The Rite Journey 

The Rite Journey is an integral part of the College’s pastoral care program and focuses specifically on students in Year 9. The program was created by South Australian physical education teacher Andrew Lines and is a modern-day version of the traditional rite of passage which transforms adolescents from dependency to responsibility. The program’s simple rituals aim to give students a positive pathway into adulthood and is the ideal platform to prepare them for the College’s Mt Binga program which all students attend in Year 10. 

Originally developed for boys but later adapted for girls, the Rite Journey is a year-long, school-based program which teachers are trained to deliver. The program uses a mixture of rituals, physical challenges, discussion and guidance to start the process of turning Year 9s into responsible, respectful and resilient adults. Lessons are held sitting on the floor, instead of behind desks, and boys discuss topics such as mate-ship, how to deal with anger and how to talk to girls. Girls examine issues such as body image, self-worth, friendships and cyber-bullying.

In 2016, the program was taught in 70 schools (over 7,000 students) in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Belgium and South Korea.  

The Rite Journey is designed to:

  • Acknowledge and celebrate a young person's transition into beginning adulthood
  • Provide them with gender specific guidance and learning in this transition
  • Provide strong role models (teachers and mentors) who will guide the students 
  • Transform school culture by building and expecting respect, responsibility and resilience
  • Educate and include parents/carers in the transition process of their children

Parents and carers are an integral part of the process and are included in all communication regarding the program. They are educated in how to support the program and the emotional and social growth of their children in their own home.

The program is delivered in single gender, small classes and covers: 

  • Relationship with self: Who am I, really? (Term 1)
  • Relationship with others: How do I get along with others? (Term 2)
  • Relationship with spirit: Is there something more? (Term 3)
  • Relationship with the world: What do I have to give? (Term 4)

The Rite Journey appears in the school setting as a subject and along with curriculum time, there are seven ceremonies. The importance of providing a form of rite of passage/initiation for young people is recognised by numerous experts in education and psychology. Michael Ungar and Steve Biddulph extol the virtues of rediscovering such a process in contemporary society and it is with this in mind that Immanuel has introduced the Rite Journey, to help disengaged teens become responsible young adults.

“We’re living in a society where young people are being bubble-wrapped and not able to experience risk and failure which builds resilience… Young people are spending more time in front of screens and so little time in front of people. This lack of human connection is a real issue because it is really only by being in front of an adult that you can learn how to be an adult – and there is no software program that’s going to help a young person learn those skills.” 

Andrew Lines, Creator and Director, the Rite Journey