CALS Cultural Exchange Trip
KUNUNURRA to MELBOURNE in 2010
Clontarf Academy Life Skills (CALS) students, Ben
Ward, William (Peanut) Simon, Kinkaid Gordon, Karl Gordon, and Lorenzo Gordon were led by two CALS Staff, Ephrem Kennedy
and Peter Barnett on a wonderful 11 day, 2 Way cultural exchange trip to
The first day in
At the end of the game one of the Loyola staff arranged a visit the Collingwood rooms. We passed through, what seemed like a secret entrance, walked down into the bowels of the MCG and past the Hawthorn players' race, just as they were coming off the ground. As we did Carl Peterson from Hawthorn recognised his friend Ephrem Kennedy, our CALS class AIEO, and gave him a big wave and shout. This impressed the boys a great deal.
We proceeded to
We proceeded tothe Collingwood rooms only to find a lockout after their shock defeat by Hawthorn. Not to be defeated ourselves we quickly headed back toward the Hawthorn rooms where Carl Peterson arranged to get us into the winners rooms.
What a great thrill this was for all the boys meeting . and getting photos with many of the Hawthorn team such as Carl, Cyril Rioli and finally Buddy Franklin.
What a fantastic
first day we had had already but to top it off Ric Roberts, our
We awoke the next
morning from a deep sleep in our wonderful accommodation at
Later in the afternoon
the group moved on to Birrarung Marr before a tram ride to Melbournes Historic
Exhibition Building and then to Imax Movie theatre to see Hubble in 3D. Not exactly the boys' favourite action movie
of all time. Next it was off to
We were hosted by Loyola Colleges School Community for day 3 of the tour. The Principal gave the boys a great tour of the Castle, as the boys had dubbed the huge Monastic building which now forms the central hub of the school complex.
This was followed by a Year
9 assembly at which Ephrem Kennedy addressed the Loyola students and staff - inspiring
them all by sharing some excellent stories about Miriuwung country and culture.
This included a short video depicting the boys performing traditional dances as
well as a series of interviews with some of the Miriuwung Elders from
Kununurra. All of this was very
well received by the Loyola students and staff and provided a great catalyst
for some excellent inter-cultural discussion between our boys and the Year 9
students at Loyola. It was then off for an early lunch followed by a great
football match at lunch time with our 5 boys and the Loyola Year 9 team
of course Ephrem who can never go past a good football match.It was hard to leave as
we had been welcomed and hosted beautifully by the
Over the next 7 very rich days our boys were involved in a huge variety of activities and experiences with The Peninsula students and school community. As Mr Mark Cook (the Jaffray House boarding master) put it:
The boys stayed at Jaffray House and clicked immediately with the
international students. A sense of comfort and understanding about coming from
faraway places seemed to form common ground. The objective of this short visit
was to provide an overall snapshot of Life at the
games with the primary and secondary students.
Ephrem again led
a very inspiring lesson on Miriuwung country and culture with the
The boys ended up
seeing both grand final teams play in two separate games both decided by less
than a goal, an extraordinary first experience of AFL football at the mighty
MCG. Saturday saw
us back to the Vic Market for a final
chance at some bargain shopping then an
invitation to a private dinner party put on from the family of V - one of the Lovely Loyola girls the boys met earlier in the trip . Everyone
enjoyed a cross cultural night of excellent Sri Lankan food and hospitality, a
night to be savoured, a rich memory for all of us. Sunday was a visit to Mr
Barnetts sisters place for a farewell Barnett family BBQ and of course to
What an extraordinary journey at many levels this trip was for the boys. It provided an eye opening opportunity for these five Kimberley Aboriginal boys to experience their own cultural heritage being appreciated and affirmed by others from vastly different cultural backgrounds. The trip also provided an equally valuable opportunity for the boys to have their own horizons expanded and to see the possibilities that exist beyond their current life situation.
One of the extraordinary outcomes from this cultural exchange has been that Karl Gordon has been offered a specialist scholarship at The Peninsula School for 2011. This opportunity has come about because of Karls persistent effort throughout 2010 to improve his literacy levels, combined with the wonderful generosity of Paul and Judy Williams the founders of WEST (Woomera Educational Scholarship Trust). A scholarship has been provided to Karl in conjunction with The Peninsula School to enable him to gain both further specialist instruction in literacy and a work readiness training program. This is a very generous and much appreciated opportunity for Karl and an inspiration to others in the CALS class.
Much thanks must go to
Mr Ric Roberts and all the other very welcoming staff and students from
Sincere thanks to Paul
and Judy Williams for their support, vision and commitment to indigenous
education opportunities for making the trip possible. A special thanks goes to
all the students and staff at
Regards and thanks to all who supported this great Journey
Peter Barnett, CALS program coordinator and class teacher. Now Principal Consultant with Kimberley 2Way exchange