Canberra Tour 2010
During the July holidays 14 Year 9 boys, accompanied by Mr. Allan Hallett and Mr. Henning Holzheuer, visited the national capital in order to experience Canberra in a pre-election winter mood. Although Federal Parliament was in recess, the atmosphere was intense: newspapers featured articles anticipating a poll in August and political staffers were scurrying about Parliament House in preparation for the impending campaign. All of this added to the sense of relevance and purpose to the group’s debates held in a Committee Room in Parliament House and on the front benches of Old Parliament House; now the Museum of Democracy.
The Australian War Memorial is always a highlight of this tour and the two sound and light shows,’G for George’ and ‘Over the Front’ proved extremely popular. The boys also participated in the ANZAC Tradition tour that highlighted the involvement of Australians in conflict and peacekeeping throughout the nation’s history. As always, the group paid its respects, on behalf of the School, to Old Boy Algy Withnall of the 11th Battalion and pondered the diorama depicting the battle for Mont St Quentin.
The science experience at Questacon ranged from dinosaurs to lightning machines and the science of sideshows. Perhaps the biggest challenge was dodging the 5000 primary schools students that disgorged from a fleet of Victorian coaches. Casualties were low but the experience may have left psychological scars.
The pilgrimage to the snow of Thredbo allowed beginners and experts alike the opportunity to frolic and fall in fresh snow. With expert timing the group managed to find a clear day after a day of blizzard and a 20 centimetre snowfall. While some remained stranded in the ‘first timers’ classes others managed to ascend to Eagle’s Nest and descend at various speeds often turning a simple downhill into freestyle skiing.
Other highlights included a visit to the Australian institute of Sport where the New Zealand Netball Team were good enough to give up some of their court space to allow us to play Futbol; Geoscience Australia where the boys made their own earthquake happen and the slightly intimidating Court 1 of the High Court.
The School wishes to acknowledge the assistance given by the Australian Government in making this visit possible. Funding is provided under the Parliament and Civics Education Rebate (PACER) programme towards costs incurred and helps significantly in dealing with the expense of traveling to Canberra.