09 Jun 2022

March Newsletter 2022



Little Darlings Youth Portrait Prize 2023

National Portrait Gallery

Calling all teachers! Tell your students to get their pencils sharpened, brushes loose and cameras ready, because Little Darlings is back in town! This youth portrait prize is only for students, with four separate categories across Kindergarten to Year 12. Responding to the theme ‘Me and my place’, students can paint, draw, photograph, print or combine all of these to make their portrait. We’re just keen to see what they come up with. Winners will be chosen from each category by a panel of judges.

Sound fun and exciting? How about this too?

The twelve winning artworks will be on display in the Gallery in winter 2023. They will be used to create a calendar which will be available online, in the Portrait Gallery store and in the mailboxes of the twelve winners!

You have a while to get sorted, as entries close 14 October 2022, but why not start early?

For more information, including the entry guidelines and FAQs, visit


COVIDsafe travel for schools visiting Canberra

Schools can travel safely again under the School Excursions to the Australian Capital Territory — COVID-19 Protocols.

These Protocols have been reviewed and updated to reflect the current environment, to focus on the needs of students and mitigate the risk of exposure more specifically.

Based on the Protocols, the NCETP has developed School Excursion COVID-19 Protocols — Guidelines (the Guidelines) addressing all parts of excursions (from departure to return, including travel, accommodation, and visits to attractions).

There are many requirements within these Guidelines; some that most of us are used to following while living with COVID-19, like monitoring sickness, practising hand hygiene and social distancing where possible.

However, there are specific requirements surrounding students and ‘school-like’ environments.

Before travel, teachers are required to submit an online declaration that they will undertake a number of COVIDsafe actions.

With the Guidelines in place, there is confidence that the spread of COVID-19 can be avoided.

However, very clear outbreak management guidelines — as part of the overall Guidelines — have been developed to mitigate negative effects, should a student fall ill on an excursion.


Book Canberra Excursions

Use the website to efficiently book Canberra attractions.

This innovative portal allows excursion planners to view program ability and make bookings in one convenient location.

You can make onsite education bookings at all the following attractions:

  • Australian National Botanic Gardens
  • Mount Stromlo Observatory
  • Museum of Australian Democracy
  • National Arboretum Canberra
  • National Archives of Australia
  • National Electoral Education Centre
  • National Capital Exhibition
  • National Gallery of Australia
  • National Museum of Australia
  • National Zoo & Aquarium
  • Questacon
  • Royal Australian Mint
  • Wildbark Learning Centre at Mulligans Flat

You can also book online programs to be delivered into classrooms from some of these attractions.

Always improving

BCE project partners are always adding more features into the system, to improve its usability and make excursion processes easier.

The BCE has also been instrumental in assisting in the management of COVIDsafe protocols and processes over the past two years.

New attractions will be coming into the BCE system soon!

Help is available

Most teachers and tour operators have been able to use the system without requiring much support.

However, the BCE website has a range of handy help articles which are updated regularly with improvements.

Otherwise, you can always contact


Canberra Aqua Park

Canberra Aqua Park is the latest outdoor inflatable water park that is perfect for school excursion activity in the nation’s capital. The Aquapark is situated on the Black Mountain beach, a stone’s throw away from the city centre. Jump, slide and bounce on giant ‘Ninja Warrior’ inflatable obstacles and challenge everyone to stay on their feet. The aqua park is a great place for everyone to enjoy outdoor water fun and to burn excess energy in a safe and protected environment!

There will be a full lifeguard on patrol and compulsory lifejackets are provided for everyone. The Aquapark is open daily from 10am to 9pm during the summer months from October until March. Canberra Aqua Park will also offer dedicated booking for large groups who prefer a private and exclusive use of the whole park.

It’s fully outdoor, it’s safe and it’s fun for everyone. Come and talk to us — call 0421 417 077 or email