Winter is almost over, and while I struggled with the cold season yet again, our Year 9 girls had some lovely warm weather on their Heyington to Highland trip.  Along with the warm weather came some beautiful Fijian experiences, that no doubt parents have heard all about by now. It was an absolute joy to see their beaming faces at the airport on their return and to hear their stories once they were back at school. In the week following, the calls of ‘Bula’ could be heard through the Wintergarden corridor and girls calling each other by their Fijian names. I witnessed groups of students sitting on the floor in their locker area, ‘just like Fiji’. Some even sitting in their Fijian village groups to reminisce and share in jokes. I have noticed the formation of new friendships in the cohort, which is also lovely to witness. Let me share some quotes from the girls:

“when I got to the village I thought that there were only a few of my friends in my group…but we are all family now.”

“Before I left, I knew it would be a good trip but not this good, I loved it.”

“When I returned to Melbourne I noticed that nobody said hello to each other down the street, unlike Fiji where they all say BULA to one another. A bit sad.”

“They can have so much fun with so little.”

Judging by the quotes, the chatter and the photos, the 2017 Heyington to Highland experience, has been another successful trip. Through this immersion, our students discovered the importance of some of the UN sustainable goals such as good health and wellbeing, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, quality education and sustainable communities. Students were able to build resilience and find the strength within themselves to step outside of their comfort zone. I hope that all Year 9 parents have enjoyed listening to the stories and have seen the benefits of this trip.

Ms Fiona Ganino-Day, Year 9 Dean