Published on: 12 October 2023

In the final weeks of Term 3, two groups of Senior School students went on Service in Action (SIA) tours to remote Aboriginal communities. SIA tours focus on four key principles: educational exchange, cultural awareness, learning through service, and leadership development.

Marble Bar
In early September, four Christ Church students and four St Mary’s students travelled to Marble Bar Primary School. Before the school week started, the Principal gave the group a tour of the school before they continued on to visit Marble Bar pool and Jasper rocks. The next morning, they headed off on the school bus to collect students from the community and Goodabinya and started the school day. The week was filled with maths, reading, English, working with older students for their online classes, arts and crafts (including a macrame-making workshop) and other in-class activities. Outside the classroom, the group, together with Marble Bar Primary students, played basketball, baked scones, played card games, and played red rover and tag.

On a class excursion to the Marble Bar pool, students worked in small groups to take a photo of an object starting with each letter in the alphabet. A student from the Christ Church group commented that this helped them to discover the Marble Bar students’ deep connection to land and understanding of their surroundings. The group was taught the Nymal names for many of the things found by the Marble Bar students. Another cultural activity, conducted by the teachers, was making the traditional foods of kangaroo stew and damper by using hot coals in the sand. The teachers also demonstrated how to cook bush pea pods (called Kanji) by spreading them out on a tray of spinifex which burns quickly and makes the Kanji pop like popcorn.

A visit to the Flying Fox lookout to watch the sunset was the perfect way to end the trip.

SIA tours are an opportunity for self-discovery and students spend time in the evenings journalling about their day. This is a time to reflect on topics such as humility, community, education, positive role models, the importance of being present in the moment, and letting go of attachments to outcomes or expectations. Students are encouraged to consider various perspectives while writing down their thoughts.

In late September, a group of Christ Church boys travelled to the remote community of Nullagine for a tour with their peers from St Mary’s Anglican Girls’ School. The students acted as teacher’s aids in the classroom, which allowed the teachers to do lots of different learning activities. Some highlights included conducting science experiments, creating works of art in groups, making damper, swimming in a local watering hole, and finding and cooking Lunghi with help from their fellow students from Nullagine Primary. All students enjoyed a ‘slip and slide’ in the sunshine to celebrate a fantastic week together.