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Aboriginal Australia

Tools and stories

Big grinding stone, students using it

Can you imagine what life would have been like for Aboriginal people before 1788? What tools would you have needed for everyday life? How would you share information with your family, friends and community?

Aboriginal Australia introduces students to the diversity of Aboriginal people and life before 1788 through object handling and gallery exploration. Students in P to Year 2 focus on exploring the importance of storytelling in sharing knowledge, through the stories of how the kangaroo got her pouch and a bogong moth called Myee. Students in Year 3 and 4 focus on exploring material components and use of a wide variety of Indigenous tools through object handling and discussion.


Year levels P–4
Group size 30 students (note that two groups can run concurrently)
Duration 90 minutes
Cost $6 per student
Availability Tuesday–Friday at 10am and 1pm

Alternative times may be available for local schools. Please contact for further information.
Curriculum links
Australian History curriculum links to our programs (225kb PDF)


  • Introduce students to the concept of storytelling as knowledge-sharing
  • Enable students to examine and understand the purpose and uses of Aboriginal tools before European settlement through to today
  • Assist students to explore the pre-contact lives of Aboriginal peoples prior to European settlement through the Museum's galleries.


  1. Introductory activity – students handle and discuss a range of objects that relate to Aboriginal life before 1788 and today. P-2 students are introduced to the concept of the Dreaming through an interactive storytelling session. Year 3 to 4 students investigate a number of Indigenous tools, and consider and discuss what they are made of, how they are used and who might use them
  2. Gallery activity – students explore the First Australians gallery to make further discoveries about the diversity of Aboriginal culture and society.
  3. Reflection – students gather to discuss the artefacts they have found and the importance of these to the way Aboriginal peoples lived.

Exploring the Museum

For everything you need to know about visiting, see Plan and book a visit.


You may also be interested in the following interactives:

You can also see the full list of resources related to Indigenous Australia.