Canberra Camp 2015

Canberra put on its best spring weather for the forty the Year 7 and 8 Taminmin College students who visited the national capital last week. With temperatures dropping to one degree overnight and peaking at thirteen degrees during the day, students found out what cold feels like, which still didn’t stop a few intrepid students walking around in shirt sleeves… brrrr!

The trip to Canberra went smoothly and our students were extremely well behaved on the flights which was commented on by several passengers. Thanks to Virgin Airlines for their attentiveness to the needs of our party.

In Canberra the group participated in a rich variety of activities focusing on Australian history, geography, government and science.

Day 1 included a visit to the National Museum of Australia which has awe-inspiring architecture based on traditional song lines and amazing exhibits.

Next stop, Parliament House, where our students sat in the senate and listened to an amazing talk by our guide. They were very lucky to see the original Magna Charta brought out from the UK and on display in the galleries. After a drive around the diplomatic suburbs and up to a freezing Mt Ainslie look out to see the city lay out it was off to the National Library, where we were taken on an exciting tour through the underground storage areas. The evening was capped off by a great ice-skating experience …even better, no-one lost any fingers.

Day 2 started with what was meant to be a walk around Lake Burley Griffin however our group was commandeered to help with the official opening of a pedestrian walkway. Students witnessed a ribbon cutting event before being the first official group to use the underpass. After that we visited the Museum of Democracy at Old Parliament House for a roll play before leaving for Questacon where the students had a ball

trying out the different science activities. Students were also booked into a great show about electricity with real lightning. To finish off students shopped ‘til they dropped at Belconnen Shopping Mall including an amazing trampoline centre. 

Saturday was action packed with visits to the Royal Australian Mint, the Canberra Deep Space Communications Complex and Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve where a number of students who waited quietly and patiently were privileged to see platypus swimming in the wild – it was a wonderful moment.

Sunday offered many firsts with an early morning bus ride to Bullocks Flat where our party caught the Ski tube to Perisher Valley. The snow was deep and fresh and every-one had a great time tobogganing down the slopes and building snow men. It was a day of first times for many with the train ride and the snow experience as well as just dressing for the cold.

Monday saw us off early to the Australian Institute of Sport where we were lucky to see the male gymnasts training and a much bigger group including the netball squad working out at the gym. It was an inspiration to every-one there to see the physical effort and sports science that goes into training. This was followed by a fantastic trip to the National portrait Gallery where the students got to see Ned Kelly’s Death mask and have a go at drawing.

The final visit was a thought provoking and moving visit to the Australian War Memorial where students stayed for the closing ceremony and a couple of our students laid a wreath.

We would like to thank the Australian Government for their support of the Parliament and Civics Education Rebate (PACER) program which provides a travel subsidy for students across Australia to visit their National Capital as part of their civics and citizenship education. The Australian Government recognises the importance of all young Australians being able to visit their National Capital and made this possible for schools like us in remote locations with this contribution towards travel expenses.

A special mention must go Chris Armstrong and Penny Kellaway who accompanied the students; they were on duty round the clock to ensure our students were well looked after and comfortable. A special mention must also go to the Sbrinovski family for a generous donation to help raise money for the camp expenses.

This camp was an excellent educational experience and a fantastic time for all who participated.