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Wishing You A Very Merry Christmas…

Merry Christmas everyone. Best wishes for a wonderful 2012, may it be your best yet.

It has been a big year at Destination Dreaming- a few of the highlights:

  • two government funded programs for Queensland youth
  • a new program in West Arnhem Land, a wonderful new partnership with the Encouragement House in Timor
  • approval of the primary school construction in Fiji
  • continuing our work with indigenous youth through our affiliation with Beyond Billabong
  • finalist honor at the Cool Company Awards

Looking forward to another amazing year in 2012.

With best wishes,
Kate and Clint

Destination Dreaming Joins with CreatiVITI Fiji and WWF Partner Scuba Bula

Are you looking for an amazing new learning opportunity in 2012? We are excited to be partnering with two fantastic Fijian organisations in the coming year. Schools and community groups will now have the opportunity to support traditional art and craft education, or combine reef conservation with a diving experience.

In 2012, we are looking forward to linking local schools with rural Fijian schools, to deliver a series of art workshops. As art is not currently part of the Fijian curriculum, this is an extremely valuable project that will see Australian students engaging with their Fijian peers, to create art pieces reflecting their respective cultures and stories. We will be facilitating this program beside CreatiVITI Fiji, a Fijian, not-for-profit arts and craft organisation that promotes traditional Fijian art. Read more

How We Won the Official Title of ‘Cool Company’

November has been one exciting month. Last Thursday night we rose above a field of over 700 nominations to be recognised as one of three finalists in the Social Capitalist Award. The Cool Company Awards are Anthill Magazine’s vehicle for celebrating Australian organisations that are doing things differently to bring about positive change.

The magazine describes ‘Social Capitalists’ as those companies, which successfully apply commercial principles to social issues and achieve lasting, sustainable success. Finalists need to have demonstrated the ability to address a targeted social need in an organised, innovative and entrepreneurial way.

Anthill Magazine said that Destination Dreaming, ‘differs from many ethical-travel initiatives because, rather than providing a one-off, cookie-cutter experiences, it works to develop ongoing relationships between the communities and Australian school and other groups.’ And that’s pretty cool. Read more

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]

Tassie Students Learn From Community Life in Timor Leste

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 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.

UN Youth Australia Delegates Get a Taste for the United Nations in Action

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 constructed by local builders during the visit. Read more

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]

Samoan Adventure, Culture and Rugby for 23 Melbourne High Students

Talofa Lava,

Over 11 nights and 12 days during the school holidays, 23 Melbourne High School students, two teachers/Rugby Managers, one very brave parent, an inspirational Rugby/Life Coach and a very lucky Destination Dreaming Expedition Leader travelled to Samoa. The school group travelled on a 12-day Destination Dreaming Sports/Service tour to experience a combination of adventure, culture, education and sport. Read more

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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