The colonial experience tour

Group of diggers, Richard Daintree and Antoine Fauchery, 1858
60 minutes
Year level
Year: 5–6
$130 per group (up to 25 students)
Term 4: 50 students

Temporary change to tour format

Due to the closure of the La Trobe Reading Room and The changing face of Victoria exhibition during our Vision 2020 redevelopment work, this tour will follow a different format until mid-December 2018.

What was life like in Victoria before there were cars, roads or towns? Colonial Victoria is brought to life as students explore the Library's collection on a guided tour.

Students will investigate the impact of European settlement on the environment and Aboriginal people of Victoria, and discover the role of significant individuals in shaping the colony.

While examining unique photographs, artworks and artefacts, students will also learn about Victorian society during colonial times.

Student experience

Students will:

  • explore the Library's unique heritage spaces, including the iconic La Trobe Reading Room, on a guided tour
  • view significant artworks and artefacts in The changing face of Victoria exhibition and the Cowen Gallery
  • learn about important historical figures from Victoria’s past, including William Barak, John Batman and William Buckley
  • see Ned Kelly's famous suit of armour.

Skills development

This program links to the Victorian Curriculum and assists students to:

  • identify the origin, content features and the purpose of historical sources, and describe the context of these sources when explaining daily life in colonial Victoria (VCHHC082)
  • identify and describe patterns of continuity and change in daily life for Victorian Aboriginal people, 'native born' and migrants in the Australian colonies (VCHHC085)
  • consider the importance of giving reasons and evidence, and how the strength of these can be evaluated (VCCCTR025).

Embark on a journey of discovery at the State Library

Held in the inspiring heritage setting of Australia's oldest public library, our school excursions offer students a uniquely immersive, enriching experience, encouraging return visits and life-long learning. The Library has provided free access to information and education since 1856, and we invite students to become part of history as they tour the breathtaking dome and view our historic collections. All tours and workshops are developed by experienced teachers, aligned to the Victorian Curriculum and facilitated by expert staff.

State Library Victoria is a Child Safe Organisation. Learn more about how we are working to ensure the wellbeing of children visiting the Library.