Year 12 Retreat: A Journey into Deep Listening
The purpose of our Year 12 Retreat Program is to provide students with the space to learn how to reflect on their experiences, dream for the future and to integrate these into the present. The retreat is designed to be held at a time when the Year 12 students are inevitably looking beyond school. A time that has shaped and formed them during their adolescence and into the great unknown that is their future. Until now, the myriad of possibilities for life beyond school has been spoken about, worked towards, and investigated – but it is at this point that their future begins calling to them, reaching to them and becoming tangible to them.
Across three different sites – Bindoon, Bullsbrook and Baldivis, 23 staff members gave their time and experience to guide our Year 12s in undertaking a journey of deep inquiry into the truth of who they are at the very core of their being by reflecting on who they were, who they are now and who they want to be.
Through a series of shared stories, regrets, fears, hopes and dreams for the future were woven through this search for what is to come next in life’s never-ending journey. Alongside this, students embarked on ‘The Quest’, a reflection of the ancient hero’s quest for the Holy Grail, where they were challenged by several demanding team activities to meet their true authentic selves.
The structure of the Retreat was placed in the context of the structure of the Mass and drawn together, culminating in a celebration of the Eucharist. We wish to extend our sincere thanks to Father Phillip Fleay, Father Nelson Po and Father Slawek Plonka, who travelled to each of our retreat sites to celebrate mass with us.
Each retreat journey was travelled individually and collectively and carefully supported by their peers, retreat leaders, managers and small group facilitators.
Director of Mission and Retreat Leader, Melissa Trolio said, “It was a privilege to see the process unfold and to witness the openness of each student to give and receive the love of God from each other.” Melissa thanked the College staff who supported the girls, who were committed and dedicated to leading the girls on this significant journey.
The following reflections were shared by Year 12 students:
Our retreat was an unexpected and wholly new experience. It was a time for reflection and a time to listen. What I’ve been astonished at is the sheer amount of bravery and honesty that we have all exhibited throughout this time. To everyone, staff, and students alike, that have trusted me and others with sacred, special aspects of their lives and journeys, thank you.
From eating a mandatory five meals a day, dancing our hearts out in Knights, Mounts and Cavaliers, to that feeling of solidarity we experienced when Sam Kerr scored the Matilda’s goal on Wednesday night!
What has this experience been like for me? It’s been a chance to relax, change pace and come to an understanding of who I was, who I am, and who I will become. A chance to realise just how singular and one-sided my experiences are. To acknowledge and appreciate everyone as the product of their journey, their unique experience.
I want to thank all staff who wore their hearts on their sleeves and showed us a very human part of themselves. And finally, to all my peers, each of whom are strong, beautiful women who will go far in life. Let’s not lose faith in ourselves. Let’s overcome challenges together. Let’s focus on our personal relationships, on our Holy Grail. Sophia Marra