After a relaxing three-week winter holiday break, our Year 11 students marked the first day of Term 3 with a bus straight out of the school gates. Excited to be together again and catch-up on holiday news, they chattered the entire 90-minute drive to Brisbane's St Lucia for their four-day retreat at Cromwell College in the beautiful riverside grounds of the University of Queensland.
Flinders’ annual Year 11 Retreat is one of our College’s most rewarding and enjoyable experiences. It is an opportunity for students to form close bonds as a cohort so that they may learn to rely upon and support one another as they journey through their final two years of school together.
During the retreat, students also learn about their personal values, beliefs and strengths, and are encouraged to become aware of their all-important support networks as well as explore their dreams for life beyond graduation.
The retreat is also an opportunity for students to learn from inspiring leaders in business and the community, as well as our Old Flinderians; all are happy to share stories of their tangential career paths and the life lessons they have learned along the way.
It was wonderful to see students hanging off every word while Old Flinderian Krystle Wright (Class of 2004) spoke on stage. Krystle shared her daring and extraordinary path to becoming one of the world’s most respected adventure photographers and cinematographers. Krystle’s photographic work is featured in global publications such as National Geographic and she is contracted to make short films for major brands such as Cannon Australia, amidst other creative ventures.
Krystle used her speech to encourage our students to build their personal brand of values and character dispositions for a strong mindset in order to achieve their dreams and persist through life’s inevitable challenges.
Here are some of the skills, values and beliefs Krystle encouraged students to embrace:
• Patience and persistence
• Resilience. Accept the critiques. Fail then move forward
• Be competitive
• Go your own way, follow your passion, don’t worry about what others are doing
• Accept the knock-backs and come back stronger
• Slow down and be present in the moment
• Be prepared for change; be ready and adaptable
• Acknowledge the Instagram pressure and celebrate friends who are succeeding but don’t fall into the comparison trap
• Stay true to your ideas – this daring approach works better than playing it safe and pleasing others. Follow your passion and make the time to focus on your goals
• Chase a passionate career
Krystle’s final messages were a challenge to every student:
• First, seek what YOU want to do. Be selfless. Then, do what YOU want to do.
• Feeling lost is OK. Some people are lucky to feel driven but all approaches are OK. Your journey is your journey. Don’t fall into the jealousy or comparison trap.
• When you feel lost, reach out to your family and friends for support and just try to live your authentic way. You will make it work in time.
• Be adaptable; be ready for change.
• And, most importantly, have good fun with life!
Thank you to Krystle and also to the Old Flinderians who visited our students on retreat to chat and answer questions about study, careers and life beyond Flinders.
Class of 2004:
Class of 2008:
Class of 2012:
Emily Travers-Jones, Jennie Knight, Jane Bell, David Bishop
Class of 2016
Baxter Norman, Kate Land
Class of 2017:
Left to Right Top: Bede Hooper, Sam Williams, Baxter Norman, Kate Land, Krystle Wright,
Left to Right Lower: David Bishop, Emily Travers-Jones, Jane Beall, Jennie Knight