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St Paul's News

East Timor service tour 2015

Date: July 17, 2015

A group of students from both Traralgon and Warragul campuses have recently returned from a service tour of the Ermera district of East Timor.

The students spent time visiting community centres and schools, helping in classrooms and playing sports such as soccer, frisbee and AFL football with local children.

They had the opportunity to visit a Secondary School in Ponilala which the Friends of Ermera group had donated funds to for construction and also met a group of university students from Ponilala who are now studying at universities in Dili with support from St Paul’s.

The students visited Balibo where five journalists were killed in 1975 and also shopped for goods from locals that will be used for a fair trade stall to raise further funds for the Ermera region.

It was a truly amazing opportunity to be taken to a country that is so different from my day to day experience. Being immersed into a culture that is so friendly and welcoming allowed me to reflect on my own life. – Josh Monaghan, Year 10, Traralgon campus.

Being able to visit East Timor has allowed me to see a world with such beautiful people that I didn’t even know existed. Everyone was so grateful for even the simplest things. – Maggie Hamilton, Year 10, Warragul campus.

Having the opportunity to visit east Timor has been incredible for me. It is a lifetime experience that has meant so much. I have really been encouraged to think about my lifestyle and I have been challenged in many ways. I have learnt to prioritise happiness, selflessness and love in my life. – Rochelle Rajasingham, Year 11, Warragul campus.

I now appreciate education a lot more since going to East Timor, as well as my family. The trip has really put in perspective what is important. – Sally McLean, Year 11, Warragul campus.

The message I took away from this trip is that money doesn’t necessarily equal happiness. I think that as Australians we need to focus on the good things in life and acknowledge the bad but not let it take over our lives. – Anna Nowotny, Year 10, Warragul campus.

It has meant everything. It has changed my perspective on life and given me great insight into the lives of others. I’ve also made some of the best friendships and memories of a lifetime. – Caitlin L’Hotellier, Year 10, Warragul campus.

I have gained so much from this trip. I feel like even though I was very appreciative of the things I have, this experience has, in a way, intensified my appreciation. – Grace Metselaar, Year 11, Warragul campus.

The trip has given me an understanding of what makes people happy, but also a perspective on what I should be grateful for. I am very thankful for the opportunity to see what life is like for people in a third world country. – Stephen Charles, Year 10, Warragul campus.

The trip has made me change my perspective about my life and understand how the East Timorese people are happy even though they don’t have much. – Katrina Olszewski, Year 11, Warragul campus.

This experience has helped me be grateful for things I never thought I’d be grateful for, like roads! I am so grateful that I even had the opportunity to go. – Kate Panipucci, Year 10, Warragul campus.

I’ve seen the diverse social standards between Timor and Australia and how they have so little yet so much in the way of their spirit. – Maddison Long, Year 10, Warragul campus.

The people of East Timor have experienced some pretty confronting things that we can’t even begin to understand, but being aware and learning about it helps to appreciate how lucky we are. – Hilary Pammer-Green, Year 10, Warragul campus.