We started our day with a visit to Parliament House. As Parliament is sitting this week, we were fortunate enough to meet Kelly O’Dwyer, our local member for Higgins. She spoke to us about her role as a Minister and fielded some of our questions. It was great to see the House of Representatives and the Senate and learn about how they work. We then got to role play as Members of Parliament in the House of Representatives, as we tried to pass a bill that ‘School Days Should be Longer’. Sadly, we were successful in passing this bill through to the Senate.
After Parliament House we went to the National Library of Australia. Through our tour of the library, we heard a lot of interesting things and learned a lot about its history. Many of us like books, so it was really cool to see all of them. It hosts over 10 million items and you can’t borrow the books. When the National Library moved from Melbourne to Canberra they stored the books in warehouses, hospitals and even in morgues. They receive a copy of every Australian publication, book, magazine, journal etc., which means they receive on average 1,000 new items per week. If you placed every book, spine-to-spine, in a single row, it would cover a distance of 250km, which grows each year by about 2-4kms.
Following the library, we explored public art installations in the Old Parliament House Gardens. It was really interesting on the garden walk to learn about Aboriginal cultures, and how different people live. It was nice to hear how people respect the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. We discussed how stories are passed down from one generation to another, and how to plan for the future we need to come together as one.
The view from Mt Ainslie was amazing! We could see the whole city including the War Memorial, Parliament House, Old Parliament House and Lake Burley Griffin. Again, we were super impressed that no-one was sick on the way up.
After dinner, we went to Questacon. It was full of new information and history that we never knew about before going there. It was highly interactive; some of the greater exhibits were the microscopes, the lightning cage, the ‘Excite’ gallery where many of us freefell 6.7m on the slide and speedball where we had to throw a ball as fast as we could on a target and it would record our speed.
Tomorrow we’re looking forward to Government House, the High Court and Ten Pin Bowling.
– Jasper, Daniel and Tom