During the recent holidays, a team of twelve St John’s students and two teachers embarked on a 10-day expedition to the Red Centre, Northern Territory.
To begin the trip to the desert heart of Australia, the ‘Dangaroos’ (an amalgamation of the College’s dragon mascot and iconic Australian kangaroo) flew into Alice Springs airport and were immediately met with the dry, semi-arid but beautiful landscape of the great Australian outback. It was here that the students truly stepped out of their comfort zones and immersed themselves in what the outback had to offer.
The team spent the first leg of the journey tackling popular sections of the iconic Larapinta Trail, including the gruelling and arduous climb to the summit of Mount Sonder. With tired legs but keen interest, the team journeyed on to World Heritage-listed Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. A highlight of this part of the trip was meeting the local Anangu guide, Evelyn, who passionately recounted traditional Dreamtime stories in the red dust and dirt at the foot of Uluru. After participating in a range of base walks, viewing the Field of Lights and watching the sun set and rise over Uluru, the group travelled to Kings Canyon to get lost in the beauty and awe of more iconic hiking spots such as The Garden of Eden. The last few nights of the tour were spent at the Earth Sanctuary, learning about sustainability, and spending the last few days participating in cultural activities, astronomy guides and travelling to other key locations such as the West MacDonnell Ranges and Ormiston Gorge, basking in the wonder and awe of nature and our great outback.
Ultimately, the trip to the Red Centre encouraged immense personal growth for all members of the team, fostered a pertinent understanding of Australian culture, and grew a true appreciation and love for the outback. Throughout the tour, the team developed unwavering respect, grew in their self-awareness, and worked collaboratively to complete the challenges, hikes and debriefs. Without a doubt, the skills developed and memories made over the trip will remain with the Dangaroos in their journey through school and beyond.
Mr Braydon Giles Head of Middle School
Mrs Robern Hinchliffe Deputy Principal-Pastoral Care