Published on: 12 September 2014

Eight boys and five staff from the Senior School Peter Moyes Centre (PMC) enjoyed a five-day tour of Sydney recently. It was the first interstate PMC tour in many years.

Senior PMC Co-ordinator Marie Zwart said the aim of the tour was to provide the PMC boys the same opportunity as the rest of the School but with a focus on independent living skills, travel skills and practising appropriate social skills in a new setting.

In the lead up to the trip the boys researched Sydney icons and places of interest, and worked out how to travel around Sydney using different modes of transport. “We spent a lot of time looking at entry fees, timetables and working out the cost of food and activities. It was a great motivator in our numeracy and literacy classes,” Mrs Zwart said.

After arriving on Thursday, the tour group’s first full day on Friday included a Home and Away tour at Palm Beach, taking in the scenery of the Northern Beaches including Manly, and a ferry ride back to Circular Quay for dinner.

On Saturday, the boys enjoyed breakfast at Pancakes on the Rocks where Hugo Donaldson’s grandmother and cousin, who are Sydney residents, joined them. The rest of the day included a visit to Taronga Zoo, ferry rides back and forth, and a leisurely stroll around the Sydney Opera House.

On Sunday, the group went to see the stage production of The Lion King, explored the city and in the evening, went out to a Chinese restaurant for dinner. On the Monday morning before their flight back to Perth, the boys visited the Powerhouse Museum and relished in an exhibition on all things that move including trains, planes and cars.

Mrs Zwart said Senior PMC staff worked hard to ensure the boys had an exciting and safe experience. “Special thanks to Deb Deacon for her hard work and support in organising the tour itinerary and also to Deb Wolfenden, Felice Jennings and Amanda Fernihough for giving up their mid term break to ensure the tour was a successful and positive experience for the boys,” she said.

“The boys were so well behaved and enthusiastic we are now considering planning another tour in two years time. It is a great way for the boys to practise independent living skills and to increase their knowledge of the different cities in Australia.”

PMC teacher Amanda Fernihough said the students and staff, who were accommodated at the Sydney Harbour YHA in the Rocks, had a fantastic time. “The boys are already starting to talk about their next tour,” she said.