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For teachers

For teachers

The National Museum of Australia’s education section, in association with education specialists Ryebuck Media, have developed a unit of work for upper primary and lower to middle secondary students on the topic Who 'discovered' Australia?

What's in 'Who discovered Australia?'

Who discovered Australia? challenges students to investigate a variety of evidence to try to solve the mystery of who ‘discovered’ Australia. It has been written for upper primary and lower to middle secondary school students.

In order to successfully complete the unit of work students must address the central issue of what ‘discovery’ means, and how different definitions can potentially change the way they interpret the evidence presented in the unit. In the unit students are introduced to a range of possible ‘discoverers’ including Aboriginal people, Chinese explorers, Macassan traders, Portuguese seamen, Dutch merchants, James Cook and Matthew Flinders. The students become detectives as they deal critically with the issue of the nature of evidence in history.


pdf  Who discovered Australia? part 1 (PDF 1.2mb)

pdf  Who discovered Australia? part 2 (PDF 1.3mb)

(You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view these files.)

Australian History Mysteries

Who discovered Australia? is part of a larger curriculum resource of exciting, evidence-based mysteries in Australian history that students are encouraged to solve. Other Australian History Mysteries topics include:

  • What was the life of a female convict really like?
  • The Eureka Rebellion - could you have stopped it from happening?
  • Was Ned Kelly a hero or a villain?

To find out more go to the Australian History Mysteries website.

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