Maitland Area School

Maitland | Yorke Peninsula | South Australia

It was drizzly morning at 6:30am on Monday June 15th when a rugged up group of parents farewelled the Year 7, 8 and 9 students on our journey to Canberra. This weather was to remain with us throughout the trip, but it did not dampen our spirits.

We participated in an educational tour of the national capital, Canberra, with a focus on Australia’s history, culture, heritage and democracy. Our itinerary began at the National Capital exhibition, where we learned about the early days of federation and the search for a geographical location to create our nation’s capital. Other venues over the week were the National Museum, Art Gallery and Mint along with Old Parliament House. Highlights were watching parliament in session, meeting our local member Mr Rowan Ramsay, touring the War Memorial and getting very active at Questacom.

Mr Ramsey and his wife Teresa spoke with us about the electorate of Grey, in which we live and expanded upon the diversity of such a large electorate. Though having just finished question time in parliament and about to meet with a senior minister Mr Ramsey was happy to answer our questions and kindly provided us each with a pack of information and goodies to take with us. We thank him for this. As it was Local Government week in Canberra we were lucky enough to catch up with Mayor Agnew and Councillor Davey as well.

 

At the conclusion of our tour of the War Memorial we were given the privilege of laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier during the Last Post ceremony. Students Liam Dodd and Kaylee Short represented us in this. We wrote a memorial card to attach to the wreath and this will be archived there. The ceremony was streamed live and many of our family and friends viewed it on the War Memorial website, commenting that our strongly coloured uniforms made us easy to identify. In fact, our uniform and the high dress standard of our students was commented upon at many venues. 

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 contributed funding of $60 per student under the Parliament and Civics Education Rebate program towards those costs. The support of our Governing Council, Parents & Friends and the great fundraising efforts of the students enabled the families of our students to receive further subsidies for this excursion and we truly thank our school community for this.

The staff who travelled with the students would like to commend them on the way in which they presented themselves, the excellent questions asked at each venue and acknowledge that they were great ambassadors for our school.

Beth Hector, Leigh Rothe, Pat Hasting and Scott Moore

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