Year 7 Canberra Trip 2018 Day 7 – Sydney Harbour

Our time in Canberra has come to an end. It was another early start as we loaded up the bus and prepared for the 3.5 hr bus journey to Sydney. Although we didn’t have lots of time in Sydney, we did catch a glimpse of some of its colonial-era buildings and iconic Australian landmarks. Our cruise was a relaxing and enjoyable hour’s trip around the harbour, from Circular Quay to Manly, with views of Luna Park, Fort Denison, the Botanic Gardens, Taronga Zoo, the many million-dollar mansion lining the shores, Australia’s largest naval base, and more. It was a great finish to a jam-packed week.

“Today, we woke up and loaded the luggage in the bus. Then we had breakfast. After that we drove to Sydney and had lunch. We went on a ferry and saw the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House. Then we drove to the airport and checked our bags in” – Nerutendo Chiza

“I enjoyed the wonderful sites the Opera House, Sydney Harbour, the Bridge and Shark Island. The boat trip was very nice and we went around the whole Harbour with the boat” – Daniel Kim

“We had a very fun day on the cruise ship today. My friends and I played games on the deck like Truth or Dare. We did some sightseeing and we saw the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. My friends and I also caught a glimpse of the Sydney Zoo, the Sydney Tower and a ferris wheel” – Shevaun Krans

“We went to Sydney. We went cruising and seeing the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. We took selfies and we had lunch. We also watched Home Alone on the bus. We had lots of fun” – David Korchemkin

Despite a delay in our flight home from Sydney, the flight went very smoothly and we arrived safely in Perth to the many smiling faces of our families. Thank you, Mums and Dads, for allowing your children this incredible experience, and to the teachers and admin who made sure it all went smoothly. Students learnt so much by experiencing things first-hand as well as building closer relationships with each other and their teachers.

Year 7 Canberra Trip 2018 Day 6 – Perisher Snowfields


Today was the big highlight most students had been waiting for – our day in the snow at Perisher! We weren’t disappointed either, as there had been snowfall earlier in the week and it was a relatively warm day (if you can call 5° warm). After travelling nearly 3 hr to get there, our first port of call was the quadlift. This took up the mountain to the perfect spot for a snowfight. Students quickly learnt the best way to make a snowball, how to accurately throw them, and just how cold wet snow is when a pile of it is shoved down your jacket.

“Today our class went on a 3 hour trip to the snow, with a stop to hire snow gear. When we got to the Mount Kosciuszko National Park we took a ski lift to the top of the mountain where we had a snow ball fight. After the fight we took the ski lift down the mountain and had lunch, then we walked to the tobogganing hill and tobogganed. After that we went on the bus ride back to our dorms, with a stop to return the snow gear. To perfectly fnish a packed and pleasant day we had MacDonald’s for dinner” – Holly Young

“I enjoyed so many things about going to see snow. The first thing I liked was having snowball fights which were made mostly from hard and painful ice. My favourite thing was tobogganing and smashing through ice while I fell down. In conclusion, the snow day was by far the best experience I’ve had in Canberra” – Richard Cai


After taking the quadlift back down the mountain for lunch, it was onto the field for tobogans. Some students weren’t quite sure what you were supposed to do, but they quickly got the hang of it. You just needed to avoid the ditch at the bottom of the slope unless you wanted to crash in spectacular fashion. Others took the opportunity to try their hand at building a snowman. With no broken bones and only ear-to-ear grins as students made their way back to the bus, we think today was a big success.

“The highlights of the second last day in Canberra were definitely playing in the snow. We had epic snow fights and made cool forts. Later on in the day we went tobogganing, which was fun and competitive at the same time” – Aimee Astell

“On 27 June we went to Perisher to go experience what snow is like. For most of us, we have never touched snow so it was very special. The first interactive thing we did was just picking up snow ad throwing it. I enjoyed it when Mr de Bruyn had a taste of snow by most of the Year 7 boys. After that we went tobogganing. Me and Isaac went on one board and kept falling off it, which was funny” – Jean-Jack Sayon

Year 7 Canberra Trip 2018 Day 5 – Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex, Royal Australian Mint, Embassy of Indonesia and the Australian Institute of Sport

Day 5 was one of our busiest days in Canberra, with four venues to take in. However, our fantastic bus driver also managed to squeeze in a short stop at the National Arboretum for lunch, which has some stunning views across the valley and an awesome playground where we could spend some time playing.

Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex

The Deep Space Complex is operated by the CSIRO on behalf of NASA. It’s nestled in a valley behind the hills to avoid interference from signals generated by the city. The complex boasts the largest communication dish in the southern hemisphere and is used in conjunction with other stations around the world. We learnt how many things we use in our daily lives were the result of breakthroughs done by NASA, such as zip lock bags (you don’t want to know what they were invented for!), and even potential cures for diseases.

“I liked the Space Centre even though it was a long drive. We had to turn our phones to airplane mode so the radio signals wouldn’t be picked up. I liked the Space Centre because we watched videos about the Rovers. The main dish is 70m wide and weighs 4,000 tonnes. At the Space Centre they ca talk to the other space craft in the atmosphere. Elon Musk made a rocket with side boosters to make it go fast. It took a few minutes for it to get into the solar system and the side boosters would automatically go to the ground at the same time and they can use it again” – Ben Randall

Royal Australian Mint

All the coins in circulation in Australia are made at the Royal Mint. The Mint itself is a factory floor with all the machinery for pressing, sorting and packing all the coins, including the 2nd biggest robot in the southern hemisphere, called “Titan” and two other robots called “Penny” and “Robbie”.

There is also a museum area where they have many rare coins on display. Some are damaged or pressed incorrectly, and others are from Australia’s convict era and are worth quite a bit, like the Holey Dollar which has the centre punched out (which is called a dump).

“The Royal Mint was amazing and I most enjoyed the robot Titan, because he was friendly and nice. We got to make $3 coins at the coin booth and also got to learn more about convicts. Overall, the Royal Mint is a great place to visit and the ideal place to put on your list” – Samantha Ng

There’s much more to our coins than we realised, making the Mint is quite a fascinating place to visit.

Embassy of Indonesia

A trip to the Indonesian Embassy is essential for our students, as they study Indonesian up to Year 9 (and as an elective after that). The Embassy looks like an imposing building, with guards and high gates, but our tour guides were very friendly and welcoming.

“On Wednesday we went to the Embassy of Indonesia. Luckily, the bus ride was not too long. When we got there, we had to climb a lot of stairs to get to the main building. Our guides where both from Indonesia. For the first half hour we all learned some really interesting things! After that, we watched a 5 min video on how Indonesia is a great tourist destination. Then we went out back to see a puppet show. There was a skinny good guy and a monster. At the end, the good guy shot the bad guy with an arrow. To finish the trip off, we saw the instruments in the puppet show orchestra” – Liam Gibbon

Students impressed our guides with their Indonesian language skills and knowledge of the culture and geography. We were then treated to a wayang kulit (shadow puppets) performance, followed by a look at some traditional Indonesian musical instrumentals like the gamelan and gongs.

Although it was a short visit, it was good for the students to see and experience some of what they’ve been learning in class.

Australian Institute of Sport

The Institute of Sport is a huge campus consisting of various sports centres, gyms, courts and stadiums. Many athletes training there live on campus. Sport and PE are favourites for many of our students, so this was a must-see tour. We were divided into two groups and shown around the campus by two athletes training at the AIS.

“I thought the AIS was amazing because I got to learn about what you do there and what it’s all about. I also loved seeing all the training centres, it was great fun. I also learnt how many times they train a year, and the games were so amazing. With swimming, where they train and there techniques are cool. It was amazing memory” – Katie Wrener

The highlight of the tour was undoubtedly Sportex, were students got to try their hand at a range of virtual and interactive sports – rowing, wheelchair racing, soccer, basketball, cycling and more.

Year 7 Canberra Trip 2018 Day 4 – Government House, CSIRO and Australian War Memorial

It was a long day in Canberra today, with an early start to arrive in time for our tour of Government House and a late finish as we stayed at War Memorial for the Last Post Ceremony. We didn’t struggle to find things to keep ourselves busy in between as we visited the CSIRO Discovery Centre and enjoyed the sunshine in the park at lunch time.

Government House

Government House is one of two official residencies of the Governor General. We learnt that the Constitution says the Governor General has to live in Government House while he or she is doing the job. We also learnt that it was originally a farmhouse with 40,000 sheep before it became the Governor General’s house.

“I think the trip to the Governor General’s house was fantastic because we got to see actual photos of the Queen. We also went to see the dining room, but unfortunately the Governor General wasn’t there because he had very important work to do. I learnt that the Governor General represents the Queen. Also, that he has to be recommended to the Queen by the Prime Minister. I also liked the house and the medals he had on display” – Asah Garea

We learnt about the four Cs that make up the Governor General’s job – Constitutional, Community, Commander in Chief, and Ceremonial. Most Governor Generals like the community part because it means they can get out and about and meet people. The strangest thing we learnt was that the Governor General isn’t allowed to drive a car – he has to be chauffeured everywhere, and always goes with a Police escort. What an interesting life!

CSIRO Discovery Centre

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is responsible for a whole bunch of innovations – WiFi, polymer banknotes, aerosol and much more. The Discovery Centre provided students with the opportunity to explore some of the areas of research CSIRO scientists are involved in.

“The CSIRO was one of the most interesting events that happened today. The main reason why is because each of us managed to learn many new and interesting things. One new thing that I learnt was that the CSIRO created WiFi, which is one of the most used things today. We played some fun games there that taught us many facts. The game involved lots of physical activity and ended with a prize. I personally enjoyed myself there and liked playing with all the interesting gadgets and exhibits. Overall, the CSIRO is really amazing and I advise you to go there and check it out yourself” – Daniel Yong

Australian War Memorial Part 2

Our second visit the War Memorial allowed students to explore the Discovery Zone, an interactive area where they can experience different aspects of war like the trenches of WWI, a Cold War-era submarine, a Vietnam-era Huey helicopter, and what the home front was like in Australia during WWII.

Following this, students explored the other galleries in groups until it was time for the Last Post Ceremony in the Commemorative Area. During the ceremony, we got to hear the story behind one of the names on the Roll of Honour and two of our students were selected to lay a wreath on behalf of Rehoboth during this special ceremony.

“On 25 June we went to the War Memorial. In my opinion, the War Memorial is really fun and you can learn so many cool things there. One of the places we went to is the Afghanistan section. We watched a half an hour video of the Afghanistan War and it was really cool to watch. In the video, there were people talking and they were fighting in the War. We also heard some stories and one of them was when a young child was sleeping and he got shot during his sleep. Another place we went to was the Discovery Zone. In the Discovery Zone, we got to go into a helicopter, a submarine and in a trench and they were all really fun. There were so many fun things to do. In the helicopter, there were buttons and little levers and they made the whole thing seem even better. In the submarine, we got to lie in the beds and steer the submarine. There were also little compartments that the people used to put all of there things and there was another compartment that had this disgusting stinking smell, which is what the submarine would smell like. In the trench, we got to see trench foot and it was so yucky. My Dad and I also found a relative of ours on the wall. We bought a poppy and placed it on the Roll of Honour next to his name. Another thing that was very fun was the gift shop. In the gift shop there were so many cool things to buy, and I bought a keyring. All in all, the War Memorial was really fun and we had a great time” – Aliza Merlo

Year 7 Canberra Trip 2018 Day 3 – St Andrew’s Church, High Court and Questacon

It’s day 3 already! Being Sunday, the first order of business was a visit to church. It was a beautiful sunny day as we ventured out after another delicious breakfast.

St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church

Singing and worshipping God as a whole group was a special experience, especially when it’s in a building as beautiful as St Andrew’s. This church holds the distinction of being one of the first to be built and Canberra, and is the closest church to Parliament House. The members of St Andrew’s were very welcoming and friendly as they showed us around their beautiful church.

“Today we went to St Andrew’s Church, where we experienced the amazing service, sang and listened to the missionaries. Later we went to the kids’ service where we watched a video of the history of the Bible and learnt that we are part of the story. We also played a very fun game, then we had morning tea which the church provided. After, we could have a look around the magnificent church. We saw a woman playing the organ – she was amazing. We could also ring the bells of the church. The church had beautiful stained glass windows and wooden elements. I really liked the church, it was a different and pleasant experience” – Jacqueline Ardian

High Court of Australia

Lunch was followed by a visit to the High Court, our country’s final authority on the law. We learnt a lot about Australia’s Constitution, why it is an important document, and the 6 key principles it contains. We also learnt that the Constitution has a rule in it that says there must be a final court to interpret the law, and that’s why we have a High Court.

“At the High Court, we got to look at Court 1 and our guide showed us all kinds of things, including why there are indents in the walls. They are there because there are cameras that record the cases, and the indents help the sound not to echo. Also, there was a musical performance just as we were leaving. It was great at the High Court” – Cody Chew

Court 1 was an impressive, 18m tall room. While our visit was short, our guide was impressed with students’ answers to her questions about the role of the High Court.


“Questacon had heaps of amazing activities to keep you entertained. The Excite room was my favourite. The things you could do in there would keep you busy all day. We even got to verse some students from another school in a game of air hockey! The gift shop contained some cool things that you would really want to buy. The overall experience was amazing and I hope the next classes to come will enjoy it too” – Alex Nawn

An activity many students had been looking forward to, Questacon offers 5 floors of interactive science and technology exhibits. From free falling to experience the effect of gravity, to water sustainability, robotics, colour, a microscope lab and much more, Questacon kept everyone engaged for the whole afternoon.

Year 7 Canberra Trip 2018 Day 2 – Cockington Green, Gold Greek Station and the Australian War Memorial

Students woke to a misty -4° morning on day 2 (we hope that means there will be plenty of snow on Wednesday!).

Cockington Green Gardens

“The first thing that we did today was going to Cokington Green Gardens. The morning was foggy and fresh and we went the 10 minute walk there. When we got into the garden we all started to explore. The miniature villages were cute and realistic and we saw movie characters and famous sites. We all really enjoyed seeing it” – Leah Hobday

Students were set the task of investigating the displays in small groups and photographing the strangest miniature they could find. A special treat is in store for the winning group when they’re announced tomorrow night.

The chill didn’t dampen students’ spirits as they explored different architectures and building styles from around the world, raced each other on the model railway, and experimented with the ice that had frozen over the miniature lakes and streams.

Gold Creek Station

For a change a pace, our next stop was Gold Creek Station. This working sheep station is something of a hidden gem, just a few minutes out of Canberra city. Students were divided into two groups for activities, which included rounding up the sheep, wrangling them, cuddling the week-old lambs (naaaawwww!) and a shearing demonstration.

“The farm was awesome and exciting because we learnt about how farmers shear sheep and also had a chance to wrestle sheep and control them. I also liked when some people acting like sheep dogs and had to help round the sheep up” – Tadiwanashe Ngomamiti

We were introduced to some economic concepts that we won’t learn until Year 8, like how the wool industry is based on supply and demand and what “market value” means, but it was still fun to watch and get our hands dirty.

Australian War Memorial – Part 1

After lunch, we took the bus to the Australian War Memorial. This very special place has so much to see that we’ll be going twice. Today’s visit focussed on an introduction to the memorial and viewing some of the films and audiovisual presentations throughout the galleries.

We learnt that the idea for a memorial came from Charles Bean, who was a journalist during World War I (you can read more about him here). He was deeply moved by what he had seen during the war and felt that the Australian people should have a way to commemorate the soldiers and what they did. Bean was also an historian, so his idea for the War Memorial included extensive exhibits too.

“Today we went to the Australian War Memorial. It was unlike any place we had ever been before. It stops us from laughing and joking around; all we could think about was the soldiers who gave their lives for our freedom. Each feature of the museum was unique, the section about the fighter planes, submarines, World War I, World War II, Afghan War… everything the brave soldiers had to do for us, displayed in short 10 minute films. The story about the 12 year old suicide bomber was particularly moving for all of us. Brilliant displays, lots of interesting information, respectful and beautiful memorials. All of the effort put into this was just amazing to see, and we really appreciate the time taken for our first visit to the memorable Australian War Memorial” – Isabeau van der Kooy

It was then time to visit the Commemorative Courtyard and Hall of Memory. Students took in the many, many names engraved on the walls and the sight of the red poppies used to remember each soldier. One student was even able to find a great, great, great, great uncle who had served in World War I, which was a very special moment.

We look forward to visiting the War Memorial again before we leave.

A trip to Canberra wouldn’t be complete without taking in the view from Mount Ainslie. We made our way there at sunset and, despite the cold setting in again, marvelled at the views of Canberra.

“My class went to Mount Ainslie. We went and saw a big mountain and it was really awesome. We also saw the city and the landscape. Some students in my class were quite scared and they didn’t want to see the beautiful view. Also, we took a class photo and we had a really fun time” – Josiah Adeyemo

Year 7 Canberra Trip 2018 Day 1 – Museum of Australian Democracy, National Electoral Education Centre and Parliament House

After a safe arrival at Canberra Airport on Thursday night, it was straight on the bus to our accommodation at Leumeah Lodge and in bed by 11:00pm for the Year 7s.

Museum of Australian Democracy (Old Parliament House)

Day 1 commenced bright and early, with students waking to the sight of frost outside their windows. Our first destination was the Museum of Australian Democracy, which is located in Old Parliament House. We got to sit in the original House of Representatives chamber and learnt about the first Speaker of the House, modelled very closely on the British system, and the last Speaker, who also went down in history as Australia’s first female Speaker.

“One of my favourite highlights over the first day was Old Parliament House. The Old Parliament House was going to be a temporary building but, due to the expenses of the war, it was used for 61 years. It is now a national heritage of Australia. They had many interactive activities which taught us about Australia’s Prime Ministers. Since our bodies may leave oily fingerprints everyone was given a pair of white gloves to protect the wood from becoming destroyed. Going to the Old Parliament House was an enjoyable and educational visit. Canberra is off to a great start!” – Georgia Strickling

National Electoral Education Centre

After a break for morning tea and a quick walk we arrived at the National Electoral Education Centre, where we learnt some of the history of how our rights to vote have developed and even conducted a mock election, voting for our favourite fruit. This showed us first-hand how preferential voting works.

After lunch in the Old Parliament gardens, it was time for a quick bus tour of the embassies, before heading up the hill to the new Parliament House.

Parliament House

“New Parliament House has really evolved from the Old Parliament. The rooms are larger; they have a lot more offices for Members of Parliament, and they have a lot more artefacts and pieces of information so we can learn about the history of Canberra and the Federal Parliament. And it’s built into a hill! Everywhere you look, the design of the rooms are outstanding and make you wonder, ‘Who was behind all this?’ We have certainly taken a lot away from this and it helps us apply it to our understanding of Australia’s history” – Liam Murray

Students were impressed with the scale of the new building compared to the old, and learnt a little about how the city of Canberra was purposefully planned and laid out to be Australia’s capital. Fun fact No. 2 – Did you know that the Senate is the only place in Australia that has red emergency exit signs (all others are green)?

It was then time to head back to the Lodge for dinner, devotions and bed.

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