Far North Queensland Experience
One element in the LNSGM is the Year 9 Far North Queensland Experience. Unique to Loreto Normanhurst, the entire cohort of Year 9 students and staff travel to Far North Queensland for two weeks, to engage with a number of Indigenous communities, perform community service and step out of their comfort zone to experience learning outside the traditional classroom. It’s a time of building and growing friendships, expanding knowledge, experiencing new and different environments and serving those in the wider community. This experience brings together all elements of the FACE Curriculum and is instrumental in the growth and development of all students.
Students love the opportunity to do Science on the Great Barrier Reef, learn History at Rocky Creek on the Atherton Tablelands and write poetry on the bluff at Undara. These experiences deepen the impact of their learning and they will carry this with them for a life time.
Community Service is a real highlight of the fortnight and an opportunity for students to broaden their worldviews and put their faith in action – a faith that does justice. In the words of one student reflecting on her experience, “community service gave me an insight into the lives of others living in many different situations to me and the people I know.” As an Ignatian Loreto school, this really does create a “oneness that moves us across boundaries” (IBVM Call 5).
“I found the experience provided me with insight into the different environments, traditions and cultures of Indigenous Australian communities. I was able to talk to elders, walk on sacred sites, see Aboriginal artworks and learn how to use handmade traditional spears. The experience was very eye-opening and we gained so much knowledge about Aboriginal Peoples and the culture that makes Australia so unique. I feel very fortunate that I was given the opportunity to experience this learning of culture in an enjoyable and ‘hands on’ way.”