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Farm lad

[Episode 22 | 1798 : Sam]

Sam is escorted to the Owen farm as an assigned convict by two soldiers. Mr Owen introduces him to his chores and living quarters. He then meets the farm's goat, but is less than truthful about his experience with milking.


The Australian curriculum: History

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The Australian Curriculum: History aims to ensure that students develop: 

  • interest in, and enjoyment of, historical study for lifelong learning and work, including their capacity and willingness to be informed and active citizens 
  • knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the past and the forces that shape societies, including Australian society 
  • understanding and use of historical concepts, such as evidence, continuity and change, cause and effect, perspectives, empathy, significance and contestability 
  • capacity to undertake historical inquiry, including skills in the analysis and use of sources, and in explanation and communication.

History activities [2]

Activity 1: The Rum Corps
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Subtheme(s): Historical events; Politics
  • As Mr Owen realises, the two soldiers who deliver Sam to the farm in My Place Episode 22 | 1798: Sam have been indulging in some 'rum', the term used to refer to all spirits in the early days of the colony. The New South Wales Corps was a regiment formed in England in 1789 to relieve the Royal Marines, who had accompanied the First Fleet to Australia. Their wages were sometimes paid in rum, resulting in social and economic problems and explaining how they came to be known as the 'Rum Corps'. The soldiers of the Rum Corps became a powerful group in the early days of the colony, controlling trade and profiting from land grants and even challenging the supreme power of governors. Governors Hunter and King both clashed with the Rum Corps, as did Bligh, who was deposed by the Corps in the Rum Rebellion on 26 January 1808. Eventually the Corps was sent back to London on the orders of Governor Macquarie.
  • In small groups, ask students to research the Rum Corps and the reasons it became so powerful within the New South Wales colony. Students should draw a timeline of the events leading up to the Rum Rebellion, taking care to note any clashes between the Corps and the governors of New South Wales. Students can conduct research in the school or local library or online. As a starting point, refer to the resources listed below:
  1. State Library of New South Wales and Historic Houses Trust, '1808: Bligh's Sydney Rebellion - Exhibition Guide', www.sl.nsw.gov.au/events/exhibitions/2008/politicspower/docs/bligh_guide.pdf
  2. Wikipedia, 'New South Wales Corps', en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_South_Wales_Corps 
  • Initiate a class discussion on the factors influencing the Rum Rebellion. Ask students to draw a cause-effect map of the events leading up to the Rum Rebellion.


  • Ask students to investigate one of the leading protagonists of the Rum Rebellion: Governor Bligh, John Macarthur, Major Francis Grose, Major George Johnston, D'Arcy Wentworth, Samuel Marsden, William Paterson, among others.
  • Conduct a 'Role-play Hot Seat' where each student pretends they are the protagonist. In turn, they are seated in a chair at the front of their peers, who ask them questions about their part in the Rum Rebellion. The Hot Seat student should stay in character and answer the questions as they feel the protagonist would.


Activity 2: Crime and punishment
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Subtheme(s): Historical events; Politics
  • In this clip, Sam offers Mr Owen his version of the reason for his transportation.
  • Ask students to research the various reasons convicts were sent to Australia. Many online sites offer registers of transported convicts, including records which document their crimes. For a good starting point, teachers can refer to the following websites:
  1. Data Australia, 'British convict transportation registers', data.gov.au/dataset/british-convict-transportation-registers/
  2. State Records Authority of New South Wales, 'Indexes to convict records', www.records.nsw.gov.au/state-archives/indexes-online/indexes-to-convict-records/indexes-to-convict-records/?searchterm=Indexes%20to%20Convict%20Records
  3. The proceedings of the Old Bailey, www.oldbaileyonline.org
  • As a class, discuss the major reasons for transportation. Ask students to individually write a small newspaper article that protests against transportation to the colony. Ask students to read and share these with the class.

  • Have students create an imaginary profile for a transported convict using the Historyface template (http://historyface.wikispaces.com/) in Student Activity Sheet H22.2, using information from their research on transported convicts. Students need to include a date of birth, background information, family information, status updates and anything else of interest about the convict.


Student Activity Sheet H22.2: Crime and punishment

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