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Year 7s’ Canberra and Sydney Adventure

It has been a great pleasure to experience Sydney and Canberra with the Class of 2024. The trip held even greater meaning this year as we knew that this was going to be the last adventure of its kind in the senior school. And what an adventure we had! This cohort of remarkable young people were a joy on each part of the journey. The 7s are testament to their families in terms of pulling together, making the most of experiences and demonstrating resilience when needed.

The team of teachers who travelled with us are incredible teachers with experience and heart. Ms Michelle Roux, Mrs Lynn Marx, Mr Mark Rees, Mr Dylan Troyahn, Mr James Anderson, Ms Rhian Webby and Ms Diana Schwenke are appreciated by us all. They all go above and beyond every day to ensure that our students are safe and the having the greatest time possible.

Our four days were packed full of various activities.  Our most fun experiences were the visit to the Australian Institute of Sport, where they were able to participate in many simulated and physical activities; and Questacon, where the infamous vertical slide tested the courageousness of many. Another favourite was Taronga Zoo where the students behaved impressively as they explored. Clear animal favourites were the gorillas who thrilled with their cheeky and brash behaviour.

The activities where students learnt the most were the role-played debates, both in Parliament House and also in the actual House of Representatives in the Old Parliament House. Our students participated fully and with great gusto, much to the amusement of visiting tourists. Students also learnt about our electoral system and were intrigued to find out how our voting system works. I’m sure they will all be ready to enrol to vote at the age of 16 and add their voices officially.

The most moving of the activities was experienced in our visit to The Australian War Memorial. Students were able to participate in small group ceremonies at the grave of the unknown soldier and many Year 7s were also able to locate their ancestors on the walls of honour and acknowledge them by placing poppies beside names. Great stories were learnt about our former soldiers and nurses. The memorial certainly gave students a space for reflection on our country’s involvement in wars and on the importance of peaceful actions.

Our College acknowledges the support and funding of the Australian Government through its PACER contribution, which recognises the importance of all young Australians being able to visit their National Capital as part of their Civics and Citizenship Education.  To assist parents in meeting the cost of the excursion the Australian Government will contribute funding of $60 per student under the Parliament and Civics Education Rebate (PACER) programme toward the travel expenses incurred. This contribution will be paid directly to the school and will be credited to your Term Four fees.

Thank you too to our wonderful families who ensured that the 7s were prepared both physically, organisationally and emotionally for this experience.

With a packed schedule, students demonstrated enthusiasm and motivation for all of the activities in which they participated.  I believe the Year 7s learnt many things about themselves as they were given the freedom to make choices within a supervised environment. This cohort are commended for the way they looked after each other. I know that new friendships were forged and unconditional care was shown amongst the Year 7s in their various travelling groups. I am so very proud of this fine group of people. I can’t wait to share many more adventures with them.

Sarah Standage
Head of Year 7