Social Media

Lombadina is a 2 hour drive north of Broome on the Dampier Peninsula. In 1909, Lombadina was established as a Catholic mission and the original wood church still stands at the school entrance. It is the home of the Bardi people and is located  between Beagle Bay and One Arm Point. If you drive further north you will arrive at Cape Leveque and Kooljamon. A 4WD is definitely a must up here if you want to explore some absolutely pristine waters. You may also see some wild donkeys aside from the usual wildlife. My friend Carolina, a truly talented photographer accompanied me on this trip. I really am so blessed to have such wonderful friends!

It has been a big week for me. I have spent 3 days in Derby at the local school. Derby is the nearest regional town to Broome (still 220km away but all sealed road) and the gateway to the mighty Gibb River Rd. While working at the school, it was apparent how much effort the teachers and school are making to implement mental health teaching every day in the curriculum. Working at schools has also highlighted how addictive social media is and the damage it can do. Maybe you are curious why I don't use social media? I deleted my personal  Facebook and Instagram accounts just over a year ago. It is hard when you are in the public eye. Brene Brown says it well - criticism is easy for those who aren't in the arena with you. 

I don't see skin colour when I walk into a room - I just see young people with enormous potential! I have witnessed the distress social media has caused to students and how desensitised people can become to violence and acts against humanity. Young people are spending 5-8 hours a day glued to their screens. I think this addiction is  so concerning. When I do talk about social media it is to promote Apps they can download for photography and mental health.

I am also trying to make a point to my students by not using social media - you don't need it, it's not reality. I have NEVER been asked by any teacher, principal, student or sponsors - 'Sandra, how many followers do you have and what social media do you use?' Not once... and I have no intention on going back on there either.  In fact, there is a sigh of relief when I tell school staff I am not on social media. Any photos used on this blog are with consent. 

As the project grows I am far more interested on creating impactful video content that I can share with my students. I am proud to go against the grain of society. I am not the norm, nor is the project... I have no intention of putting the Project on social media just yet but if it goes that way it won't be a series of curated picture perfect posts. That's not reality nor authentic.  I hope I have inspired some students to do more photography with their phones and spend less time on social media. I know there is a lot of good on social media too, but I stand firm that it is not an essential part of your life. 

These are some photos (all unedited!) taken by primary and junior high school students at Christ the King School in  Lombadina. I look forward to spending some time back here next year on the 2021 School Roadtrip. The year is closing in so fast. What a journey this has been, and 99% of it hasn't been on social media! Remember what is really important in your life. I have never cared for a dying patient who wished they spent more time on social media. Rather they wished they spent more time with loved ones, had more time to do things they loved and took the chance that passed them by.

With gratitude,