Domremy College students and staff took part in the College’s first immersion to Fiji during the October school holidays.
College Principal Vivienne Awad saw the October trip as a way to take the College’s strong focus on social justice and community awareness a step further.
“Such opportunities can have a profound impact on our graduates and provides them with a sense of why they should reach out to those who are socially disadvantaged, who
are poor and in other ways marginalised,” she said.
“It was an eye opener for all of our students to see how happy and grateful children just like them are while having so little. It is important to challenge our students by experiences which go beyond their comfort zones and their own way of life and culture, so that they can be encouraged to act. Our students are already talking about returning to continue to be of service.”
A group of nine Year 11 students were accompanied by their principal and the school’s social justice and religion coordinators on the trip. Based at Momi Bay, they worked on several projects including the construction of teacher lodges at Nabila Primary School and helping a local villager repair his home.
Teachers and students mixed and poured cement, erected gyprock walls, painted roofing materials and helped in other ways, boiling water for villagers with no clean running water.
The students formed close bonds with the children at the schools. “This was one of the most memorable experiences of our lives and allowed us all to attain a new appreciation for life and all the things we are privileged to have and take for granted,” student Vanessa Parisi said.
The trip was organised through Harvest Inroads. The organisation provides immersion experiences including one that is an alternative to Schoolies for Year 12 school leavers. 2014 graduaate and Domremy school leaver Jess Portas-Hills also spent her schoolies holiday on an immersion experience in Fiji.