Monday 26 October 2015

Round Square Regional Conference Launceston

An Ivanhoe Grammar School Year 6 delegation from both Plenty and Buckley House campuses attended the Regional Conference for South-East Asia and Australasia. The group arrived on Sunday 4 October for a week long journey through the IDEALS concluding on Friday 9 October.

The Conference was hosted by Scotch Oakburn College, utilising their Junior School and Boarding House (Elphin Campus), Senior School and Wetlands (Penquite Campus) and Outdoor Education site (Valley Campus) which is situated in the picturesque Fingal Valley, North-Eastern Tasmania.

Students demonstrated Democracy during the Baraza Groups (Swahili word meaning circle of wisdom), consisting of students from 16 schools. The manner in which they participated was exemplary, demonstrating many of the Ivanhoe Values. They discussed human rights, sustainable practices across the globe and the importance of working together to resolve challenges.

A key feature of the conference was Adventure and students were challenged to overcome fears with physical challenges. They used teamwork and communication to complete group tasks on ropes courses and on the water in canoes and rafts.

Three guest speakers inspired delegates to take action in their world. Firstly, Mel Irons spoke about Service and used her example of helping people after devastating bushfires in Tasmania in recent years. Poppy Mulford, Kurt Hahn Award recipient shared her story about raising money for children in Thailand. She inspired all by explaining how she rode from Temple to Temple, a 418km bike ride from Thailand to Cambodia across five days. Remarkably Poppy was just 12 years of age at this time. By raising money with sponsors she was able to help a young child she had met on a Round Square Project improve her living standards, clear examples of Adventure and Service. She inspired delegates to dream big and believe that they can make an impact on others in the world. Finally, a Ranger spoke to the group about saving the Tasmanian devil. He spoke at length about conservation of this endangered species and how he and others are attempting to save them from extinction, a valuable lesson in Environmental Stewardship.

Throughout this journey new friendships were forged and Round Square connections between schools were strengthened. Students committed to going back to their respective schools and spreading the knowledge that was attained and new learning that was experienced of Round Square and the IDEALS.