Trip of a lifetime

Wylliem Gray-Cunningham takes in the sights during Ripplebrook Primary School’s Central
Australia camp.

Wylliem Gray-Cunningham takes in the sights during Ripplebrook Primary School’s Central Australia camp.

Ripplebrook Primary School students recently embarked on a “trip of a lifetime” to central Australia.

Normally reserved for secondary school students, a group of about 20 students enjoyed the week-long camp taking in the sights of Adelaide, Coober Pedy, Alice Springs, Kings Canyon and Uluru.

Principal Laura Caddy said the trip was all about giving life experience with all students invited to take part from prep to year six.

“We had been learning about Australia, its geographical features and its environment,” she said. “What a great way to fully appreciate the uniqueness of our country.”

Ms Caddy said she was proud of the staff, preparation and trust developed with families as no parents attended the trip.

She noted the “looks of fear, worry, pure horror and mixtures of all three” when first sharing her vision for the trip at school council.

“As a teacher and a principal, I have never felt prouder,” said Ms Caddy. “But clearly I was without doubt proud of these little people, what they had learnt, what they had achieved, their attitude towards the whole experience, the growth, the strength, the pride.”

The camp saw students travel to Adelaide before staying in underground bunkrooms in Coober Pedy. Two nights were spent in Alice Springs with students staying in tents they put up  themselves. Dingoes howling and even a few sightings were had in Kings Canyon, with the group again staying in tents.

The final stopover was in Uluru, staying in tents for two nights. A night in the bus, including a disco and movie, finished the trip.

Reflecting on the trip, students recently enjoyed a “Movie and Mocktail Night” to share photos and videos of the camp as well as camp journals.

Ms Caddy said the school utilised additional funds allocated as a way to assist students from low socio-economic areas. “People were impressed by us,” she said. “Everywhere we went we were asked who we were, what we were up to and told how amazing this whole concept was.”

Published in the Warragul & Drouin Gazette, November 4, 2014



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