A place for change, becomes a place of change… Throughout 2018 there have been many changes and challenges in the Maria House, however the spirit and resilience of all involved has made it arguably one of the best years yet.
After seven successful years with Duncan as the teacher and self-proclaimed Fearless Leader, it was time for a bit of a change. Duncan was honoured for his time and Samuel was welcomed as he took on this new challenge. There were also changes in the residential aspect of the Maria House. Megan moved across from Fleming and was joined by star recruit Bianca. The two instantly became a winning team. Steph and Kellee were very excited for the changes, while they also ensured that some of the crucial elements of previous success in the Maria House continued.
Throughout 2018 there were many learning opportunities in and outside the classroom. The most notable experience was our Yarrabin camp. Yarrabin Ranch is located in the beautiful O’Connell Valley near Bathurst. It was here that we would focus on developing our team-building skills and learn the art of communicating, just not in the conventional way.
The challenge was to learn verbal and non-verbal communication skills from and with the horses. Unfortunately,
Mr Ed was not at Yarrabin, so this was no easy feat. Annie was our host for the week and this was definitely not her first ‘rodeo’! She taught us not only how to ride our horses, but also how to understand and care for them.
On the first day we learnt how to approach a horse and start to read their body language. We fed our horses daily and no suprises, this strengthened our relationship. We had an ‘easy’ ride around the stables to get used to them.
On the second day we headed out on the trails and gleaned an insight into our horses personalities. Each one of us was able to identify what we had learnt from our horse and we started to label those personalities – which horse had the ‘lazy’ personality, which one was ‘boisterous’ and which horse seemed ‘shy’. It was very interesting observing the differences in the horses’ behaviour. At times we weren’t sure who was leading who.
This was an amazing experience for both staff and students and one which all are sure to cherish. As a team we certainly grew. There is no doubt that we did learn to understand the complexities involved in communicating clearly. We now appreciate it takes time to understand others and that this is often a key to positive communication. (In the case of our horses, carrots also played a role in strengthening relationships!)
All in all, it has been a very successful 2018 for the Maria House, with many of the young ladies moving on to new adventures in 2019. We wish them well and hope they will often recall one of the favourite quotes in the Maria House…