Building stronger communities in the ACT
A local education initiative aimed at building stronger communities by inspiring future generations has seen over 50 students from schools around the ACT complete a seven-day personal development camp in the wilderness of the Namadgi National Park.
The course was part of Outward Bound’s combined schools Regional Community Partnership program, which is a strategic initiative designed to foster growth in communities of regional
Students from State, Independent, Christian and Catholic schools from across the ACT were offered scholarships through the Australian Outward Bound Development Fund to attend the course to help them develop leadership skills and stretch their comfort zones.
Outward Bound CEO Ben Farinazzo said the program allows not only the youth of the area but the whole community to benefit by instilling a sense of service and responsibility in the participants.
“Students complete physical and mental challenges, such as leading teams on expeditions, facing fears of heights on abseil descents and a three-hour solo period that tests their mental strength and communication skills,” Mr Farinazzo said.
“The program complements each of the schools’ strong philosophical base of holistic education aimed at providing a positive learning environment: positive discipline, healthy recreation, personal improvement, individual success and functioning supportive community.”
After the week-long adventure, parents keenly assembled at Outward Bound’s National Base in Tharwa to welcome their somewhat dirty but smiling children home and were impressed with the outcomes.
“Kegan can’t stop talking about his experience up in the bush at Namadgi,” said Nikhil Ferreira, father of one of the participants.
“On a personal level Kegan discovered that he could achieve more than he expected from himself and that if he pushed himself, the body and mind can deliver an outstanding performance.
“What’s most intriguing is that this course gave Kegan some interesting new perspectives: He pointed out that we are lucky to live in this modern world but we take so much for granted and need to touch base with nature from time to time.
“I would personally like to thank the Outward Bound Team for giving these budding adventured the opportunity of a lifetime.”
Returning participants also gave the course glowing reports and were excited to share their stories.
“It was really fun, but really challenging too,” said Temaire-Rose Bannister from St Clare’s College.
John Sharp from St Francis Xavier College said the experience “was all-round amazing and inspirational”, while Tom Rose, from