Below are the mandatory institutions that your students need to participate in to be eligible for PACER. Once booked either the booking forms or the confirmed itinerary needs to be attached to your application.
Requirements at All Mandatory Institutions
Ensure you bring your completed PACER (Parliament and Civics Education Rebate) paperwork to be stamped. Each group must bring a separate PACER form to receive the PACER stamp; multiple sessions require multiple forms.
Students should leave all bags, iPads, food and drink on the bus (the exception is medical supplies), as there is limited cloaking available and it can be time-consuming with school groups.
Duty of care rests with the teachers and supervising adults accompanying the group. Please see each venues ‘Public Liability Certificate’ and ‘Risk Assessment Statement’ which can be found on each institutions website.
Each institution may have further requirements listed below so please review carefully.
Parliament House offers a one-hour Guided Tour which includes a visit to both chambers and where possible partake in the Parliamentary Education Program which is a role-play program that gives students an opportunity to explore the four main functions of the parliament.
More than 100,000 students visit Parliament House each year as part of organised school visits. While in Parliament House students can participate in the Parliamentary Education Program for 1 hour, participate in a guided tour which includes a visit to both Chambers, and take a break from the action in the Queens Terrace Gallery overlooking Anzac Parade.
The School Visits Program is managed by the Serjeant-at-Arms’ Office. Inquiries about the Program can be made by telephoning 02 6277 4570 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. To book please complete the School Booking form and fax to 02 6277 8416.
Bookings for the following calendar year are available from 1 July and during the early weeks of July there is an increase in the number of calls to the service. The office requests that callers leave their details on the answer phone, fax or email and their request will be followed up as soon as possible. The peak period for school visits is from June to November. Please be aware that it may be difficult to secure bookings at the times requested during this period.
To arrange your school tour, visit the School Tours page on the Australian Parliament House website.
On the Day
When entering the underground carpark, coach/buses must proceed through the boom gate to the designated coach/bus parking bays at the rear of the public carpark.
Please arrive at the front entrance of Parliament House 15 minutes prior to your visit. From the security screening, proceed to the information desk in the foyer with your booking paperwork to confirm participant numbers. This is where you present your PACER visitation forms to be stamped and student numbers verified.
To participate in Parliament House education programs, a teacher must accompany your students. For security purposes, all adults accompanying school groups that are participating in the programs must present current photo identification.
Filming and photography in the private areas of Parliament House is strictly prohibited. These restrictions include the House of Representatives and Senate Chambers whilst the Houses are sitting. Photography in the public areas of the building is permitted.
No previous knowledge or classroom preparation is required before your visit – however, your students might like to do some research on their electorate, and the memer and senators who represent them.
Museum of Australian Democracy (MoAD)
A national icon – a place of great beauty, magnificent design and historical significance, Old Parliament House is home to MoAD (Museum of Australian Democracy).
MoAD is open from 9am – 5pm every day of the year, except for Christmas Day. School programs are not available for bookings on weekends or most public holidays.
Learning programs overview
The delivery of high-quality curriculum-based school programs and resources for primary, secondary and tertiary students and teachers onsite, online and through outreach, to empower and transform their thinking and practice on what it is to be an informed and engaged citizen.
MoAD delivers school programs to more than 85,000 students and teachers every year and is one of the mandatory Parliament and Civics Education Rebate (PACER) institutions.
All school program bookings for MoAD are made through the Book Canberra Excursions website. This site enables you to make bookings for many of the cultural institutions in Canberra through one portal. Bookings can be taken two years and one month out through the new bookings portal. Go to the log in page – Book Canberra Excursions
And then go to our MoAD page
If you have any special program requests, including home school groups, please contact us on 02 6270 8282.
Students with specific physical, accessibility or learning needs should be identified at the time of your booking to ensure an equitable learning experience for all. Please access our Learning Narrative here
All programs must be booked and final numbers confirmed a minimum of 2 weeks prior to the booking date including the recommended teacher/adult to student ratios of 1:10. Bookings may be cancelled if a booking remains unconfirmed two weeks out from a visit. Teacher mobile contact details are required for all program bookings.
A program cost for 2019 is $3.50 per student. These will increase to $5 per student per program from January 2020. Teachers and adults carers accompanying the school group are free. PACER eligible programs are one hour in length.
The capacity for MoAD’s programs ‘Who’s the boss’ and ‘Our Voices and our Choices’ have changed from 60 pax to 50 pax (not including accompanying adults).
Extension opportunities – Free Digital Excursion
Do you have students who can’t visit us onsite for a program?
Do you wish to participate in a pre or post excursion experience with your students – to prepare them for their visit to MoAD and/or to reinforce knowledge learnt when they were onsite?
Do you want to continue to learn more about democracy and active citizenship? – If so, then join us for a fully facilitated free digital excursion from your own classroom. See our program link below to Democracy, Media and Me for further information and how to book https://www.moadoph.gov.au/learning/programs/democracy-media-and-me/
National Heritage Listing is recognition that Old Parliament House is one of the most significant heritage buildings in Australia. As the home of Commonwealth Parliament from 1927 to 1988, it was the setting for many major decisions and events that shaped modern Australia and so symbolizes and reflects the development of Australia as a nation. In order to look after this iconic building we ask:
- Please leave all food, drinks (including bottles of water), large bags, backpacks, umbrellas, clipboards, iPads/tablets and pens on the bus.
- Eating and toilet facilities are available in the House of Representatives’ and Senate Gardens on either side of the building.
- If you are from a local school, please leave large bags at school and only bring lunches in baskets or small containers which can be cloaked until after the program finishes.
- All school visitors and Museum Educators wear white cotton gloves for the duration of the program.
- All programs must be booked and are facilitated by a Museum Educator.
- Teacher-guided options are only available for particular programs. Please check our website or contact our bookings officer on (02) 6270 8282 for details as these also need to be booked. They are not eligible for PACER.
- Entry for school programs is located on the Eastern Terrace of the Old Parliament House building. See map below
- Group numbers will be counted and PACER forms stamped at the start of your Learning program by a Museum Educator. Each group must present their PACER form for stamping upon arrival.
- For special program requests please contact Learning directly on (02) 6270 8282.
- For more information, resources and helpful hints to prepare for your visit please see our website.
- Be aware that MoAD is a museum open to the public; as such, filming and photography of students may occur. Please alert the Museum Educator with any concerns.
- For supporting documents including our Certificate of Currency and the MoAD venue and safety information for school excursions, please click here.
The National Electoral Education Centre (NEEC) is also located in our building with a separate entrance opposite the Senate Gardens. Please allow at least 30 minutes travel time between your programs at NEEC and MoAD. The MoAD school entry is via the front terrace.
National Electoral Education Centre (NEEC)
Located in the heart of Canberra’s parliamentary triangle, the National Electoral Education Centre is a ‘must see’ destination for Civics and Citizenship education. The centre is open weekdays throughout the school year and programs are free. Bookings are essential.
Our curriculum linked programs are 90 minutes in length, with four different options to cater for differing ages and levels of prior knowledge.
We are located in the Senate Wing of Old Parliament House. The entrance is opposite the Senate Gardens.
All programs are conducted by an experienced Electoral Educator and provide curriculum links to units on Democracy, Civics and Citizenship and courses in Australian Studies, Politics and Legal Studies.
The NEEC offers a range of programs designed to suit various ages and interests. You can choose from:
House of Representatives – This program explores key concepts of representation and voting. Experience the preferential voting system in action by participating in a House of Representatives election scenario. Suitable for all age groups.
Referendum – The Constitution is Australia’s founding legal document and only the people of Australia have the power to change it. Discover how the Constitution is changed by voting in a referendum scenario and counting the votes. Suitable for all age groups.
Senate – If you have already covered the basics of preferential voting and the House of Representatives, why not practice voting in a Senate election and investigate the proportional system used to elect Senators? Suitable for secondary, tertiary and adults. Also suitable for late primary students who have already covered the House of Representatives in class.
Eligible Elector – specifically designed for young people / adults who are soon to be (or are already) eligible voters. This program explores the concept of representation in both the Senate and House of Representatives. Participants will experience voting and scrutiny in both houses of government. Suitable for senior secondary, tertiary and adult groups.
All sessions are of 90 minutes duration and commence at half hourly intervals from 8am to 4:30pm (Mon-Fri).
Sessions are free-of-charge.
To make a booking at the National Electoral Education Centre please go to Book Canberra Excursions.
Students with specific physical, accessibility or learning needs should be identified at the time of your booking to ensure an equitable learning experience for all. A social narrative resource is available.
All programs must be booked and confirmed on Book Canberra Excursions at least two weeks prior to the booking date. Failure to confirm a bookings may result in programs being cancelled.
Extension Opportunities – Get Voting
Continue your democratic journey with everything you need to run a free and fair election for your class or school. Get Voting provides step by step resources and instructions to run a complete preferential election in your class or school. Resources (including ballot boxes, security seals, posters to advertise the election and badges) are free to order and will be posted to your school. Check out Get Voting on our website.
On the Day
Student numbers must not exceed capacity (45 students max per primary program, 40 per secondary program). Larger groups should book multiple sessions to ensure all participants are able to take part.
Photos are permitted with one strict exception, advised during the program.
Access to the NEEC is found at the right hand side of the building, opposite the Senate Rose Gardens. (see map above)
Schools also visiting the Museum of Australian Democracy are recommended to allow 30 minutes between programs at either institution.
A teacher is to accompany students at all times. Leaving a group unsupervised will result in the program being terminated.
Storage is limited, please leave bags on the bus.
The Australian War Memorial
The goal of the Australian War Memorial is to remember, interpret and understand the Australian experience of war and its enduring impact on Australian society.
The Australian War Memorial programs draw on real objects and fascinating stories, using hands-on items and interactive discussion to engage students. All programs are linked to national curriculum profiles for History, English, Visual Arts, Science and Technology.
Facilitated programs can be booked to start at 9 am for groups with less than 60 students. Groups larger than 60 students can book programs from 10 am.
Facilitated programs are only available Monday to Friday. Some programs have limited availability.
Each program has a maximum group size. Large groups will need more time. Example, you have 100 students and want the ANZAC legend program, you will need to allow 2 hours for your visit.
Minimum charge applies for all education programs. Accompanying adults are free of charge.
You need to advise us of any cancellations or number changes at least 5 working days prior to visiting. Notify the Bookings officer of any changes.
Please ensure a ratio of at least one accompanying adult to 15 students. Accompanying adults are free of charge.
If you would like to attend the daily Last Post Ceremony, please ensure that you note this in the ‘special comments’ when you book online.
Important: due to high demand and limited space, not all requests to attend the Last Post Ceremony can currently be accommodated. Only schools who have confirmed booking for the Last Post Ceremony (noted on your information sheet when you arrive) will be able to stay.
Do not forget that school wreath laying ceremonies continue to be available and are the commemorative activity designed specifically for visiting school groups.
On the Day
Parking: The road outside the schools entrance is for drop-off/pick-up only. Buses and coaches must park in the dedicated areas provided on Treloar Crescent.
Ensure your students arrive at the Education Space 10 minutes before program commences.
On arrival in the Education Space, your students will be divided into groups of up to 15, each with an accompanying adult. (Vietnam era: war and conscription program group size is a maximum of 30 students.)
Pencils, rather than pens, should be used in the galleries if writing is necessary.
Please note that photographs may be taken by memorial photographers during your visit and uploaded to Flickr.
Schools are welcome to eat at the picnic areas behind the Memorial, on the base of Mt Ainslie, or beside Poppy’s cafe. For further information call (02) 6262 9752.
Optional Attractions (if Mandatory Activities fully booked)
If in the event that a mandatory institution is fully booked, (noting we need evidence of this in writing) then you can choose an Optional Attraction as per below (please send booking confirmation):
- Government House
- High Court of Australia
- National Archives of Australia
- National Portrait Gallery (students must participate in a civics and citizenship education program)
- National Museum of Australia (students must participate in a civics and citizenship education program)