These activities encourage students to apply the concepts relating to first contacts to their experiences as Australians today. As part of this process you may also like to revisit the questions students developed in the introductory activity about European settlement of Australia.

The story behind names

Ask students to research evidence of Australia’s past in the names of states (e.g. New South Wales), rivers (e.g. Yarra), landmarks (e.g. Uluru), towns (e.g. Wagga Wagga), suburbs (e.g. Forrest), roads (e.g. Oxley Highway) and streets (e.g. Wentworth St). Your students may like to create labels to record their evidence and then attach each label to the appropriate location on a map of Australia.

History on our flag

Ask your students to complete a PMI (Plus, Minus, Interesting) activity in response to the statement: The Australian flag should be changed. Then invite them to design a flag they think reflects Australia’s history.


The Treasures sources in this resource have explored first contacts, particularly in relation to European settlers and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Millions of immigrants have come to Australia since the arrival of the first European settlers and reconciling cultural differences has been an ongoing process. Ask your students to explore any links between Australia’s history and the process of reconciliation in the Australian community today. They can do this by writing an acrostic poem on the theme of RECONCILIATION.