At the end of the October school holidays, 33 Year Nine students embarked on an epic journey which began in Melbourne and ended in Canberra. This activity packed trip had many highlights. Students stood at the noose where Ned Kelly was executed at the Melbourne Gaol. They walked the streets of Melbourne and experienced its rich history. Students learnt that the Yarra River was called the ‘River of Mist’ and it was a place where souls came back to the earth, right up to the urbanisation project of creating street art in all the major Melbourne alley ways and seeing an impromptu street parade. A day was spent exploring Sovereign Hill after seeing the original Eureka Flag. Students also experienced the cultural experiences of the Islamic and Jewish Museums. Although a storm shut down power and students were unable to experience the Jewish Museum They were enthralled by the story of a Holocaust survivor and his French resistance fighting father. Many had their perceptions changed by the dynamic presenter at the Islamic museum. The combination of both places opened the student’s eyes to their role in creating a fair society for all and not believing social stereotypes.
Canberra offered just as many delights. Students were enthralled with the Last Post ceremony and many got lost in the exhibits within the Australian War Museum. Students were shown around Parliament House and enjoyed a debate on conscription in the Old Parliament House. The debate was a highlight for most of the students. They also visited the National Achieves and saw first-hand the first Constitution of Australia, signed by Queen Victoria herself and experienced the racist diction test which was created when Australia federated and
Along with these cultural activities students got to visit the Victorian Markets, the MCG and the Australian Institute of Sport.
We would like to take the opportunity to thank the Australian Government who through their support of the Parliament and Civics Education Rebate (PACER) helped make the trip to the national capital more affordable through this funding process.
This was a trip that was highlighted by the kindness and consideration developed by the students in their effort to help each other and their good humor in all situations. Our students conducted themselves with integrity and showed respect at all activities, something that I was very proud to see. I, along with Ms Everett and Mr English were thrilled with their representation of St Stephen’s School and were very blessed to join this exciting trip with them. Many thanks also go to Ms Bronwyn Schultz’s Year 9 Commercial Design class and Robbie Raftis for his winning design for our tour jackets.