Time With The Arrente People, Santa Teresa, Northern Territory

During the holidays we, four Year 10 students, embarked on a cultural trip to immerse ourselves into the life of the Arrente people living in Santa Teresa in the Northern Territory.

We started our journey in Alice Springs, then made an hour long, dirt road drive to Santa Teresa. Whilst we were there, we helped in the community centre, delivered food to the elderly and assisted in the spirituality centre where women from the community paint pieces of beautiful art.

Hearing the stories of the people living in Santa Teresa was an eye opening experience. The women told us about how when they were younger, they lived in dormitory accommodation and although their parents lived only 100 metres down the road, they could not leave the dormitory to visit or see them. We also took part in a traditional smoking ceremony, where our spirits were cleansed and strengthened by the traditional healer, Mia. It was a very interesting experience and we all felt deeply immersed in the culture of the Arrente People.

Overall, this experience has made us aware of the lives of people living in Aboriginal communities as well as broadening our perspective of our daily actions.