Students leading change on peninsula


Learning to give back: Chloe Bilston, top, middle, with fellow students Damon Cross and Matt Belcher while, in the front, are Saska Blomeley and Ivy Bartlett. Picture: Supplied

A GROUP of five Rosebud Secondary College students are making the most of a leadership course in Gippsland.

They are among 45 students from seven secondary schools across the state attending the School for Student Leadership, Snowy River Campus at Marlo.

The program began on Sunday 31 January and ends on Thursday 1 April.

Students from Mount Eliza Secondary College are also attending, as are those from Elwood College, Mordialloc College, Belmont High School, Bannockburn P12 College, Ballarat High School and Portland Secondary College.

The course is held every term.

Rosebud year 9 student Chloe Bilston was among the group this year. “The residential program is nine weeks and you experience many different outdoor activities, such as surfing, bike riding, canoeing and hiking,” she said.

“There are also indoor classes that teach leadership, respectful relationships, collaboration and many other things about yourself and others.”

A feature of the curriculum is to come up with an idea for a community learning project. “This is a way of giving back to our local community and putting into practice the skills we have learnt over the nine weeks,” Chloe said.

“The Rosebud students are all keen to educate the local year 6 students about Indigenous culture. We have decided that we will go to the local primary school and have an Aboriginal elder speak to the children.

“After that we will take the initiative and run small activities, such as dot painting and rope weaving, with the year sixers.

“Now we are in the process of finding Indigenous elders in the area who will help us as we need to know what is appropriate for us to teach.

“We are hoping that we can organise a guest speaker and, under their direction, run some traditional games and art/craft activities.”

The group believes Aboriginal awareness should be “taught to everyone”.

“It’s not, so we have taken it into our own hands to teach the impressionable minds of the local year sixers,” Chloe said.

“As year 9s we believe that we haven’t been taught enough about Aboriginal history and we feel the need to step in and do something about it because nobody else has.

“We think teaching year sixers will get them talking so the word will get passed around like a boomerang which is our project name. When you throw a boomerang, it has to go around and come back which is what we believe will happen to our information.”

Chloe asks that anyone able to help should call her at the Snowy River Campus on 5154 8552.

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 23 March 2021


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