It was very exciting seeing exactly where our laws are made. We were very lucky because Parliament was not sitting, so we were able to go into the Lower and Upper Houses of Parliament and actually sit in the ministers’ seats, to get a feel of what it was like. We were also able to go into the Library which is in Parliament, and which the Ministers of Parliament use.
After our visit to Parliament House we went to the Old Melbourne Gaol.
Again, as part of Law and Order, we became the actors, and had to re-enact Ned Kelly’s trial. We put on costumes, and some of us even got to wear wigs!! We learnt that Ned Kelly did not really get a fair trial, because of the barrister who was representing him, and also because he was not allowed to present his case. We learnt that the courtroom at the time of Ned’s trial was very noisy and crowded. The judge who sentenced Ned also died 12 days after Ned was hanged.
This was a great history lesson.
Some of us now think that maybe we might become lawyers!
We also spent some time in the old part of the Old Melbourne Gaol which was actually the original Melbourne Men’s Hospital. This was where Ned Kelly and other prisoners were taken to recover from their wounds. Sadly, once healed, Ned Kelly had to face his trial and his sentence.
Here are some photos of our excursion. We hope you enjoy them.
Parliament House and Courtroom Drama – Old Melbourne Gaol on PhotoPeach
And here is a short historical note on Edmund Barton, the first elected Prime Minister of Australia.
Edmund Barton (1849–1920)
Edmund Barton was born in Glebe, New South Wales and became Australia’s first prime minister. He was a very good student who was captain of his school and won many prizes at university. He worked as a lawyer in Sydney and in 1879 became a member of the New South Wales Parliament.
Barton believed that the Australian colonies should join together (federate) and become one nation and he made many speeches to convince other people to support the idea. In 1901, when the Australian states joined together (federated), Barton was asked to be the stand-in prime minister until elections could be held. He was then elected as prime minister. In 1903 he left the Commonwealth Parliament to become a High Court judge.
In Canberra, all of the older suburbs are named after prime ministers of Australia. One of the first suburbs was named ‘Barton’. He has also been commemorated on stamps.
The above article is from the link below. You may follow it to many other interesting articles on our history and government.