November saw 20 Year 9 students and three staff venture to Canberra for six days of sightseeing and educational programs.
The first stop on the Monday, with students looking great in their blazers, was a tour of Government House and Chris even had the chance to sit in the Governor-General’s chair!
A tour of Parliament House followed, along with the opportunity to participate in a role-play so students could immerse themselves in the process of law making.
On the afternoon agenda was a visit to the Australian War Memorial.
Students were given a lanyard with a veteran’s photo and name on it, and as they wandered the galleries with an education officer, they established the fate of their given person.
We then had some time to explore on our own before heading to the Last Post Ceremony, where students Bridget and Josh laid a wreath on behalf of the school.
Tuesday was a lovely sunny morning and we took full advantage of it during our cruise around Lake Burley Griffin. We alighted from the boat at the National Museum dock where we were involved in an educational program around uncovering the messages of sources. Students were then allowed to wander the gallery and of course, peruse the shop.
The afternoon was all about the Australian democratic process.
Students learned about the history of voting in Australia and took part in a mock election with students acting in the capacity of polling officials.
It was then a short walk around the corner where Mr Osborne filled us in on some of the history of the Tent Embassy before we entered Old Parliament House.
This time students re-enacted the infamous Whitlam dismissal and were allowed to gather on the front steps to recreate his final moments in office.
Students and staff were able to let their competitive sides show that night with two rounds of team laser tag. The yellow team (Jack, Ella, CeeJay, Lisa and Hannah supported by Miss Giglia) took top honours.
The first stop on Wednesday morning was the Australian Institute of Sport for a quick tour and some simulation games.
This was followed by a trip to Black Mountain Tower for a 360-degree view of Canberra.
The afternoon focus was spent at the National Film and Sound Archive for a look at some of Australia’s iconic movies, advertisements and music clips.
The final destination for the day was the National Capital Exhibition Centre.
Students had seen Canberra from many angles through the week and this gave them a chance to piece it all together, along with the local history.
Our final full day began with a tour of the National Library and an introduction to Isaac the robotic librarian.
We had the chance to walk through the cavernous storeroom, only to discover that there were two more warehouses full of the collections offsite. It was then time for a short drive to the High Court and a tour of the different courtrooms before walking to the National Gallery where students split into two groups and went on a guided tour.
Questacon took up the majority of the afternoon with students running around the numerous exhibits and engaging with the hands-on activities.
The last Canberra attraction was the Royal Australian Mint.
Here students learned about the history of the Australian currency and saw Titan, the robot, lifting the blanks ready to be turned into coins.
All were excited on Friday morning to head to Sydney. We had heard about the dust storms causing havoc so the staff were a little anxious about being able to fly home that night, but were eager to get on the road. A little after three hours later we arrived at Darling Harbour for some lunch and a run around the playground before heading towards the (according to Emily) “Number one must see attraction in Sydney…Starbucks”.
We all enjoyed a refreshing beverage before going for a walk and heading to the Opera House for our tour.
It was really interesting to see the inner workings of the Opera House and we were lucky enough to see the Australian Ballet in a practice session.
We had time for one last stop at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair for a photo opportunity before heading to the airport.
Although we were slightly delayed, all were grateful to make it back to Perth that evening.
It was a great trip and the students were excellent.
Many memories and quotes will be relived for years to come I am sure.
A big thank you to Mr Osborne and Ms Kirkby for attending the tour and all of their help along the way.
The Year 9 Canberra Tour for 2019 will be taking applicants early next year, so stay tuned!
Ms Kirstie Giglia Head of Learning Area – Humanities and Social Sciences