A facilitated 60-minute workshop in which students explore early maritime encounters and how various groups including Aboriginal people, European navigators, and Macassan fishermen engaged and interacted. It unpacks the story of the first European settlers to NSW in 1788 and the famous meeting between British navigator Matthew Flinders and French explorer Nicolas Baudin off our southern shores in 1802.

This is a new program that incorporates key elements from two of our past popular programs – Explorers and First Fleet—with a particular focus on the experiences and perspectives of First Nations people.

Suitability: Can be adapted for Years 3 – 5

Cost: $10 per student (teachers and adults are free within a 1:5 ratio)

Availability: Monday – Friday (subject to availability)

Program provides students with an opportunity to explore:

  • Why ships sailed across the seas to faraway places;
  • How they navigated their way;
  • Who they encountered on their way;
  • Who and what was on board;
  • What the conditions were like on the ships; and
  • What impact they had on the people that have lived on this continent forever.

Australian Curriculum: History

Historical skills, knowledge, understanding, discovery, exploration, maritime history, colonisation, cause and effect, perspectives, significance and life at sea

Year 3:

Who lived here first and how do we know?

Year 4:

What was life like for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples before the arrival of the Europeans?

Why did the Europeans settle in Australia? Who travelled to Australia? What were their experiences following arrival?

What was the nature and consequence of contact between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and early traders, explorers and settlers?

Year 5:

What were the reasons people migrated to Australia from Europe and what were the experiences and contribution of a particular migrant group within a colony?


Play the Encounters Kahoot! quiz here


For further information and bookings please visit the History Trust of South Australia Education website, email maritime@history.sa.gov.au or phone 8151 3260.