Students from our College have recently undertaken an education tour of the national capital.
Students participated 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 their Civics and Citizenship education. To assist families in meeting the cost of the excursion, the Australian Government contributed funding of $90 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.
The TSAC Senior Campus 4.00 am, quiet one moment and the hustle and bustle of suitcases and voices filled with the thrill of an adventure the next. It was Wednesday, 14 June and an exhilarated group of Year 7 students and staff, embracing the cold in preparation for the temperatures in Canberra, boarded the coaches for the airport.
From the airport, the first activity was the Rotary Peace Bell Tour. Building a peace bell pavilion was the idea of the Canberra Rotary Club set within the Canberra Nara Peace Park precinct on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. The bell provides a destination in Nara Park to remind us that we want a peaceful World.
Always time for sightseeing, students enjoyed a drive around Embassy Drive, learning the difference between a High Commission and an Embassy and seeing the different architectural styles of the respective countries.
The visit to Parliament House this year was more memorable than usual. The students had the privilege of being invited by The Speaker of the House, their local member for Oxley, Mr Milton Dick MP, into the Speaker’s Office, where he generously gave of his time to welcome each student individually and gave them a personal perspective of his role.
During their tour of Parliament House, there was time to sit in the Houses of Representatives and Senate galleries and watch and listen to Members of Parliament and Senators speak.
In the Parliamentary Education Program, the students debated a Bill.
Students arrived at the Electoral Education Office, where they could engage in an interactive program before participating in a role-play activity to learn about the electoral process of Preferential Voting.
At the National Portrait Gallery program ‘Visual Art,’ students discussed the different styles of portraits and sketched their own artworks akin to a style they liked, viewing portraits constructed from fabric, embroidery, and porcelain.
Other venues included the Museum of Australian Democracy – ‘People, Power and Making Change’ program, the ‘The Stacks of Stories’ program at the National Library, Geoscience, CSIRO and after a brisk stop at the Mt Ainslie lookout to view Canberra from above, then Questacon (the National Science and Technology Centre), which is several floors of interactive scientific displays, and always popular with students.
Another high point for our students was The Australian War Memorial. After viewing a short film about the history of the War Memorial, they had an opportunity to speak to a veteran attending the service. They participated in the School Wreath Laying Ceremony in the Hall of Memory, whereby students laid a wreath at the foot of the Unknown Soldier and read the Ode. This was followed by a guided program focusing on the ANZACs.
Students enjoyed a visit to the Arboretum and then a tour of Government House, where they listened to the history of the Governors-General and the visitors who had their photos taken on the same steps as the students. This marked the final venue of the trip before they headed back to the airport and Brisbane, with many amazing experiences to be shared.