08 Jun

On 13th March, four UniHallers and three St George’s students boarded a mini-bus and set off for Albany. Seven hours and 20 or so games of ‘Mafia’ later, they arrived at Camp Quaranup, already friends and excited to get going.

The challenge on the first day was gruelling – a 50 km mountain bike ride along the Munda Biddi Trail. There were complications as well – it was drizzling, the mini-bus broke down en-route and some of the team members who were not experienced with trail riding really struggled with the physicality of the task.  There were a few surprise perks such as finding wild blackberries! That evening, dinner was a cheerful affair with everyone pitching in to help clean up, followed by a team-building game.

On the second day, the weather cleared up, allowing for the group to go canoeing which was something everyone was eager to try. Once again there were challenges such as in getting the canoes to the launch point and one of the canoes capsizing. Additionally, everyone was quite sore from the previous day’s ride.

However the camaraderie fostered as they endured the challenges together. There were beautiful surroundings and the satisfaction of completing what they’d set to accomplish made the trip a worthwhile experience. Over the course of the camp, students learnt many practical skills; such as how to change gears on a mountain bike, how to perform a sea rescue and the items necessary for survival in the wilderness. They also took home lessons that were very much applicable to leadership skills and people’s every day lives.

“Most challenges were mental, taking it slow and steady while staying optimistic.

“Listening to each other and taking other people’s perspective into account helped us make better decisions,” said Michelle Kang, Leadership Program Participant.

She said the trip down to Albany was a real eye opener, as she had been living in cities and never had a chance to experience the wild, other than her army days back in Singapore. From her experience, she learnt that it doesn’t matter if you are weaker than others; as long as you carry the positive and ‘never give up’ attitude, you will be able to accomplish and overcome all difficulties.

“There were times where the group was pushed to the limit, but together we encouraged and motivated each other. It is through tough times like this where strong bonds were forged and memories are built that will last a lifetime,” said Andy Lau, Leadership Program Participant.

The Residential Life team at University Hall work with a range of  UWA teams to provide valuable leadership opportunities for UniHall residents. To find out more about the programs offered email unihall@uwa.edu.au

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