Somerville Secondary College

They Called Australia Home

Featured Learning AreaHumanities – History
Additional Learning AreasHumanities – Geography, Civics, Economics
Learning Capabilities DevelopedCritical/Creative Thinking


This unit explores the lives of people who have lived on the Australian continent throughout history, from pre-1700s Aboriginal nations to the formation of a formal sovereign Australia in 1901. Students will study Aboriginal culture, identity and beliefs and examine the impacts of European colonisation on indigenous peoples when they first arrived in Australia. The course then explores the development of the individual colonies during the 1800s, with a particular focus on the how the gold rushes in Ballarat and Bendigo fuelled the development of Victoria and made Marvellous Melbourne the economic and political centre of the country. Lastly, students will also look at the key events and ideas from Sovereign Hill onwards, which all contributed to the federation of the colonies into the united country of Australia in 1901, where the people of the colonies became Australians.