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Making a Difference at Balgo Hills

The Year 12 De La Salle Applied Learning students were privileged to be invited back to the Indigenous community of Balgo Hills WA this year.

On Saturday 11 June nine students and three staff flew into Alice Springs for an eight day adventure — enthusiastic for a 12 hour drive along the Tanami track! The Tanami Track is the most direct route from Alice Springs to the Kimberley, passing through the Tanami Desert. Our boys were excited to make a start on a long list of jobs that the Luurnpa Catholic School so desperately need completed. The list of work was extensive including landscaping, furniture building and preservations, felling of dead trees, construction of sustainable vegetable gardens and the repair of cyclone and barbed wire fencing.

Our De La boys worked exceptionally hard to complete the ‘must do’ jobs and other tasks that demanded our immediate attention. But within all this our boys made time to involve themselves in the community, playing a number of sporting activities with the local indigenous children early morning and at night. We were honoured to be taken by the resident elder into the surrounding outback sharing local stories and legends within the community. One of the many highlights was the invitation to share time with the male elders teaching the young the art of dance, body painting and traditional tool and weapon making.

The involvement is one that our Applied Learning students will never forget and will create a solid foundation for their departure from De La Salle to join the work force at years end. The respect and understanding they have gained for hard work and a cultural viewpoint has been priceless. This trip has been a two way street — everyone wins. The Luurnpa School is reviewing their Visiting School Program and I am confident the team we sent made such a good impression that De La Salle Malvern will certainly make the list for next year.

Tim Hogan
VCAL Coordinator

 

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