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Year 6 Camp – Canberra

08 May 2023

Year 6 ventured to our nation’s capital!

After a bright and (very) early start from school, the first stop on our big adventure to Canberra was Mt Ainsley for our traditional “We’ve arrived!” photo op. Here we were able to get a sense of the surroundings, noticing the close relationship that the bush and natural landforms occupy with the very orderly city of Canberra.

From here we headed off to the National Capital exhibition and learnt the name Canberra is thought to have been a derivative of an Indigenous word Ngamberri. Here we designed our own cities, just as the Early Australians did after Federation.

At the Australian Electoral Commission, we learnt how the preferential voting system works and has in fact influenced the voting systems of other countries. It is sometimes referred to as the Australia System. We voted, distributed preferences and discovered that the most popular fruit in Year 6 is… apples!

The War Memorial was next on our list of attractions and a timely visit in the lead-up to ANZAC day. We have been fortunate enough not to have ever experienced war in our young lifetimes, but here we glimpsed the hardships, sacrifice and heroism of those who have fought for the very rights and freedoms we enjoy today – lest we forget.

A walking tour down ANZAC parade was new to our excursion lineup this year. We were able to investigate and make connections to some of the monuments here. It was great to see the Hellenic Monument, thinking back to our own learning about the birthplace of Democracy – Greece!

Although the tour of Parliament House up on the hill is a hushed and wonderous experience full of information and role play, The Museum of Democracy at Old Parliament House never disappoints. The ability to sit in the very seats in Chamber that previous politicians and Prime Ministers have also sat in really makes the practice of government a reality. It was also great to thrill our guides during question time with our knowledge of how government works and how our nation was federated.

The guides at the National Museum of Australia regaled us with tales of the Tasmanian Tiger’s extinction, an (almost) woman-eating croc, and how Google’s got it WRONG listing the oldest man-made structure on Earth as somewhere in Turkey. We learnt that in fact, our own Indigenous population built a fish trapping system that dates to long before the Turkish structure!

This year we saved our visit to Questacon until last. We poked, pushed, pulled, counted down, made, and imagined as we wound our way down through the various exhibition rooms. We were so happy to see the “death-defying” friction slide was open again after 2 years of closure. Hooray!!

With one last group shot we headed back onto the bus, homeward bound. Tired? Absolutely. Wiser? Braver? More independent? …We certainly hope so! Definitely, a trip to be proud of nonetheless.


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