On Tuesday, 3rd October, 25 eager and excited Middle school students left Brisbane airport to fly to Canberra for their highly awaited Year 6 camp. Last term we focused on ‘Federal Government’ and explored areas of Parliament, democracy and the rights and responsibilities of Australians. This visit to Australia’s Capital gave the children an opportunity to enhance their understanding of civics and citizenship.
The trip was jam-packed full of activities and places of national interest for our group to visit. We lucked out with beautiful weather, sunshine each day and warm enough to only need jackets in the early morning and evening. The students each connected with different places and all wrote reflections to share some of their personal favourites. Some of our highlights included;
Tuesday 3rd October
Australian Institute of Sport
On Tuesday morning, I woke up early to fly to Canberra. My favourite activity was the Australian Institute of Sport. At the AIS we got to see 4 places which included the volley ball courts, swimming pools, a gym and a gymnasium. At the volley ball courts, there was a mark on the wall showing Australia’s tallest volley ball player, Thomas Edgar, with his height of 6 foot 11.5- which is 212 cm. We also went to the AIS shop which had some very awesome things and made it hard for me to decide what I should buy! At the end of the visit we went to ‘Sportex’ (a cool gaming room). They had a mini basketball court and lots of sport simulators.
Wednesday 4th October
Museum of Australian Democracy
After a great sleep on Tuesday night, we were ready for a fun tour of Old Parliament House., now known as the Australian Museum of Democracy. The Old Parliament House is open to the general public and we were able to go in and role play the passing of a bill from the seats. In their library we learnt about equal rights for women, children and Aboriginals. Sadly, in numerous countries around the world, these people are considered minors and cannot drive, vote and some don’t even have the right to an education. This really opened my eyes to the rest of the world and made me think about how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful country.
The place that I enjoyed the most, was Questacon. Questacon is this massive building with all of these amazing science activities. It actually made science kind of fun! The best thing at Questacon had to be this huge slide, called the free fall. It basically goes vertically down and then levels out. You have to hold on to a bar for three seconds and then just drop. It was scary at first but after you did it once it wasn’t that scary anymore. Finally, we went shopping in the Questacon store. There were lots of science things to buy, like magic trees and gemstones. It was a great day!
Thursday 5th October
Australian War Memorial
On Thursday, our class visited my favourite place out of the whole trip, the Australian War Memorial. First, we went on a guided tour around parts of the museum, like the eternal flame and the World War One Museum. Then we participated in a school wreath laying ceremony and afterwards, we split into two groups and were able to go and explore all the parts of the museum we didn’t get to see on the tour. Some highlights for me were seeing the famous war dog called Sadie, the two World War Museums and the wall of poppies, which represented each soldier who died in war. Something that I learnt from that day, though it was sad, was that about 102,000 Australian men and women have lost their lives protecting our country and each and every one of them willingly gave up their lives just to fight and protect us. At the War Memorial I felt peaceful, but extremely sad at the same time. Something about the whole atmosphere of the place really moved me, knowing what all those men and women did, just to make sure I am safe and here today.
Everyone was excited for today because it was the day we were going to visit Parliament House. We started by having a tour of the magnificent building. We visited the House of Representatives and the Senate while we were there, and we learned many interesting facts. One thing I found interesting was that in the Senate and the HOR the seats for the guests go from dark to light to make the room look bigger. There is also a soundproof glass area for school children who want to watch ‘Question Time’. After our tour, we had afternoon tea, went to the roof to appreciate the view and then went downstairs to start a pretend role-play of parliament. A man named Andrew helped us throughout the role play and the bill we wanted to pass, which was “Put Free Wi-Fi on all the Public Transport”.
Friday 6th October
On Thursday night I did not want to go to sleep but I had to, the following day was Friday, the last day of being in Canberra! In the morning we travelled to the National Arboretum Which is a giant piece of land that is home to more than 48,000 endangered trees from all over the world! It was amazing and had great photo opportunities- everywhere I looked I saw GREEN! There was also the most awesome playground ever. Canberra was such an experience; I can’t even explain how exciting it was! I feel that I grew so much closer to my friends and it will be even harder to say goodbye to them.
We arrived home late Friday evening and were greeted by big smiles and cuddles at the gate from our loved ones. Our tired but more knowledgeable leaders looked ready for a good night sleep at home! Thank you to all the parents for their ongoing support and fundraising this year in the lead up to the Canberra trip. We are also incredibly grateful to Ms Hall, Mrs Green and Mrs Kennedy for their help with the preparation, supervision and guidance throughout the week. What a beautiful way to start off our last term here together at St Finbarr’s!