Reflection Days: Living Your Code

During the past week, Years 7, 8 and 11 students had the privilege of spending a day with Dave Jorna, who facilitated meaningful experiences for students to reflect on: 

Year 7: Who are you?
Year 8: Be your brave self
Year 11: Servant leadership

Through games, song, conversation, and reflective experiences, students were challenged to develop their ‘code for living’. Once students had time to identify the values they wanted to live by, they were encouraged to incorporate their code into their daily lives to empower them to be compassionate, empathetic, and caring individuals and empower others to be the same. 

Years 7 and 8 students were invited to write a letter to their future selves, which they will receive at their Year 12 retreat. The letter included:

  • things they were grateful for
  • three things they liked about themselves
  • what their code for life is
  • who they want to spend more time with
  • how they want to make a difference in the world
  • when they reach Year 12, what type of person do they hope to be. 

The activity concluded with a powerful ritual where students gathered in a circle with their letters in the centre. Then, they were called to stand up and bravely state the person they wanted to be. The ritual concluded with a prayer with students asking God for the courage to be the person God created them to be. 

The Year 11 students were asked to consider the important people in their lives and be mindful of their role models. They were also encouraged to reflect on ways they could bring out the best in others and, through living their code, how they could be people who serve others and change the world for the better. 

Dave Jorna from Project Hatch is an experienced retreat facilitator. He provided engaging and dynamic opportunities for our students to reflect and explore what it means to authentically live the key Gospel values. I asked why he did this. He replied, “I have seen how positive people in my life have encouraged me to grow and become the person God created me to be. I want the same for young people. I encourage students to choose their role models with care so they can become the best version of themselves. 

Dave also wants students to have a code by which they live. Without a code or core set of values, you are like a driver who has no idea where they are going, which is frustrating and a waste of time. More importantly, it may lead to a place of no return. When you have a code for living, you know where you are going and will live a life with meaning and purpose. 

The students thoroughly enjoyed their Reflection Days. Here’s what some of the girls had to say.

Dave made the day fun and valuable. The day was an excellent day to learn about our code. Dave made it clear that our code should be important to us. He told his story about finding $200 at a store and not taking it but following his code to find the owner who desperately needed it. Matilda Regan, Year 8

Reflection day was an amazing experience. I really enjoyed the activities and what Dave had to say about being boldly you. It was truly inspiring. I can’t wait to open my letter in Year 12. Frankie Lucas, Year 8

The Year 11 Reflection Day was an insightful and meaningful adventure that encouraged us to reach out and make friends throughout our Year group. Dave, who ran the session, coordinated a series of workshops that combined fun and enjoyment with activities focussed on mindfulness and the search for inner peace. Sophia Marra , Year 11

What I took away from the day was Dave’s message about being very careful about who your friends are as you will become like them. I found this such a valuable takeaway. Sophie Muir, Year 11

We are most grateful to Dave for his passionate delivery of these refection experiences. We look forward to welcoming him back next year. 

Jilly Landers | Director of Mission 

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