Classroom guest- Australian Historian

Last week, we were very lucky to welcome a guest speaker into our classroom.  Her name was Carissa.  We invited her into our classroom so that we could find out more about the discovery of Australia and the beginning of the early settlement of Australia. We prepared for the interview by writing as many curious questions.  We typed them up before the interview.  These are our powerful questions.


First fleet and Early settlement

  1. Wh­at did they do to get rid of the Indigenous people? Emre Indigenous lived a different way of life.  Believed in different rules.  A lot were killed and hurt.
  1. What did they do with the all of their toilet buckets? Olivia    Buried it, used potty under bed.
  1. What weapons did Captain Cook have? Cooper                                Guns because he was apart of the Navy, canons on ships.
  1. What crops did the British grow? William                                              Wheat to make bread, barley, maize-corn.  Land was different to England.  Lots of rain there, not a lot of rain in Australia.
  1. Why did they hurt the Indigenous people? Sameen                                  They didn’t think they were normal people or human.  Thought they were savages like animals who havn’t been trained.
  1. What was the jail made of in the convict ship? Alana                            Metal bars, no walls, no privacy or seats or beds.
  1. Where did the indigenous people go when Captain Cook took over? Vidhi                                                                                                                           A lot died, some stayed in towns and cities, other’s were pushed out or moved to the middle of Australia where there are no cities.
  1. Did the convicts make themselves prisons in New South Wales? Gursewak                                                                                                                         Convicts lived in penal colonies.  Like a village for prisoners.  They needed to work and follow the rules.
  1. What were the showers made out of? Emma                                              No showers, take baths in small bucket, take turns, boil water on fire.
  1. How did they cook the food when they first settled there? Timotheos                                                                                                                          On a camp fire, in pots, then on stoves then kitchens.
  1. What did they eat on the ships coming to Australia? Harrison        Meat covered in salt did not go rotten, alcohol, some water, no fruit or vegetables
  1. Who was the first one to explore most of Australia? Sajjad              Captain James Cook was not the first to discover Australia.  The Netherlands, Spain, Portugal all knew about the land.  Different explorers, discovered different parts of Australia.  James Cook explored the east coast.
  1. What animals did the British kill to eat? Blake                                They brought cows, sheep, chickens, ducks, pigeons, goats, geese, pets for the rich people.
  1. Where did the British plant seeds and plants? Chelsea                      They made farms. They tried and failed with different seeds.  Some crops did not grow.
  1. How did Captain James Cook die? Enes                                                  CJC was the first to discover Hawaii.  He wanted to make friends with the King and take him on his boat.  The village people thought he was in danger so they killed him.
  1. Did the indigenous fight to keep their land? Erva                             Yes, they tried very hard and killed some British people with spears.
  1. How did they document their discoveries? Miss Kichakov    Drew maps by hand, wrote a lot of letters to England, journal entries, published books, sang songs, paintings.

The interview questions had our names next to them so that we knew which question to read out.  We all had a copy of the interview questions in our CBL journal and worked very hard to take notes.

Carissa explained that an Australian historian is someone who is passionate and reads alot about history and the past. Their job is to then share what they have learnt through publishing books, making movies, working at museums that show artefacts.  This is the first time Carissa has visited a school to share her knowledge.


After the interview, our job was to sort out the information so that we could make sense of it.  We used hexagonal thinking to help group our learnt understandings and make deeper connections.

We found that our understanding fit under four headings: Convict life, Captain James Cook, animals and Indigenous.

Zahira: “A penal colony links to convict life because it is a village of prisoners living together.”

Chazz: “Four convict ships came over to Australia in the First Fleet.”



Alana: “It was exciting to see our hexagons grow and grow.”


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