← The Rite Journey Begins

The RITE Journey Begins

Throughout the history of cultures from around the world, heroes have emerged from among us. A hero is generally accepted as a person who overcomes significant challenges while on a journey ultimately culminating in self-discovery and moral growth. They grow and develop into a better version of themselves. It is this concept of growth and development that is the underlying purpose of an annual program our College has coordinated since 2016 – The Rite Journey.

In a contemporary society where our youth are bombarded with images and messages about who they should be, how they should behave and interesting ways of navigating the emotional and physical challenges of adolescence, The Rite Journey aims to provide a positive and empowering framework that develops self-awareness, responsibility, resourcefulness and resilience in our young people. It aims to help them mature into collaborative, respectful and powerful young adults who are ready to begin exploring the world around them.

On Thursday, 15th July 2021, our Year 9 Students officially answered “The Call” of the Rite Journey which will take them through until the end of Semester One of next year. Students attended a ceremony, along with their parents, grandparents and mentors, that outlined their journey and challenged them to leave behind their childish ways and transition into adolescence leading towards adulthood. Armed with letters from their parents, which spoke to the uniqueness of each child, and the support of teachers and mentors, our students were introduced to the Rites of Passage they will experience throughout their journey.

The first part of their journey presented an opportunity to overcome challenges; both physical, mental and emotional. So it began as the very next morning saw the Year 9’s travel with their teachers to Mt. Walsh National Park. Located just outside of Biggenden, Mt. Walsh features open eucalypt forest with challenging trails that lead to the top of a small mountain. Bushwalkers describe the first part of the walk as an easy hike on a well-defined trail. As the path ascends, this walk becomes a scramble over rocks, fitting through tight crevasses and admiring stunning views as you reach greater and greater heights. The view from the very top offers a 360 degree perspective on the surrounding land and in good weather, you can just make out the township of Bundaberg. Travelling back down this mountain is a whole other story as you slip and slide your way to the bottom.

Head of Student Wellbeing, Mr James Marsman, had these words to offer the students before they left “...For some of you this challenge will be physical. It will be tough and demanding and there may be times where you will want to quit. For others, the challenge will be mental. The physicality might be something you thrive on, but it becomes a mental challenge of supporting your fellow students as they make this climb and avoid the temptation to leave behind everyone else and go it alone.”

For both students and teachers it was a physically exhausting day that resulted in different levels of recovery over the weekend (perhaps more so for the staff than the students). It was an unforgettable experience that will not be forgotten as they witnessed a new perspective of the world and experienced the sense of accomplishment that came with reaching far beyond their personal limits

Photos: Charles Hibbard, Sam Hodges, IOG photography