Dean of Identity | Mr Charles Brauer
Immersion summed up
As our Year 10s returned from Immersion, their stories, photos and memories came pouring through the door of Waterford Place. Not only was our Immersion program affirmed, so too were the reasons I teach. I teach for the moments where experiences of self-discovery are developed for young people and facilitated with care and attention, leading to enlightenment, self-awareness and growth of each individual. This most certainly occurred on the Timor-Leste Immersion.
Below is a snippet of the reflections of our Timor immersion students, framed around elements of our shared humanity:
Timorese independence was extremely valued as they have struggled so hard for it…. This intense history has shaped what Timor is, and who the people are today. The Timorese people are so in touch with their history because many of the people living in Timor today have lived through their nation’s struggle.
In Seloi we were invited into a house for the day by a man named Mario and his family… whenever he heard the occupying military was approaching, he would run from his house, leaving with his wife and children, and escape into the jungle surrounding his property. The advice Mario gave us at the end of his story was “If you want change, go out and make change”.
Place and family
The theme of place in Timorese culture is a very significant part of everyday life. The importance of every place we visited was extremely confronting, as every place in Timor-Leste is considered spiritual. The significance of Railaco Craic is quite powerful. The community would all gather around and eat, play and enjoy watching the kids run around endlessly.
Family in Timor is everything; even if the Timorese people have never met you, they really would like to have a conversation with you and treat you as part of their family. You are welcomed by a sparkle in their eyes and a warm and generous smile which instantly says, “we are glad you are here”.
Faith and tradition
Timorese people uphold their faith and traditions to a great extent. Mt Ramelau is a holy place to the people of Timor. During times of occupation, it was a place of sanctuary for men who were fleeing persecution. Many Timorese men and women climbed the mountain every holy day to pay respect to the people who had died during the invasion.
Peace and hope
Timor is a country of peace and hope. The nation has now moved forward considerably through independence. An area of advancement during recent years is education. The Edmund Rice Foundation and the Canossa Foundation have created hope for the future generations of Timor through creating schools around the country.
We give thanks for the safe return of our Year 10s and for the wonderful stories, memories and perspectives with which they return home.
I wish all members of our Terrace Family a happy and safe break and look forward to continuing our year together in Term 4.