From the Head of Global Pathways – Wanderlust

As Australia and the world reawakens from the COVID-19 pandemic, we look with hope to 2022 and beyond for students to experience our Global Pathways and Partnerships Program.

Establishing Global Pathways and Partnerships is at the heart of our Values at St Catherine’s.

It provides a vital platform to deliver our School’s commitment to equipping our students with Integrity, Empathy, Curiosity, Gratitude and Perseverance.

Our Global Pathways and Partnership Program is multi-faceted, incorporating our School’s commitment to maintaining and broadening worldwide connections and partnerships to offer our students global opportunities and experiences. In doing this, not only do our current students benefit, but future students, parents, teachers, and all those who work and engage in the St Catherine’s community.

Through our experiential Global Programs, our students gain the skills necessary to perceive and act appropriately and responsibly within varying cultural and environmental contexts. Connecting with people from different cultures and within different environments provides our students with the abilities to interact on both an intellectual, as well as emotional level.

Through our immense and varied programs, students are exposed to many aspects of the world.

These include:

  • Adventure programs such as the Duke of Edinburgh Program, the New Zealand Expedition and The Tasmania Expedition, where students engage with the natural world, learn physical skills, and gain a sense of the world around them.
  • Service projects such as Heyington to Highlands and World Challenge, open students’ worlds to lifestyles vastly different to their own, within cultures experiencing food insecurity, limited schooling opportunities and limited health support. These projects operate to instil the idea of establishing passion for action, empathy, and gratitude in our students.
  • Our Language Exchanges to France, Japan and Italy encourage students to immerse themselves in another way of life, living with local families and attending a local school, enables them to see the day-to-day nuances of different customs, learning and respecting cultural subtleties. The Exchanges also highlight to students the similarities people from around the globe can have.
  • Exchanges within Australia, the UK, USA, and Canada see the students live with a local family and attend a local school for an extended amount of time. This lends itself to establishing long-term friendships and an in-depth understanding of other countries, local people, and local concerns. St Catherine’s School is hoping to expand this program through membership of the Round Square Organisation.
  • Our Academic Programs including the Visual Arts Program, the Ocean School Marine Biology Program, NASA Space Camp and Global Young Leaders are once-in-a-lifetime experiences, where students learn by being and doing. What better way to experience marine life than being immersed in the Great Barrier Reef with Marine Biologists as your teachers or gaining a sense of different political systems through the Global Young Leaders’ Program.

Our Global Pathways and Partnership Program extends to inviting and hosting students within St Catherine’s through our Study Tour Program. Although this has been hampered somewhat by the pandemic, we hope to establish relationships with schools around the world, providing students from around the globe an experience of our School, our culture, our hospitality, and our friendship. Instilling in their students the values we hope to instil in ours.

My favourite word in the English language is Wanderlust, meaning “an innate desire to travel.” For me, this word means more than just a desire to travel and explore the world. It means to explore yourself, to experience, understand, investigate, establish gratitude, empathise, question, establish a drive to want to do more and then give back. To understand we are part of something bigger, to see world issues through other people’s eyes and respecting that, being able to debate and discuss issues in an intellectual and informed way.

Real growth occurs when we are our of out comfort zone. Wanderlust is the perfect word to define our Global Pathways and Partnership Program.

Ms Lyn Zarifis, Head of Global Pathways