3 May 2021
Sakinah returns from her Study Tour in Darwin
Following the recent school holidays, I finally had the opportunity to go on the long-awaited 11-day study tour as part of winning the ANZAC School Prize. Due to Covid-19, the initial plan to go to France in October had been delayed and moved to Darwin in April. The history of the Northern Territory during the Second World War (and more specifically the infamous Darwin Bombing) had been a focal point within the tour, as before embarking we would research an individual who passed in the bombings that we would later commemorate.
Along with the other 15 awardees, we set off for Australia’s Top end on the 16th of April, extremely eager to partake in this adventure. Throughout the 11 days, we were given ample opportunity to engage in many cultural experiences like a welcome to country, spear throwing, painting with ochre and storytelling with the traditional indigenous peoples of Darwin (Larrakia), Kakadu (Bininj, Mirrar, Murlugan), Arnhem (Yolngu), Katherine (Jawoyn) and Litchfield (Kungarakan and Marranunggu ). This also had involved experiencing local attractions such as visiting Stokes Hill Wharf and Museums, local pools (since crocodiles often inhabited other waters), scenic walks to the Wangi/ Edith Falls, the Giant Croc, the Guluyambi and Katherine Gorge Cultural cruises as well as feeding the baby crocs at Crocosaurus Cove!
As the tour involved Australia’s history within the war, several commemorative services fell within the time of the tour. Reiterating the research of an individual who passed in the Darwin Bombings, we went to the Adelaide River War Cemetery on the 23rd, the centenary of the Darwin Cenotaph on the 24th and the ANZAC Day Dawn Service and March on the 25th. Here within a formal setting, we had the privilege of talking with many veterans and their experiences within life and met dignitaries including His Excellency the Governor-General David Hurley and Mrs Hurley, Darren Chester the Federal Minister for Veterans Affairs, Paul Kirby the NT Minister for Veterans affairs amongst many others!
The tour may sound extremely serious or study focused but this was not the case. Much fun was had along the trip when we were relaxing as we got to know each other (including the Tasmanian prize winners) and had so much fun along the way, sadness was evident when we finally left home later on the 26th. This experience was quite unforgettable!
For the Year 9 and 10 students, this year's ANZAC Spirit School Prize closes on the 21st of May, so take the opportunity to enter!