On behalf of Jeanette Wyngaard, Marco Cardinali, John Parlas, Mikayla Byrne and Natalie Hamment
Forty-two students, six staff, one coach and a little red support vehicle undertook the grand 2022 MLMC Central Australia Tour in the holidays — the first such trip since 2019.
We were treated to some of the best that the Northern Territory has to offer — Uluru and Kata Tjuta, Kings Canyon, Alice Springs and Katherine Gorge as well as the Yellow Water and Urbirr rock in Kakadu National Park, Darwin and the Litchfield National Park, just to name a few amazing places.
We slept in the heat both in and out of tents and travelled long distances singing, eating, playing games and watching the amazing scenery roll by. We walked by wonders and learnt about Indigenous culture and traditions and managed to swim in a few watering holes as well.
Visits to the Michael Long Learning and Leadership Centre, Karrke Aboriginal Cultural Experience, the Alice Springs School of the Air and the Royal Flying Doctors Service helped educate us, and our liturgy in Banka Banka in honour of past student Lizzie Calcagno gave us a chance to reflect on how precious life really is.
Steve, our amazing bus driver and guide, and Alex, our creative cook, added so much to our trip, and their hard work and efforts to feed, please and entertain us did not go unnoticed.
A huge thanks to all who made the trip possible — College staff, our 42 students and, of course, all the parents and guardians who trusted us with their young bundles of joy.
A million photos taken, a million memories made and nothing but footprints left behind.
Below are reflections from some of the students:
The highlight of my Central Australia Trip was visiting Wangi Falls and Ellery Creek Big Hole. These places were so beautiful and I have never visited places like these in Victoria. The water holes were a way for the entire group to have some fun and cool down. We also had a games night to raise money for the Royal Flying Doctors Service. We raised over $700 on the tour, which we donated to the RFDS when we arrived in Darwin.
— Steph Tomada (Year 10 Blue)
The whole trip was eye opening. Every single day was full of new experiences, new things to do and new places to explore. From Uluru to Banka Banka Station to Darwin city. I loved being able to travel to a new part of the world with the people I spend most of my days with. Despite the sweltering heat, Central was a trip to remember for the rest of my life!
— Joshua Otto (Year 10 Purple)
Central was definitely a trip I will never forget. I absolutely loved the Kings Canyon walk. The thought of the walk was slightly overwhelming but completing the walk felt really good. Every angle of Kings Canyon had a different view and perspective which showed the true beauty of it. I would definitely love to travel up north again and explore even more.
— Megan Read (Year 10 Green)
I had an amazing trip and would definitely do it again. So many new friends and better connections were made. I loved travelling and being with friends the whole trip. My favourite parts were the water holes, Kings Canyon walk, enjoying time in Darwin city with friends and the disco cruise.
— Liam Haynes (Year 10 Silver)
I loved creating memories and experiencing new things with my classmates as well as growing our bond together. My favourite parts were visiting the many culture centres, the 6km hike along Kings Canyon and learning about the Michael Long Learning and Leadership Centre.
— Tia De Angelis (Year 10 Purple)
The Central/Top End tour was the trip of a lifetime. Whether it was experiencing the red centre in the dry desert heat or cruising around the tropics, I loved every moment of it — particularly the swims in Ellery Big Hole and Wangi Falls, along with the walks around Uluru, The Olgas and Kings Canyon. As a group we created so many memories that I will look back fondly on for years to come.
— Lincoln van Duuren (Year 10 White)