Listen: Year 12 Retreat

Walk With God

The Year 12 Retreat allows space for students to embark on an internal journey towards sacredness through the integration of self. Our interpretation of sacredness is the classical Hebrew understanding, which means to ‘walk with God‘, despite our flaws. 

We invited our Year 12 students to undertake a journey of deep inquiry into the truth of who they are at the very core of their being by reflecting on who they were, who they are now and who they want to be. Their regrets, fears, hopes, and dreams for the future were woven through this contemplation.  Further to this, students embark on ‘The Quest’, a reflection of the ancient hero’s quest for the Holy Grail, where they challenged themselves through a series of outdoor team activities to meet their true authentic selves.  The retreat process culminated in a celebration of the Eucharist.

Why Retreat?

It is important students are given the space and safety to validate their own life experiences. Through listening to staff stories, the ‘wisdom of the ages,’ they can see a connection with their lives. Students offered assurance and direction on their path through life if they choose to accept it.

Below are reflections from some of the girls.

My Retreat Experience

My retreat experience has most certainly been a positive one. At such a busy, nonstop time of the year, it has been refreshing to escape to a new environment, be immersed in the activities, and forget about any stress or tension from my school life. Upon reflecting, the most rewarding part of this experience has been the ability to get to know my small group, a gorgeous group of girls who I didn’t know too well. It has been a pleasure to gain new insights about each individual’s own unique story and uncover the positive parts of them. I am inspired by them. At such a perfect time in my Year 12 journey, this retreat has been a rewarding experience to live with my friends for three days, share yummy meals and learn new things about others and myself. Grace McCormack

Immersing Myself

Through immersing myself in the Year 12 Retreat, I learned more about myself and the other girls in the cohort. The program has allowed me to rekindle past relationships and build new ones with teachers and other girls through sharing faith, life experiences and stories close to our hearts. I feel as though I have gained a lot from the retreat, and I am immensely thankful for the time I’ve had here and for everyone involved. Isabella Foster

Everything I Did Not Expect

Year 12 Retreat was everything I did not expect. There were so many extremes of highs and cries, surrounded by many beautiful young women, who I am so lucky to call my Year 12 cohort. Although the hectic weeks we have ahead are fast approaching, it has been truly rewarding to sit back, relax, reflect, eat lots of food and prepare for the ever-changing life we will experience soon. Listening to the teachers’ stories was insightful, and they had so much lifelong advice in their inspiring messages. Although, not knowing many of them, who would have thought we could relate to them on so many levels, especially relationships, doing assignments on the last night before it’s due or pulling an ‘all-nighter’, and family hardships. As all of us will agree, this experience has been rewarding in so many ways. Thank you on behalf of all the students at the Bindoon campsite, especially to Mrs Logan, Miss Gamble, Miss Gangemi, Mrs Marshall, Ms Pasco, Miss Agostino and Mrs Pengilly. Georgia Anderson

We Are All Very Grateful

The theme of the Retreat meant not only listening to ourselves but each other and our hearts. This allowed us to recognise God’s presence and his purpose for our lives. Although we don’t always recognise this, we have seen that God works through others in our lives. Most of all, we learned to recognise God’s love for us.

Some key highlights of our experience included the poles apart game where we shared our opinions on social dilemmas. This allowed us to listen to others and respect the difference of opinions. Another activity we thoroughly enjoyed was the Palancas. These Palancas are letters written by our loved ones. Having the opportunity to read these letters and feel affirmed and loved was a memorable experience. The canvas painting activity was also a powerful expression of God’s goodness in our lives, and our completed pieces were used later in a special ritual. Our canvases, later taken home as a memento of the retreat, captured what we felt was a representation of our journey through life so far.

Another key thing we enjoyed about our time on retreat was writing affirmations for others. We all took home a bag of warm fuzzies, which we will treasure for a long time after we leave school. The Retreat also allowed us to spend time with new people and build deeper and more meaningful relationships with our friends and teachers.

We are all very grateful to be given the opportunity to be part of such a valuable experience. Much of what we have learned will stay with us for a lifetime. We extend our sincerest thanks to everyone who shared this special time with us and to the staff for creating an outstanding experience for us. Anisha Martino & Eireann Robertson

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