There were some heartfelt moments on Wednesday 27 February when Year 9 students and their parents came together for the launch of The Rite Journey. Mercedes College is the first girls’ school in WA to participate in the new program which endeavours to prepare the girls for adulthood by providing them with the opportunity of experiencing rites of passages and important life lessons.
Under the guidance of their mentor teachers and other significant adults the girls participate in a series of important ceremonies (or rituals) each term. The launch involved the ‘calling’ of daughters in a ceremony with their parents and involved the sharing of personal journeys; exploring who they are and where they come from. Students explored their family tree, looked at gratitude and what their legacy is.
The next step in Term 2, will explore boys and relationships focussing on self-image, etiquette and responsibility for self and others. It ties in with the Ballroom Dancing program with Trinity College later that term. Friendships will be covered in Term 3 and will look at building positive, mutually beneficial relationships. The year will culminate in the last week with a “rites of passage” ceremony including team building activities and a camp experience with a heavy emphasis on outdoor education and self-awareness. The camp will be held in the Swan Valley.
Principal, Kerrie Fraser said she was very excited about the new program. “We hope it will help change the thinking of our young women. Away from relying on their peers for answers and their risk-taking behaviour, to something that is far more positive”.