St Joseph's students trade tech for trek


More than 100 St Joseph’s Aberdeen High School students have returned from a five day wilderness adventure with valuable life lessons about perseverance and leadership as part of a continuing program with Outward Bound Australia.

The Year Nine students left their creature comforts at home as their resilience was put to the test in Canberra’s Namadgi National park during a range of challenges including abseiling, trekking and rock climbing, armed with only what they could carry on their backs to keep them warm during the cool September nights.

The course offers a personal challenge to the students of their perceived limits and encourages them to push against the ‘easy way out’. During the course, students learned to develop initiative through taking on challenges such as the ‘Spiders Web’, where they must use their communication skills and trust to help each other through a tricky maze of ropes. The concept of leadership was also introduced to the Year Nine’s through navigation challenges where the students take turns navigating teams through the national park.

Student Chloe McBeath said the course has been very challenging but everyone is getting in and having a go.

“Some things have been really hard, especially the abseiling, but everyone has tried their hardest and had fun too,” Chloe said.

The Outward Bound course has become a marker to indicate a rite of passage for all St Joseph’s Year Nine students and has been part of the school’s personal development curriculum since 2005.

p8306541St Joseph’s teacher Alison Tilse said the Outward Bound course aligns closely with the school’s own values and has become an important part of the students’ transition from junior school (yrs 7-9) into senior school (yrs 10-12).

“The program challenges the students in the natural environment without the shields of modern technology and the comforts of home,” said Ms Tilse.

“They are called upon to draw on their own personal resources and to discover and develop leadership qualities such as resilience, self- determination, teamwork and organisation.

“It is very well supported by all members of the school and local community including students, parents, staff and local businesses and organisations. Our students readily refer to OB as an “experience of a lifetime.”

Outward Bound CEO Darren Black believes outdoor adventures are crucial for the development of young Australians so they can discover, develop and achieve their potential.

“The course stretches students mentally and physically, but the challenge helps them grow,” Mr Black said.

“They learn to work together and draw strength from each other to succeed, developing the most positive elements of the human character consistent with our core values of integrity, responsibility, resilience, compassion, service and human potential.”

Outward Bound Australia has been helping Australians develop life skills through outdoor adventure for over 50 years and delivers outdoor learning programs to thousands of students every year.

In addition to its schools program, Outward Bound also offers courses for families and adults - with the longest being an epic, 26-day adventure that takes participants from ‘Summit to Sea’ in south eastern Australia.


For more information about Outward Bound and their courses, visit


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