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Gulargambone Father and Son Immersion: (Back row) Principal Joe Spiteri, Tom Heaton (Year 10), Antony Spiteri (Year 10), Cal Mouatt (Year 10), Martin Carter (Year 10). (Front row) Damian Corrigan (SAC 1971), Peter Mouatt, Peter Heaton (SAC 1977). Gulargambone Father and Son Ash Walker of the Armatree Hotel. The technology involved in modern farming is impressive. Our wheat farmer, Steve, Immersion maps his entire farm with GPS and can therefore replant Dtwo teachers trekked to Gulargambone (population place 24 hours a day. The insecticide spraying is basednext year using different furrows. His planting does notrequire a tractor driver, is computer controlled and takesuring the 2011 July school holiday’s four boysfrom St Aloysius’ College Year 10, three dads and around 300), 550 kilometres north west of Sydney. Our around infrared screening to minimize spraying. Similarly objective was to undertake community service, to expose on the nearby sheep farm, the decision to convert grain the boys to country life and to give the boys the opportunity protein into animal protein for market was explained. to help themselves through helping others. From our During our stay at the Armatree Hotel, Ash Walker talked to perspective the trip was a great success with all participants us about local farming issues and in particular led a lively feeling the experience was worthwhile. discussion on the live export of cattle to Indonesia. We left early on Saturday, 25 June with the first schedule On Sunday afternoon we helped local activist Alison stop being the Men’s Shed in Dubbo. Founded over four Dent clear feral weeds and burrs from the banks of the year years ago by Frank Doolan and three others the Men’s Castlereagh River. Despite recent flooding the river looked Shed is now a significant social and support organisation only half full. Locals assured us that there was a lot of soil focused on men. It provides an opportunity for men of all moisture and like many outback rivers much of the water races to associate, communicate and participate in the life flowed underground. We could see evidence of recent of Dubbo. It was great to meet around 30 men at the Shed floods with debris resting high above bridges and levees. on Saturday afternoon, talk to the members about their The floods bring infestations of burrs along the riverbanks lives and see the community movement that was driving the and we were pleased to be able to help clear the banks Shed. The Shed has provided a productive outlet for many behind the 2828 Café. disenfranchised men. Their stories were an inspiration to us The 2828 Café is run by community volunteers, supports all and their brotherly embrace a reminder of God’s work local businesses and is an outlet for local arts and crafts. amongst men. The many large corrugated cockatoos installed by the From Dubbo we travelled a further 120km to community around the town emphasise that Gulargambone Gulargambone. Our Sunday itinerary included visits to a (or Galah as the locals call it) is named after the local wheat farm and to a sheep farm, organised by our host aboriginal word for “watering place of many birds”. St Aloysius’ College A Jesuit School for Boys _ Founded 1879 a l oy s i a d / page 57


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