Katitjin is a very special part of Year 8 at Wesley College. But what is Katitjin?
Katitjin is a unique program at Wesley College where students are removed from the main campus to the Western Australian Rowing Club in the Perth CBD. The name comes from a Noongar term meaning ‘to listen and to learn’. Instead of daily classes, students learn to tap into their understanding of self, operate effectively in teams, and integrate as motivated and effective members of their communities.
Rites of Passage have always been a part of coming of age, the crucial journey from boy to man, but too often today we forego these life-affirming experiences in favour of pressure, stress, and an expectation that young members of their society move too quickly towards the demands of adulthood.
Katitjin cannot be the entire journey, but it is the facilitated (ritual) process that is designed usher our future community members towards their new social status. Our community needs the future to be amazing, and this is a unique part of our Wesley journey.
My Katitjin journey
Fynn Harrison, Year 8
During my time in Katitjin, I’ve undergone significant personal growth, with the most notable change being in my understanding of self and my place in the world. The impact Katitjin has had on my life has extended beyond the classroom and I know many of the lessons I’ve learnt will stay with me forever. It has been a transformative journey, moulding me into a more compassionate, adaptable, and socially conscious individual, which I plan to carry forward into my Senior School journey and beyond.
What happens on Katitjin?
During their time away from school, on their journey towards adulthood, students will engage in specific activities designed to give them the skills they will need to master in the high-pressure academic environment of Senior Schooling. They will undertake:
- A number of self-awareness workshops that train students to critically and creatively understand their strengths and weaknesses and apply them to every part of their academic and personal lives – helping them better manage stress, anxiety and the inevitable pressure of teenage life, from exams to relationships.
- Deep, ongoing team challenges designed to guide students towards using their strengths for the benefit of a larger goal.
- Experiences within the Perth community – helping people dealing with homelessness and disability. The students see firsthand that their actions directly affect their community. The aim is to develop an outward-looking focus on serving others.
- A week-long camp at Morapoi, two hours north of Kalgoorlie. Morapoi is the culmination of our rite of passage and an experience that every man who has walked through Wesley’s gates in Year 8 shares. Students are challenged to leave some childish behaviours behind at this program and bring back a new perspective to their Senior School journey.
How does Katitjin work?
For one term in Year 8, students are taken away from the traditional classroom and into a range of challenging and inspirational environments, to explore self-awareness, team dynamics and community.
The boys still learn maths, English and everything else you might expect – but they do it in an innovative hands-on fashion that teaches them more about their part in the world around them.
The program uses a cross-curricular approach to learning and has the real world, community, small groups and experiential learning as its core. In real terms, this means activities ranging from independently making their way to the meeting point in the CBD, to assisting at Uniting West’s Tranby Day Centre for the homeless.