Are we there yet? How much longer? These were just a few of the questions asked multiple times as we commuted the 1,171km to Canberra. During Week 10 of term 3, 144 year 6 and 7 students from Woodend undertook an experience of a lifetime travelling by bus to Canberra. 

Term 3 saw all year 6/7 classes undertake a learning journey with a focus on Australia’s history, culture, heritage and democracy.  This culminated with this wonderful opportunity to undertake an education tour of the national capital. During our trip we visited many of the wonderful educational places that Canberra has to offer, such as the Australian War Memorial where we were able to observe for ourselves the memorials and stories of our brave soldiers that really made us appreciate the sacrifices that have been made so we can live in the free society we do today.

Parliament House was a highlight, where we got to sit in the Gallery overlooking both the Senate and House of Representatives. We participated in a mock passing of a bill through the House of Representatives and got to see the many portraits of our past Prime Ministers.

Old Parliament House ‘The Museum of Australian Democracy’, the National Art Galleries, Telstra Tower, The Australian Institute of Sports and the Australian Electoral Commission were just a few of the places that we visited in our weeklong adventure.

Civics and Citizenship education is an important part of the Australian Curriculum and we are lucky in Australia to have a Government that will assist families to help their students experience this opportunity. At Woodend Primary School the Australian Government is contributing funding of $60 per student (a total of $8,640) under the (PACER) Parliament and Civics Education Rebate program towards those costs. The rebate is paid directly to the school to support reduce to the overall cost for families.

A wonderful, rewarding and exhausting trip that we are sure will be remembered fondly by students for many years to come. Our trip concluded after another 15-hour bus ride home arriving at 6:45 am on Saturday morning with many weary travellers on board. A wonderful time was had by all and the learning that took place was second to none!


Peta Harnois