Centralian Patrol Minister Colin Gordon was on hand to offer advice for first time fliers when he accompanied the Alice Springs School of the Air on their annual trip to Sydney and Canberra.
As a flying patrol minister, Colin visits families on isolated properties across the red centre in his plane.
This time, he left the Patrol plane in Alice Springs and flew back seat with the excited school students.
School of the Air teacher Michele Turk said the annual trip was a special opportunity for the children to get together with their peers and get a taste for city life.
Centralian Patrol Minister Colin Gordon with the Alice Springs
School of the Air students on their trip to Sydney and Canberra.
“Lots of our students live in isolated places. The students come from all over the Centre, up to 1000km from Alice Springs, so some of the students travelled quite a distance before we even left Alice,” she said.
The 16 students on the trip had the opportunity to fly in a plane (two of them for the first time), catch a train and ride on the ferry. They also had the opportunity to take a look at Parliament House, Questacon, TarongaZoo and to ski at the snow.
“The trip gives them exposure to experiences that they do not ever have the opportunity to do,” said Michele.
They also learned some hard lessons about life in the city after being overtaken in a queue for ice-creams at Circular Quay.
“They thought that the people were so rude. It gave them a real taste of life in the city and how it’s important to walk the walk and talk the talk.”
Michele said the students really enjoyed the sense of good fun that Colin bought to the trip.
“Colin visits many of the School of the Air families on their properties and so he already has a connection with those children. Coming on the trip was an opportunity to strengthen those bonds and build new connections with the children he didn’t already know.”