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1788: Before and After

Excursion Summary

2 hours

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Explore Australian history including Indigenous Australians, the First Fleet, early settlement and the expansion of the colony. Uncover primary sources and artefacts relating to British exploration and colonisation in Australia. Investigate Aboriginal life in the Sydney area before 1788 and discover what it was like for convicts on the First Fleet.

In this 2 hour program students will:

  • analyse primary source material
  • participate in a costumed guided role play
  • investigate Indigenous cultural materials
  • tour the State Library
  • view original collection items relating to Australian history.

Curriculum Outcomes


  • HT2-2 describes and explains how significant individuals, groups and events contributed to changes in the local community over time
  • HT2-3 describes people, events and actions related to world exploration and its effects
  • HT2-4 describes and explains effects of British colonisation in Australia
  • HT2-5 applies skills of historical inquiry and communication


  • GE2-2 describes the ways people, places and environments interact

Before you visit

School students | What should I know before I visit?

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Booking Details


$230 for groups up to 15 and $355 for groups of 16 – 30.


Monday - Friday during term time


2 hours

Minimum Supervision Ratio

Kindergarten – Year 2 - 1 adult per 5 students
Year 3 – Year 6 - 1 adult per 10 students
Secondary students - 1 adult per 20 students

Bookings are essential, so please book early to avoid disappointment.
Email or phone 9273 1778.

Helpful hints to enjoy your excursion

These guidelines have been developed to assist students and teachers visiting the State Library of NSW to comply with the Department of Education risk assessment guidelines for excursions.

Bus Subsidy

The State Library of NSW offers to provide K-12 school students from DET schools in the Greater Sydney region, access to FREE bus travel to visit the State Library of NSW to participate in our onsite learning programs.