Day 7 Update – Thursday 2nd December 2015
After a very early breakfast we hopped on the bus for our three and a half hour drive to Sydney. We saw the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House before driving to Taronga Zoo. After a quick lunch, we got into our groups and walked around the zoo, enjoying all the animals and the amazing view of the harbour.
We finally arrived at the airport, checked our baggage in and went through security. Luckily we all had our daily journal to keep us busy! Our flight number is QF 583 and we arrive at Perth Airport at 9.25pm. We will be at gate 14 and look forward to seeing your smiling faces.
Day 6 Update – Wednesday 2nd December 2015
Today we awoke to a slightly cooler day! We headed down to breakfast and enjoyed another assortment of delicious food to fuel the busy day ahead.
First we visited The Canberra Glassworks where we got to see how they make glass objects, glass blowing in action and we actually constructed our own glass tiles. It was really awesome and we can’t wait until they send our tiles to us after they have been fired.
Following that we took a tour around some of the galleries at The National Museum. We saw Phar Lap’s heart, James Cook’s cannon and a display on early colonial society. Later we got to watch the Circa movie which showed us the entire history of Australia in 12 minutes. Amazing!
We proceeded to The Australian War Memorial and had lunch on the grass under the shade of some large trees. After lunch we walked down Anzac Parade and looked at the different War Memorials along the road. I think most of us liked the Vietnam Memorial best, although the others also had interesting individual features. After a tour of the museum we explored the various galleries in small groups and later got to attend a remembrance ceremony outside The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It was very moving and we felt very privileged to be there.
Lastly we were shown through The Canberra Dinosaur Museum. The exhibits ranged from the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous Eras and the fossils were excellent. We shopped till we dropped and made sure we had last minute presents.
Sydney, Taronga Zoo and the flight home tomorrow. Most of us are amazed how quickly the time here in Canberra has gone!
Day 5 Update – Tuesday 1st December 2015
By Day Five the students are in their routines of hats, lanyards and cameras! And off we go!
The food at the Gold Creek Resort is just amazing. Every morning we have fruit, cereal and hot food and the evening meals are just as tasty.
Today started with a visit to the Museum of Australian Democracy where we had an interactive session learning about the democratic process and the prime ministers who led the country from Edmund Barton to Malcolm Turnbull.
Next it was a visit to the Electoral Education Centre to learn about our system of voting. It was very interesting and the students made the teachers feel very proud with their high quality questions and correct answers. We held our own ballot to demonstrate the process of preferential voting and the students were so engaged that some of them wanted to hold their own elections back at school!
But the real highlight of the day was our visit to Parliament House. It was such an awesome sight to stand beneath the flag and look out towards Anzac Parade. We were very lucky as the House of Representatives was in session for Question Time and we watched Julie Bishop and Scott Morrison put their arguments forward. It was agreed by all staff that it was not unlike a classroom with people arguing, being warned and told to be quiet!
Then we sat in on a debate in The Senate. We were in the soundproof rooms above in both instances. Can’t imagine why?
Afterwards we were taken into a mock House of Representatives where the students simulated a debate. It was very interesting and the students came out with some understanding of how a Bill was created for further debate in The Senate.
We’ve been very lucky with our brush with fame as our Federal Member for Tangney, Dennis Jenson came down to have a chat with the students.
Our last stop for the day was a visit to the Telstra Tower where we got another great view of Canberra.
Day 4 Update – Monday 30th November 2015
What a day!
We started with a hearty cooked breakfast then hopped on the bus to head to the National Capital Exhibition. We learnt all about Canberra from how it started to how it became the national capital of Australia. The model was very impressive and inspired the students to create their own national building using lego bricks.
Our next stop was the National Film and Sound Archive where we watched very early television adverts and short films. Students were given 13 film or sound objects to order from the earliest invention to the latest invention. These objects included records, walkmans, VCR tapes, flip phones and dvd’s. It made some of the teachers feel very old looking at some of the objects.
Tour number three was a visit to the High Court. It was a very official looking building and we sat in the court listening to the role that the High Court played; to make constitutional decisions and to listen to appeals.
The National Gallery was very interesting and we saw Aboriginal artworks and the paintings of Sidney Nolan. Time was our enemy so it was a real whiz through the galleries but the students were engaged and asked lots of great questions.
However, the real treat of the day was a tour of the Governor General’s house. As we were about to watch a presentation on the role of the governor general, His Excellency Sir Peter Cosgrove, walked in and started chatting to the students. The teachers were gobsmacked as this was the first time on a Canberra trip that the Governor General actually addressed the students. What a treat!
Day 3 Update – Sunday 29th November 2015
Wow! What an awesome day! We awoke early after a long and well deserved sleep, keen to get started on our fabulous second day.
First up it was a trip to Cockington Green to see the miniature villages and international building replicas. The detail and effort put into the reconstructions was amazing. We had to complete a series of questions as we toured around to identify the country of origin for the international buildings and match them with the appropriate flag.
Our visit to the Australian Institute of Sport was motivating and informative. We learnt about the dedication of the athletes to their chosen sport and the incredible facilities that the athletes have access to. The sporty minded among us really enjoyed this venue and were inspired to work even harder at their chosen sport.
We had lunch at the new Canberra Arboretum and a short play session at their adventure park. Cool views back to Canberra were enjoyed by one and all.
Scitech in Perth is great, but Questacon takes interactive Science to a whole new level. Five levels in fact, each with their own Scientific themed gallery to explore! From spooky spiders to lightning strikes and earthquakes, from gravitational pulls to frightening free-falls, we explored it all and had a ball.
Then it was off sightseeing on a bike! We rode around the bridges of Lake Burley-Griffin and worked up an appetite for dinner. It was a sight to behold, 88 students and 9 teachers riding single file around the awesome lake and surrounds.
Our day ended with a fun filled quiz night where our holiday brains were firmly put to the test. Thanks Mrs Horne for organising it for us. Another action packed day tomorrow to follow.
Day 1 & 2 Update – Friday 27th & Saturday 28th November, 2015
We arrived safely in Canberra and were thrilled to check-in at Gold Creek Resort. We quickly unpacked, brushed our teeth and jumped into bed.
Our day started with some children getting up earlier than others. Then down for a hearty breakfast including fruit, cereal, toast, sausages, eggs and grilled tomatoes.
Room inspection was impressive! Probably the best first day ever. So let’s hope that continues.
Then, off to Mount Ainslie, where we had a superb view over Canberra. We could see the National War Memorial, Anzac Parade, Old Parliament House and the new Parliament House on top of the hill. An extraordinary view!
We toured the National Portrait Gallery, enjoying many famous and infamous Australians ranging from the regal James Cook to the spooky death mask of Ned Kelly.
Lunch was at the Old Parliament House Rose Gardens which gave us a chance to enjoy a healthy lunch and run off some of our excess energy.
Our first opportunity to spend was at the mint…how appropriate! Many of us bought some excellent ANZAC memorial coins. We saw how coins were designed and the process that produces them as well priceless coins that form part of Australia’s monetary history. It was incredible to discover that most of this process was completed by robots.
Then off to the National Archives. It sounds as if it could have been boring but it was amazing! We saw digital records, the Commonwealth of Australia Act, fabulous artwork and even Edmund Barton’s desk. We saw some actual documentation that we had been discussing during school HASS lessons
We have saved just enough energy for pizza and bowling this evening and look forward to a fun day tomorrow.