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Immersion experience takes students to heart of Australia

The Cathedral College, Rockhampton in Central Australia

Better future: Students from The Cathedral College, Rockhampton, on their immersion experience for students that took them to the heart of Australia.

CATHOLIC Mission and The Cathedral College, Rockhampton, have teamed up to create an immersion experience for students that took them to the heart of Australia.

TCC youth ministry co-ordinator Maddie Derepas said nine students and two teachers experienced life in the remote communities of Central Australia.

“Being our first immersion trip we wanted our students to have a sense of connection, and the heart of Australia and its people is significant for all Australians,” she said.

“We were welcomed by Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Catholic Parish in Alice Springs, spent time with the Arrernte elders, visited the Edmund Rice Flexible Learning Centre and the community of Santa Teresa, and explored Uluru on our nine-day trip.

“The aim of the trip was to experience life, faith and justice from a new perspective and to reflect upon one’s own life and how you can live ‘mission’ having been inspired by others.”

Year 12 student Jordyn Watson said the trip impacted all the camp-goers.

“Speaking with the elders gave us a greater understanding of the indigenous culture in Central Australia,” Jordyn said.

“Interacting with the students of the flexible learning centre showed us the unique and different ways of learning practical necessities.

“We had the opportunity to speak with the artisans of Santa Teresa, an indigenous community eighty-five kilometres from Alice Springs.

“The women create beautiful artworks in the old buildings of what was once a Catholic mission.

“We spent three days exploring Uluru and were told the stories that have been passed down through the ages.

“Before we journeyed we held several meetings and set out guidelines for our immersion program.

“We have come away from Central Australia with a new understanding of the indigenous culture and how we can respect one another to make our future better.”

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