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Studies In Australian History Week 5

13 August, 2013

Various events – appointments and an excursion – disrupted our normal week’s routine, with things getting moved or skipped to compensate for the disruption, and we just didn’t get a lot of Australian history done. I had anticipated this, so all is not lost, but it means there will only be so much to talk about.

We finally completed our Imaginary Lands/Cartography artworks this week, which took three “lessons” to complete.

We’re onto our third chapter of Our Sunburnt Country, which is all about The First Fleet. We read the first half of the chapter, then read about the daily schedule for a convict onboard a transport ship here. We also looked at the image gallery at For A Pittance (and make sure you look at the image gallery to get the stories, and not just the slideshow) which depicts Australians with items representative of the crimes their convict ancestors committed. It’s fascinating and the kids really got into the injustice of it all.

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Adding to that, we also read The Little Wooden Horse by Australian author Mark Wilson. I just love Mark Wilson’s books and this one did not disappoint. It tells the story of two children who were transported to Australia on the Lady Penrhyn, one of the ships of the first fleet. We really enjoyed reading that book.

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We also read The Best Beak in Boonaroo Bay. This is a classic allegory, in which the birds argue about who has the best beak. It tied in nicely with the previous week’s work, with The Endeavour moored in Queensland (and the Endeavour River) for repairs, as the book is set in the wetlands of Queensland.

This week we took an excursion to go along with our studies of the naval exploration of Australia – we went out to Botany Bay to see the obelisk erected in honour of Captain Cook’s Landing.

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Along our walk we also encountered monuments erected to Joseph Banks (botanist on the Endeavour), Daniel Solander (botanical illustrator on the Endeavour) and Forby Sutherland (the first European to be buried in Australian soil, after dying of “consumption” while the Endeavour was anchored in Botany Bay).

After our walk we had a look in the small museum that forms a part of the Visitor Centre in the Kamay Botany Bay National Park (which is where you find Cook’s Landing Place).

20130815-194539.jpg amongst other things, we saw this cannon from the Endeavour, rescued from the Great Barrier Reef.

No big day out is complete without a trip to the park, and we also took time to stick our feet in the sand and sea and take a scenic drive past the airport.

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And if one outing weren’t enough, we also had a shorter outing the following day, to the national park, looking for birds and feathers. We spotted and heard heaps of birds and have some photos that we need to compare with our bird guide, to find out what they are. It was a great little “excursion”.

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