Photos and stories from past programs

Scotch Oakburn College

During the September school holidays, nine students and two teachers from Scotch Oakburn College in Launceston ventured into the highlands of Timor-Leste on their inaugural International Community Partnership Program. The group stayed with the Encouragement House in Maliana and delivered an English tutoring program for one of the local high schools. Staying at the Encouragement House, a boarding house for rural students, was a highlight.

Kelsey said ‘my favourite part of the trip was spending time at the Encouragement House… and the river trips in the truck.’ Andrew described his experience as ‘…the most fulfilling and enjoyable ten days of my life…it is very rare that you can reflect on a week of your life knowing you wouldn’t change a moment of it.’

The program was a huge success, and thanks go to the incredible people at the Encouragement House, Robert Dickson, Maliana One High School, Tania Deguara and Andrew French and the nine champion students of Scotch Oakburn College.

Brianna Bartley has created a video of the group’s experience, which is being used to generate awareness and support in the Launceston community about the program in preparation for the College’s next visit in September 2012.

Photos from the program are now available via this link on Facebook.

[box_half]Chris and kids from the Encouragement House playing soccer[/box_half][box_half class=”last”]Scotch Oakburns Tania with Maliana Ones Principal[/box_half]

United Nations Youth Australia 2011

United Nations Youth Australia delegates recently returned from an amazing trip to Timor Leste, brushing shoulders with President Ramos Horta and Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, and supporting the Encouragement House in Maliana.

13 travellers had the trip of a lifetime last month, the first of a series of visits planned to the Encouragement House, to provide financial support to the rural boarding house. Destination Dreaming donated a percentage of the group’s program cost to construct an outdoor shelter at the Encouragement House, which was built by local builders during the visit to Maliana.

Highlights for the group included evening soccer matches with the local students, bathing in the river and group singing sessions at the Encouragement House. Asher Kosma (17 years old) said, ‘my trip to Timor Leste was absolutely amazing. We were the first Australian students ever to visit one of the rural school and lived like locals for 6 days… This Destination Dreaming trip changed the way I view the world and I would be genuinely surprised if it didn’t for anyone who undertakes it.’

Grant Duthie (17 years old) commented that ‘our ability to make a difference on this trip made it stand apart from other travel experiences. Making a positive impact and discovering culture that is so fulfilled and content with so little…

Photos from the program are available via this link on Facebook.

Destination Dreaming will run the next Pacific Project for UN Youth Australia delegates in July 2012. Next year’s program will be extended to three weeks. Interested students should contact the Pacific Project Director at UN Youth Australia.

[box_half]Boys fooling about at the river in Timor Leste[/box_half][box_half class=”last”][/box_half]

Melbourne High School Rugby 2011

Melbourne High School rugby hit Samoa in April, on a Destination Dreaming Cross-Cultural rugby program.

The team played matches against three local high schools, followed by informal periods allowing the boys from the two cultures to interact. The program saw Melbourne High School develop a relationship with Afega Primary School, which has subsequently led to the donation of a set of computers and installation for the school.

The feedback from the boys was amazing- having gone over focusing on the rugby, they soon recognised that the real beauty of the program was in the relatioships they would build and through an amazing experience of the Samoan culture.

Neelson and Stefan talk below about their time in Samoa:

Melbourne High School

19 students and 2 teachers from Melbourne High School spent the Easter holidays building relationships with West Arnhem College in Kakadu. Destination Dreaming has connected the two schooling communities, to share a cross-cultural exchange and support in mathematics tutoring.

The Melbourne students spent a week with the Jabiru campus, facilitating maths tutoring sessions- as maths is an identified need at the remote school and a strength of Melbourne High. The Melbourne students spent an equal amount of time learning- about indigenous culture and life in a remote town. The students ate at the local mess with workers at the nearby mine, learned how to make didgeridoos with a local elder and spotted crocodiles whilst cruising over beautiful Yellow Water.

The program will continue next September 2012, when the next group of students will visit Jabiru and continue the program. Melbourne High School plans to continue the maths tutoring remotely over the internet in between programs.

Check out more program photos via this link to the Facebook album.

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Mountain Creek State High School 2007

Mountain Creek State High School staff and students spent their winter holidays in Fiji with Destination Dreaming, playing rugby and netball with their peers in the South Pacific nation.

The two teams, one rugby and one netball, played matches in Nadi, the Nasouri highlands and on Waya Island. Although the games were an experience of a lifetime, the students described the highlights as the interaction after the games- sharing stories with the locals they had just competed against.

This program was particularly valuable for the rugby boys to gain an appreciation for the culture of the young Fijian men, as many of them play against young Fijians in local Queensland competition.

The program was a wonderful success, and the school now plans to hold the program bi-annually. One of our program staff enjoyed the group so much that he is now working at Mountain Creek!

Photos from the program are now available via this link on Facebook.

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Caloundra State High School 2006

In September 2006, a third group of staff and students from the Caloundra State High School community set out on a Destination Dreaming Cross-Cultural Learning Program.

The program involved spending time in both the highlands of Fiji and on the island of Waya in the Yasawa Islands. The group explored coastal and highland environments, the Fijian language, local food and ceremonies.

An important part of the trip was formalising the relationship between Caloundra State High School and Natutale Primary School. The Principal of Natutale Primary School and Caloundra State High School teacher Tracey Fox signed a formal adoption of a sister school relationship, followed by a kava ceremony and presentation of educational resources members of the Caloundra schooling community had donated.

Some of the highlights for students were: trekking through the mud with local teenagers their own age to visit an ancient cave system, joining local fishermen on a night boat trip to catch food for the following day, and cooking fish over the fire after fishing by a remote swimming hole in the highlands.

To see a selection of program photos, click here to visit the album on Facebook.

Caloundra State High School cultural immersion in Fiji