The one millionth Australian school student has visited Capitol Hill in Canberra with the support of the Australian Government’s Parliament and Civics Education Rebate (PACER) program.
Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham today met students from St Francis de Sales College in Mount Barker, South Australia to help mark the major milestone.
Minister Birmingham said PACER delivers financial assistance for students in Years 4 to 12 from schools more than 150 kilometres away from Canberra to travel to the national capital to learn about civics and citizenship.
“PACER has now helped more than one million students to visit our national capital and learn about practical aspects of citizenship and Australian history in an engaging and fun way,” Minister Birmingham said.
“To have more than one million young people make the trip to Canberra with the support of PACER shows how valuable the program is to school communities across the country.
“I enjoy seeing the smiles PACER brings to the faces of the children who visit Parliament House and re-enact Parliamentary sittings themselves. It’s been a thrill today to celebrate the one millionth student milestone with a school from my home state.
“As a Senator for South Australia, it’s great to see students from my home state here at Parliament House experiencing and learning first-hand about Australia’s Federal Parliament.
“For a program to support student visits to Parliament House and the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, and to experience places like the National Electoral Education Centre and the Australian War Memorial is a remarkable legacy.”
More than $46 million has been provided in rebates for over 19,000 school visits to the national capital since the PACER program commenced in 2006-2007.
The rebate ranges from $20 to $260 per student, depending on distance from Canberra, and is provided as a contribution to assist with travel costs.
All PACER-supported schools visit Parliament House, the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, and/or the National Electoral Education Centre and the Australian War Memorial.
The PACER website can be found at www.pacer.org.au