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Tasmania kids make their small screen debuts

Collinsvale Primary School students, from left, Adella Jackson, 11, Sam Jonas, 10, and Lucy Dolliver, 9, with Rosehaven stars Celia Pacquola and Luke McGregor.

Students from Collinsvale Primary School will be glued to their screens when Tasmanian-made hit comedy Rosehaven makes its much-anticipated return.

The historic school and its students will feature in series two of Rosehaven on ABC TV, which was filmed in and around Hobart and the Huon Valley recently.

School principal Kel Innis said the show’s production team were attracted to Collinsvale, on the rural fringe of Glenorchy, largely by the school’s 19th-century façade.

“It is one of the most beautiful schools in Tasmania, possibly Australia,” she said. “It has a Little House on the Prairie look about it.”

Ms Innis said there was never going to be a shortage of volunteers when the students were asked to be extras, and Children’s University Tasmania school coordinator Rhonda Turner recognised the offer as a perfect fit for those involved in the Peter Underwood Centre program.

Children’s University participants are issued with a Passport to Learning from their school to record their hours of validated activity. The activities are chosen by the children and the emphasis is on experience as a powerful learning tool.

“We had a group of motivated kids already doing all the things they do through Children’s University, and with all the skills they learn from those extra-curricular activities,” Ms Innis said.

An early morning start in bitterly cold mid-winter weather did little to dampen the enthusiasm of Collinsvale’s budding thespians.

“Their resilience was unbelievable because it was freezing,” Ms Innis said. “Each scene took about 2-½ hours, and involved them doing very similar playground activities like skipping and running around, over and over.”

Stardom may have come at a price, but it also has its fringe benefits, even for the extras. Ms Innis said the children were dazzled by the bright lights, cameras, director’s board, the TV production lingo, and of course the chance to meet the stars of Rosehaven, Celia Pacquola and Tasmanian comedian Luke McGregor.

“The cast was awesome, they interacted with the kids a lot,” Ms Innis said. “The crew were also fantastic, and they had catering vans which made morning tea and lunch for the kids, which they thought was awesome.”

Year 5 student Adella Jackson said the filming was a lot of fun. “It was a great experience as it allowed us to practice our acting and it was pretty cool to meet some famous actors,” she said.

Ms Innis said Rosehaven had also made a significant donation to the School Association, which would be used to create artwork around the school.

Peter Underwood Centre Deputy Director, Aspiration and Attainment, Dr Becky Shelley said the Children’s University was all about building confidence and encouraging and celebrating learning outside the classroom.

“The Rosehaven activity at Collinsvale Primary is a fantastic example, and another one which was shared at our School Coordinator Day for Children’s University Tasmania was a group from Herdsmans Cove Primary finishing third at the recent Southern Tasmanian Dancing Eisteddfod,” Dr Shelley said.

Since being launched in July 2015, Children’s University Tasmania has grown to include 14 schools and is set to be extended to 10 schools on the North-West Coast following a $350,000 grant from the Tasmanian Community Fund.

Launched in February 2015, the Peter Underwood Centre is a partnership between the University of Tasmania and the Tasmanian Government in association with the Office of the Governor of Tasmania.

Source: UTAS

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