What teachers and students say about a Destination Dreaming program:

During the Heyington to Highlands program, I learnt about others and made new friendships with others. I learnt about management of time and not having to rely on it as much. I am now able to adapt better to bad situations occurring around me. A significant learning for me was being with the same people for 12 days. I learnt something different about everyone and have been able to put myself in others’ shoes.

Amelia16 years old, St Catherine’s School

I learnt the importance of being welcoming and maintaining a positive attitude. I also discovered the value in approaching life and others with energy and vigour as well as supporting developing communications or playing a more active role in a global community.

Rachel15 years old, St Catherine’s School

I learnt that in life we have to have kindness, happiness and to be truly grateful for the opportunities that we are given. As we have seen on this program, not everyone has the same privileges as each other, but no matter how little some people get, you have to be thankful and make the most of that.

Hope15 years old, St Catherine’s School

My ‘moment’ for the trip was during our second day at school. The penny dropped for me when I stepped out of my comfort zone and learnt how easy it is to make connections with other students [of different nationality]. It made me feel happy and it was my biggest accomplishment on the trip. It makes me want to get out of my comfort zone more at home and get involved with more different people.

Joshua15 years old, Mercy Regional College

The most significant change for me was a new appreciation for what I have access to and where I live, my friends and family. Now I really know what I want to do with my life. Go to university, study nursing, and come back to Cambodia, as well as other countries and help others. I want to make a difference in other people’s lives.

Rachel16 years old, Mercy Regional College

The most significant change for me was experiencing a new culture and way of life in such a direct contrast to mine. Spending time with the girls at CTID and seeing how happy they were to be there learning was really incredible. I really felt jealous at times at how they seemed so happy with so little and I would be going back to a society with so much stuff but so little compassion and happiness in comparison. We always say we strive to be happy in life, but we don’t truly understand what happiness really is. Its not possessions or money, its something you can find in the simplest of things. You could look at someone you love and be happy. That’s really all we need in life…

Caitlin16 years old, Sacred Heart College (Geelong)

This experience gave me more perspective on my own personal life. It made me realise how lucky I am to be living in Australia and attending a school. It also made me appreciate the little things that I take for granted such as food, water and shelter. It was also amazing to experience the different culture, and the experience has helped me to embrace and respect different cultures more than I did before I went. 

Isabella16 years old, Sacred Heart College (Geelong)

One of the most significant things I learnt was what life is like for girls who are a similar age to me. Not only what their schooling is like, but also learning about their families and backgrounds. From this experience, I have also learnt to better value all the opportunities I have been given and the simple things most people would usually take for granted.

Siobhon16 years old, Sacred Heart College (Geelong)

I am now more appreciative of the small things in life, like having clean water and a flushing toilet. Even just having somewhere to sleep for the night. Before the trip I complained about stupid, artificial things like not being allowed my phone in my room overnight, or to go out with friends or buy an item of clothing. But after spending time in Timor Leste, meeting so many lovely people and experiencing different things, I have come to realise how lucky I am. Most of the girls I met don’t have a lot at all, yet they felt so lucky to be able to go to school. The program really made me understand how lucky I am and appreciate my life a lot more.

Scarlett16 years old, Sacred Heart College (Geelong)

Five months on from our Destination Dreaming program, the most lasting change for me is that I now see the effects of my actions on other people around the world. For example, buying something fair trade helps someone in the world, whereas if I don’t buy free trade I am making someone’s life harder.

Kate17 years old, Sacred Heart College (Geelong)

The most significant and lasting change for me (5 months after returning from Timor) is that I now know that there are so many things that I can do to help people in need. I am seriously considering what I am going to do in the future and there are so many options available. I will never forget all the people I met in Timor Leste and I think about how lucky I am to live where I do and try to always have a positive attitude and be so grateful for everything I have.

Indianna16 years old, Sacred Heart College (Geelong)

“I think the most prominent thing that I have learned is how much our problems should not bring us down. We ALWAYS have a reason to be happy. And that connections are so valuable, they really do impact your life in ways you could never imagine…Things you can measure in monetary value are not important, it is actually what you can value in time and experience that are the most important.” 

Sydney16 years old, Sacred Heart College (Geelong)

The most significant thing I have learnt from this trip is to never take anything for granted. This trip is something you need to experience before it hits you and for you to get a real understanding of the world. My goal now is to live in Timor as a nurse and to make the hospital in Maliana 100 times better than it is now.  This has been a trip of a life time and I will be back next year.

Kishay15 years old, Sacred Heart College (Hobart)

I feel as though the biggest change for me from this experience was in my welcoming attitude. I’ve changed into a person of greater kindness and I’ve become more welcoming to others.

Kieren15 years old, Sacred Heart College (Hobart)

I have never been overseas before, so for me this was an entirely new experience.  Overall I think the biggest effect the trip had on me was expanding my comfort zone and opening my eyes to new cultures.  The time spent in Encouragement House and learning the history of East Timor will help me to be more open to all cultures around the world … I also feel as though I’m now more comfortable talking to people who aren’t my friends.

Dominic15 years old, Sacred Heart College (Hobart)

It’s 5 months on and the Timor program has really impacted me. I now know what I want to do in the future and am passionate to make a change. I was educated more in 10 days than I have been all year at school. I was educated on things that matter to me and I have learnt lifelong lessons…A lasting lesson would be the importance of education. Everyday I think of a quote that is painted on a wall at Encouragement House: ‘Education is the most powerful weapon to win anything’.

Chelsea15 years old, Sacred Heart College (Hobart)