Spiritual Retreat and Education for life: these are the dual concepts on which St Peters Ironbark Outdoor Education program is based.
The Ironbark experience has been part of the College curriculum since 1976.
Located near the town of Crows Nest, about 150 km north-west of Brisbane, the property consists of 600 hectares of heavily timbered, undulating granite country and was named for the Eucalyptus Crebra, the narrow leaf Ironbark, which grows across the property.
Students from St Peters spend a compulsory five weeks at Ironbark in Year 9.
During their stay, they experience community living; they help to run the farm and maintain the property, and undertake a range of outdoor adventure activities.
A central aspect of the Ironbark program is the opportunity all students have to step away from their everyday life and reflect upon their own spiritual journey. Students are encouraged to do this by the natural environment together with daily devotions and regular worship services.
Ironbark is staffed by specialist teaching, outdoor, maintenance, catering and farm staff. All staff work closely with students in their areas of expertise.
Facilities on site include two dormitories, staff accommodation, a well-equipped workshop, a garden, and a mixed farm. Much of the food consumed by the students is produced on the property.
At Ironbark, students are challenged physically, socially, intellectually and spiritually. Most students appreciate this opportunity to step outside the classroom and many Old Scholars speak of Ironbark as a highlight of their time at St Peters.
Nature ensures the inner resilience and toughness of the Ironbark tree is in perfect balance with the beauty of its exterior - characteristics which we often see reflected in our Ironbark graduates.