Teachers from around the country shared an experience combining the natural beauty and cultural heritage of the Northern Territory, including visits to a cattle station, a cultural cruise in Kakadu, as well as participating in an immersion program in Katherine.
Among those educators to join in on the experience was Megan Webster, from Galen Catholic College in Victoria. Megan explained that the trip offered “lots of educational benefits that would complement a range of subject areas”, and would “also assist with student personal development”.
“As an Indonesian and Humanities teacher, I have been able to discuss what I’ve learned about the live cattle trade with my students, following the visit to Mount Bundy Station near Darwin,” Megan said.
“Since returning from the trip, I taught my students how the Northern Territory (in particular Arnhem Land) has been linked to Indonesia for many, many years before white settlement – the students loved hearing about the similarities in language and culture.”
Coby Beames from the Torrens Valley Christian School found all of the experiences offered were amazing, saying “what a beautiful place the NT is”.
“The things that I liked most would be the Indigenous interactions we had with the various tour groups, cooking, site seeing, sharing stories, listening to culture and learning about a different way of life; such a precious gift,” she said.
It is this cultural element that is particularly expansive for both educators and students who experience the tour. At the centre of this experience lies the wisdom and stewardship of traditional owners, who play an integral role in preserving the integrity of the Territory’s National Parks such as Kakadu and Nitmiluk.
On top of the National Parks experience, educators also had the chance to get ‘up close and personal’ with the local wildlife at Crocodylus Park and Territory Wildlife Park.
In fact, Coby found that there were myriad opportunities to “link curriculum with the tours”.
“From History, Geography, Science, Language, Indigenous Culture, Civics and Citizenship, Religion to Home Economics, there was something for every class,” she said. “If I were to take a Middle School class on such a tour, I wouldn’t go past the Nitmiluk tour’s Footstep program. This is an all-inclusive Indigenous experience which would see the students immersed in culture in a meaningful way.”
Those who have attended say they continue to draw benefit from having developed new contacts in the Northern Territory and indicate they look forward to drawing on the expertise and experience of NT Learning Adventures for future educational trips.
“When my school is ready to organise a trip to the Northern Territory, I have a great understanding of what programs are on offer, suitable accommodation options and transport for students and staff,” Megan said. “Tourism NT’s ‘NT Learning Adventures program’ offers a variety of suitable education programs and can point you in the right direction of how it can be arranged”
“The 2015 NT famil tour was an amazing trip,” echoed Coby. “Tourism NT organised such a great itinerary and we experienced so many diverse activities in the five days. This is a trip not to be missed, I would go again in a heartbeat!”
Learn more about NT Learning Adventures.