Year 12 Legal Studies Tour

During Week 5, Year 12 Legal Studies class travelled to Newcastle for an excursion to add depth to their understanding of the Crime topic.

Our first stop was Maitland Gaol, Australia’s longest continuously operating prison until it’s closure in 1998. Our tour guide Col provided a rich overview of the prison’s history, enabling the students to learn more about the punishment of offenders from colonial to modern history. We then visited the old Convict Lumber Yard to learn more about criminal punishment since British colonisation of Australia and early interactions with local First Nations inhabitants.

On Thursday afternoon, we held a panel session with Newcastle legal practitioners Robert Hussey, Rebecca McGrath & Russell Boyd. Each has a rich and varied experience in legal practice and shared fascinating insights from their diverse work in prosecution, Legal Aid, the Aboriginal Legal Service, criminal defence and international law. The students learned a great deal about effectiveness and challenges in the operation of the criminal justice system and the wide variety of opportunities and pathways a career in law offers.

We then enjoyed dinner at Antojitos, where the current Year 12 had organised a surprise visit from nine of the 2022 Legal Studies class who are now studying at Newcastle University – Angus, Tom, Max, Charlie, Zac, Ilki, Max, Tom and Izaiah. Thanks for dropping in!

On Friday, we spent the morning at the Newcastle Local and District Court Complex to observe court proceedings and witness the criminal justice system in action. The students saw how many of the key concepts and content they’ve learned over the past two years apply in practice. We finished the excursion with a visit to the Hunter Community Legal Centre, where lawyers Zac and Elise provided a great overview of the operation of the CLC and their family law work as an introduction to our upcoming study of the Family Law option topic.

Thanks to everyone who made the trip possible, our presenters, panellists and Farrer staff, as well as the Year 12 Legal Studies class - it’s always great to see the practical application of classroom learning ~ Mr Jarrad Smith, HSIE teacher.

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