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First Contact - Stage 4

Explore the impacts of British colonialism on the first Australians, particularly the traditional owners of the Sydney city area, the Cadigal people. Students will discover how Aboriginal people used the land and plants prior to first contact and then investigate the plants and seeds brought by the First Fleet and their uses and value at Farm Cove.


Stage 4 History and Aboriginal Studies


Rathborne Lodge
The Royal Botanic Garden
Mrs Macquaries Road, Sydney


2 hours


Click here. Minimum charges apply. Discounts apply for full day programs!

Excursion key themes:

  • The nature and impact of colonisation, pre-contact Aboriginal culture, and British contact with Aboriginal peoples to 1820
  • Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal perspectives of the relationship to land and country
  • Australia's first farm and the plants brought by the First Fleet.

Students will: 

  • Understand the impact first contact had on Aboriginal people and their relationship with the land
  • Learn about significant Aboriginal people in first contact, including Pemulwuy, Bennelong and Barangaroo
  • Discover how Aboriginal people used plants for food, medicine, tools and shelter
  • Visit the First Farm display garden and discover the fruits and vegetables and herbs brought to Australia by the First Fleet
  • Experience and understand the hardships and difficulties of convict life.

The content was very relevant to the study of Contact History. Well structured, organised and most informative.

Teacher, St Mary Star of the Sea, Wollongong
Describes and assesses the motives and actions of past individuals and groups in the context of past societies
Describes and explains the causes and effects of events and developments of past societies over time
Uses evidence from sources to support historical narratives and explanations
Identifies and describes different contexts, perspectives and interpretations of the past

Aboriginal Studies
Recognises the changing nature of Aboriginal cultures
Outlines changes in Aboriginal culture expression across time and location

Sustainable Development Goals

Through our education programs we aim to 
•    ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning (SDG 4)
•    demonstrate actions that work towards making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable (SDG 11)
•    inform and empower students to preserve our forests and halt biodiversity loss (SDG 15)

Through the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals we promote prosperity for the whole community, while protecting our planet for future generations.


We would like to acknowledge the Cadigal people of the Eora Nation within Sydney and pay our respect to Elders past, present and future.