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It’s been wonderful in recent weeks to join our Year 7 and 8 teams on their respective outdoor education Journeys. The Year 8s headed to the Grampians in the final week of Term 1 whilst the Year 7s ventured to the Riverlands.

There are numerous benefits of getting our students away from the daily routine of school life and into the outdoors. The first is the connection with nature that is increasingly rare for our young people today. Increased hours at work for many parents, more comprehensive sport and co-curricular schedules for students, greater reliance on technology for recreation and relatively cheap interstate and overseas travel all contribute to fewer families choosing holidays in the outdoors. Our journeys are designed to pique our students’ interests in outdoor activities and inspire them to explore the natural world around them.

Secondly, our journeys are designed to connect our boys with each other in ways that cannot happen here at school. When they are away for a week the students have no option but to look after themselves and to look after each other. When things are tough there is nowhere to hide, and the only way to overcome difficulties is for the boys to persist and work as a team. This bonds and connects them in a way that is invaluable, often leading to the formation of great friendships that would otherwise remain undiscovered.

Finally, the journeys are designed to encourage our students out of their comfort zones and challenge them. For every individual the nature of their challenge is different. For many, the physical nature of the Journey provides the greatest hardship. For others, being away from their family for a week proves the most difficult element. Not having access to phones and other technology provides a significant challenge for many, whilst for others the unavailability of a fridge and other such comforts is really tough.

I congratulate our Middle Years boys for the way they contributed to the success of both the Year 7 and 8 Journeys this year. Special thanks to Anthony Bates and his team for their organisation of both trips, and to the respective mentor teams for their support of our students.

James Tamblyn
Head of Middle Years