Student Reflections

By Liz Day-Liebelt,

  Filed under: Uncategorised

A taste of work, university and leadership!

This term, year 10 students participated in the world of work, international students visited university and female leaders in the Australian Defence Force inspired interested girls.

Virginia Castine

Careers Counsellor

For my work-experience, I went interstate to rural NSW, where I worked with my supervisor Jamie Woods on a traditional Aboriginal land station called Toogimbie. Jamie works as part of a bigger company called the Nari Nari Tribal Council. The Nari Nari are one of the traditional owners of the Balranald to Hay region. The Nari Nari refurbish, develop and protect these lands as they are steeped in culture and traditions dating back thousands of years. I was there at a pretty critical and historical time as the NSW government had approximately eighty five thousand hectares of land that they were giving back to the Nari Nari to restore. This land had been had been damaged over many years by too much irrigation and cattle grazing and many of the Aboriginal burial sites had been destroyed. I did my work-experience at another Aboriginal station/farmstead called Toogimbie.

On this station, I participated in a variety of environmental work and farm work alike. The first day I was there, a lot of sheep shearing going on, so for basically the whole day Jamie and I helped out by collecting and sorting the merino wool, coating the shorn sheep in lice repellent and administrating antibiotics for some of the rams. There were lots of other jobs that I was tasked to do, like feeding all twelve of the station’s dogs, feeding the station’s pigs and chickens and resetting fox baits throughout the station. While all these jobs were fun and exciting, the one experience that opened my eyes the most was when Jamie showed me some burial sites where Aboriginal people are known to have been buried. The Nari Nari monitor and look after these sites so they can protect, educate and be respectful for the deceased, in much the same way western society has graveyards that are maintained and protected. This was an amazing experience and has taught me about the many Aboriginal cultures and traditions that I had little idea existed. I am very glad that I got in touch with Jamie and I am very thankful for the opportunity that he provided me with.

Philip Scott (Year 10)

As I am interested in teaching and education, I decided to do my work experience at a childcare. Luckily, I have a friend that works at Adelaide Eastern Community Childcare Centre. After a few emails to the director, I was able to go down for a visit to get to know the way around and the necessary forms signed. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly, which made arriving on the first day stress-free.

I spent a day with each of the three age groups and the staff made it easy to move rooms, and learn the slightly different routines. The kids were open and ready to share, and with smiles on their faces they would come running for hugs and were eager to share in play. For anyone doing work experience in the future, I would recommend going somewhere that you are interested in, and will be able to get easily involved. It was a very valuable experience, and it has given me the opportunity to make more informed decisions about my future.

Talia Simpson (Year 10)

I have a passion for caring and assisting people in any way I can so human rights law has come into mind as an interesting, possible job path for me. Finding a work experience that could cater for this proved very difficult as a law firm couldn’t give me the ‘hands on’ experience that I was looking for. This placement would hopefully open my eyes to some minority communities we have very close to us but I am uneducated about.

After calling many different places around Adelaide, I found The Welcome Centre, a non-government funded centre that provides a safe place for Refugees and their families to find like-minded people to call friends and provide basic services like food, financial care, counselling support, free English classes for easy conversational skills, social programs and support along with emergency relief. I spent two days at this centre in the April school holidays and I couldn’t believe how much I learnt in such a small amount of time. I was fortunate enough to participate in one of their fortnightly community dinners for Refugees and other people around South Australia to share their individual stories and cultural food in a safe environment. The people I met from all around the world were so kind and seeing their beautiful smiles despite their tough pasts was quite incredible. I also joined in on an English class, which was amazing too. I was quite moved by this experience but am very excited that Halstead is going to support this centre in their fundraising initiatives throughout the year. I hope to educate the other students on the plight of Refugees in today’s society.

The second centre I had the privilege of spending time with was The Magdalene Centre, which is a welcoming place that offers a range of anti-poverty services, with the aim of supporting people as they regain control of their lives. The Magdalene Centre can assist with housing advice, legal issues, financial counselling and emergency relief. I was fortunate to spend three days with this placement helping with their large food pantry, data entry and general admin duties. I met many homeless and less-fortunate people in our community in need and it opened my eyes to a large group of people I knew little about. This time has given me an understanding I previously didn’t have and to meet so many people, especially those volunteering at the centre as retirees, made me have more hope around others getting back on track from their tragic circumstances now or in the past.

I am so grateful for both opportunities I was given and it has shaped the way I view minority groups in our society. This experience has made me want to partake in more voluntary work in the future and excites me for the small differences I can make.

Lucy Stevens (Year 10)

International Students University excursion

This term we got an opportunity to visit the University of Adelaide as St John’s international students. During this trip, we gained much more knowledge and understanding about course selections and the uni culture of the University of Adelaide. Firstly, we walked around the university with teachers Ms Zhang and Ms Castine and we got some lunch at the Hub. This is a place to study but is also has entertainment and eating. We also got given a tour of the university by a current student, then went to meet the representatives from the University of Adelaide, Flinders University, UniSA, TafeSA and ICHM (International College for Hotel Management). We asked some questions about the pass standards of different courses. Some of us were interested in the businesses courses and found out more about these, knowing that South Australia has very good business education programs. They explained different pathways to get in the university, such as TafeSA or Foundation Study. That meant that there are different options to get into university. We also saw that the new model buildings were built to ensure students will be comfortable in their studies. We asked a lot of questions together and got the answers we wanted. The last lecture helped us a lot. Each university has many advantages. They introduced themselves to us and explained many of their own advantages. We all learned a lot. We are very much looking forward to university life after school. We believe that after this activity, our goals for the future are clearer.

Kelvin Chen, Haoyuan Sun (Year 12)

ADF Girls Leadership Breakfast

Last Friday myself, Caitlin Driscoll, Harriet White and Audrey Myers attended a Girls Leadership Breakfast at Keswick Army Barracks. While it was an early start we could all agree that it was definitely worth it. We were treated to a delicious breakfast while hearing from three female speakers who were all involved in the ADF in different ways. The theme of “no limits” enabled us to think about what we hope to achieve in our own lives and what was stopping us from doing the things we love.

It was great chatting with girls from other schools, hearing about their experiences and hopes for the future. Also seated on our table were two mentors who were women involved in the ADF. On my table we had one lady from the Army and the other was from the Navy. They were very interested in hearing what we had to say and we were all eager to hear about their experiences in the ADF.

It was terrific to sit in a room full of excited, powerful women of all ages. There was a real vibe of support and empowerment. The speakers’ own personal stories touched everyone in the room and made us all believe that anything is possible if we put our mind to it.

The whole morning was a wonderful experience that I would recommend to any girl interested in leadership.

Ruby Stewart (Year 10)