Waltja supported Ltyentye Apurte School to run a Camp at Arltunga. Waltja provided two troopies and swags for all the students. Waltja staff members: Reconnect worker Allan O’Dea and Family Mental Health Worker Charles Tako, worked with the teachers and elders to run the camp.
The Year 6/7 and 8/9 classes from Ltyentye Apurte Catholic School in Santa Teresa went to Arltunga.
The first stop was Anzac Hill and Charles Creek to see the old Charles Creek mission where Arrernte people used to live. Next we went to Emily Gap for morning tea and then we drove out to Arltunga. At Arltunga we visited the Crossroads where the Arrernte people camped after army trucks took them there in 1942. Next we went to the old police station and jail and government buildings. We saw the machinery used to crush rocks to look for gold inside.
In the afternoon we visited Paddy’s rockhole. This is a special place where old people used to drink water. Because this is a sacred place, when you go there for the first time you have to throw a rock in the water. Bessie Oliver told us stories about how she used to live in Arltunga and visit this rockhole. Next we visited the site of Little Flower Mission. We had maps and we had to walk around and find all the places like the vegetable garden, chook shed, school, garage, memorial, church, girl’s dormitory, canteen, presbytery, convent, well, tank, hospital, tennis court, meat safe and sewing room.
At night we camped at the Arltunga Campground and we played snooker, ate hamburgers, had a trivia quiz and went for a night walk. In the morning, we went to the Visitor’s Centre and watched a little video about gold mining. Afterwards, we went to Trephina Gorge and did the rim walk along the top of the gorge. Next we went to Alice Springs for lunch at the Gap View Hotel. We ate pizza and we swam in the pool. It was a fun trip and one of the best parts was at night going for a walk. We also enjoyed the visitor’s centre, looking at the old cars and machines.
There were lots of people who helped out on this trip. We would like to say thank you to Matto and Ronson for helping to set up camp, Charlie and Allan from Waltja for driving us around, Bessie, Mrs Wallace, Elaine and Carmel for telling us stories about Arltunga and Mosiana from the AAAC for driving the old ladies and helping with the costs of the trip. Thanks also to Viv, Leticia, Wighto, Marcus, RU, Renee and Veronica for cooking, driving, looking after us and organising the WHOLE trip.
Written by students: Harold, Kefon, Josiah and Wighto.