Today marks the end for almost all ATAR students across the state, and many will be heading to Dunsborough, Margaret River or even overseas in a effort to ‘lose themselves’ and party hard.
For a group of students from Mundaring, Swan, Ellenbrook and Southern Hills, their adventure will be a somewhat different experience.
They leave tonight for the Philippines and will undertake twelve days of community work and cultural exchange in remote farming areas as part of the Leavers2Leaders experience.
Southern Hills College Principal Paul Beacham has led the trip for ten years and he is ready to take the students again as part of this process:
“It’s still relevant because young people who finish school are still searching for who they are and wondering what life is about. By taking them outside of their comfort zone and seeing how the rest of the world lives, we get to experience life and work hard and perhaps challenge our values and the way that we view the world after school finishes.”
Over the past ten years, Leavers2Leaders students have built children’s homes, galvanised roads to create livelihood projects, accessed government grants for large construction projects and visited the Australian Embassy in Manila to meet the Australian ambassador, the Honourable Amanda Gorely.
Ellenbrook chaplain Darren Peakall has been involved with different mission trips for a number of years, and he is excited at the prospect of achieving something special in the next fortnight.
“Workwise, we are laying the foundations for a basketball court for the young children there in Cabacungan. That’s one aspect. But the time we get to spend with this community that we have built a relationship with over the last five years – that’s the exciting part for me! We’ve got some Ellenbrook alumni coming along and we will be getting all the SCEA students together on the day of the concrete pour. We have sent a sea container over and that is packed full of donations for the Special Needs school there. I reckon its going to be an awesome experience!”
You can follow the Leavers2Leaders trip for 2019 by subscribing to the blog at www.leavers2leaders.com