26 May 2023

Civics excursion

Article by Deanne Allen-Emery | Learning Diversity Assistant

Civics excursion

On Monday 15th May, the Year 11 Australian & Global Politics and Year 10 Politics and Legal Studies classes embarked on a day of civics education and travelled by bus to Melbourne. The Year 11 Australian & Global Politics students started the day exploring significant Melbourne landmarks, focusing on human rights issues including Aboriginal land rights, Invasion Day, detention, suffragettes and the vote, homelessness, federation, just to name a few. Simultaneously, the Year 10 Politics and Legal Studies class visited the Old Melbourne Gaol / Magistrates court, whereby students toured the prison and participated in a culpable driving mock trial case. The students were able to use their drama skills to act out different roles within a criminal court room, playing the roles of judge, prosecutor, defence lawyer, defendant, witnesses, and the public gallery. Set within the historical venue, students were able to view and understand the layout of a courtroom. The students played their roles with extreme passion, enthusiasm and actively participated in “sentencing” of the defendant.

After lunch, both classes joined together for a tour of the Victorian Parliament House, incorporating a tour of the upper and lower house, an explanation of the processes and procedures of our parliamentary system and the symbols associated with the Westminster System. Whilst in the lower house, students had the opportunity to participate in a mock bill through parliament, whereby they acted as speakers, clerks and ministers delivering speeches on Brodie’s Law.

Here are a couple of student reflections on the day.

Last Monday, the 15th of May, Ms. Allen-Emery led an out-of-school excursion to the Old Melbourne Gaol and Victorian Parliament House. Going to the Old Melbourne Gaol was a great experience. We learned about a day in the life and the punishments of prisoners at the time. We also learned about the laws that were set at that time and, depending on your age and gender, the harsher punishment, and we also had the opportunity to act out a previous case, which was very enjoyable. The Victorian Parliament was absolutely amazing, being able to sit in the seats of well-known politicians and act out the passing of a bill, as well as learning about the history behind Victoria’s politics. Overall, it was a great day, and even though we were all tired by the end of it, it was still a great experience.

Jensen H

I enjoyed seeing the inner workings of Parliament House, seeing the chambers in person made the process much clearer than looking at a PowerPoint or a textbook. The mock court also explained the process really well, actively seeing people act out what happens was useful.

Will C

Deanne Allen-Emery | Learning Diversity Assistant