FROM re-enacting the days before European settlement to students portraying contemporary political events, Curtin Primary School has covered one hundred years of Canberra’s history in one musical concert and stage production.
Paying acknowledgement to the traditional custodians of the land, the Ngunnawal people, the school’s ‘Canberra Centenary Concert’ explores such historical events as the surveying of the nation’s capital, Canberra’s involvement in World War I, and even the advent of bodyline cricket in the 1930s.
School principal Lindsay Musto says that older students conducted their own research, as part of their studies and the production.
“Because it’s one hundred years of Canberra, students have been studying our city’s history. It’s really important for them to look at their heritage and what Canberra was like in years past, and to be able to express the things they’ve learnt through dance and drama”, Ms Musto says.
The school’s kindergarteners were ecstatic to be dressed in elaborate animal costumes: a magpie, emu, cockatoo, frog, lizard, fish, butterfly, kangaroo and even an echidna.
“These children are acting out before Canberra was built. Some students have even prepared poetry. It makes history meaningful for them”.
Words: Andrew Nardi