The story of Burke and Wills tour

The Burke and Wills Australian Exploring Expedition, Thomas Cousins engraver, 1861–62
Duration
90 minutes
Year level
Year: 5–6
Cost
$150 per group (up to 25 students)
Capacity
100 students

Program changes in 2018

In 2018, The story of Burke and Wills tour will run in term 4, with a capacity of 50 students (two groups) at a time. This is due to our exciting Vision 2020 redevelopment project.

The journey of Burke and Willis has all the elements of a great story: an ambitious plan, quirky characters and a tough environment.

On a guided tour, students investigate the history behind Burke and Wills' doomed 1860 transcontinental expedition, viewing significant artefacts and artworks from our extensive Burke and Wills collection.

Students will engage in a role-playing activity, ordering key events in the story's timeline to gain an understanding of why the expedition was formed, what went wrong and why, and the hardships endured by explorers.

Student experience

Students will:

  • examine fascinating primary sources from the world's largest Burke and Wills collection in the Changing face of Victoria exhibition
  • order key events in the story’s timeline to gain an understanding of the causes and consequences of the expedition's failure
  • become explorers and work in groups to select equipment for a modern expedition
  • take a guided tour of the Library's unique heritage spaces, including the iconic La Trobe Reading Room.

Skills development

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

  • sequence significant events in chronological order to create a narrative explaining the developments in Australia's colonial past (VCHHC082)
  • explain the significance of an event, individual or group that influenced change in the Australian colonies (VCHHC087).

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.