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This year a record number of Year 12 boys completed their Northern Territory Certificate of Education and Training at Casuarina Senior College.

The Casuarina Clontarf Academy had a huge influence on getting these boys through their studies and for their efforts they were rewarded with a trip to the Harbour City.


Nineteen boys spent a very wet week in Sydney exploring many of the sites including surfing at Manly Beach on the coldest and easily the wettest day of the whole trip.

Surfing was the highlight for some of the boys because the only waves our boys get to catch are at the man-made wave pool in Darwin.

We also got down to the popular Bondi Beach where they film Bondi Rescue, lucky none of our boys needed a helping hand.

We also visited the 2011 NRL Premiers at their training venue and got the chance to meet a few of the players, coaching staff and getting a photo with NRL’s Australian Representative Tony Williams.

The Manly Sea Eagles don’t train at their home ground but are based at Sydney’s Academy of Sport which is about 20 minutes’ drive from their home ground.

We also got the opportunity to visit one of Clontarf Foundation partners, Goldman Sachs Group which is an American multinational investment banking firm that engages in global investment banking.

They put on a lovely afternoon spread and the Clontarf boys got to mingle with the employees. The view from the 43rd floor looking over Sydney Harbor was breath taking. Goldman Sachs has contributed a lot of money to our Foundation over a number of years.

Another highlight of the trip was the array of restaurants we visited with the buffet dinner at one of the tallest buildings in the city standing out from the rest. The Sky Tower Restaurant is 309 meters tall from top to bottom and we ate on the 45th floor.

The amazing thing about the restaurant was that it revolved while you ate, it takes 70 minutes to do 360 degrees and the view was to die for looking over the city lights and beyond was beautiful. For $66 per head the view was priceless.

We travelled to Palm Beach which is about a two hour drive where the set of Home and Away is filmed. This was clearly the highlight for Clontarf staff member Cyril Rioli who watches the show religiously and got the chance to pose for photos with some of the cast from the set, unfortunately his favorite actress Charlie Buckton (Esther Anderson) the Summer Bay Police officer wasn’t there that day, a very upset Mr Rioli could have to wait to see her on the TV back in Darwin.

While in Sydney we stayed at the very impressive National Indigenous Centre of Excellence in Redfern. Accommodation was dormitory style living plus a gymnasium facility including a full size basketball court cardio room, weights room, swimming pool and a full size rugby oval.

The kitchen served up a hot breakfast every morning and a healthy packed lunch for our daily adventures which included the biggest and most popular muffins in Redfern.

On the second last day we travelled up to the Central Coast and stayed in Chittaway Bay to watch the local A- League team the Mariners take on Melbourne Heart at Blue Tongue Stadium. The Mariners turned it on for us scoring 3 goals to the Hearts 1.

After the game we went to the local leagues Club to have another fabulous all you can eat meal with a selection of roasts, Thai, Italian, Chinese, deserts, cakes and the biggest chocolate fondue that the boys loved.

On the last day the weather was perfect for the beach with blue sky and sun shining warming up the water. The few boys that rose with the sun got their last chance to get wet and catch there last wave before heading back home after lunch.

If the weather had been a lot nicer to us we definitely would have spent more time catching waves however it certainly didn’t stop us doing anything.


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