Breakthrough Programs

Our Year 9 students have been out around Melbourne and Victoria learning from the stories of other people as part of the Breakthrough Program.

The boys had seven programs to choose from, all based around building connections to develop a deeper awareness of the way other people experience the world.

The groups included a team of BGS staff, past students and external partners who generously shared their stories and experiences.

Below is a snapshot of some of the experiences the boys shared throughout the week.

The Berendale group created a beautiful mural. ‘Painting alongside the Berendale students was a lot of fun. The kids there weren’t afraid to just do what they love, just like us.’

The boys on Human Melbourne spent the week alongside service organisations supporting disadvantaged Melbournians. One of the boys described the experience, ‘She escaped abuse as a child, suffered from drug addiction early on and then turned it around, it was inspirational to hear her story. I really admired her positive attitude, she was so brave. There was a moment where I realised that what I am doing will actually help someone going through a tough time too.’

The WeDesign students spent the week listening to the stories of others, brainstorming new ideas, learning from external entrepreneurs and ultimately refining and pitching their ideas to help people to the expert panel of guest judges.

When I walked into the WeDesign space at the end of the week the feeling was electric. The boys had just finished their pitches and they were awaiting the judge’s decision.

‘It was so rewarding to put everything we learned this week together for the pitches and one of the best things was working alongside new people.’

The On Country Yorta Yorta group spent a week with the Wanyara team led by Yorta Yorta woman Serai who introduced the group to her family and community. Highlights included stories from elders at Cummeragunja and an opportunity to walk some of the 1939 Walk-off route. The boys finished the week training with the Rumbalara football team and sharing a meal at the club. 

The On Country Gunditjmara group spent a week with Braydon from Budj Bim tours, Braydon guided the boys around Country, walking them through the experience of the Gunditjmara from pre-colonial times to now. Highlights included exploring the UNESCO heritage listed, ancient eel farms and aquaculture systems of the Budj Bim Lava flow and traditional dancing with the local dance group from Winda-Mara.

On Country Melbourne focused on deepening awareness of the Country that the greater city of Melbourne is on. Highlights included a day with Boon Wurrung man Steve Parker, who connected the boys to Boon Wurrung Country. As the group walked through familiar territory along the bay, Steve shared his knowledge and stories of the area. 

The Environmental Melbourne program saw students being educated on the environmental impacts of climate change, whilst also teaching the students about the sustainable options available which are currently being used by Australians to help reduce our waste and protect our natural environment. 

The group also visited Toolangi State Forrest where they walked along tracks that have been untouched for over 350 years.  In contrast, they were taken to a cleared area and saw the impacts on native habitat and wildlife in the area. 

Thank you to all the staff and students that made these programs such a success.

James Hilditch
Cultural Development Coordinator