There is no substitute for experience!  In term 4 last year, High school covered 3000km in two weeks, exploring the diverse regions of NSW. We explored the coastal region of Durras to Eden, the South East Forest National Park, Kosciuszko National Park, the Hay plains, the desert at Lake Mungo and the fossil – mine trail Canowindra/Orange.

We sketched, wrote, swam, bounded, climbed, walked, sang, gave presentations, met with locals and pondered the life lessons each of these unique environments could bring us… we experienced the treasures of hidden wonderlands, the power of surging ocean, the sweet secrets of mountain cascades, the extraordinary cooperation of rainforest, the tenacity of desert and the eureka moment of prospecting for the gold of friendship and camaraderie at  Ophir.

Every journey had its feats and accomplishments, its wonders and challenges. The sharp observations and deep reflections of the students, captured in their daily journaling, revealed empathy, connectedness and hence care for each of these wild and unique environments. Yes there were bumps and pointy edges but there was also honesty, openness, kindness and generosity.

These students are all genuine travelers now. In the words of KaIindra, they were able to separate from “the herd” for a time to consider themselves in the context of the greater, complex and wonder filled world that we are all a part of.  We climbed mountains, walked the plains, swam rivers and descended into caves, we went back in geological time and projected our thoughts into the future. These are deeply ethical young people. Their optimism and zest for life, is like the morning song of birds that continually encircles our earth. You can’t do all of this in the class room.  But you can do it in two weeks on the road!



“Fears are our boundaries, but fears are not our limits”.  Olive


“Everyone knows how our journey ends, but we determine our path.”  Dylan



Walks on the wildside

Her totem is wolf

Waves tumble and crush her –

She comes up laughing

Eager for more.



Crack open the thunder

egg of Bella

And she sparkles like cut quartz –

Light dances off

Clean, facetted edges.

You can’t put it back again!



A lofty soul

But as down to earth

As a bloke can be –

Silver and gold!



Some folk are poetry in motion

Silver tongued syllables

Make rough roads smooth

And unexpected twists and turns

Into gift wrapped surprises.



The word is his sword

and his shield.

He wields both in a tournament

Of changing characters

Rolled out for the mirth of his friends –

Foes retreat, friends advance

When the songman charms…



Who else can la la the complete canon

Of Pacobel, and wax lyrical on Picasso

While she deftly draws

the iconic lace monitor – Aboriginal style;

to make a postcard for an asylum seeker

in detention.



Sharp as a tack

With a fair dose of wit,

A swample of courage

And a handshake you can bet

He’ll honour for the rest of his life.




He’s dry as a drought

And yet quenches thirst!

His funny ways will lend you

The stitches you need to put your life

Back together – seamlessly!



Draws her friends around her

Like a cloak of finely spun silk

With the slightest gesture, she sends them

Shimmering and swirling around her,

Like ocean froth



Strike a light! And there

Goes Dylan – striding, direct,

Observant, throwing light around

Like there is no tomorrow

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