Report by Kerry Kingsbury of her recent East Timor Immersion with a contingent of other students from the Australian Jesuit Secondary Colleges.
Travelling to Timor-Leste has been one of the most transformative opportunities I have ever undertaken.
During the last week of school, and the first week of holidays, I had the privilege of journeying to our neighbouring country with 18 amazing students and teachers from our Jesuit associate schools.
Placed in a unique, disparate and sometimes isolated world proved to be challenging at times. There were many situations that changed my perspective of our global home, and helped me appreciate the privileged life we live. These occasions could feel very overwhelming and confronting, where our group relied heavily on each other for support.
During our time we were able to meet with the deputy ambassador for Australia, visit local markets, prisons and primary schools, as well as teach high school classes and travel with the Sisters on food programs and medical clinics. We became close with many of the local students, as our makeshift accommodation was in one of their classrooms. The first conversations with the Timorese would often be about their aspirations in life, and it would nearly always be doctors, teachers, or engineers. This was not because they wanted to live a life in comfort with a fair-paying job; but because they had a determination to help their communities and rebuild a country once torn apart by conflict and genocide.
This immersion was more than just two weeks away; it was a truly life-changing adventure, which has shaped me as a person. I would just like to thank the school for this opportunity, I am so appreciative, and I am confident that my time in Timor has allowed me to become a better servant leader. I would also like to thank Mr Lewis, for supporting and preparing me before I went.
The application process for next year’s Jesuit Immersion will be held later in this term, and I encourage all Year 10 students to apply, as it has been one of the highlights of my schooling years.
I would like to share our video to show you a little bit of my trip. You will find this on the college Facebook page www.facebook.com/Saint-Ignatius-College-Geelong-274300752999899/
or, if on Facebook, search for ‘Saint Ignatius College Geelong’.
– Kerry Kingsbury, Year 11