The Thistle - An E-Newsletter of Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia

Reaching their own opinions

"It is a sin of the soul to force young people into opinions, but it is culpable neglect not to impel young people into experiences."

Previously I have written about my love of this quote from Kurt Hahn. I was again reminded of its worth on the Year 8 East Kimberley Tour last week.

The tour was made up of two parts, one where we were hosted by the East Kimberley Clontarf Academy in Kununurra and the second half being hosted by Wyndham District High School. The boys were fortunate to be shown around the area by young men with a real connection to the land and the local Aboriginal population. Much of our time with the Clontarf boys was spent fishing, exploring and listening to the local people's culture and connection to the country. The boys engaged in discussions around the Dreaming, the relationship to Country and Kinship system, including totems, skin names and lore. A highlight of the time spent at Wyndham was the day spent at the pastoral industry training grounds. The Scotch boys learnt about the trust required when working with horses and saw the skill of the Wyndham lads riding bareback and without bits on their bridles! The boys also showed us some of the local sites in the Wyndham area, including some big resident saltwater crocodiles at Marlgu Billabong and local rock art. Again, discussions around local customs of men and women business, sorry business and the impact of the Stolen Generation meant for some fascinating insights for our boys and truly experiential learning.       

We were incredibly privileged to spend this time in the East Kimberley region. The boys got an insight into the challenges faced by people living in remote areas and a first-hand account into the lives of our first peoples. Nothing was sugar coated and some of the experiences and stories made for difficult conversations. Alongside these realities, the boys also saw young men successfully balancing their connections to their Aboriginal culture alongside going to school, playing football and preparing for a successful future. From this immersive experience, our boys are able to challenge stereotypes and myths and form their own opinions from first-hand accounts of Aboriginal culture.

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Bookending the Gold Duke of Ed Award!

Below is a photo of Aydin Hutchison with OSC 1966 Ross MacKenzie. Last Tuesday, Aydin was awarded his Gold Award at the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award 60th Anniversary celebrations at Government House, making him the latest Gold Awardee from the College. A guest of honour at the evening was Mr MacKenzie who received his Award in 1966 from the Queen Mother.