Words: Sean Salmon, Azmen Sebastian, Islau Puertollano, Marshall Dann, Messiah Cox, Ezekiel Hunter, Laverette Roe and Fred Hamlett
Photos: Philip Docherty and Sean Salmon
June 11th, 2012
WEST KIMBERLEY ACADEMY CLASS
GIBB RIVER ROAD EXPEDITION
On April 30, 2012 the West Kimberley Academy Class set off on their Gibb River Road Expedition. The expedition concentrates on instilling leadership, self-esteem and self-discipline in the students.
In order to develop these life skills the students chose four key areas to focus on, being teamwork, communication, initiative and problem solving.
The expedition included a challenging six hour hike through rugged Kimberley terrain and a day with the Wunggurr Rangers from Mt. Barnett conducting research and navigation activities.
The boys identified many examples where they relied on their ability to work as a team, communicate effectively, show initiative and problem solve to ensure the success of their expedition into the Kimberley wilderness. They chose to highlight the following in this article for the Clontarf website.
“Team work was required to set up and pack up camp. If everyone helped each other out it happened quickly and was easier. We had to co-operate with each other to set up our tarp and swags and collect firewood. On the hike we showed great teamwork by encouraging and helping each other to climb over the mountain range.”
Azmen Sebastian and Islau Puertollano
“When we met the Wunggurr Rangers we all introduced ourselves by meeting each ranger and telling them our name and where we are from. We used our communication skills to listen to the rangers tell us about their job looking after the country and to listen to their instructions. We had to watch, listen and learn as they showed us how to identify the rubber vine plant in the bush and use a GPS to record where it is.”
“We showed initiative when we got back to camp before everyone else and started chopping up the vegies and preparing dinner. We did not wait for Salmon, Josh or Doc to ask us. We knew what we were having for dinner so we started getting it ready.”
Messiah Cox and Zeke Hunter
“We had to read the country and find the right way to go to climb up and down some of the steep cliffs when were on our hike. We also kept our water bottles filled up with spring water every time we could so as not to get thirsty.”
Without a doubt the highlight for the boys was swimming at the magnificent Manning Gorge or ‘Top Gorge’. The waterfall was at full flow after another big Kimberley wet and the boys appreciated the cool water after a few days hard yakka hiking through the scrub, searching for rubber vine and collecting seeds from rare Kimberley plants. Other highlights included catching good size cherabin at our camping spot and cooking them on the coals and Laverette and Messiah’s Goolie Gup Stew made from Salmon’s famous recipe complete with secret ingredients.
We measured this tree, a freshwater mangrove (Lophostemon Grandifloris) for inclusion in the National Register of Big Trees, at the start of our bush hike
Azmen Sebastian and Marshall Dann after climbing a steep ridge on the hike. You can see the Gibb River Road in the background
The West Kimberley Academy boys with the Wunggurr Rangers at Manning Gorge
The boys taking in the view of the rugged Kimberley after climbing further up the ridge
Having a well-earned swim at the stunning Manning Gorge waterfall
Cooking fresh cherabin on the fire
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