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The eye-opening and uniting experience of Year 12 Retreat


Year 12 s attended Retreat in the first full week of school and their experiences made a significant impact on them, uniting the year level to support each other through their final year of school together. Thanks to Caleb, Maeve and Bronte who shared their experiences with us…

“At Retreat we started off with team games in our mentor group, aiming to create a team atmosphere for the few days ahead. Jed and Zac (previous students) then spoke about mental health and helped us with tips about getting through Year 12. Once that was done we separated into boys and girls to discuss our faith as young people, something that really made me get to know my peers better. The second day started off with different mentor groups doing their “good deeds” for the day. Mr Bier’s group packed toiletries to be given out to homeless people around Fitzroy and the surrounding area. It was good to see what we see as basic items going to people who really needed them and were less fortunate than us. Once that was done we had a Muslim woman (Sharene Hassan) come in and talk about her religion and she showed us just how similar Islam is to Christianity. The night was topped off with reading our letters from our loved ones and then a trivia session where we got to see some pretty awful teacher baby photos! Overall Year 12 Retreat was a great start to the year and it really set a good mood for our cohort to strive through 2020 together.” (Caleb Connick)

“I was in the second group for Retreat, which arrived on Wednesday. Retreat for me was an enjoyable experience, where I learnt a lot about myself and others. On the second day I was lucky enough to be able to visit a homeless shelter. I went with three others to the House of Welcome where we helped prepare lunch and then served people. This was a very rewarding and eye-opening experience. A fun and enlightening part of Retreat was Trivia on the second night, where I got to bond closely with my friends. Overall, I had a fun experience and am very grateful for the opportunities during Retreat.” (Maeve Tupper)

“Throughout the Retreat we focused on each of the Mercy values during different activities or sessions. My favourite part of Retreat was when I got the opportunity to help feed homeless and less fortunate people at St Mary’s House of Welcome on the second day; this represented the Mercy value of Social Justice. We were given the task of preparing, serving the meals and then cleaning up afterwards. It was a bit confronting to meet these people who had come from all walks of life but, on the other hand, it was food for the soul and extremely uplifting to get to know these people and experience how grateful, polite and appreciative they were of these simple pleasures of food and water. It was a very wholesome feeling that I will never forget and something I will definitely do again in the future! I really enjoyed the consistent theme of gratitude that ran throughout Retreat; it made me realise how lucky I am in the things I usually take for granted and helped me change my outlook on life, which I hopefully will take with me into the future. I also really enjoyed the Trivia Night that was held on the last evening – I laughed so much I cried… it was a very fun way to finish off the Retreat. Altogether it was a great few days which, to be honest, I did not expect.  I really enjoyed my experience on Retreat.” (Bronte McConnachie)