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Big fish in a big city

31/08/2015
On the crisp morning of the 13 August, fifteen Aristotle students from grades 8-10 embarked on a journey to Brisbane that would test their confidence, resilience and endurance.
 
The first activity on the agenda was a thrilling rock climbing session at Urban Climb in West End. This challenge separated the physically gifted from the…well… weak. The dream team consisted of Aristotle teacher Kate Cobb and year 10 student Brittnee Smith who shot up each wall. Everyone conquered their fears and completed several climbing challenges. Even better, no-one who was belaying on the ground dropped their climbing buddy.
 
The group was now ready to walk over the Green Bridge into the beautiful grounds of the UQ campus at St. Lucia. There we perused the various lunch options available and mingled with crowds of university students from all over the world. After Seth had finally made it to the front of the Boost Juice queue, we walked back down to the river to catch public transport into the city: a Citycat from the UQ pontoon.
 
After a false start when Mrs Cobb led us to the wrong jetty, we climbed aboard and shot off down the Brisbane River to Milton.

Our group was greeted by ex-Dalby High student, James Cobb, who is Customer Service and Network Manager at the 1300 Flowers – a business that connects customers with suppliers from all over Australia. James explained how university qualifications can be transferred between different career paths. He encouraged the group to follow opportunities, build networks of contacts and be confident, even in challenging situations such as job interviews. James took us on an office tour which, to Liam and Callum’s delight, was accompanied by an excellent soundtrack.

After we left the premises of 1300 Flowers, the group completed a long walk under the city bridges to reach the Queen St Mall. The time of day Sarah, Brittnee and Liam had been waiting for had finally arrived - shopping!
An hour went quickly and the group gathered back together to show off their purchases. Seth was looking snazzy in his new jeans from Targét and Liam was delighted with his numerous purchases from Lush.

Patiently waiting for us behind a mysterious metal door under City Hall were the inspiring staff of the Red Cross Night Café. We learned about the serious issue of youth homelessness in Brisbane. These inspiring youth workers shared their career paths and explained what it is like welcoming, feeding and supporting homeless youth at the Night Café.

With time ticking, we almost ran to Central Station where we purchased train tickets to the Valley. We explored China Town, considering the different dining options available. With bellies full of fried rice, honey chicken, spring rolls and even deep fried ice cream, we ventured back to the train station.

Waiting in front of City Hall in the growing darkness was a spooky man dressed in clothing from the 1900s - our tour guide for the Haunted Brisbane ghost tour. We followed him around the dark streets, learning about the city’s violent past and the haunted souls that occupy the historic buildings. Our appetite for pancakes was spoiled by the tragic story of the death of a young boy in the bell tower of an old cathedral. This building has been redeveloped as the Pancake Manor in Charlotte Street, but the ghost is still in residence (so they say…).

By 9.30pm, we could all relax except our amazing bus driver, Mr Bruce Finlayson, who brought us safely home to Dalby. As the bus travelled  out of the beautiful city, fifteen intelligent Aristotle students had lots to think about. We were inspired by our experiences, full of excitement for the future, and also full of food!

For anyone that feels they are up to such experiences and would like to take on the endeavours these brave souls did that day, I would advise you to listen to your inner self. The Aristotle trips are just part of a subject that will challenge you academically, mentally and socially, while building  educational foundations for your senior studies.
 
Sarah Town