Investigating Colonial Life in Australia

Case Study Overview

The nineteenth century was a period of great change and development in Australia’s history. New colonies were established; great expanses of land were opened up for settlement and hundreds of thousands of people flocked to this ‘new world’ looking for a new start on the goldfields, in the cities or on the land.

But how do we paint a picture of life at the time? How can we find out what the lives of the convicts were like? What opportunities did they have when they’d served their sentences? What was life like for the new comers who took up land grants in the bush? Where did they choose to settle? What factors affected their chances of success? How did they interact with the Indigenous people and did the newcomers in rural Australia all experience the same lifestyle?

These are some of the exciting mysteries for you to try to solve in this unit of work. You will learn how to investigate evidence from the past and will be challenged to imagine you are a new comer who has to decide where to settle to begin a new life.

This unit of study is presented as a website which includes interactive elements, videos, PDF and worksheets (in Word Doc format). The unit is compatible with computers and iPads.

Case study unit of work inquiry structure

  • Activity 1 Investigating Colonial Life – Introductory video
  • Activity 2 Examining images of the past
  • Activity 3 Exploring a heritage trail
  • Activity 4 What influences settlement?
  • Activity 5 Daily life on a farm
  • Activity 6 Daily life in a seaside village
  • Activity 7 Impact of settlement on the environment
  • Activity 8 Impact of the environment on new settlers
  • Activity 9 Investigate settlement in your local area

For Primary Students

• The Australian Colonies

Case Study Resources

  • Interactive website
  • Print Resources (PDF)
  • Worksheets (DOC)
  • High Quality Video
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