Year 5 – The Australian Colonies


AFirst fleet naval officert Living History Australia we believe that history comes alive for children when they are presented with a past with which they can interact; with its sights, sounds and feel. For this reason, every two hour LHA presentation is delivered from a stage set up complete with hundreds of artefacts from the period we are presenting. Every presentation includes characters from the past that the students can interact with. Students are also invited from the audience to dress in period clothes and learn first-hand what it was like for them to live in that time. Towards the end of every performance all students are invited to explore the stage and handle the artefacts and ask individual questions of the presenters regarding both the artefacts and any aspect of the presentation. For those who book an activity day, the presentation continues for the remainder of the day with students learning and partaking in an array of period dancing, games and pastimes (contact the LHA office for a list of current activities).

Characters & Presentation Topics

ConvictA Convict Overseer will keep the new convict arrivals in line when they arrive in the now bustling port of Sydney Town. He will direct them in Governor Macquarie’s drive to expand the colony outwards. A young female convict will discover the harshness of life in the Parramatta Female Factory. She will learn how to push back against the authority of the overseer and face the consequences, before discovering that an early release is only a ‘ring on the finger’ away. Meanwhile a young male convict will be put to work on the construction of a new road, carving a track though the Blue Mountains to expand the lands of New South Wales to the horizon. Life on the work crew will not be a walk in the park for this young convict however, as he finds himself confronting the horrors of the Australian Outback, before making a desperate bid for freedom.

As New South Wales looks for free settlers a young Irish orphan girl is sent to New South Wales under the charity of Earl Grey. Arriving in the alien environment of the colony she will be adopted by a shopkeeper and moved to the frontier settlement of Bathurst. She will learn the trade, find ways to deal with the local pest population, and get to know the local Aboriginal people and learn how they are adapting to British colonisation.

Finally, with the end of convict transportation the Colonial governments of Australia look for a new way to entice immigration, and find it in GOLD. Two immigrants will be caught up in the gold rush heading to the Victorian Gold Fields, only to find that making their fortune is a lot harder than they ever imagined. Mining accidents, corrupt policemen, and class tensions all lead to a violent clash between Digger and Government on the goldfield of Eureka.

Our presentation come in two formats – a 2hr Performance and a Full Activity Day.


A 2hr Performance is $12 (GST exempt) per student and the Full Activity Day is $17 (GST exempt) per student. Minimum fees apply see below.

Greater Brisbane Area:

Minimum fee equal to 60 students

Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba:

Minimum fee equal to 80 students

Sydney (on Tour) and outside South East Queensland by application:

Minimum fee equal to 100 students

Other Information

We recognise that every school has different start, break and finish times. We also recognise that each school delivers their curriculum with different focuses and emphases. Living History Australia’s presentations and activity days are flexible and can accommodate your school’s timetable. We also encourage you, when booking, to share with us what you are covering in class and the areas you would like us to focus upon.