We started the day with a relaxing early morning swim in the pool to cool off from a warm night. Soon after we headed to the meeting area for some breakfast and enjoyed cereal and bananas. Cocopops were the favourite. After breakfast we headed out for a walk with Graham to make clapsticks. We used saws and machetes to cut down portions of Iron Wood trees, and hit them together to take the bark off. When we returned to camp, we were excited to see a crocodile up close being picked up by rangers that was caught only a few days ago. Luckily for us we didn’t run into the crocodile in the billabong.
After taking these back to camp we jumped in the pool to cool off and then had some morning tea to keep us energized. We the burnt the clapsticks to make them harder and less sticky, and painted our own personalised designs onto them. After we had personalised our clapsticks we were treated to some lunch which was some nice wraps with an assortment of fillings.
After lunch we could continue painting our clapsticks or we could swim again, treated to three swim sessions in one day. We all gathered back round and got to work helping the community by shovelling gravel and transporting it and laying it down on the start of the walking track to make the transition a bit smoother. We cooled off under the sun and waited for it to cool down as the day was getting really warm before heading out again and working on another campsite. We pulled weeds and cut down some trees for firewood as a group before heading back to the site for showers. Georgio, Nick and Alex helped the group by cooking off some meat for us on the barbeque and we enjoyed a nice dinner together.
We kicked back for a bit telling stories and then Timmi lit the campfire and we gathered round telling stories and Graham joined us, giving insight into his own personal stories which struck deep within the group. We all got a turn at the Didgeridoo where we all failed and Graham showed us how it was done. We said goodnight around the campfire and headed to bed ready for the next day.
Michael A and Michael P
Today started with an abrupt wakeup with a our flight leaving at 11:30 in the morning. After escaping the parents and their desires to take thousands of photos, we checked into the airport and grabbed some breakfast. Boarding the flight, we found our seats and off we went! The journey was better for some, with the tall kids struggling to fit in the tiny confines of the seat.
Arriving in Darwin, we instantly felt the heat as we waited for our bus for around an hour. A short bus trip later and we arrived in Pudakul. We were greeted with a welcome to country and a quick rundown of the program.
After a glimpse of luxury with spaghetti bolognese for dinner, we pitched our tents and began to wind down for the night. We were all exhausted from a long day so we all slept straight away.
Anthony and Daniel
Kakadu Immersion – Pre-departure Reflection
Leading up to Kakadu, I have been focusing on prelims rather than preparing to go. I still need to get a few supplies till I think I’ll be comfortable to leave such as a new water bottle that can carry all the massive amounts of water I’ll need while we’re there. I am very excited to be able to authentically immerse myself into the Aboriginal culture of that area, as I don’t know much about them or their history. I hope by coming on this trip, I will come back with a newfound understanding and appreciation of the culture. However, I am a bit worried about the weather. It seems like it will be 40 degrees while we’re there and I don’t want to get burnt. I really hope the weather cools down during the night. Either way, I am very excited to go to Kakadu!
Even though the trip begins this Sunday, I haven’t realised how close it really is because of prelims. To be honest, I haven’t even finished packing up amongst the stress of our finals. Whilst I am feeling nervous, I’m also excited at this great opportunity and I’m glad I can experience it with friends. This is definitely going to be an unforgettable experience and I’m happy the school has chosen me to go. I think this immersion will be a great send off for the end of yr 11 and will be something we carry with us throughout the rest of our life.
With the trip fast approaching and the realisation of what we are truly going to be doing as a group sets in, the nervousness of flying without family and the introduction into a new space gives way to excitement. The prelim exam block hasn’t helped me focus on what is fast approaching but with it clearing up trip preparations are increasing and the excitement is bubbling. I can’t wait to experience something completely different and step outside of my very small comfort zone.
I am really excited to experience the cultural learning journey we are about to embark on, especially after hearing how deeply it resonated with Mr. Valencic and Mr. Griffith on their personal immersion experiences. The cultural knowledge we will be able to gain through this trip is inspiring and definitely something I’m looking forward to. It will be great to be able to get away with a group of friends for a week while simultaneously gaining cultural knowledge and experiences we can continually share into the future.
In three days I will be going to Kakadu National Park on the cultural immersion – I’m feeling excited and can’t wait to be out in the bush with my mates. I’m most excited about the camping aspect as this will be my first ‘proper’ camping trip out of NSW. I’m ready to immerse myself in the local Indigenous community to learn more about Aboriginal culture.
Three more days until I fly out! I’m starting to get nervous as this is my first flight by myself without my family. I have majority of my equipment ready to go for Sunday. It’s been hard to think about Kakadu during my Prelim exam block as I have been concentrating on my studies and exams. After my final exam I think I will become more excited as I have nothing else on my mind other than looking forward to flying out. Going to Kakadu will allow me to open my mind to new surroundings as well as build a stronger friendship with my peers that I am going with to Darwin.
This Kakadu immersion is something I really look forward to, however, it has been a bit hectic in the lead-up weeks to the immersion. Exams, moving houses and of course gearing up, in general, have made the leading fortnight quite jam-packed and although it has been a little bit stressful it hasn’t affected the excitement at all. As someone who tries his best to be immersed in his own culture, I hope to develop a deeper understanding of the different customs and traditions of the Aboriginal peoples in the Kakadu region. Of course, spending time there with some good mates is an extra bonus that I’m looking forward to and I am sure we’ll all have a great trip!
Only a few more days before we embark on our trip to Kakadu! This trip couldn’t have come at a better time; after all the hard-work and effort of the prelims I think we all deserve a well-earnt trip away. I’m looking forward to travelling to Kakadu and immersing myself with such a unique and different community. As a man with Lebanese heritage, it’ll be extremely valuable and interesting to see the different customs and experiences of the First Nation peoples of Northern Territory. As well as that, I am very much looking forward to spending a week with my friends away from Sydney, deepening the connections and relationships between us all.
The trip is only days away now and the excitement is building. The process of putting aside what to pack and ticking it off my list is underway. According to the weather forecast for Darwin and Kakadu on the weather app, it will be very hot and humid across the week of our trip. I am looking forward to gaining a greater awareness of the customs and lives of local communities and experiencing the sights of Kakadu. It will be a big change from constant study for our preliminary exams!