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Riding the waves in Year 12

Schools

Seventeen year old Audrey Robinson likes nothing better than being in the water and catching a wave when she visits her beloved Kangaroo Island. So when the opportunity arose for her to combine her passion for surfing with her Year 12 studies, she jumped at the chance.

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A student at St Mary’s College in the city, Audrey chose Cross Disciplinary Studies as one of her Year 12 subjects and discovered it was a wonderful way for her to combine her interest in tourism, design and business.

“The course provided a lot of pathways for me to be able to explore my passions,” Audrey said.

“It’s a great way of empowering young women to do what they really want to do.”

When she started the subject this year Audrey thought she might create a business building dog kennels to incorporate her love of carpentry. However, after some research she decided instead to focus on capturing the “unique vibe” of the Kangaroo Island surf scene by developing a range of clothing and promotional items.

Aptly named Kangaroo Island Surf, the business was launched on September 18 at St Mary’s and offers an assortment of T-shirts, caps, magnets, stickers and bags for purchase – with a hoodie “definitely” on the list in the future.

Although raised in Adelaide, Audrey said she really enjoys the country lifestyle on Kangaroo Island tries to get over there most school holidays.

“I love being in the ocean and I go to the beach every day when I am there,” the former State junior water polo goalie said.

Audrey’s aunt and uncle, Kylie and Rob Walters, live on the island and collaborated with her to develop a surf brand that aligns with laid back culture and values of the local community.

“KI has a unique, tight community, which has a focus on nature,” Audrey explained.

“When you are surfing on the island, everyone knows everyone. There are spots there that the visitors go and surf and there are spots that only the locals know about.

“As soon as a swell comes they are all there and having a good chat. They all seem happy.”

Through her studies, Audrey said she learnt how much is involved in starting a business and developing a product. She stayed true to Kangaroo Island values by ensuring items produced were environmentally friendly, made with organic cotton and manufactured locally.

The launch of the range last month was a great success and had a real focus on Kangaroo Island. Invited guests included Peter Abbott, who is SA general manager of SeaLink, and proceeds from a door prize on the evening were donated to the Kangala Wildlife Rescue, which was impacted by the bushfires earlier in the year.

Teacher Jasmin Parasiers said this was the first time a student at St Mary’s has undertaken Cross Disciplinary Studies and she had enjoyed supporting Audrey throughout the year.

“It’s been so rewarding to see Audrey thrive in this collaborative project and because of her success more students are taking up the course next year,” she said.

“At St Mary’s we are delighted to be able to provide those flexible pathways, so that students can pursue their passions in a very real way.”

To view the KI Surf range, go to www.kangarooislandsurf.com.au

For more information about St Mary’s College and its scholarship program, go to www.stmarys.sa.edu.au

 

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