It was an experience to remember with positive outcomes to last a lifetime.

In July, 15 students from Years 10 and 11 headed off to Laverton in the far northern Goldfields of WA for the inaugural PCOutYonder immersive service program.

As part of the experience, they delivered specialist teaching programs to students at Laverton Primary School, ran the School Breakfast program, created a community canvas and played netball after school with local teams.

They also took part in the community’s NAIDOC Week activities, experienced hunting for Honey Ants and Yilpa and learned traditional styles of cooking, spear throwing and dancing.

The aim of the tour was to immerse students in a remote community and help them develop a deeper cultural awareness of Aboriginal traditions and practices.

Students worked with the team at Teach Learn Grow for 14 weeks in the lead up to the trip, training to prepare themselves to mentor students at Laverton Primary School and become aware of the challenges students in such rural areas face.

They put their skills to the test with students in the Perth College Out of School Hours Care program before working in collaboration with Shooting Stars to connect with local students and the community through sports.

They also worked hard to organise fundraisers throughout the year, bringing in more than $10,000 to support Shooting Stars projects throughout Western Australia.

Accompanying staff member, Shanda-Fleur Lane, said she was proud to engage in such a “meaningful immersion and service opportunity” on behalf of Perth College.

“The trip had a profound impact on students and staff alike as we grew in appreciation of the opportunities and access we experience here at PC and from living in Perth,” she said.

“We were blessed to be able to interact with the wider community and spend time ‘out bush’ immersed in Aboriginal culture… and receive lessons from other prominent Elders and leaders from the local area who opened our eyes and gave us new perspectives on the intricate and beautiful nature of Aboriginal culture and kinship.”

Year 11 student, Annabelle, said the trip was one of the “best experiences” of her life.

“It is difficult to put into words how grateful I am for all we were able to learn from the Laverton community, the Elders and the amazing students we had the privilege of tutoring,” she said.

“The Laverton community and all the students were so welcoming. It was an honour to be a part of.”