K-6 were treated to an engaging performance where they learnt some interesting facts about the history of Australia.
We went back in time, about 300 years, before there was any European settlement. Through a series of entertaining characters, a variety of songs and a good deal of audience participation we saw the British arrive and observed the beginnings of our economy as sheep were shorn and gold was discovered. We learnt that whilst our wealth was based on a fair day's pay for a fair day's work, like the hard-working shearers, it was also based on some risk-taking, like the gold diggers.
Then in 1901, we saw our country, Australia, become a nation in its own right. We looked at those people we look up to – our heroes – people like soldiers who fought for peace, volunteer fire-fighters who give of their time to serve others, and our sporting heroes.
We were encouraged to think, though, about those we tend to look up to these days, celebrities, and whether this is a good thing or not. The children were reminded that some celebrities do have a good message for us, though, and are worthy of being our heroes – people like Steve Irwin. And how we probably need more celebrities like the crocodile hunter to look up to and admire.
The children thoroughly enjoyed the many unusual characters: a British settler, a shearer, a digger, a soldier, a fire-fighter, a lifesaver, a cricketer, even a talking crocodile! They loved all the different catchy songs and audience participation.
The highlight was the impromptu band of children who performed a lovely rendition of John William's ‘Give Me a Home among the Gumtrees'. There were children on lagerphones, a student was belting a fake rock with a rubber sledge hammer and someone was blowing a bugle – a classic in the making!