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Tools of the Land


Organic technologies

stone axe

How do you think Aboriginal peoples got their tools thousands of years ago? Did they go to the local shopping centre to buy their tools or did they make them?

What does this tell us about their relationship with the environment?

In Tools of the Land students handle a range of Indigenous tools to investigate the material and use of each tool, while exploring the diversity of Aboriginal technologies.

Please note that this program is not available in 2015.


Year levels 2–4
Group size 30 students – two groups can run concurrently
Duration 90 minutes
Cost $6 per student
Availability Tuesday–Friday at 10am and 1pm

Alternate times may be available for local schools. Please contact for further information.
Curriculum links
Australian History curriculum links to our programs (178kb PDF)


  • Explore the daily lives of Aboriginal peoples pre-1788 through object handing and discussion.
  • Consider the use and importance of tools in Aboriginal societies before European settlement.


  1. Introductory activity – through object handling 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 visit specific areas in the First Australians gallery to explore the diversity of Indigenous tools and technologies. Students also visit the Open Collections and draw their favourite Aboriginal artefact on display.
  3. Reflection – students gather to discuss the artefacts they have found, how the tools were used, as well as the importance of these tools to the way Aboriginal peoples lived and interacted with  the environment.

Exploring the Museum

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

Related resources

These activity ideas might be useful in your classroom.

You may also be interested in the following interactives:

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