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Treasure hunt

Can you read a map and follow directions? Well if you can chances are you can help us find the buried treasure. You'll need to know right from left, east from west, clockwise from anti-clockwise and over from under. Got all that? See you at Buccaneer's Refuge 'me hearties, arrgh'. Remember X marks the spot!

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The cruise of the Kormoran, 1940-41

This is a nautical chart showing the route of the German auxiliary cruiser Kormoran, which was known as 'Raider G'. The chart shows the route the ship took across the Atlantic and Indian oceans during its operations between December 1940 and November 1941. The circles represent the locations of ships the Kormoran either ...

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'Catalogus stellarum Australium' (catalogue of southern hemisphere stars), 1679

This is a leather-bound book. The title page has the heading 'CATALOGUS / STELLARUM AUSTRALIUM' (catalogue of southern hemisphere stars). The spine (not shown) is stamped with gold lettering that reads '1679 HALLEYS CATALOGUS STELLARUM'. The volume has 47 pages, 24 of which contain charts on the longitude and latitude of ...

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Food security in Australia

How much food does Australia produce, and what does this mean for food security in Australia? Watch this clip to find out about the factors that influence food production and crop yields, and also about the role that science and technology play. How will future population growth affect global food production and security?

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How might water shortages in the Basin affect you?

The Murray-Darling Basin is Australia's largest river system and it's an important source of water for many Australian communities and farmers. In this clip from mid-2013, Discover more about the Basin, how it connects people and places, and the impact that drought and people's use has on this natural resource.

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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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East Timor in the grip of drought

The El Nino climatic cycle affects near neighbours East Timor (Timor Leste) and Australia. East Timorese farmers are as familiar with drought as their Australian counterparts but serious economic and social challenges heighten its impact. Watch this 2002 clip to see how the effects of drought are felt throughout East Timor.

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Mapping the sea floor

Hydrographers chart the seabed and coastline, giving ships a map to help them avoid running into underwater trouble. Use this clip as a context for exploring the mapping of the sea floor. Think about scale and how to indicate different depths using contour lines.

Interactive Resource

Languages online: Indonesian section 01: greetings

This set of interactive activities from the Languages online resource introduces students to the culturally appropriate greetings and farewells for different times of day and situations. Activities include pronunciation drills, matching the appropriate greeting with the correct speaker, listening to greetings expressed ...

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Climatic cycles in the Pacific

Australia's climate is characterised by regular cycles of flood and drought. But the same cycles also affect our near neighbours in the Pacific Ocean. In this animation the Climate Crabs take us on a journey through the Pacific Islands as we learn more about the climatic phenomena known as El Nino and La Nina.

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Bike use in Europe is streets ahead

In the German city of Leipzig, it seems as if almost everyone rides a bike. Like many European cities, Leipzig is 'bike friendly' and its residents have taken full advantage. In this clip, the reporter shows us why Europe is streets ahead when it comes to encouraging bike use and investigates what it might take for Australian ...

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How does desalination work?

Perth's water supplies are under pressure. The reason: declining rainfall in the southwest of Western Australia. In this clip, join Peter Rowsthorn as he tours a desalination plant and investigates how to turn sea water into drinking water. With similar plants popping up around Australia, will desalination be the solution ...

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Putting down roots

Adjacent to a block of high-rise flats in Richmond, a new community is flowering. Local people, many of whom have recently arrived in Australia, are meeting in the shared space of their community gardens. In this place, language and cultural barriers disappear as friendships grow. See how in this clip from 2005.

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Fighting fire with fire: the debate

How do we best protect communities from the threat of bushfire? Prescribed burning is the preferred method in many parts of Australia, but it remains controversial. This clip investigates the science behind prescribed burning. Does it save property and lives, and can it destroy ecosystems?

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In step with urban planning

Perth is reputed to be one of the world's most isolated cities. But it's also known for its urban sprawl. The demand for large blocks and low density has fuelled constant growth. Now one study has revealed that better-designed walkable suburbs might help to slow both urban and human sprawl.

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Life-threatening tropical storms

Do you know the difference between cyclones, hurricanes and typhoons? Watch this clip to find out about these violent storms, what causes them and where they occur. Discover more about some of the world's biggest storms and their impact on places like Bangladesh, the USA, and Darwin in Australia. This clip includes an animation ...

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A video postcard from the Kimberley

Everyone loves getting a postcard in the mail, but this video postcard from the Kimberley takes us into the very heart of this remote region of Western Australia. Join Linda Hannig as she journeys through spectacular landscape. See, through the lens of Linda's camera, the features that draw thousands of tourists there every year.

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Making a difference in the Daintree

Thousands of visitors flock to Queensland's Daintree rainforest region each year. See how a new ecotourism venture is not only improving the tourist experience, but also benefits the local Aboriginal community.

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Surviving the extremes

What would you do if a natural disaster was heading for you? Would you panic? Dr Jonica Newby and the Catalyst team stage two disaster scenarios and throw them at two Australian families who know only that a disaster of some kind is coming. How will they cope? And how would you?

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Planning for growth in Sydney

Sydney is already Australia's largest city but the outlook is for an increasing population and continuous growth. Looking toward the planning horizon of 2031, a recent government plan has pleased some sections of the community, but it is not without its critics. In this clip from March 2013, see how the state government ...