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A telegraph line across the continent, 2007

This video clip looks at the story of the struggle to cross a vast continent and build the telegraph line that would bring Australia to the world and the world to Australia. 'A telegraph line across the continent' is an excerpt from the film 'A Wire Through the Heart' (55 min), the third episode of the three-part series ...


Overalls worn by Charles Laseron, 1911-13

This is a pair of overalls worn in 1911-13 by Charles Francis Laseron during Sir Douglas Mawson's Australasian Antarctic Expedition. They are made from heavy cotton twill and have a large waistband with buttons and wooden toggles. The waistband is designed to be buttoned to clothing worn over the top.


Model of HMS Lady Nelson, 1980

This is a 1:40 scale model of HMS Lady Nelson, made of wood, copper, flax and canvas. It was manufactured by Roland Michel Laroche, Australia, in 1980. The ship is fully rigged with sliding keels, six cannons and a copper-sheathed hull. The superstructure and body of the hull are made from poplar, boxwood, spruce and white ash.


Norwegian sledge used on Mawson's Antarctic expedition, 1911-14

This is a Norwegian hickory timber sledge used on the 1911-1914 Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE) led by Sir Douglas Mawson. The sledge has a level carrying frame made with a set of timber rails, which run parallel to and above runners curved at the ends. Two roughly made plywood boxes are positioned at either end ...


Postcard of SY Aurora sent from Antarctica, 1912

This is a postcard featuring a black-and white photograph of the Steam Yacht Aurora, the ship used on the 1911-14 Australasian Antarctic Expedition led by Douglas Mawson. Both front and back are stamped with a circular mark featuring a line drawing of a penguin, the words 'LOOSE SHIP'S LETTER / S.Y. AURORA' around the circumference ...


Polar-bear fur mittens worn in Antarctica, 1938-56

This is a pair of polar-bear fur mittens made by Louis Trudel Ltd. They were originally owned by Australian aviator and polar explorer Sir Hubert Wilkins, and subsequently by Australian Antarctic Division Director Dr Phillip Law, and were used by both men in the Antarctic. The overall dimensions of each mitten are 37 cm ...


Burberry jacket worn by Ernest Ellis in Antarctica, 1907-09

This is a jacket manufactured by the Burberry company of England and worn by Ernest W Ellis on the British Antarctic Expedition of 1907-09, led by Ernest Shackleton. It is part of Museum Victoria's collection of artefacts from the 'heroic' era of exploration of Antarctica.


Sledge used by Bertram Armytage in Antarctica, 1907-09

This is an ice sledge made to be towed by ponies or dogs. It was used by Australian Bertram Armytage on the British Antarctic Expedition of 1907-09 led by Ernest Shackleton. The sledge is made of ash on a hickory frame and the base is made of three ply from a packing case. One piece is marked 'Antarctic Ship Nimrod, Shed ...


Matches from Scott's hut in Antarctica, pre-1911

These are five matches believed to have been collected from Scott's hut by Andrew Keith Jack, a member of the Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1914-17 led by Ernest Shackleton. A scale gives an indication of their size. They are part of Museum Victoria's collection of artefacts from the 'heroic' era of exploration of Antarctica.


Compass used by Andrew Keith Jack in Antarctica, 1914-17

This compass was used by Andrew Keith Jack, an Australian member of the Ross Sea Party, on sledging journeys during the Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914-17.


Khaki green hood with flange for use in Antarctica, 1954-1966

This is a khaki green hood with a round opening for the face. It consists of a flange, a projecting collar of five panels extending from a round crown piece. The panels extend to and flare out around the shoulders. The face opening features a wire-stiffened panel strengthened by machine stitching. This panel extends outwards ...


Captain Cook's navigational instruments

This resource includes a small magnifying glass and a plane table frame used on Captain James Cook's voyages for navigation and surveying.

Moving Image

Mapping the age of discovery

Maps may be used to find treasure but this one is a treasure! A rare map found by chance brings to life one of the most significant voyages in history, when Ferdinand Magellan travelled west from Spain to the East Indies (Indonesia). Although Magellan was killed en route, his crew were the first Europeans to circumnavigate ...


Trouble over turtles

Hear a passage from Lieutenant James Cook's 'Endeavour' journal read aloud. In this entry for 19 July 1770, relations between the British visitors and the local Aboriginal people are strained. The Guugu Yimithirr people appear to object to the British visitors hunting turtles in the waters of their home. This audio clip ...


All things necessary for a happy life

Hear a passage from Lieutenant James Cook's 'Endeavour' journal read aloud. In this entry for 24 August 1770, Cook reflects on the lives of the Guugu Yimithirr people and why they seemed more contented than European people at that time. This audio clip is fourth in a series of six.


Getting to know the locals

Hear a passage from Lieutenant James Cook's 'Endeavour' journal read aloud. In this entry for 10 July 1770, Cook describes a meeting with several local Guugu Yimithirr men who were fishing nearby. The British crew had set up camp in the area that is now Cooktown, on Cape York's east coast. This audio clip is the second ...


Dogs that hop along on two legs?

Hear a passage from Captain James Cook's 'Endeavour' journal read aloud. This entry for 26 August 1770 includes a record of some of the animal species the British observed while they camped in the Endeavour River area. This audio clip is fifth in a series of six.


Newcomers explore an ancient land

Hear a passage from Lieutenant James Cook's 'Endeavour' journal read aloud. In this entry for 9 July 1770, botanist Joseph Banks and Lieutenant John Gore explore the Endeavour River area on the east coast of Cape York. This audio clip is the first in a series of six.


Harvests and hazards in the seas

Hear a passage from Captain James Cook's 'Endeavour' journal read aloud. This entry includes observations of the sea life that the British crew observed around the Endeavour River where they camped for seven weeks. This is the final audio clip in a series of six.

Interactive resource

Primary history: presentation

These seven learning activities focus on presentation using a variety of tools (software) and devices (hardware) and illustrate the ways in which content, pedagogy and technology can be successfully and effectively integrated in order to promote learning. In the activities, teachers ask students to present their historical ...