Fieldwork is described in the Australian Curriculum as an ‘essential’ skill in the study of Geography and is also a compulsory part of Units 1-3 V.C.E. Geography. In the course of their studies of Geography at St Margaret’s our students conduct fieldwork in a wide range of Australian environments from Victoria’s Limestone Coast to the Great Barrier Reef of Far North Queensland.
In Year 12, the focus is on a region that has undergone great change and our selected case study for a number of years has been Melbourne’s Docklands. This is Australia’s largest urban renewal project and is now home to more than 13,000 residents and 58,000 workers, a far cry from the industrial wasteland of the 1990s. Our students explore the reasons for these changes and their impacts on people and the natural environment.
During a full day field trip to Docklands we were fortunate to hear from Ms Emma Demaine, the Project Manager from Development Victoria who explained the planning process involved in changing land use – and also discussed possible career paths for any students interested in the field of urban planning. We also visited a number of key sites including Southern Cross Station, 700 Bourke Street, Marvel Stadium and Docklands Park.
In true Geography style, the fieldwork went on despite the rain. A highlight of the day was a ‘flight’ in the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel which provided a fantastic overview of the Docklands region as well as its links to surrounding regions such as the Port of Melbourne, Fishermen’s Bend and the Central Business District.