3222: Lake Lorne Mindfulness Walk

The Saint Ignatius College 2017 VCAL class decided to create a mindfulness walk around Lake Lorne.

Mindfulness techniques and the benefits to mental health were researched. It was felt that Lake Lorne would be a great place to practice these techniques and in doing so the wider community would benefit.

Lake Lorne also has a history that dates back to our traditional owner people that students felt needed to be acknowledged.

Our school is located near this lake and many students and families use the paths around the lake to get to and from school. ~Student, St Ignatius College, 2017

Distance from St Ignatius College and return: 2.3 kilometres (approximately)
Time: 30 minutes (approximately)
Loop around the lake: 1 kilometre (approximately)
Time: 15 minutes (approximately)

3222: Lake Lorne Mindfulness Walk map showing pause points
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Pause spots

Pause spot 1

Noticing your Breath – repeat 5-10 times

  • Close you eyes
  • Place a hand on your tummy or chest.
  • Take a deep breath in and let it all out.
  • Notice your breath in and then your breath out.
  • Feel you tummy or chest rise and fall.
  • Notice the sensations on the breath.
  • Don’t change your breath, just focus on it.
Drysdale Railway Station
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Pause spot 2

Worry Spot

  • Stop think about how you are feeling.
  • Think of a time when you felt anxious or worried.
  • Be in the present and breathe into this spot.
  • With each breath imagine dropping your stresses into Lake Lorne.
  • Feel the stresses leave your body as you imagine breathing out. through the soles of your feet.
  • Feel the worry leave your body and a calmness take over.
Horse jump
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Pause spot 3

Counting to Five

  • Close your eyes.
  • Breathe in and count up to 5.
  • Breathe out and count back from 5-1.
  • Then start again.
  • This helps you focus your mind when it seems like it is going in circles.
Lake Lorne
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Pause spot 4

Sound Meditation

  • Begin by focusing on your breath.
  • Notice the sound your breathing makes.
  • Notice sounds that are close to you.
  • Now listen for sounds that seem far away.
  • Can you hear a loud, soft, high, low, repetitive sound?
Seat along path and sign showing distance to Queenscliff pointing left as 16 kilometres and distance to Geelong pointing right as 20 kilometres
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Pause spot 5

Tense and Relax

  • Start with your toes and tense each part of your body till you reach your head.
  • Scrunch each part up as tight as you can then let go.
  • Do this twice for each part of the body.
  • Be award of each muscle tightening then relaxing.
  • Allow your self to relax for a few moments once you have reached your head.
Walk trail and trees
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Pause spot 6


Either sitting or standing:

  • Breathe in and raise left arm, pause.
  • Breathe out and lower left arm, pause.
  • Breathe in and raise right arm, pause.
  • Breathe out and lower right arm, pause.(Repeat for 4 cycles)
  • Breathe in and raise both arms, pause.
  • Breathe out and lower both arms, pause.(Repeat for 4 cycles)
Lake with fence rail
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Aboriginal Culture

Lake Lorne was where the Wadawurrung people, traditional owners of this land, took shelter and sourced their food and medicine. The students were fortunate to meet with Uncle Bryon, a traditional owner Elder, who spent time with the Year 11 VCAL class, passing on his knowledge about the land and purpose of different trees, shrubs and plants to their culture.

He pointed out specific plants that were used for medicinal purposes and how the bark from the stringy bark gum tree was used to make a capsule for a baby.

He described the lake and its’ surrounds as being a very important resource for food, water and shelter for his people.

Today there are still signs of burial sites and remains of old camp sites from when the Wadawurrung people lived here.

Artifacts, particularly, stone can be found that were remnants of weapons and tools they used.

The area had and still has a variety of indigenous flora and fauna.

Prior to the construction of the road into Drysdale the water from the lake would flow toward the reserve and ultimately end up in the bay.

The word ‘Bellarine’ in Aboriginal means ‘resting place’. The students vision for this walk is that Lake Lorne becomes a place to rest our mind and body but to also acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we are on, the Wadawurrung people of the Kulin Nations and pay respects to Elders past, present and emerging.

About this project

Working directly with a City project officer, VCAL students from Saint Ignatius College, Drysdale, assisted in identifying a route around Lake Lorne, researching the area and developing a series of Mindfulness activities that can be practiced at designated pause spots.

The students were required to conduct a walk audit to assess the walkability of the route.

The learning outcomes of this project have been:

  • skill development in mapping, auditing, presenting
  • increased understanding of concepts of place, walk ability, livability and place attachment
  • increased physical activity by creating a safe attractive active transport network.

The City of Greater Geelong wishes to acknowledge the efforts of Kirsty Allen and Ian Anderson, teachers and students from Saint Ignatius College who participated in this project.

About Saint Ignatius College

Saint Ignatius College is a Catholic Jesuit Partner school providing a co-educational environment.

Lake Lorne is located very close to our school and our aim is to help the community as well as highlighting the natural beauty and history of the Lake. In 2017 we had 22 students completing their Senior VCAL (Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning).

We study a variety of TAFE courses including plumbing, childcare, community services, hospitality, hairdressing and beauty.

Each Wednesday we attend The Gordon Institute and other VET (Vocational Educational Training centres).

Working on this project has helped us to apply some of our learning to a real life experience.

Saint Ignatius College’s guiding principle is to ensure each students achieves their best by recognizing their own gifts and talents.

The Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) is a hands on option for Year 11 and 12 students. Students are involved in practical work related experiences and have the opportunity to build personal skills that are important for life and work.

The VCAL program allows the students to connect with community and to make informed choices about pathways to work and further education.

Uncle Bryon and students from Saint Ignatius College
Uncle Bryon and students from Saint Ignatius College

Page last updated: Tuesday, 9 June 2020