Many rich experiences at the Aboriginal community of Balgo on the Northern Territory and Western Australian border had a huge impact on eight students from Southern Cross Catholic Vocational College (SCCVC) Burwood.
Alana Samrani, Stephanie Coelho, Paul Tizzone, Daniel Went, Cate Davis, Sarah Neal, Cooper Aldertain and Robert Maurer spent a week supporting the teachers at Luurnpa Catholic School and in the Trade Training Centre. Some of the students helped the Balgo Confirmation candidates to make their stoles and prepare to receive the sacrament. They cooked spaghetti bolognaise for the students, played basketball and pool, visited cultural sites and assisted LaSallian Youth Minister Seamus and his assistant Josh.
A highlight for the many was a visit to Lake Gregory where they were covered in mud to ensure nothing bad happened to them as the rainbow serpent only allowed the local Aborigines to swim there. The SCCVC students embraced the mud with joy, and swam to the other side of the lake.
For Sarah Neal, spending time with the children at Luurnpa Catholic School and helping them with their schoolwork was a highlight.
“One child, Keith, a boy of 10 had a major impact on me in terms of his considerate behaviour in class, interaction with his friends and his exceptional sporting skills. He made me feel accepted in the community and helped make my week in Balgo an unforgettable experience,” Sarah said.
“As a result of this experience, I have discovered more about the Aboriginal culture, especially the connection to the land. I have also learnt that through participating in experiences like this I can discover more about my country and help people who are in need.”