Year 11 is slowly but surely coming to a close, and when we take the time to look back, we can’t help but to agree that this has been a year of growth and maturity that I could not be more proud of. With the busyness of end of year exams looming, Term 4 started out with a fast-paced couple of weeks before these examinations were almost all we could think about – that is, of course, when we weren’t thinking about our escape to Rottnest, the week after!

We were so lucky to spend three days in the warm sunshine on one of the world’s greatest island paradises, with a group of students that would be very difficult to improve upon. Our first day saw us meeting in Fremantle to board our ferry, before alighting and grabbing our hire bikes for our week of freedom. We then split into four groups; those who wanted to explore the entire island, the many who wanted to visit the iconic Little Salmon Bay, the few who were interested in a nearby beach escape, and the group who were content to take a walking tour of the closest attractions. A fun day in the sun was had, developing new and old friendships, and fostering a more mature relationship with some of our staff team.

We were beyond blessed to have Kaija Leo come across and share with our Year 11s on Wednesday night. Kaija currently serves with the CREW, a ministry which serves the homeless here in Rockingham – prior to this, Kaija pastored a Church in the red light district of Bangkok. Kaija shared a brilliantly inspiring talk on the concept of success and encouraged our Year 11s to reconsider the traditional ‘linear curve’ of success increasing over time. The talk was followed with discussions in dorm groups, where students took part in an activity called the ‘Tree of Life’, where they were encouraged to consider where they’ve come from, what life looks like now, their individual strengths, where they are headed in the future, and the people that are most important to them. By all reports, these discussions were an avid highlight for staff and students alike.

Thursday saw us distributed amongst a myriad of activities, including snorkelling, beach sports, mini-golf, actual golf, free time around the town, and stand up paddling. We were lucky enough to celebrate a few staff birthdays at lunch, with a wonderful cake from the fantastic caterers over at the island that was enjoyed by all. Thursday night I spoke and shared a few stories over my life of people who had inspired and impacted the man I am today, with a final message that I hoped would be helpful; “In your 20s, it’s more important who you are under than what you do.” I challenged our Year 11s to consider the legacy that they would be leaving on the world around them, and that if they use their 20s to learn from inspiring people, the rest of their life will be more impactful than they could imagine.

Our final day started off with a similar activity rotation, before we reconvened as a whole year group for a wonderful sausage sizzle, cooked by the very talented Mr Hywood. We finished our camp off with a beach party, complete with an inflatable flamingo, sloth, unicorn and multiple swimming rings. It was great to see our whole year group united together in a great afternoon of relaxed fun. I could not be more impressed with how camp ran and would like to say a genuine thank you to all of the wonderful Year 11s, and especially to the staff team that helped make this camp such a success. What a way to end our year – I am excited for what the future holds for this lovely group of students.

Alistair Cochrane
Head of Year 11