Celebrating 30 Years of Howqua
Year 9 done differently
For 30 years, Lauriston’s Howqua campus has been a picturesque and tranquil location that holds a special place in the hearts of many former Howquarians. For those who have called Howqua their home, their memories and experiences remain etched in their memories forever.
Howqua has had a transformative and long-lasting impact on all of our Year 9 students, allowing them to develop a strong sense of self and independence. Since the first group of 35 girls resided there in 1993, this unique pastoral, academic, and outdoor program has been designed to push each student beyond the confines of the classroom and help them develop resilience, independence, and confidence for their senior years and beyond.
The Howqua Vision
Lauriston’s Howqua Campus was officially opened on Sunday 27 June 1993. The establishment of the campus was the result of the vision of Ruth Tideman AM, Lauriston Principal 1983 – 2000, and the School Council. Lauriston has long had a history of involvement in outdoor education, from the skiing trips and walking trips of the 1920s and 1930s, to the Duke of Edinburgh and Outward-Bound programs introduced in the 1970s and 1980s.
As a member of the Lauriston community and a passionate advocate of integrating experiential learning into daily life, Mrs Tideman recognised the transformative power of outdoor experiences and sought to make them an integral part of Lauriston’s curriculum. With her support and guidance, planning for an outdoor campus began, leading to the establishment of Howqua in 1993.
Asked about the lasting impact of the Howqua experience, Mrs Tideman reflected that the real results would be seen not at Year 10, but rather in the girls’ adult lives. At 25, 35, 45, ‘they would be different, they would be the better for this experience … and that, I think, is how it has worked’.
Engage with our Howqua Celebrations
The Role of Howqua Today – 30 Years of Experiential Learning
The Howqua program has evolved over the last thirty years to meet the changing needs of our students and to reflect the growing body of research now available on adolescent development, learning and outdoor education. The pandemic, climate change and the future sustainability of our environment have also informed some changes to the program and its intentions.
Research on girls’ participation in experiential and outdoor programs reinforces the importance of the Howqua program in supporting our girls as they develop a strong sense of self and confidence in their ability to step out of their comfort zone and participate in a broad range of physically and mentally challenging activities.
The ability to enjoy new experiences forms a fundamental part of the Lauriston journey and encourages life-long learning, and this is particularly evident in the Howqua program. At the Howqua campus, our students participate in experiential learning which involves learning in the classroom, the Outdoor Program and within the social setting of a residential community.
Howqua is a defining feature of the education we provide at Lauriston. The outcomes we strive for are quite complex in that they are about supporting our girls to build skills and attributes for life. These skills and attributes will continue to develop when our students return to the Armadale campus and some of the important life lessons learned at Howqua may not be fully understood and articulated by our students until they leave Lauriston and have a broader range of life experiences.
“When I speak with our post-Howquarian students, I am consistently struck by the sense of self, connectedness and self-confidence they demonstrate, among many other skills and attributes we strive for at Howqua, and that they continue to master on their educational and personal journeys.”
Susan Just, Principal
For 30 years, Lauriston’s Howqua campus has provided students with a home away from home, where they can forge lifelong memories and traditions. Howqua’s impact is long-reaching, with many Howquarians and past staff providing us with an insight into varied memories that remain crystal clear today, and how their experiences shaped who they are.
From signing the bed slats in your house to running the Ringroad, to receiving a Spirit Award or wearing a Howqua Blue Jacket down the Mount Buller slopes, these traditions have been passed down through generations of Howquarians. And who could forget the iconic Milo?