Immersion Programs

The College offers Year 11 students the opportunity to participate in three Justice Immersion Programs. An application and interview process allows students to be chosen to engage in one of the following programs:

Cambodia Immersion Trip


The Cambodian Pilgrimage is an opportunity for a group of Year 11 students to become immersed in situations that enhance their perspectives of justice, charity and compassion, while enhancing the English speaking and writing skills of young Cambodians.

During the 1970's Cambodia was a country devastated by social, political, civil and military turmoil.  From 1975 through to 1979 Khmer Rouge leader, Pol Pot attempted to form a Communist peasant farming society which resulted in the death of two million (25%) of the country's population from starvation, overwork and execution.

With 25% of its population gone, combined with the demise of Pol Pot in 1979, political, social and economic upheaval continued through to the 1990s. As a result, the Cambodians have been struggling to reconstruct essential elements of their society over the last 20 years, particularly the education system.

The primary focus of the trip is on giving service and working with students and teachers in a variety of settings in Battambang.  Several days are devoted to working with Cambodian teachers, students and children who are supported by the Providence Sister, under the guidance of Sister Sopheak and the Friends For All Children Foundation.

St Mary's College staff and students make school visitations; spending time with approximately 85 academically capable students aged from 6 years to 20 years of age; conduct English workshops with Battambang teachers as well as visit nearby villages where educational quality and facilities are significantly inferior and poorly resourced.

Battambang is the capital city of Battambang Province in north western Cambodia. The city is situated on the Sankae River, with a great deal of French colonial architecture. It has a population of approximately 250,000.

The experience aims to be one of MISSION - working with marginalised people of Cambodia in Battambang and IMMERSION - interacting in the culture and society of Cambodia gaining an understanding of this vibrant country and develop an appreciation of its history, geography, people and lifestyle.

Oak Valley Maralinga-Tjarutja Lands Immersion

Oak Valley Maralinga-Tjarutja

The College offers the opportunity for Year 11 students to participate in the annual Oak Valley Maralinga-Tjarutja Lands Immersion which usually takes place in Term 3.

Oak Valley is a remote aboriginal community which is located in the far western region of South Australia in the Maralinga Tjarutja Lands and borders the Great Victoria Desert. Oak Valley was established in 1985 as a community for the Anangu people due to being displaced from the Maralinga Lands after the British atomic tests.

The students and staff who participate in this immersion experience have the opportunity to build relationships with the Anangu people of Oak Valley, particularly with the students through their involvement with the school.

The trip also provides the opportunity to learn about their culture and tradition, and also gain a deeper understanding of their connection to land. We do not go there to help, but to be with and learn from the Anangu people.

Education should challenge our perceptions and our view of the world. This experience broadens the students' sense of reality and allows them to develop an appreciation for the Anangu way of life.

Vietnam Immersion Trip

"Even in the most difficult situations, God is waiting to be discovered" - T. Radcliffe OP

The College offers the opportunity for Year 11 students to participate in the annual Vietnam Immersion Trip.

Since 2005, St Mary's College students have participated in the trip to Vietnam. The primary focus of the experience is on giving service and working with orphaned, disabled children in the Phu My Orphanage in the Thi Nghe District, Saigon and harvesting coffee at the orphanage farm in Bao Loc.

The Orphanage was founded in 1875 is operated by the Sisters of St Paul de Charters where they provide care for over 300 young people ranging from 2 to 35 years of age. While at the Orphanage, students participate in a range of activities and are immersed in the day to day operation of the Orphanage.

The Vision

A journey of mission - where we provide service to those in need... a giving of one's self to others.

A journey of immersion - where we immerse ourselves in the vibrant and diverse culture of Vietnam.

A journey of self discovery - where we, as individuals and a group discover strengths, limitations and goodwill.