Students Visit Australia’s Capital

Santa Maria College offered Year 9 students a new Sydney Canberra Tour .

101 Year 9 students and 10 staff visited educationally significant and iconic sites in Canberra, including the High Court, the National Gallery and the National Museum. The Museum of Australian Democracy and National Electoral Education Centre, both housed within Old Parliament House, were Canberra sites strongly linked to the Year 9 HASS curriculum. The National Film and Sound Archive was fascinating, while the Australian Institute of Sport proved popular with our sports inclined girls (and staff).

The visit to the Governor General’s residence at Government House was a feature. Students met His Excellency General, the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove.  We also met with Jobs and Innovation Minister, Senator Michaelia Cash at the Commonwealth Parliament.  Meeting the Head of State and a Cabinet Minister was a real highlight of this year’s trip and we thank them both for spending time speaking with our girls and taking questions from curious students.

Questacon and CSIRO were additional Canberra highlights as was the National Capital Exhibition, which tells the story of Canberra, as the vision of married architect couple, Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin.

“One of the highlights for me was definitely our visit to Taronga Zoo. I really enjoyed exploring the massive zoo with my friends and getting the opportunity to see the many different animals, such as the pigmy hippo, that I can’t see in Perth.” Olivia Gilkison

Exploring the historic Rocks area and climbing Sydney Harbour Bridge were Sydney specialities.  A ferry trip across the Harbour from Circular Quay to Taronga Park Zoo, passing the Opera House, was spectacular.  And no trip to Sydney is complete without a visit to Luna Park.

“This trip will help me in HASS in the future because I now have a deeper understanding of the topics taught, especially Politic & Law.” Clare Perrott

The trip has given our students the opportunity to participate in a variety of educational programs with a focus on Australia’s history, culture, heritage and democracy.

The Australian government recognises the importance of all young Australians being able to visit the national capital as part of their civics and citizenship education. To assist families in meeting the cost of the excursion the Australian government is contributing funding of $240 per student under the Parliament and Civics Education Rebate program towards those costs. The rebate is paid directly to the school upon completion of the excursion and was factored into the costs charged by the College.

“I wanted to go on this trip, as it sounded like an exciting and adventurous tour that I could go on with my friends. I also liked the fact that the tour revolved around HASS as this is a subject I find interesting and enjoyable at school.” Lucy Kilroe

Stephen King, Head of Humanities & Social Sciences

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