St Albans students aim high

Bethany Seitz, Elliot Lai and Phoc Le shared a special Alpine school experience. (Picture: Kristian Scott)

It was a school camping trip like no other.

St Albans Secondary College students Phuoc Le, Bethany Seitz and Elliot Lai spent a whole term last year taking part in the state government’s School for Student Leadership initiative.

The initiative gave the year  9 students a 10-week stay at the Alpine school Gnurad-Gundidj campus near Camperdown in Victoria’s Western District, where the curriculum focuses on personal development and team-building.

Students in year 9 at state secondary schools across Victoria can apply for residential stays each year, and the honour of being chosen has not been lost on the St Albans’ trio.

During their term away, the students took part in physical activities, such as surfing, hiking, raft-building and rafting.

Elliot said he really loved the outdoor adventures and found them challenging and good for his fitness. All three students agreed their confidence had been boosted and they’d gained leadership skills, as well as making lifelong friends.

The St Albans Alpine school co-ordinator Simon Lynch said the camp offered students a unique and empowering experience.

“It’s clear that their confidence, leadership and motivation when they return to school has advanced,” Mr Lynch said.

“This often sees students go on to be very positive and productive students, family members and citizens.”

As part of the program, the students also developed a community learning project, which they undertook this year.

They organised events, such as sports tournaments and food stalls, to raise about $600 for the Lost Dogs Home in North Melbourne.