The students left at 4am Monday morning stopping only once to pick up some excited students at the north-bound BP. The students are to be commended on their behavior while waiting for the plane. Passengers even commented on how impressed they were and many asked what school we were from. One even rang the College and spoke to the Principal to tell him how impressed they were by the students’ behaviour. Arriving in Sydney, we collected our luggage, found our bus and driver and then we were off. Our first stop was Taronga Zoo. We spent time looking at a variety of animals and afterwards rested and had a great lunch. We then rode on the ferry across Sydney Harbour and stopped and had photos in front of the Sydney Opera House
Our first stop in Canberra was to New Parliament House where students undertook an educational tour of the national capital. They were given the opportunity to participate in a variety of educational programs with a focus on Australia’s history, culture, heritage and democracy. Both boys and girls were able to debate a bill and sit on the senate.
For the girls, Lauren Brockhurst was the female Prime Minister while the Opposition Leader was Olivia Madeley. Hannah Cameron-Roberts was the speaker of the Senate. For the boys, Connor Anderson was our Speaker of the house while Josiah Raffaut was our Prime Minister and Nathan Bahr was the Opposition Leader.
We had lunch in the gardens beside Parliament House then proceeded to the Royal Australian Mint where the students learnt about the history of our money and saw how it was actually made. Many of them have had a coin printed to remember their visit.
Towards the end of the day we visited the Australian Royal War Memorial. This was a very somber occasion and made the students reflect on where we have come as a Nation. It also highlighted to the students the importance of honouring our men and women who have fought for our country. We were asked to be involved in The Last Past Ceremony where two of our students laid a wreath to honour our soldiers. Conor Anderson and Nikita Perro represented our College admirably.
We were all up at breakfast by 6:30am and then headed off to Black Mountain. Black Mountain, also known as Telstra Tower was built in the 1970s to accommodate a growing Canberra. The students learnt about the history of this tower and the importance of it to Canberra.
After our visit to the tower we went to the CSIRO where the students went hands on with stick insects and turtles and even played mad scientists for a while. They all seemed to have a great time and were talking about the various experiments and activities they had done.
Lunch was in the park in front of the National Capital Exhibition where we then went and saw how Canberra was designed. The students also got to be designers themselves and create wonderful works of the future using Lego. After a short ride in the bus we went to Questacon, All I can say is WOW!! The students (and teachers) had a fantastic time with all the hands on experiments and rides. We even got to free-fall. Some students even overcame their fear of heights and had a go. The others students were wonderful with their encouragement and praise.
We had all the students up at 6am as we had to pack, have breakfast and be on the bus by 7:45. We achieved our goals and soon found ourselves outside the AIS (Australian Institute of Sport). Here the students were taken on a tour and shown how the elite athletes lived and trained. It was a great incentive for some of our students to see where hard work can get them. The students were then given free time to have ago at various sports and even stand on the winners podium.
After the fun of AIS we headed to the National Film & Sound Archive. The students watched the first film ever made in Australia.
It was recorded in 1896 and was of the Melbourne Cup. They saw other recordings done on film and learnt about our most popular TV series “Skippy”. Many excellent questions were asked, especially by our very knowledgeable Cody Jones.
The students were then allowed to explore the many wonders of film and sound with some great hands on activities. Some students even got to draw and produce their own short movie. Lunch was had by all students in the gardens of old Parliament House.
We then toured old Parliament House where the students were taken on an “Amazing Race”. They were broken into teams and had to follow clues and answer questions. While planning this ‘game’ the students learnt about our Australian Political history.
Following this we were ushered into the old House of Representatives where Joshua Coumie and Phoebe Shannon were our Speakers of the house. Both did an exceptional job at keeping order and making declarations. Leaving for the airport, we went on a short embassy tour and saw many of the various countries that have representation here in Australia. Our wonderful tour guide Mr Hall gave us all an informative speech about each country. If ever he gives up teaching he could go into business as a Tour Operator.
The Australian Government recognises the importance of all young Australians being able to visit their National Capital as part of their civics and citizenship education and therefore makes a significant contribution to the cost of the event.
Finally, many thanks to the wonderful Year 7 teachers, Miss Britton, Mr Hall and Mrs Veerling for organising a wonderful camp. Until next year.
Matt Ware, Year 7 Coordinator.