On Monday the 26th of March, Year Five went on an excursion to St Helena Island, which sits just outside the mouth of the Brisbane River.
The Island has a fascinating history, its most significant period was when it functioned as a high-security colonial prison from 1867 – 1932. This excursion complemented our History unit, where we have been looking at the development of the early colonies.
On arrival at the island we were lucky enough to be reminded of the abundance of wildlife on our doorstep, as we spotted turtles, sting rays and sharks before we had even left the jetty! Although it is now a National Park, many of the prison buildings are still intact to this day. We were able to look at all the old building and learn about the purpose of each one as well as the crimes prisoners were convicted of. These ranged from serious crimes such as life sentences for murder through to six month sentences for spitting on the ground! While in operation the prisoners were put to work farming and making saddles, cloths, candles and blacksmith goods for the government to sell. Life was tough on the island and punishment severe.
It was an interesting and informative day enjoyed by all.