The Red Earth Immersion Programs are not designed for students only interested in being passengers, observing passively from afar. While the safety of everyone involved on our trips is our main priority, we expect students to step outside their comfort zone and step up to show leadership qualities. We actively encourage this essential component of personal growth before, during and after each trip.

The Immersion Program is designed to prepare the leaders of tomorrow

Before Trips: Pre-departure Sessions

Each program is led by an Red Earth Immersion Leader who has spent time in the community or homeland in which the school is immersing, who know the elders and traditional owners involved in the building and cultural activities, and who have a good understanding of the issues that pertain to the region. These leaders will meet the school students in the months leading up to the trips and hold pre-departure sessions. The 1-hour sessions, which follow a relevant and precise curriculum, can be combined or held separately depending on the calendar of the school and will require active and direct participation on the part of students. As with the trip itself, our pre-departure sessions require students to be engaged and alert. The discussion and participation continues outside the classrooms as students will be kept engaged through an e-learning environment in between meetings.

Each program is tailored to the immersion that the school has chosen. While this means that every pre-departure program is unique, we always try to cover the following subjects:

  • Practical Considerations and Safety
  • Fundraising
  • Homeland Project
  • Understanding the region
  • History of Culture
  • Policy implications

Our comprehensive pre-departure program is what sets the Immersion Program apart.

During the Trip

The trips themselves present countless opportunities for students to lead by the force of their example. Students will be expected to do the following:

  • Use the knowledge from the sessions to lead the work on the building project.
  • If applicable, lead the teaching and reading activities undertaken for the benefit of younger local children.
  • Engage with Elders on meaningful topics
  • Lead reflection at night.
  • Help staff with cooking and cleaning.
  • Help staff with general campsite maintenance, including helping to load and unload cars if necessary.
  • Ask meaningful questions during talks with elders, driven by what they have learnt during the pre-departure sessions.
  • Publicly thank elders and traditional owners for the time they have given them.
  • If applicable, lead the teaching and reading activities undertaken for the benefit of younger local children.
  • Take part in all cultural activities that require active involvement, such as fishing, spear-making or basket-weaving.

After the Trip

Students will be asked to fill out the post-immersion section of the material, which will encourage them to revisit their initial expectations and reflect on their journey. The material has specific questions that will invite students to think deeply about what they have learnt in light of what the Leadership Sessions taught them. Students will also be asked to provide constructive feedback about their experience. While this forms part of our attempt to make each trip better than the one that came before it, it also drives students to adopt a critical and solution-centred mindset, which is an essential quality in a leader.