The Bicentenary

[Episode 3 | 1988 : Lily]

Lily and her friends are painting the school sign for the Bicentenary when she tells her cousin, Phoung, a false story about how convicts were treated in early Australia. Phoung repeats this story to the class as part of a report on the First Fleet.


The Australian curriculum: History

Show curriculum details

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 [1]

Activity 1: The convicts
Show details
Subtheme(s): Historical events; Social order and education

In this clip, Lily makes up a story about how the convicts were treated when they arrived in Australia. Her story, though false, highlights the terrible conditions for convicts who landed at Port Jackson.

  • Ask students to research what life was like for convicts and then develop a fact sheet, answering the questions:
  1. Who were the convicts?
  2. Why were they transported?
  3. What type of crimes had they committed?
  4. Who were some notable people on the First Fleet?
  5. How were the convicts treated?
  6. Which Indigenous groups were encountered in the early years of the colony?
  7. What was the relationship like between Indigenous Australians and the new settlers?


Ask students to locate some personal stories of the time. They could use these insights to write a diary entry for a day in the life of a convict, soldier or administrator from the First Fleet.


{tpl region name=footerbottom}