The Boys - and Girls - of Summer

Trinity rarely sleeps. Although our resident students are gone for the year, other groups and programs continue or begin as the year draws to its end.

This week, the campus is covered with a younger and (even) more diverse group than usual. Trinity has been running Summer Schools for High-School age students for some years, focussing on Science and on Creative Thinking. These two have now been combined into a “Young Leaders” program which adds Leadership Development to the two existing streams. So in these first two weeks of December we have 168 students, along with mentors and instructors, engaging in an intense, and intensely enjoyable, program at the College.

Most of the Young Leaders come from overseas; we have targeted the program carefully in the countries where we recruit for Foundation Studies, as well as on the subcontinent, which is not a large Foundation Studies market but where students are eager to take up the Summer School experience.

Remarkably however we also have, among the Australians taking part, 22 young indigenous students. They come from metropolitan areas, regional towns and far-flung communities; from most states and the NT; from strong educational environments where many students continue to post-secondary education, and from small poorly-resourced schools where staying until the end of Year 9 is a victory. Some are from communities and institutions where we have been building networks over the years; from Minyerri in south-east Arnhem Land, where resident students and staff have visited over a number of years to learn and share experiences, or from Nightcliff in the suburbs of Darwin, where Trinity has built links with Nungalinya College working with teenagers through Drama.

The Summer School is a great example of how Trinity is seeking to extend and give fresh expression to the Collegiate experience. Some of these students, Australian and international, will one day return to Melbourne for Foundation Studies and/or for University study. Others will proceed to University programs elsewhere. We hope that each of these groups will be enlarged by the intensive residential experience they are sharing now.

Summer School is a sort of microcosm of College life, a concentrated burst of the transformative experience that can come with studying and living in community, and from considering questions and problems beyond those related to a single discipline or set of skills. I understand from the program leaders that much work and much fun is being had, and maybe not a lot of sleep – but that’s Trinity.

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