Insight Into the National Capital
The annual mid-year holiday visit to Canberra has become a much-anticipated event amongst Year 9 students and this year’s trip again proved stimulating and memorable.
During the July holidays a group of 20 Year 9 boys, accompanied by Acting Head of Geography Allan Hallett and Mathematics teacher Ben Hodsdon, spent a week in the national capital viewing a variety of national institutions and experiencing the atmosphere of the city during the Parliamentary Winter Recess.
Mr Hallett said visits to the Federal Parliament, Old Parliament House and The National War Memorial complemented the studies undertaken by the boys in Year 9 Social Science. “This year, the group was particularly fortunate to be hosted by the staff of both the Foreign Minister Stephen Smith and the Shadow Foreign Minister Julie Bishop,” Mr Hallett said. “A special and unexpected treat for the group was to be able to visit the Cabinet Room and the actual office of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.”
Away from politics, Mr Hallett said a visit to the National War Memorial took on particular significance for the boys as they discovered the name of Christ Church old boy Archie Withnall on the Wall of Remembrance as a lone piper played a lament at the daily closing ceremony.
Visits to other institutions included: the National Film and Sound Archives, where the group sang the Aeroplane Jelly song; the Australian Defence Force Academy, where the boys were not allowed to complete the obstacle course; Questacon, where everyone became very scientific; the National Mint, where everyone bought money; and the National Library.
Mr Hallett said evening and relaxation activities included ten-pin bowling, movies, the now traditional Putt-Putt Challenge and trying to hit the tractor on the golf driving range. “Skiing in Thredbo on a perfect day capped off a fantastic visit.”
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 travelling to Canberra.