Shortly after 6.30am, as the sun rose for yet another beautiful sunrise, Father Steve stood in the darkness at the centre of the Sports Centre. There, he was surrounded by many nervous, some excited, and some very tired Year 9 students, seated in small circles with their RITE Journey teacher. Each child, starring at one another by the single bright light of a burning flame, sitting in silence together, as the anticipation of what was upon them was building. Also in the room, ready to share and support this process were each child’s families.
The students, one by one, entered the centre of the room, coming together and quietly answering the ‘call’ to begin the RITE Journey. The silence was finally broken by the sound of a strong beat, as Father Steve so carefully set the scene for all that was ahead for each student as they begin their own unique journey into adulthood…
The Calling and Departure ceremonies is the identified ‘start’ of the RITE Journey program, a program that aims to provide the opportunity for students to participate in a year-long rite of passage experience in separate boys’ and girls’ classes. Learning how to be an adult male or female in any society requires guidance, mentoring and a great many conversations. In our society today, young people often turn to their peers, the internet and the media to source their knowledge and guidance. During the RITE Journey, students will be required to have important conversations about what it is to be a respectful and responsible man or woman in our society. The teacher mentors this year, Carolyn Sharp, Richard Anderson, Felicity Newton and Brian Wicks look forward to working with our Year 9 students and supporting them, in partnership with each child’s family, as they embark on their journey this year.
A significant part of the morning were the many special moments shared between child and parent/carer, as they reminisced about their childhood sharing special memories that have forever bonded them together. There was also the strong sense of gratitude for the role family has played in their life so far and many students openly acknowledged this with their parents/carers.
Students, we hope that this is the start of a tremendous year of growth, learning, and discovery. We encourage you to be open to all the experiences on offer this year, take risks, support each other, persevere, have difficult conversations; and learn to soar, in your own unique way.
Head of Health and Personal Development