Frances Buckland-Willis, George Hatzigiannis, Michael Lotsaris and Jessica Samuel – in Year 11 at Rosebank College, Five Dock – accepted the challenge to step out of their comfort zone by participating in the Santa Teresa Good Samaritan Immersion Experience in the Northern Territory last month.
They joined their peers from other Good Samaritan Schools in NSW to learn about and vicariously live the life of the indigenous communities of Alice Springs and Santa Teresa.
They attended church with members of the local community before undertaking various jobs around town such as working in the school tuck shop, preparing meals on wheels, sorting out items in the op shop, working with the kids in the crèche or cleaning out the church.
This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity had a profound impact upon the students. They discovered that many indigenous communities still practise their culture, such as smoking ceremonies and traditional dances.
“I learnt that human nature allows us to form relationships with people disregarding any social, physical or belief differences and that it is society that is limiting these interactions,” said Jessica.
Another highlight was meeting some of the staff of the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the School of the Air.