Pilgrimage to Uluru

One of the craziest things we do every year is pile a bunch of teenagers and youth workers into a bus and drive into the desert. It might sound nuts, but 19 years of experience tells us that the Pilgrimage to Uluru is one of our most significantly impacting and life-changing youth work programs yet.

A pilgrimage is a journey of internal significance. While tourists pick up their cameras and travel through a place, taking pictures and souvenirs as they go, pilgrims allow the heart of that place to travel through them, changing them.

 

Next Pilgrimage: April 2020 (TBC)
So what's it all about
For many of us in the city, it’s easy to get comfortable and stay that way. We don’t often challenge ourselves to think about our neighbours, our relationships, the attitudes we carry or the very land we live on. The Pilgrimage to Uluru is all about challenging ourselves. What would it mean to share an experience with near strangers and learn how to live together and care for one another? What would it mean to step into someone else’s shoes, to see more of this beautiful country and seek to understand how our Indigenous brothers and sisters see and care for it? What would it mean to challenge your attitudes and habits and the way you treat people?

“You get the chance to connect with many communities and are made to feel part of one – I cannot express how special that feels!”

Why Uluru?
This isn’t just a standard camp. We’re not just about ‘getting there’. The giant rock that sits in the heart of Australia has huge cultural and historical significance to Australia’s Aboriginal people, and so many stories to tell. The Pilgrimage is about taking a journey and deepening your understanding, seeing more of the world and more of yourself as you do so.
What's actually involved?
The Pilgrimage runs for 11 days. We board a coach and spend 4 days travelling, stopping at different towns and remote Aboriginal communities on the way and learning from those we meet. We then spend 3 nights at Yulara and meet up with other Pilgrims from across the country who’ve taken similar journeys, we meet the local Anangu people and visit Uluru, hearing the stories that have been told for generations.

You can expect: camping, early mornings, long but fun-filled days on the bus, cultural experiences, games and sports with local community kids, great food, incredible friendship, spaces for reflection and discussion, mini festivals (events we run for the local communities), an overnight ‘bush camp’ and plenty more!

What sorts of things do you learn?
The Pilgrimage to Uluru is all about learning to see things differently. Here are some of the key ways we do that:

 

  • We visit remote Aboriginal communities and learn about what life is like for others through the stories we hear and the relationships we build
  • We learn to see each other differently as we spend 11 days together in community and work through our challenges and differences
  • We learn to see ourselves differently as we face new and different experiences and try new things, sometimes well outside of our comfort zone. More often than not, our pilgrims learnt hat they’re able to do something they never thought they’d be able to do!
  • We learn more about Australia’s complex, turbulent history; the stories of our Aboriginal brothers and sisters; and explore some of the attitudes and injustices that exist in our world today, especially relating to our Indigenous people
Participant Testimonials
“I set out to learn bout Aboriginal culture, make friends and have fun – not only did I do all that, but I got to do so much more. It really changes how you view everything. It’s so beautiful and it’s hard, but worth it in the end” – Mikhayla, 15

“I’m really happy that everyone on this trip has just accepted each other and treated each other like family and that has been one of the greatest things I’ve experienced in my whole life” – Participant

“I feel like a different person on this trip and I like this person and when I get home I hope I can still be this person.” – Libby, 14

“I’ve learnt a lot about Indigenous people and their culture. I’ve also learnt a lot about myself. I’ve grown in respect and understanding of the country I live in and for the people surrounding me. You learn so much about Aboriginal culture and people, others in the bus and yourself. You find yourself in learning about the past, you see the most amazing sites that cannot be experienced looking at a photo, you will feel things you might never have experienced before. But you have to go on the trip to truly understand and feel how spectacular and how special it is to be there, at Uluru, and to be able to touch Uluru. It is unbelievably amazing! I feel that this trip has changed the meaning of relationships for me. I will treasure how important relationships can be.” – Kaitlyn, 16

“Just do it. It’s a great experience – it could change your life” – Travis, 14

Express your interest

the journey of a lifetime…

When: April 2020 (TBC)

Why: challenge yourself, experience culture, establish long-lasting relationships, transform your attitudes, learn, grow, explore!

Cost: $1200*

*ask us about subsidies and fundraising!