7 March 2024

Experience Carey’s amazing Camp Toonallook for yourself

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Experience Carey’s amazing Camp Toonallook for yourself
Experience Carey’s amazing Camp Toonallook for yourself
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Carey’s recent purchase of a property at Mission Beach will provide a perfect launching pad for the 280 students in Year 10 on this year’s Zero Journey to Far North Queensland as a part of the Carey Zero program. The site enables a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. It is not the first time such innovative steps have been taken by Carey to connect students with the land and develop a sense of place and belonging in a home away from home.

Back in 1960, negotiations commenced with Fred and Jane Barton as Carey sought access to a 10-acre site on the Banksia Peninsula near Bairnsdale. It was not until 1966 that Carey was granted a 99-year lease through the Barton-Crees Memorial Trust, providing access to a property now known as Camp Toonallook. In those early years the Toonallook camping programs targeted the primary section of the School, and that has continued throughout the 56 years we have had our Years 5 to 7 students camping, swimming, sailing, cooking and hiking in the beautiful surrounds of the Lakes region.

The culmination of the ‘Toona’ experience is a five-day camping program for our Year 7 cohort. The Year 7 Toonallook Outdoor Education experience, which is currently underway (read more about it!), is an ideal complement to the transitioning of students into their secondary schooling at Carey. The Year 7 cohort, a mix of students who have arrived from Carey’s Junior Schools in Kew and Donvale and also those from surrounding primary schools, are given time away with their class to build those important connecting points where friendships are forged. When the first camp at Toonallook was run, the program was developed with the Outward Bound principles of Teamwork, Adventure and Physical hardship as points of focus. This is still evident in 2024 as students spend two-days at base camp learning how to set up a tent, cook on a Trangia and to paddle a canoe, before they set off on their two-night expedition to Ninety Mile Beach and a walk on Raymond Island. They paddle across the lake at dawn on that final day of camp for a moment that remains with many Carey students for life.

To celebrate our incredible campus on the Gippsland Lakes and share with families a look into what the camp experience is like for our students, the Marketing and Communications team, in collaboration with the Outdoor Education team, developed a stunning video which I invite you to watch below.

Peter Robson
Deputy Principal – Wellbeing

Discover Camp Toonallook

Discover Camp Toonallook

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