In the vibrant heart of Australia’s Northern Territory, a group of determined and diligent students from Lajamanu celebrated a milestone in their educational journey. Eight students—four boys and four girls—earned a well-deserved reward trip to Darwin after successfully completing the first section of their Certificate II in Hospitality and / or maintaining high attendance in school. This trip was a reward for their effort and dedication to their studies.

Starting the Journey: Heading to Katherine.

We started our trip on Thursday morning, excited for the days ahead. After arriving in Katherine, we settled into our accommodation, which was calm and welcoming. That evening, we all relaxed by the pool, enjoying a swim under the clear sky. We had a delicious dinner together, filled with laughter and good conversations, which helped strengthen our bonds.


Adding More Students: A Special Addition

On Friday, we welcomed two more students who had been part of the Work Exposure in Government (WEX) program after picking them up at the Katherine Airport. This program gives Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students a chance to learn about careers in the Australian Government. Their stories inspired the group and showed the many opportunities available to dedicated students.

A Scenic Stop: Nitmiluk National Park

With our group now complete, we headed to Nitmiluk National Park. We hiked the 3km Leilyn trail to the Upper Pools of Edith Falls, where we enjoyed a refreshing swim. We even saw a water python and a water goanna. The beautiful nature and wildlife were perfect for relaxation and exploration.

Arriving in Darwin: Planning and Fun

Continuing our journey, we made our way to Darwin with a quick stop at Woolies. Here, the students took on the responsibility of planning and shopping for their own BBQ. We headed to our accommodation and cooked up a delicious meal. The day ended with another delightful swim in the hotel pool, capping off a day filled with excitement and new experiences.

Saturday Fun: Games and Wildlife

Saturday started early with the students making breakfast. Then we headed to Kingpin for ten-pin bowling, pool, table tennis, pinball, and arcade games. The highlight was three exciting rounds of laser tag, which everyone loved.

Our next adventure took us to the Spectacular Jumping Crocodile Cruise on the Adelaide River. The students were amazed as they observed dozens of crocodiles, some as long as 4.8 meters, and even spotted a pair of majestic sea eagles. This close encounter with wildlife was both thrilling and educational.

An Evening of AFL Excitement

Later, we visited TIO Stadium in Darwin for the Suns vs. Kangaroos AFL game. The students had the special honor of being part of the Guard of Honour to welcome the Suns players onto the field. We had front-row seats and enjoyed the game up close. It was a late night, and everyone slept well before the long drive back to Lajamanu on Sunday.

Reflecting on the Journey

As the trip ended, we reflected on our amazing experiences and what we learned. The students returned home with great memories and a renewed sense of purpose. They saw how their hard work paid off and understood the value of dedication.

This trip to Darwin was more than a break; it was a celebration of achievement and a glimpse into a promising future. The students of Lajamanu have shown that with effort, great opportunities await. We look forward to celebrating many more milestones with them.

Here’s to the bright futures of our Lajamanu students and the endless possibilities ahead!

Written by Blake Romaker, Director Lajamanu Brighter Futures Program