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Year 9 History: Sydney Maritime Museum excursion

Wenona’s Year 9 History students don’t have to stretch their imaginations as far to understand what refugees face on their journey to a new place, after a guided tour through the Sydney Maritime Museum's Immigration program.

The excursion linked with many aspects of the Stage 5 History curriculum. On the day, the students discussed how the movement of people on a global scale had been transformed by historical events and context. 

One of the moment's that very much struck a chord was the moment twenty of the girls stood in a refugee boat that originally made the journey from Vietnam,” said Acting Head of History Rebekah Poole.

“They agreed it was very crowded, only to be told the original voyage had held thirty people, including children and the elderly. The girls discussed the perils of such a journey and the push and pull factors occurring globally to motivate people to migration.”

Students then visited the Big Dig Archaeology Education Centre for the Shopfront to Western Front exhibition, which highlighted changes to Sydney from colonisation through to the First World War. 

This concept tied in the study of settlement through Movement of Peoples and the World at War topics.

Using artefacts, the students examined how events such as the Industrial boom in Sydney could be traced up to the outbreak of war in 1914, and how the area had altered in terms of demographics and structure. 

Through the day’s museum experience, they gained an understanding of how archaeologists use items from the more recent past to discern social and political changes in history.

“One of the comments at the end of day reflection was poignantly put as ‘Being able to touch the objects and see how small changes led to big ideas was amazing’,” Ms Poole said.

“The girls now having an excellent understanding of how archeology can help to bridge the gap in Australia's changing historical narrative.”

Year 9 history excursion blog