Students learn life, cultural lessons during immersion

CONNECTING: The students and teachers from St Aloysius College in Sydney visited the Dubbo Community Men's Shed. Photo: ORLANDER RUMING
CONNECTING: The students and teachers from St Aloysius College in Sydney visited the Dubbo Community Men's Shed. Photo: ORLANDER RUMING

Seven students from St Aloysius College in Sydney have spent their school holidays expanding their cultural knowledge.

The students spent time in Dubbo and Gulargambone, learning about Aboriginal culture, helping out at schools and hearing from the locals.

The immersion program takes place every year, with students being sent to either the Philippines, Timor Leste or Dubbo and Gulargambone.

Student Max Schriller said while in Dubbo the young men had spent a lot of time at Apollo House.

Riverbank Frank Doolan had spent a lot of time with the students sharing his stories, Daniel Rasmussen said. He also took them to the NAIDOC memorial walk on Tuesday morning.

The students were also invited to a bonfire on a local property, where they were taught about the night sky and heard the stories of some of Dubbo’s residents.

On Thursday morning they had been gardening before calling into the Dubbo Community Men’s Shed to learn about it’s role and the men who are members.

It had all been an eye-opening experience for the students to learn about Aboriginal culture and life outside of a major city.

Daniel said the immersion had been a great experience. It was something he would definitely recommend, he said.

The students were happy to have given up their holidays to visit the region and help where they could, Daniel said.

Max said the highlight in Gulargambone was spending time with the young primary school students, while in Dubbo it had been the bonfire.

The school said everyone had been incredibly welcoming of the students. It had given them first-hand experience about the drought and its impacts as well as allowing them to try new experiences.

St Aloysius College describes the immersions as “experiences which take the students out of their culture, and hopefully comfort zones, to learn more of themselves, the world, God and God’s people”.

A small contingent of students travel to Dubbo every year.