Uni Life

Arrive, participate, volunteer, lead and… retreat!

Photo collage of students completing Leap of Faith activity where they jump from a small platform up a tree and reach for a hanging marker while wearing full safety harness.

So yeah… I went on a good adventure last February.  It was the yearly ‘retreat’ held by Griffith Mates for their golden hearted volunteers – the Mates. I am one of the Mates, the roundest one. I have been a Griffith Mate for more than a year now, which is long enough to make tons of fun memories and gain many valuable leadership skills. Joining the Mates is, perhaps, one of the best things that happened in my university life. I doubt you’d love to know what I thought about the retreat, but I’ll tell you anyway because I feel like it (ha ha). The featured photo might suggest that the retreat was a not-so-friendly-to-selfies-adrenalin-pumping event, but there’s more to it really. Road trip! This year’s retreat was a two day event for the newly recruited Mates, plus the veterans (yep, that’s me), to get to know each other and to get briefed on how awesome it is to be one. 

Two reminders and five phone alarms, and I still managed to show up fashionably late to our meeting place. I shouldn’t have opened that Youtube video of cats being cats, because I ended up watching videos of how to touch your nose with your tongue. Never again! Well, I still managed to get on the bus with the help of Carol, our retreat coordinator. Thank you Carol!💖

Jenny and Katie

Jenny and Katie on the bus to Mt Tamborine

There was a stop over on the Gold Coast campus to introduce our new recruits to the Griffith Mates program, and to pickup our frenemies — the Gold Coast Mates. Just kidding, Brisbane and Gold Coast Mates are friends, I think (ha ha ha).


Providing free food – something Griffith Mates is well known for.


Moving on, we got to our accommodation safe and in one piece. I personally liked the place as it had a nice wilderness location.


Gum Moth and Kookaburra preying on our food.


We did a lot of activities. One was an hour long bush walk around the beautiful Cedar Creek Falls track on our first afternoon there.


Steep and slippery track.


Playing games, sports, playing music and many other activities were squeezed in to the two days we had. We sure had a great time. Some even achieved the I-ain’t-even-afraid-of-heights awards (me).

Author climbs up ladder and completes the leap of faith activity.

I tried. I really tried.



Badass archery beginner here!

Badass archery beginner here!

Definitely a lot of friendships were made. It always feels wonderful to have made connections with students from different cultural backgrounds.


Arent we lovely making new friends?


I am now writing this blog’s conclusion. I know. I really should make it longer due to the fact that there is so much more to the retreat than what I just mentioned AND there is so much more to Griffith Mates than a free food initiative of Griffith International (ha ha).
Finally, I wanna share Griffith Mates’ theme this year as it really touches the very core of my soul.

image of text with "changing the world one Mate at a time" highlighted.

Griffith Mates 2015 theme

Thank you for reading up to the last bits of my blog. You can read about the 2014 retreat in Karina’s post from last year.

Below are more photos I took during the retreat.

– Brolly


Photo collage of student pulling faces.

Sienna borrowed my camera. My camera got Sienna virus.


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