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Santa Teresa Immersion 2019

The Santa Teresa immersion is an exceptional opportunity for students which sees them experience life for a week in the remote indigenous community of Santa Teresa (locally known as Ltyentye Apurte) in the Northern Territory. This week-long immersion was open to Galen students in Year 10 or 11 who undertook both a written application, interview process and a number of fundraising events for the community in the lead-up to the immersion. This immersion allowed the selected students to gain an incredible insight and hands on experience into the struggles of everyday life within a remote indigenous community. This immersion serves an important role in opening the eyes of our students, and wider school community to the daily challenges faced by our country’s first people, who are over neglected in contemporary Australian society. Students get involved in many aspects of community life, and spent time in areas such as the local school, the Community Centre, the Spirituality Centre, and spent a night ‘out bush’ learning about the local culture. The eight Galen students who attended represented our college excellently and will hopefully be shaped by the rich experiences from the last week. Special thanks to Sister Liz and the community in Santa Teresa (Ltyentye Apurte) who facilitated some amazing life changing experiences for our group. Additional thanks to our team leader Jennie Annett, and the other staff in Matthew Turnbull and Emma Hunter and the fantastic attitude and involvement of our participating students Lachlan Carboon, Mitchell Manns, Charlize Moloney, Mia Grantham, Erin Chadban, Jess Gillies, Archie Gemmill, and Madison Saunders. Feel free to ask any of our participants about their trip if you see them around!

– Matthew Turnbull (Student Leadership Coordinator)

“Personally, my favorite place to help was the school, both in the classroom and on an excursion. The different way of teaching was incredible to watch and experience. If I were to give advice to next year’s group it would be to see things at their core, and not at a material level”. Erin Chadban

“The kids (in the community) were really easy to connect with and I felt like I made a couple of friends on this trip. My favorite thing would have been kicking the footy with the kids or at the club. At the club it was chaos, kids running around playing basketball, and footy. Kids would run up to you and jump on you, they were so full of energy and excitement”. Mia Grantham

“My favorite activity was the Spirituality Centre and school. To get the privilege to sit and speak with Claire and hear her stories was amazing and something I will never forget. Working in the school was also amazing due to how sweet and nice all the kids are. Mitchell Manns

“Going out bush was an amazing experience for me, it was an opportunity to learn more about their culture and about my friends. Having Sister Liz talk about how small we are in comparison to the universe really changed my mindset. Charlize Moloney

“The Community Centre (stood out for me) as when you see the housing situations and how people live it was very confronting- but rewarding as we had brought them food (meals on wheels) and they were always smiling. Everyone was very welcoming and easy to talk to, I felt like we really did immerse ourselves into the community. Maddison Saunders

“I really enjoyed walking up the hill and watching the sun set over Santa Teresa. I advise people to take everything in over the week and just forget about your life in Wangaratta”. Lachlan Carboon

“I my favourite was either the Community Centre or the School because I really enjoyed playing with the kids and seeing them learn. But I also found it nice to do something for the community by making and delivering meals to them”. Jess Gillies