A highlight of the journey

Seven years ago, CBC Fremantle introduced The Rite Journey (TRJ) as a weekly programme in Year 9. Today, that programme, and the context of a rites of passage, has become the point of difference of our College. It is through the rites of passage activities and motivations that we evangelise, provide academic, artistic and sporting nourishment, and work with our parents to form what we hope will be the best possible young man in each of the students in our care.

Last night we saw the culmination of this year's programme. Almost 140 boys, their mentors and their families gathered on the Attadale foreshore to observe the Homecoming ceremony. The boys and their mentors walked in unity towards the waiting families, reflecting on the year and perhaps on what lies ahead as they step towards adulthood.

After completing the walk, each class gathered around their teacher to collect a Rite Journey certificate and compendium. Included in the folder was their original letter written to the Principal all those years ago during the enrolment process prior to commencing at the College. As I handed my boys their compendium, they all reflected on how quickly that time had passed, and how different they now are to that young child.

Our Rite Journey graduating young men then found a space to spend a quiet and special moment with their families, and parents returned the gesture of the opening ceremony at the beginning of the year by writing a letter of love, affirmation and pride, detailing their hopes and aspirations for their sons. The photos taken during this part of the ceremony always reflect the intensity and beauty of the moment, and I hope they speak to you in the way they speak to me.

We finished last night at the Point Walter amphitheatre; hundreds of members of our community coming together to reflect and celebrate the year with a prayer. It really is an uplifting and special event on the College calendar.

All the Year 9 boys will now complete the letter they commenced in their tents in the golden fields of Bindoon during the TRJ Week challenges, this time to themselves. In this letter they will outline the commitments, hope, dreams and aspirations they hold for themselves. These letters will become the reference point for any time that there may be a need to remind the boys why they are here. I have shared many a powerful moment when a young man who may be off-track in his senior years reads his Year 9 letter. To understand he is only disappointing himself is a powerful tool in trying to establish self-management, instilled values and a fully-formed conscience.

The Rite Journey has an enormous impact in the decision of our parents to enrol their sons at CBC Fremantle. The benefits of this powerful and potentially life-changing programme are widely appreciated, although not universally embraced, and we are committed to continuing to ensure that the meaning and understanding of this important formative time of a young man's life is fully comprehended by our staff, students and families.

Our priority with The Rite Journey programme is to maximise the opportunities for the gentlemen of CBC to reach their highest potential. For the parents who do want to play a full and active role in this process, I hope this both supports and validates your decision to enrol your son at our College. For the very few parents, and I mean very few, who still make excuses for their boys; who still don't quite get the reasons why it is vital for a young man to stand on his own two feet, and who cannot grasp that their son needs to be formed for a world that might not be perfect and will have to be accountable for the decisions he makes when he finally flies the nest, I hope this attempt to provide greater insight will give them the information and incentive to embrace what has become the College's signature programme.

The link below is a fantastic start to a deepened understanding of rites of passage and I urge all of our parents to spare 17 minutes to watch it.

Domenic Burgio