SEVENTY students have left their comforts in metropolitan Melbourne for hands-on lessons in south-west Victoria, helping improve the environment and getting a glimpse of life on the farm.
The year nine children from Gilson College at Taylors Hill are following a tradition started eight years ago when a smaller group came down as part of a learning-for-life program.
College co-ordinator Chris Cowled told The Standard the south-west visit complemented other parts of the program involving bush treks and group urban studies.
This section involves staying at Brucknell Scout Camp and working on community service projects with Birds Australia, Moyne Shire Council, Warrnambool City Council, Corangamite Shire Council and Heytesbury LandCare Group.
“They don’t get much idle time, rising at 6am and lights out at 10pm,” Mr Cowled said. “Our program includes planting trees, removing weeds, visiting a dairy farm, a cheesemaker, Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory, studying coastal geography, the Codrington wind farm and Tower Hill.”
On Saturday they assisted with the service at Warrnambool’s Seventh Day Adventist Church and later presented a donation from college students and staff to the Rantalls, of Mepunga.
Mr Cowled said the college had established a link with the family of 13 children during a traumatic battle with illness which claimed the children’s mother in 2007.