2019 Canberra Trip



NMHS Canberra Young

Leaders’ Camp

24 - 29 NOVEMBER 2019

NMHS Canberra 2019

During Week 7 a group of 25 Year 10s and Year 11s embarked on the

Norwood Morialta High Schools’ Canberra Young Leaders’ Camp. Many

hours of organisation and meticulous planning resulted in a camp full

to the brim with tours, sites, attractions, educational programs and fun

activities in our nation’s capital.

Students participated in a variety of educational programs with a focus on

Australia’s history, culture, heritage, global contribution and democracy. To

assist us in undertaking this visit, the Australian Government contributed

by providing a rebate of $1500 towards the costs under the Parliament

and Civics Education Rebate (PACER) program, an initiative that assisted in

running this informative and valuable visit.




| DAY 1

Students were greeted by Mr Camerlengo and Ms Ganibegovic as they arrived at school

on Sunday afternoon before we commenced our journey to Canberra via the Riverland.

With a final farewell to parents and our first group photo, we set off in a brand new luxury

coach. We passed through the states of South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales

stopping every three hours in townships along the way to change drivers, stretch our legs

and buy late-night snacks. We eventually arrived in the Australian Capital Territory after

15 hours of excited chatting and some sleeping in-between. Most students attending were

acquaintances but quickly forged new friendships by the time we had arrived.





| DAY 2

After a long night we began bright an early with a breakfast stop before getting dropped off

at the start of Reconciliation Place. A guide accompanied us for the 1.1km walk across the

heart of the Parliamentary Triangle where we learnt about Indigenous and Torres Strait

Islander history, culture and contributions as we explored 17 sculptures and monuments.

These installations depicted First Nations’ culture, history, struggle and attainment of rights,

contributions to wider Australian society including sports, civil rights, politics and military

service. Students reflected on the mistakes of past, the importance of reconciliation and the

need for an inclusive future.

Up next, the National Electoral Education Centre at Old Parliament House. Students became

familiar with preferential voting and referendums. Using this knowledge they ran and

participated in a mock election for both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Our

16-year old students even had an opportunity to enrol for the next federal election and those

underage used search engines to search for their parents in the electoral database.

We then stopped for lunch driving past the International Flag display as the coach dropped

us off at the end of Lake Burley Griffin. Running parallel to the edge of Lake Burley Griffin

we looked upon the 110 international flags that represented 108 countries and 2 international

organisations with a diplomatic presence in Canberra. As we ate, the winds carried a cooling

mist from the 114m high Captain James Cook Memorial Jet across the lake to where we

were seated.

NMHS Canberra 2019


Several hours were spent engaged with activities at the National War Memorial. We

were met by a knowledgeable tour guide who took students through the WW1 and WW2

exhibits while immersing students in stories of everyday Australian soldiers, journalists and

war historians as well as the stories of loved ones left behind as students explored the

extensive museum collection. Students took the opportunity to pay respects to fallen family

members at the War Memorial’s Honour Roll as students quietly walked between a hundred

thousand names of fallen soldiers. A rare period of hushed silence overcame the students

as they filtered into the Hall of Remembrance to contemplate the Tomb of the Unknown

Soldier. They were in awe of the beautiful mosaic dome and intricate stained glass windows.

The tour ended with an engaging multimodal audio-visual experience under a fighter plane

before students were given an extended period of time to explore other galleries dedicated

to the Korean War, Vietnam War and modern wars and peacekeeping efforts around the

world. Finally, two of our students solemnly laid a wreath during the Last Post Ceremony as

the bugle and bagpipes sounded across the sombre crowd.





| DAY 3

After a much deserved rest at the Ibis Styles Eaglehawk, we began our morning with

Embassy Drive taking a look at Canberra’s many embassies and high commissions. Students

marvelled at the ornate and traditional styles of certain countries and compared them to the

blander more lacklustre design of others. Many comments were made about the grandiose

size of certain embassies versus the understated design of others. Having time to spare we

drove through the Royal Military College at Duntroon to see the barracks, training facilities

and parade grounds of the Australian Military.

Next stop was Parliament House. There were many smiles to be seen as students took

selfies and group photos in front of the iconic building. After passing through security we

enjoyed some refreshments on the Queen’s Terrace before being greeted by South Australian

Senator Stirling Griff for a Q&A session. Students took the chance to ask many pivotal

questions relating to current issues and the role of the Federal Senate. Students passed

portraits of past Prime Ministers and Governor Generals on their extensive tour of the House

of Representatives and the Senate. During our tour students were present for a division vote

in both houses and even got to see former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd! We were then lead

into a mock House of Representatives chamber to run our own heated debate on a student

selected issue, namely free public transport.

NMHS Canberra 2019

Our Canberra tour involved visiting the National Museum of Australia, where we learnt

about the history of our nation, the original British colonies, First Australians, Indigenous

Civil Rights movements and other cultural icons including Ford vehicles, prototype trains,

invasive biological species, natural disasters and Pharlap’s heart. The students even had an

opportunity to design and build a time travelling virtual robot in the cutting-edge K-Space in

order explore Australia’s past through an interactive game. We stopped for lunch in the newly

renovated and uniquely designed garden outside the museum.


Due to his last minute scheduling issues, we were unfortunately unable to visit Government

House or meet with His Excellency the Governor General. With some quick thinking we

booked into the National Arboretum to enjoy the stunning vistas of Canberra’s natural

beauty. We learnt about the destruction of 70% the agricultural, pine plantations and nature

parks during Canberra’s worst bushfire in 2003 which also saw the death of 4 people, 490

injuries and the loss of 470 homes. In the wake of that destruction the National Arboretum

was born to protect, preserve and research trees. Students wandered a beautiful bonsai

forest, walked through plantations of 94 forests of rare and endangered trees and even saw

a living fossil! With a focus on sustainability and scientific research students leant about his

locations special focus and contributions to scientific knowledge.



After dinner it was time for a light-hearted visit to the Telstra Tower on the summit of Black

Mountain. Although the strong winds prevented us from accessing the highest viewing platform,

students still had a wonderful time enjoying the lower two. Not even the cold temperatures,

strong winds and light rain could dampen the mood as we took in the breathtaking 360 degree

views of Canberra and its surrounds. As twilight gave way to darkness the lights of the city

came into view and our students delighted in the chance to enjoy Canberra by night.

NMHS Canberra 2019



| DAY 4

At CSIRO Discovery Centre, students competed in teams to complete an educational game

using QR codes, IPads and the various science exhibitions within the CSIRO. Students learnt

about the role of the Commonwealth Science & Industrial Research Organisation and

Australia’s contribution to science and technology on the global stage through their many

discoveries, inventions and patents including Wi-Fi, Aeroguard, contact lenses, polymer bank

notes, biological weapons for pest control for invasive species and well-being diets. Students

learnt how pure science leads to completely unexpected break throughs and applications

sometimes decades later!


Taking advantage of the blue skies and beautiful weather, we ventured up Mt. Ainslie to

witness the stunning panoramic views. From our vantage point, we witnessed the purposeful

design of the city and its harmony with the landscape. Of course, students also made the

most of this perfect selfie opportunity.




At our next venue, the National Film & Sound Archive, the tour guides explain the purpose

of the archive, to collect and preserve all Australian made media and how this now includes

videogames! Much to the students surprise they were then taking into an gaming exhibit that

spanned several rooms that display the progression of video games from arcade through to

console and online. Students had an absolute ball playing the original Donkey Kong, Pac Man

and Space Invaders on arcade consoles before moving onto Sonic the Hedgehog, Lego Star

Wars and World of Warcraft on consoles and PC. Unique games like Guitar Hero and Just

Dance encouraged friendly competition and team work while indie games such as Minecraft

and Fruit Ninja brought a smile to quite a few faces.

After an hour of videogames, we caught some sunrays in King’s Park on the edge of Lake

Burley Griffin. Finding a spot between the National Carillion and the National Worker

Memorial we stopped to eat lunch. Many relaxed in the shade while those more energetic

students enjoy an adventure playground.

The National Library of Australia was next on the itinerary. As we entered the building we

passed by vibrantly coloured stained windows and the 1956 and 2000 Olympic Torches.

Led by a librarian, we explored the archives and got lost in the underground labyrinth that

extended under the lake. We were taken underground into the library’s central hub to try out

their antique pneumatic tube system and were able to see the tubes’ replacements at work

– a series of automated robotic assistants all affectionately called ISAAC. We also learnt that

the library’s mission is to collect all Australian paraphernalia including anything published in

Australia or by an Australian. Led upstairs we toured through the National Treasure exhibition

and the Story Time: Australian Children’s Literature exhibition in which students were able to

see the original designs, art work, editions and drafts of famous and beloved children’s books

such as Possum Magic, Deltora Quest, The Lost Thing, The Magic Pudding and Blinky Bill.

NMHS Canberra 2019


No doubt a highlight for the retail loving students, a few hours were spent shopping around

Canberra Centre Mall, snagging bargains and eating in the food courts. Many returned to

the bus weighed down with bags of goodies and souvenirs.

Our final destination for the day was an evening session at Questacon Science &

Technology Centre. In this state-of-the-art facility students to learnt about water, light,

electricity and sound through engaging games and interactive displays. Students pondered

the future as they explored exhibits on robotics and Artificial Intelligence. Students felt the

rumble of a magnitude 4 earthquake, saw lighting generated in an insulated cage and saw

a mini tornado form in a wind tunnel. With adrenaline pumping, our students tested their

courage by dangling off a suspended beam and free falling from a height of six metres.





| DAY 5

Our final day started bright and early at the Australian Institute of Sport. We participated

in hands on activities in Sportex such as indoor rock climbing and basketball as well hybrid

physical & digital game play that provided virtual HD gaming for rowing, cycling, soccer,

wheelchair and even a bobsleigh skeleton run. There was even a friendly arm-wrestling

competition between teachers and students. We were accompanied by a current volleyball

athlete as a guide as she took us through the impressive state-of-the-art sporting facilities

for athletics, swimming, volleyball and gymnastics. The grounds contain imposing statues of

welded iron that represented a range of athletes and sports and although grand in scale, we

saw birds had made use of them as the perfect spot to create a nest.

We also visited the National Gallery of Australia where our students were able to peruse the

various artworks, spending time in the Indigenous, Asian, Pop-Art, Surreal and Dada galleries

enjoying pieces from world renowned artists like Jackson Pollock, Claude Monet, Pablo

Picasso, Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali.

NMHS Canberra 2019


However, mostly students loved the immersive infinity effect created by the Mirror Rooms of

Yayoi Kusama. Entering 5 at a time, students were in awe as they became visually lost in the

infinity effect created by the mirrors in one of the most ‘instagramable’ spots in the gallery.


Our students engaged in thought-provoking discussions with legal practitioners in the High

Court of Australia. We visited the ornate courts that deal with Constitutional issues, final

appeals from State and Territory Courts and injunctions. We not only learnt of the HCA’s role

as the guardian of the Constitution but also learnt of the building’s symbolic architecture

symbolically represents the transparent nature of the court and the public’s ability to witness

justice in action.


We arrived at the lakeside National Capital Exhibition to discover the history of Canberra.

However, before entering we stopped for lunch where we were visited by an incredibly

friendly possum who had a great love of apples!

NMHS Canberra 2019

After feeding the native wildlife, we the exhibition to learn how the geographic site of

the capital city was chosen, heard about the international design competition that was

launched all the way back in 1912, examined the top 4 design submissions, learnt of the

winning architects from Chicago and ultimately the story of how Canberra came to be the

purpose built national capital of Australia. Students were very impressed with the multimodal

topographic diorama of the city and introductory video.


At the Royal Australian Mint, our enthusiastic presenter enlightened us about the history of

our loose change, the artistic design templates, the manufacturing process and the potential

of a cashless Australia. We saw rare coins, Commonwealth Games medals and had an

opportunity to mint our own one-dollar commemorative coin.



Looking forward to meeting our next round of adventurers in 2020!




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Morialta Road West

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Norwood Morialta High School


MIDDLE CAMPUS - Morialta Road West, Rostrevor SA 5073 Phone: 08 8365 0455

SENIOR CAMPUS - 505 The Parade, Magill SA 5072 Phone: 08 8364 2299

PO Box 180, Magill SA 5073

E: dl.0787.info@schools.sa.edu.au

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