With the Higher School Certificate out of the way, seven St Mary’s College students are preparing to head overseas on a Catholic Missions Immersion trip.
Former Year 12 students Leah and Penny Broekman, Mayah-Bourke-Tindal, Whitney Mansfield, Rebecca Etheridge, Krystal Jauja and Hannah Breneger are getting ready to pack their bags to leave our shores on November 22.
Accompanied by two teachers, the teenagers will visit Bantayan Island in the Philippines and get to know the local culture and villagers.
The group has been fundraising for a year to provide a children’s playground in the Madridejos village, with around $2500 in the kitty after a final fundraiser on Saturday.
Teacher Karen Mooney has accompanied HSC students on a number of immersion trips and said she hoped funds could also be donated to the Good Shepherd, an organisation which addresses issue including poverty, exploitative employment conditions, trafficking of persons, forced migration and environmental degradation.
The group will land in Cebu then take a ferry to Bantayan and meet the locals. On the days that follow, they will become involved in village projects and see the area.
Leah Broekman and her twin, Penny, will be among the group. Leah said she was very anxious about going to Sydney airport and losing her luggage, otherwise she is excited about her first foray overseas.
In 2016, Mrs Mooney accompanied HSC students Carrie Woods and Georgia Woodward on an immersion trip to Cambodia and in 2015, she took five students to the remote islands of Kiribati.
The NVI has followed their journeys and many participants said the experiences were “life-changing” and they learnt first-hand how good they have it in Australia.