Dean of Waterford | Mr Luke Gribble

I write this report with a great sense of relief that the Year 10 Immersions programs could proceed. I trust that your son made the most of the opportunity and the Immersion presentation night was an opportunity to reflect on the journey with your son.

The Immersion program aims to provide meaningful experiences outside the classroom that extend our young men with various challenges. The Immersion experience will be different for each boy, and they are certainly not meant to be a holiday. Throughout the programs, the students are exposed to situations, people and communities far removed from their own experiences, and I hope this opportunity has opened their eyes to the realities of the world around them. Our young men have had the privilege of being invited into the lives and hear the stories of people who face various challenges from race issues, health issues and living life with a disability. In this space, our students can reflect on their own lives and appreciate the wonderful gifts that they are provided. We hope that we plant a seed where our boys become more outward focused and continue to grow into the future.

With multiple hurdles to overcome and in the face of many restrictions, we were pleased to offer our young men a range of Immersion experiences. Logistically these Immersions are a massive exercise, and the staff involved are a generous group of people who are consistently present to your sons. Without their passion and commitment, we would not be able to offer these opportunities. I would like to thank the staff that made sacrifices in their own busy lives, with time away from their own families, to allow your sons to go on their Immersion. In particular, Ms Mandy Awabdy worked tirelessly to organise the GP doctor’s clinic and subsequent COVID testing clinic for over 180 people to allow the Red Earth and ACU immersions to proceed. Due to COVID restrictions and other concerns, some Immersions were cancelled at late notice, and groups had to be reorganised in a logistical nightmare for Mandy, Ms Paige Fitzpatrick and myself. I hope our parent body and the young men of Waterford appreciate the generosity and commitment of the staff that made these experiences possible.

I would also like to thank the Year 10 parents for their contribution to allow your son to experience his Immersion. Thank you for your patience as we worked through the many challenges and subsequent changes to programs in our endeavour to keep the programs alive in 2021.

I hope the holiday period is a chance to hear more of the stories from your son’s Immersion and maybe get a glimpse of how he has grown.