Explorers School Excursion -Melbourne

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The Enterprize lands at the Yarra River 30 August 1835

HOW was Melbourne impacted by the great journeys of exploration in Australia, the Pacific and the world? WHAT is an explorer and what challenges did they face? What was the effect of exploration on the Boonwurrung and the Wurundjeri peoples? WHY do people explore? CAN we be an explorer in our own city? How did explorations lead to new understandings and discoveries? ARE there different forms of exploration? WHAT DIDN’T explorers understand about the environment they encountered? 

This excursion in the Melbourne CBD is for both primary and secondary school students. Our tours normally starts and finish at Federation Square. Our tours
ASSIGN each student with a role as an
explorer identity  for the duration of the excursion.
an excursion to meet any specific student learning needs – let us know!
EXPLORE Birramung Marr Park  including the Yarra river route along which Melbourne explorers travelled and their impact on Indigenous people – who were also explorers of Australia.
SAMPLE bush foods and technologies used by explorers and Indigenous people to survive the Australian landscape eg ‘Captain Cook’s cabbage’.
USE DIFFERENT MAPS that illustrate how people find found their way in different eras.
VISIT sites in the CBD connected to early explorers and settlers of Melbourne eg John Batman, Mathew Flinders, Robert O’Hara Bourke, Eliza Callaghan, gold miners etc.
DISCUSS what makes an explorer?



Explorers connected to the Port Phillip District include people such as Batman, Grimes, Collins, Hume and Hovell, Fawkner, Mitchell, Templeton, Lancey, Von Mueller, Grant, Murray, Flinders, Baudin, Bass, Buckley, Bourke and Wills, Eliza Callaghan, Anastasia Hayes, Georgina McCrae, Truganini and others.
‘Old World’ explorers like Magellan, Vasco De Gama, Dampier, Hartog, Cook and others also influenced Melbourne’s founding as they mapped the trade routes to the Pacific and Indian Ocean which paved the way for the European exploration of Australia by later navigators. The term explorers should probably include settlers  who opened up new lands such as Batman, McCrae’s, Baxter’s, Fawkner’s, Liardets, Templeton and others.

Our tour informs how the First People or Indigenous people were successful explorers having made great sea crossings from Asia up to 60,000 or more years ago, exploring the entire continent, while surviving 25,000 years of ice age, 10,000 years of drought and the flooding of a quarter of the continent – not to mention colonisation by Europeans!

Things that explorers and pioneers didn’t realize included climate (six not four seasons), flooding (Melbourne is a flood plain), the role of fire, the shallow soils, the arid interior, Indigenous land ownership and relationships, water scarcity,  the impact of hoofed animals and exotic fauna and flora, polluting effects, hunting and gathering lifestyle, over-exploitation and others.

See identities we allocate to students of  MEN AND WOMEN EXPLORERS WHO PUSHED THE BOUNDARIES

 So why do we allocate identities to each student during our tour? Lest we forget. We want them to understand that these were actual people who faced real challenges, who took risks and broke new ground that others followed to create the fantastic Melbourne of today. We hope they will be inspired by them in their own lives to understand that we can’t grow and succeed in life without taking risks, acc70366753epting mistakes and believing in ourselves and our dreams.

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