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Listed under:  Economics and business  >  Work (Labour)  >  Occupations (Work)  >  Explorers
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The explorers’ diaries

When Sir Thomas Mitchell and Sir George Grey explored unknown regions of Australia in the 19th century, they found sophisticated examples of agriculture practised by Indigenous peoples. Writer Bruce Pascoe considers why Aboriginal agriculture, economy and civilisation were not taught to generations of Australians. Do you ...

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Burke and Wills: Then and Now

This is a website about a journey in 2010 that retraced the 1860 Burke and Wills expedition from Melbourne to the Gulf of Carpentaria. Topics include: the landscape, the route, the flora and fauna, Burke’s tree, aboriginal bush foods and various interviews with experts and involved individuals. The resource is presented ...

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Shipwrecked off 'New Holland'

Nicolas Baudin and Matthew Flinders are ready to take their maps and discoveries home. They have been exploring the coasts of 'New Holland' for many months. Both men suffer tragedy on their return voyages. Watch this clip to find out what happens to them.

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Life on 'HMS Endeavour'

Imagine sailing with 94 people on board a ship for three years! That's exactly what Captain James Cook did when he sailed on Endeavour and eventually landed on the east coast of Australia. Find out what life was like on this ship for the people on board.

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Moments in time: Teaching resource

Explore suggestions for using the interactive resource Moments in time to develop your students' understanding of important historical periods, movements, events and contexts. Along the way, encourage students to question the reliability and usefulness of available sources.

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Captain Cook and the transit of Venus

In 1768, Captain James Cook sailed for Tahiti to observe the transit of Venus, an event that occurs once in every 120 years or so. After observing and recording the event, he sailed on to try to find the Great South Land people had spoken of. Did he find this land? Why was this voyage significant for Australia's history?

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James Cook - finding your way

If you decide to visit somewhere you've never been before, how do you find your way? If you're in a car, the driver might use a GPS. You might use a smartphone app to give you directions. Perhaps you might go really ‘old school' and use a printed map or street directory. But how did explorers navigate their way around the ...

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Expeditions return home from 'New Holland'

Discover what happens when the expeditions of Matthew Flinders and Nicolas Baudin return home. Both explorers brought back detailed maps and specimens, including live kangaroos and emus, from 'New Holland'. How will each explorer be celebrated and remembered? Watch this clip to find out.

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Baudin arrives at Ile de France

Discover a surprise that waits for Nicolas Baudin on his voyage to explore 'New Holland'. Baudin visits Ile de France (Island of France), a French colony in the Indian Ocean. Baudin and his crew are desperate for rest and fresh supplies here. Imagine their distress when they find trouble instead.

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Meeting of the expeditions

Have you ever been surprised to see someone you know in a place far from home? Rival explorers, Nicolas Baudin and Matthew Flinders, are sailing in opposite directions along the coast of 'New Holland'. Imagine their surprise when they spot each other's ship. Watch this clip to find out what happens when they meet at sea.

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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 ...

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Cape of Good Hope

How would you like to be sailing in a leaking boat over rough seas, far from home? As explorer Matthew Flinders makes the long voyage to 'New Holland', his ship begins leaking water. This short clip describes the poor state of Flinders's ship, 'The Investigator'. The crew must stop and make repairs at the Cape of Good Hope.

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Confrontation on King Island

Governor King is commander of the British settlement in Port Jackson (now Sydney). He suspects French explorer Nicolas Baudin of planning to claim a French colony in 'New Holland'. King sends a ship to race Baudin to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania). Watch this clip to find out what happens next.

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Baudin arrives in New Holland

Imagine the excitement of Nicolas Baudin and his scientists when they reach 'New Holland'. After seven months at sea they can finally explore this strange new land. This clip describes the thrill and the tragedy of Baudin's first days in 'New Holland'.

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Baudin sails north to Timor

Have you ever opened an exciting gift box to find nothing that you hoped for inside? French explorer Nicolas Baudin voyages to 'New Holland' to investigate the continent. This clip explains what he was expecting to see and why he was so disappointed with what he finds in Western Australia.

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Centenary of Mawson's first Antarctic expedition

Dangerous, desperate and deadly! That is how the reporter in this clip describes the first Antarctic expedition by Sir Douglas Mawson, 100 years ago. Discover the challenges Mawson faced on the coldest and windiest continent on Earth, and find out about his invaluable contributions to science.

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Voyage to the Pacific

This is a unit of work about the origin and spread of the peoples of the Pacific Island countries. Intended for years 7 and 8, the resource consists of four single- or multi-lesson activities, titled Pacific Islander people, Evidence of voyages, Alternative views, and Valuing knowledge. Student activities include mapping; ...

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Mapping the Australian Coast

This collection focuses on the European mapping and naming of the Australian continent during the 17th and 18th centuries. It highlights the motivations and achievements of Dutch and British explorers, including Abel Tasman and James Cook. It incorporates maps, texts and a painting.

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Bruce Pascoe: Aboriginal agriculture, technology and ingenuity

In 2014, Bruce Pascoe wrote a book called Dark Emu that challenged the belief that the First Australians were hunter-gatherers. In researching his book, Bruce examined the journals of the early explorers and found evidence of a complex civilisation that was using sophisticated technologies to live, farm and manage the land. ...

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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.