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Year 8 tackle Mount Cootha in Kokoda Challenge


As a teacher, it was wonderful to see our students communicating and working together in order to achieve a common goal.

On Tuesday 1 December, the Year 8 cohort travelled to Mount Cootha to participate in the Kokoda Challenge.

Over the course of the day, Ormiston students involved themselves in hiking, stretcher bearing, barbequing and teambuilding activities, all of which were underpinned by the spirit of service and camaraderie.

Upon arrival at our destination, students stepped off the buses to experience a ‘cool’ 33°C day with humidity in the vicinity of 100%. To their credit, this did not diminish our students’ enthusiasm as they were soon organised into platoons and ascending hills with approximately 35 degree gradients.

After much scrambling and sweating we finally reached the top where Damon, our amazing facilitator, talked to us about ‘Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels’, and how they utilised teamwork to help our Australian troops transport injured soldiers during World War 1. We should have seen this as a sign, as our next task was to reassemble our platoons and take part in a stretcher bearing activity. Students were given 30 seconds to assemble their stretchers, and in groups of approximately ten, they carried their peers the last kilometre to Grey Gum Picnic Area.

Having reached the picnic area, we took a short morning tea and a well-earned drink before moving to our team building games, which were just the precursor to a lunchtime activity that had all the teachers rather nervous.

Damon announced that students would have to light their own open barbeque and cook their lunch. To their credit, the fires, food and behaviour were exemplary. Ms. Nelson even went so far to say her burger was a 9/10. The heat and humidity had clearly left its mark.

It was an incredibly rewarding and fitting way to conclude the academic year.

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