I’m so pleased to be writing to you from Larrakia Country – Darwin, in the Northern Territory – where we have established our MITS Darwin Hub for Term 3 and Term 4 of 2020.
In early July, when it became clear that it would not be possible for our students to return to Melbourne as planned, our Leadership Team met (by Zoom!) and we asked the question “What will be best for our students?”. For us, the answer was clear: the best thing for our students would be to return to in-person learning, and to achieve this, we would need to move to Darwin.
The days that followed were busy – and an adventure – as 17 staff, 9 family members and our three Year 7 students (Hurra, Ciara and James) prepared to travel north, and into two weeks of quarantine.
Since that time, we have seen the incredible impact of the Darwin Hub! Our 21 Year 7 students have been joined each day by 25 alumni – some living with us at the Michael Long Centre, other living with family in Darwin. Our students have relished the opportunity to be back with their peers, and are making the most of their learning opportunities: for our Year 7s, in class with their teachers, and for our alumni, online with the in-person support of our Pathways team.
It’s been a special time to be in the Top End. Who would have thought that – having missed out on Dreamtime at the ‘G this year in Melbourne – we would find ourselves in Darwin to share in Dreamtime in Darwin?! Every weekend has provided an opportunity to get out into the beauty of the dry season: Litchfield National Park, Berry Springs, the Darwin Waterfront and more.
In this newsletter I’d like to acknowledge our incredible MITS staff. We were blown away by how many staff were willing to travel to Darwin at short notice. It speaks to their commitment to our students and care for their academic progression and wellbeing. Others have stayed at home to continue important work with our Victorian alumni and to keep the home fires burning.
I do hope you enjoy this newsletter, which is full of great images and stories of our first month at the Darwin Hub.