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Learning about History and Democracy in Canberra

Alarms were set and bags were packed in anticipation of an early start for our Year 6 students, teachers and parents. Monday, May 22nd was the date for our long anticipated venture across borders to our nation’s capital.

Adelaide airport at 5.15am was a hive of activity. There were navy blue sweaters as far as the eye could see, as parents dropped students off into the care of Immanuel teachers and parent helpers. Our preparation was complete and thanks to our ever supportive parents, by 5.30am, all students coming on the trip were accounted for.

The flights in both directions gave the students an opportunity to debrief and journal their thoughts and feelings. They were well behaved and polite which was extremely pleasing, in fact Mr Steve Rudolph (Lutheran Education Australia Executive Director) was on our flight over to Canberra and he was most impressed with how the students represented themselves and the school.

To say that the trip was busy would be an understatement. Our days began at 6am with a wake up and concluded with the students lights out at around 9pm. The days were full of learning opportunities, well planned and skilfully executed.

One of the many highlights of the trip was our visit to the War Memorial. The students were introduced to many of the conflicts that Australians have served in. The memorial is a world class facility and engaged the students from the moment we entered, until we departed many hours later. We concluded our afternoon with a Last Post Ceremony watched on by tourists and serving members of the defence force. It was a special time that will be a lasting memory for the Year 6 students.

Another highlight was spending time in Parliament House. We were visited by sitting members and previous sitting members of the House. We saw portraits and heard stories about Prime Ministers of days gone by, and we walked through the hallways catching glimpses of politicians faces as they moved around the building going about their work.

Science came alive for the students at both Questacon and the GeoScience Education Centre. Democracy was championed at the Museum of Australian Democracy and the Australian Electoral Education Centre. We took in the sights from Mt Ainslie and understood the vision of Walter Burley Griffin thanks to the National Capital Exhibition. Lake Burley Griffin was cruised and the AIS was explored, and so the list goes…..

My hope is that the students realise how fortunate they are; to live in a country that values freedom and democracy, to go to a school that values rich educational experiences and finally, to have parents who are willing to make the financial sacrifices to provide their children these memories for a lifetime.

Nathan Berry – Year 6 Teacher

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