“James” became interested in the pilgrimage at his high school after his School Chaplain spoke about it in assembly. One of his friends also went on the trip last year.

On the trip James had the opportunity to share his skills after his school mates told the team that he could rap. The team had the opportunity to perform at a night concert after a festival which was held with a local Aboriginal community at Uluru. James and another pilgrim from the Sunshine coast group practiced and performed a song together to perform at the night.

The team enjoyed the song so much, that they asked them to perform the song multiple times on the trip.  Each time James practiced and performed, he became more and more confident, getting louder and stronger each time. It was great to see him explore his gifts and to challenge himself.

It was also great to see the team encouraging James, giving him constructive feedback and supporting his talents achievements. The group greatly respected his courage to perform, but this was only the beginning of James’ bravery.

On the last two nights on the bus back to Brisbane, James got up in front of everyone and shared his story. He shared with us what life has been like for him. This time of stories was hard, especially the parts which revealed individual heartbreak, tragedy and trauma. However this was a highly valuable and special time for the team, because as people had the courage to share, more were given the insight to understand, to reflect and share their own stories.

This became an encouraging time where pilgrims got to know each other a whole lot better were able to share hope and the possibility of healing. The best part of the trip for James was “meeting new people”.

This was a time where the pilgrims were able to get to know him a bit more. On the third last night in Alice Springs on the way home, one of the leaders shared some of their story. James was deeply affected by this and as a result wanted to make new choices about how he lives his life in the future.

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