Hodge, Shawn Hupka, Jessica Mullin, John Murphy and Janusz Sysak.
Staff and students were divided on two buses, both travelling at the same time. Days on the bus were long and it took three days to cover the 2321 km between Melbourne and Uluru, but also enjoyable as salt lakes, desert oak, emus, kangaroos and flocks of wild budgies populated the unique desert environment.
Once in the centre bus journeys became shorter, and days were filled with fantastic activities. Highlights included:
- Morning tea on the sandy banks of Ormiston Gorge as rainbow bee-eaters flew between ghost gums perched amongst the walls of the gorge, followed by a refreshing swim in the water hole.
- Hiking Kata Tjuta, Kings Canyon, and around the base of Uluru.
- Night-time entertainment included a sunset party at Uluru, a campfire with marshmallows and music at Kings Creek, and a quiz night at Coober Pedy.
- Visiting the Lilla Aboriginal community, where students were welcomed with a smoking ceremony, and created aboriginal-inspired artwork.
- Astronomy Tour, where the guide pointed out constellations and planets, and related them to Aboriginal mythology. Students also saw Saturn and its rings through a telescope, and learnt about the search for habitable exoplanets.
- Kangaroo Sanctuary, where students discovered the important work being done to rehabilitate injured and orphaned kangaroos. A definite highlight for the students was holding the joeys Charlotte and Roman.
February Main student, Zhu Ruichao (Richard) reflects, ‘I cannot say enough good things about the Central Australia Trip – it's simply fantastic, and it's not merely a travelling experience, but also a big classroom from which we learnt about culture, geography, animal conservation and astronomy.’
As a result of the trip, Richard feels he was able to bond more closely with fellow students and staff members.
‘Students formed closer friendships with each other as well as with staff members since we have spent so much time together, we are just like a big family,’ says Richard.
Staff member, Rebecca Hodge also found the trip inspiring with every day proving to be a new adventure.
‘The landscapes are breathtaking, the Aboriginal cultural experiences are powerful, and the wildlife is adorable. Even the long bus rides were fun, with staff and students sharing snacks, stories and laughs. It was amazing to witness the students’ confidence and abilities growing with every hike, camp set-up, cultural and wildlife experience,’ says Rebecca.
The Trinity College Central Australia Trip takes place each September and is a terrific opportunity for students and staff to learn more about the Australian outback.
Follow the link to learn more about visiting the Northern Territory.