St Mary’s Excursion to Bathurst Island 29-Sep-2016

Year 5 and 6 students from St Mary’s were invited to visit Murrupurtiyanuwu Catholic Primary School (MCPS) Wurrumiyanga located on Bathurst Island. It is part of a partnership formed between the two schools two years ago when their Year 5/6 students visited St Mary’s as part of their own Urban Experience Excursion.

So on Thursday 29th September 2016 a group of 40 students and 14 adults caught the SeaLink Ferry over to the Island. The trip took around two and a half hours. The intention was to engage in various activities and learning experiences in order for students to gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of our very near indigenous neighbours. It also supported the Geography focus for the term where students have been learning about the features of a range of countries.

Once the students arrived, they split into three teams, buddied up with a Year 5/6 Tiwi partner and took part in activities at the school such as a scavenger hunt, jumping on a jumping castle, lego building and art work. All students ate lunch and had playtime together at which time St Mary’s was challenged to a game of AFL against the Tiwi kids. Of course St Mary’s accepted the challenge but were left scoreless at the end of the game! It was wonderful to see the beginnings of some shy friendships and even just the way the students questioned each other and helped one another on their activity challenges.

After lunch, the group once again split up and visited the Museum, Tiwi Design, the Old Church, radio station and statue of Matthias Ulungura who was an Indigenous hunter who captured the first Japanese prisoner of war taken on Australian soil.

It was busy, it was hot but a fantastic opportunity to explore some interesting aspects of the community and all adults who went along on the trip were grateful to be given the opportunity to visit and learn more about Tiwi culture. It was a wonderful day and an extension to a partnership of St Mary’s with MCPS that will hopefully be able to be continued into the future. A special thank you to staff and students at MCPS for outstanding hospitality and Sr Anne Gardiner for her special introduction to the museum and fantastic gifts. Please enjoy the photos thanks to Wendy Riccardi.