Bundaberg Special School student Samantha Welch is taking a special friend on the trip to the Solomon Islands.
Bundaberg Special School student Samantha Welch is taking a special friend on the trip to the Solomon Islands. Max Fleet

Islands voyage begins

THERE were teary farewells and excitement in the air at the Bundaberg Railway Station yesterday as 24 Bundaberg Special School students boarded the train on the first leg of their adventure to the Solomon Islands.

Organiser Lloyd Finnis said the students, accompanied by carers, were heading to their newly established sister school, the Honiara Red Cross Special Development School, to offer generous donations and exchange knowledge.

"It's all come together," he said.

"These kids will keep this trip with them for the rest of their lives.

"They can do anything they wish and after school can get a job and get into the community."

Sixteen-year-old Bundaberg Special School student Joshua Garrad said he was really excited about the trip.

"I'm excited about getting in a plane," he said.

"It's the things I don't know that excite me the most.

"I'm excited to spend time on the beaches and see what I've never seen before."

Joshua said he was looking forward to travelling with his friends and making new friends at their sister school.

Despite the excitement of the team, four students were devastated to learn at 5.30pm Wednesday, the night before departure, that they were not able to attend the trip.

The Department of Communities Child Safety Services contacted organisers of the trip and notified them that the four students were unable to travel.

The NewsMail contacted Child Safety Services who declined to comment.

Mr Finnis said despite this disappointment the trip was otherwise a success with two containers of donated pencils, books and equipment heading for Honiara.



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