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autumn 2016

Crossing New Horizons

The New Horizons programme focuses on a progression

of experiences outside the classroom, which encourages

personal growth to help embrace the challenges of our

dynamic modern society. Adventure and challenge allow

the individual to develop a greater understanding of

their strength and character: the importance of being a

positive, active member of a community with a practical

understanding of the natural world. The Junior School

camps give the girls the opportunity to develop a sense

of belonging and there is a focus on connecting with the

natural world. Year 3 girls catch Puffing Billy to Wombat

Corner in Emerald - a fantastic way to start a camp!

Year 4 girls travel to a camp at Anglesea, where there is

emphasis on team building and developing confidence.

At Sovereign Hill Year 5 girls explore the natural world

through hands on activities and study the history of the

Australian gold rush, while wearing period dress. Year 6

girls tour Canberra, consolidating knowledge acquired in

the classroom and helping it to come alive. In Senior

School, from Year 7 camp through to the opportunity to

display leadership in Year 11 and Year 12, each experience

is designed to allow the girls to consolidate their skills

and knowledge.

In Year 8 there are two expeditions, one in Term 1 to

build on the Year 7 camp experience and one in Term 4,

to develop specific outdoors skills in preparation for the

Year 9 camp. Entitled the Summit Programme, this is an

important personal development initiative, culminating

in a major expedition at the end of Year 9 for all girls. By

Year 10 the girls are able to select from a range of

experiences, specifically an expedition to Central

Australia, a rafting trip and an exchange to a school

overseas (locations now include schools in the UK,

France, Canada, the USA, New Zealand and China). By

Year 11 and 12 the girls work together to create positive,

inclusive communities and foster leadership.

The Snowy River rafting trip – a true


A group of Year 10 girls, a bunch of river guides, Mr

Saunder and Ms Gratch shared an adventure on the

Snowy River in Term 4. The trip started in New South

Wales and finished in East Gippsland. A total distance of

123 kilometres of the river was rafted, a little over 100

major rapids negotiated (in fine rafting style) all taking

a total of 10 days.

The rapids provided the high-end adventure of the trip.

Many of the bigger ones had names, such as George’s

Mistake and the Washing Machine! Over the first few

days on the river we all learnt how the water moves as it

is forced down between the rocks and drops. We also

learnt what to do with our paddles and raft to avoid

swims and flips. Most of this came down to teamwork:

picking the right ‘line’ down is a skill, and one that was

developed by all.

The trip also offered other opportunities. The section of

river rafted is remote, with little access. It is wilderness.

There was no phone coverage, no Wi-Fi, no regular

plumbing, no electricity. In many ways life on the river

was a lot simpler: it was good to disconnect from the

modern digital world for a while and enjoy the ‘here and

now’ of the trip.

Everything for 22 people to live and travel on the river

needed to be organised and carried on the rafts. Food,

tents, tarps, cooking gear, personal gear, repair kits, dry

bags, wetsuits, Personal Flotation Devices, helmets …

there was no room for excess luggage! This is a unique

way to live and offers many challenges. It only works

when everyone pitches in.

The highlight of this trip for me was the way in which

the girls embraced all the challenges and were able to

enjoy and appreciate the experience. For 10 days we saw

no other people. We were independent and able to rely

on each other. It was a real and memorable adventure.

Mr Darren Saunder,

Director of Outdoor Education

An Extraordinary Experience

The Snowy River Rafting Trip was an unforgettable experience, from learning how

to work as a team, to setting up tents and tarps to sleep under, and mastering the

skills of rafting under the direction of five amazing raft guides and an incredible

teacher. With a group of only 17 girls, we got to know each other really well and

became firm friends. This camp was an amazing adventure. Despite being hard

work, we were well-rewarded, with amazing views and scenery, incredible wildlife

and afternoons off, where we had lots of time to relax and reflect on our exciting

time on the river each day. This camp taught me a lot about responsibility. Nothing

got done unless we did it ourselves. We made every meal, set up the campsite and

packed and unpacked all of the gear onto and off the rafts each morning and

afternoon. This camp surpassed all my expectations. It was a special experience I

had the privilege of sharing with an amazing group of people, with whom I

became close. The Snowy River Rafting Trip is not like an ordinary school camp: it

is an extraordinary one! An experience not to be missed.

Nikita De Bortoli,

Year 10 2015