On Tuesday 12 March, at a very early hour, students in both ATAR Geography and Earth and Environmental Studies ventured off on a field excursion to Cunderdin and Meckering. The towns are located 200km east of Perth, and are the sites of the 1968 Meckering earthquake. The students were able to experience what it felt like during the earthquake in the ‘earthquake house’ at the Cunderdin museum and were honoured to be able to listen to Mrs Ann Williams recall the day.
Students then headed back to Meckering and were further fascinated to learn more about the earthquake by exploring the bent railway track, crushed water pipe and the old town site. Throughout our time in Meckering we were guided by Mr Doug Kelly, another resident of Meckering who was only 9 years old but has vivid memories of the earthquake. Mr Kelly described how he was home from school as it was a public holiday and had to make his way through the rubble of his house after the earthquake struck. Mr Kelly’s house was permanently damaged and it remains as a memorial on his farm.
Finally, before heading back to Perth, the students developed their field skills and took measurements at the fault line, where the uplift of the land is still evident. We were all amazed to be standing on rock, the Yilgarn Craton, that is 2.8 billion years old.