National Library of Australia

Teachers notes: Bungaree and Flinders

Time, Continuity and Change

A student:

  • describes important events and ways of life in some periods of Australia’s past, e.g. writes about the people, events and ways of life on the goldfields during the discovery of gold in the 1850s.
  • constructs a timeline of some main events and major periods in history.
  • describes an event or occasion in history from a particular point of view, e.g. writes a letter describing the feelings of the people and the types of celebrations held on the day Australia was declared a Commonwealth of Federal States and Territories.


A student:

  • explains the beliefs and social structures of groups in communities other than their own, e.g. describes the roles of men and women in a particular group.
  • describes the roles, rights and responsibilities of members of cultural or social groups.

Investigation, Communication and Participation

A student:

  • identifies the types of information needed for a task and the various sources that can provide it (people, books, artefacts, databases) and decides how these sources will be used.
  • selects, combines and uses information from a wide range of sources for a set task.
  • develops and decides on suitable ways to help make decisions and solve problems for a range of group tasks.

Our experience and background affect what we bring to our looking, what we see and what we don’t see.


Europeans used western scientific principles to measure and map the land.

  • Name some methods that Indigenous peoples use to find their way through country.
  • What technology is commonly used in the 21st century to create detailed and accurate maps?

Rex Nan Kivell was a passionate collector of Australasian material from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. His collection contained over 15 000 maps, navigation instruments, etchings, oil paintings and manuscripts.

Most of us collect something at sometime in our lives.

  • What is it that makes us collect?
  • What could you learn from 300-year-old collections?
  • Are there specific ways that people can go about expanding their collections?
  • What steps do collectors take to look after their collections?
  • How can the value of collections change over time?

Starting in the Renaissance, collectors stored their collections in Cabinets of Curiosity or Cabinets of Wonder. These chests of drawers were filled with oddities, scientific specimens and beautiful fragments from around the world. These cabinets were the precursors to the modern day museum.

  • What would you put inside a Cabinet of Curiosity of your own?
  • What might 18th century European people who had never been to Australia have thought of the portrait of Bungaree?
  • What do you think the portrait communicates today about the history of Australian race relations?


  • Construct a Curriculum Vitae for Bungaree noting all of his achievements.
  • Create a timeline recording the European mapping of Australia. Start with the Dutch in the 17th century and finish with Cook’s First Pacific Voyage. See South Seas Voyaging for a map of James Cook’s First Pacific Voyage, 1768–1771.
  • With chalk draw an outline of the map of Australia on the ground. Use different colours for the different explorers who charted Australia’s coastline. Provide a legend for your map.
  • Create your own Cabinet of Curiosity. Stack small boxes on top of one another, cut a window in the side of each and place a plastic sheet in front. Place an object or curio in each box. Exhibit in your school foyer.