Year 6 students from our College recently undertook an education 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. The Australian Government recognises the importance of all young Australians being able to visit the national capital as part of students’ Civics and Citizenship education. To assist in meeting the cost of the excursion, the Australian Government is contributing funding of $60 per student under the Parliament and Civics Education Rebate program towards those costs. The rebate is paid directly to the school upon completion of the excursion. Please enjoy the reflections of some of our students below:
On Monday 9th March, 130 excited students all woke early to meet at the church by 4:30am. Although it was super-early, we were wide awake and ready to go. After a short drive to Brisbane up the M1 in the rain, we hopped on Virgin Airlines and in no time we arrived in Canberra. Although it was a few degrees cooler, blue sunny skies welcomed us and the fine weather would remain for the rest of the week.
Without a rest and straight off the plane, our first destination was Questacon. The hands-on science concepts were interesting and like nothing we had seen before. The highlight was the rocket show, with 10 rocket launches in 30 minutes!
Next we went to the Australian War Memorial. We had a little free time before the Last Post Ceremony. We visited the exhibits and studied the names of the Memorial Wall. We all respectfully stood in silence as our JLC Captains, Kalani and Jackson, laid a wreath in memory of all fallen soldiers.
You can watch the service of the Last Post Ceremony: Private Percy William Venning – 9 March 2020 below.
After a busy first day, we arrived at the Greenhills Centre which would be our home for the next five days. We were allocated our rooms and sat down for the first time together for dinner. With tired classmates, and exhausted teachers, we went back to our rooms and settled in for the night with lights out by 9pm – although some cabins were just a little later than this!
On Tuesday 10th March, we woke up before the sunrise, at the ridiculous time of 6am. We prepared ourselves for the day and enjoyed a hot breakfast, made our own lunch and then boarded the buses. Our next location was Parliament House.
Walking around the building where our leaders make decisions that impact our nation was surreal. We took a tour around the Senate as well as the House of Representatives. After lunch, we visited Mt Ainslie lookout where we enjoyed the amazing views over our nation’s capital.
Wednesday 11th March, we started with a bus tour of the different embassies, which was really cool because we got to see a little bit of each country’s architecture in the same location. We drove to Government House, the residence of Australia’s Governor-General. We were instructed by the burley policeman, who was protecting the entrance, to remain on the bus as His Excellency was driving down his long driveway. We all waved as he drove by in his shiny, white limousine. We had a tour around his grand house, experiencing rooms that have seen many formal occasions and historic decisions made.
Next on our itinerary was the National Capital Exhibition where we listened to the interesting story of how Canberra was located, designed and constructed. Then we were on our way to the Old Parliament House and later on that day, visited the Mint.
We loved the Mint because we got to listen to the story of how coins came to life and we were able to see the factory floor with the robots responsible for making our coins. Our last stop of the day was the National Gallery where we saw some famous art pieces by Matisse and Picasso; however, our favourite piece was the one with pumpkins and mirrors.
On Thursday 12th March, we began our day with morning tea at Regatta Point. We all enjoyed the playing at the Pod Playground at the Arboretum. We visited the National Museum and then onto our last destination, the Australian Institute of Sport.
We all enjoyed watching the gymnasts and volleyballers training for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. We particularly liked the innovative technology used to monitor the athletes and improve performance. We loved pretending we were Olympic athletes as part of the Sportex program, where we got to compete against each other, as well as the teachers, in a range of sports.
Friday 13th March, our last day, we woke up eager to get home to see our parents, but just a little sad that our Canberra experience was over. We must thank the awesome teachers for organising the tour and joining us on this amazing experience. We will never forget the incredible time we had in Canberra 2020.
The Year 6 Students