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During the Term One break eighteen Year 10 students travelled to the Tiwi Islands for the Jarrumwani Immersion to Indigenous lands, with 2023 commemorating the 20th anniversary of the inaugural journey to Bathurst Island and Daly River.

As organiser I often wonder how students respond to the experience, so I was pleased to hear the following reflection: “Moving through the middle years I often heard about the College’s Immersions being amazing experiences, but it was not until I actually experienced Jarrumwani, that I fully comprehended what this means. The experience moves you and changes you as a person. You get a new perspective of the world and the people in it. You learn things about yourself and the way you handle new situations and, also, about how you treat others living in the world around you.”

Overall, I believe it is the relationship we share with the Tiwi people that enables the immersion to have such a powerful impact on participants. The relationship is evident in the manner we are greeted as we arrive and as we walk around the community. It is cemented through our teaching of science to students at the local primary school, the sharing of cultural activities such as fishing, painting and the never ending sessions of song and dance.

In the hope of keeping this report brief, a summary of the Jarrumwani events is outlined below:

  • Presentation of illusion tricks, which had us labelled ‘the magic school’. The expression on the faces of Tiwi students during the illusion activities was priceless, especially when they realised that it was not magic but trickery.
  • Supervision of Tiwi students fishing on Aspley Strait; priceless as many of the Ignatian students had no idea how to fish.
  • Bush camp with our Tiwi family which included lots of singing and dancing. The Tiwi’s taught us traditional song and dance and we taught English songs.
  • 5.30am wash out of bush camp where everything was saturated, but Tiwi’s camping with us managed to anticipate the downpour and escape before the rain hit.
  • Elderly Tiwi men on bush camp barking instructions to the Ignatian boys: “boy, wood”, “boy fire”.
  • Camping in the primary school gym with a surprise visit from our Tiwi family for a night of song and dance
  • Dinners where we joined by up to 25 local Tiwi’s.
  • Roller coaster boat ride to and from the island where half the group were saturated.
  • Darwin visit to War Museum where our Tiwi guide double O (Mr Toome’s Tiwi brother) played tour guide, entertaining the Saint Ignatius group plus members of the public with stories of the capture of the first prisoner of war and the birth of his uncles on the day of the bombing(19 February 1942).
  • Tiwi Museum tour where we learnt about the history of the Tiwi people.
  • Tiwi Design tour and screen printing of t’shirts.
  • Watching local football and witnessing the warm and friendly welcome of the Tiwi people.

The group were sensational. As leader, it was pleasing to experience how well the group unified and approached every aspect of the journey with such enthusiasm and respect.

Activities like this are reliant on the generosity of staff I take the opportunity to thank colleagues, Ms George, Ms Kind, Mr Picca and Mr Lodge for their diligence in ensuring this journey was such an outstanding success.

Chris Toome
Journey Organiser

Upcoming Dates - Senior School
Generations in Jazz