Upon completing their studies at the end of 2020, the second-ever Year 12 cohort to graduate from Carlisle Adventist College (Mackay, Qld) undertook a community service trip. With COVID-19 restrictions preventing the class of 14 travelling to Fiji as originally planned, the school adapted—planning a more local trip to Townsville and Cairns.
Travelling to the Riverside Convention Centre in Townsville—where the Northern Australian Conference office is located—the students helped with the maintenance and upkeep of the campground. Their tasks included painting an old shed, creating a Christmas scene along the fence for passers-by to see, gardening, weeding and cleaning up the grounds.
“[The camp manager] needed help with some tasks around the campgrounds as Jonno [Obst] had an injury that limited what he could do,” explained trip organiser and Year 12 homeroom teacher, Nathaniel Amuimuia.
During the week, the students also helped a nearby elderly couple clean up their yard by moving branches, rubbish and heavy boxes. On Friday night, they also ran a kids club for the students at Riverside Adventist School. They played games, did craft, made food, sang songs and performed a skit.
Following the service-aspect of their trip, the students enjoyed a weekend in Cairns, visiting the Skyrail in Kuranda to explore the tropical rainforest. They also witnessed an Indigenous performance and spent a day on Fitzroy island.
After a tumultuous year, school captains Bailey Bowman and Joshua Tikomaimaleya reflected on their service trip and other enriching experiences they had throughout their final school year:
“The year did not go as planned—no one anticipated a global pandemic . . . Yet by some miracle we pulled through and tried to make something good of the time we had left. There is much to be grateful for,” said Miss Bowman.
Prior to their service trip, the students attended their Year 12 formal, followed by a mystery tour, roller-skating, pizza-making at 2am and a day-trip to Daydream Island.