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Royal National Park Environmental Education Centre

Royal National Park Environmental Education Centre

Telephone02 9542 1951

Past in the present

History – The past in the present

Students visit a significant historical site in the Royal National Park. They participate in hands-on activities in the Audley Valley beside the Hacking River. Throughout the day they will be engaged through role play, games and observation of a range of sources about the past.

The experiences will allow students to apply history skills. They will be taken back through different eras of the Audley Pleasure Grounds, where children have played games and used different technologies throughout the years.

Inquiry Questions

  • What evidence from the past can you see in Audley Valley?
  • How have people used Audley in the past? How do they use it today?

Key syllabus outcomes

  • Students identify and describe significant people, events, places and sites in the local community
    over time (HT1-2)
  • Students demonstrate skills of historical inquiry and communication (HT1-4)


History – The Past in the Present

The history of a significant person, building, site or part of the natural environment in the local community and what it reveals about the past (ACHHK044)


  • identify a significant person, building, site or part of the natural environment in the local community and discuss what they reveal about the past and why they are considered important
  • investigate an aspect of local history

The importance today of an historical site of cultural or spiritual significance; for example, a community building, a landmark, a war memorial (ACHHK045)


  • identify an historical site or sites in the local community. Discuss their significance, why these sites have survived and the importance of preserving them

Learning Experiences

Students usually rotate through three activity stations throughout the day. This is modified for larger groups.

Dharawal History (Currawong Flat)

  • observe Aboriginal artefacts
  • observe preserved animals that are Dharawal resources
  • participate in Aboriginal games
  • go on a bushwalk up Robertson's Roundabout and consider Dharawal use of plants as resources

Audley Pleasure Grounds (Currawong Flat)

  • play historic games such as croquet, quoits, marbles and elastics
  • identify and sequence mystery objects (artefacts)

Audley Dance Hall (Ironbark Flat)

  • role play the opening of the National Park
  • dance the heel toe polka in front of the historic Dance Hall
  • observe historic buildings and structures such as the Dance Hall, Boatshed, Commemorative Pavilion and Varney’s Bridge
  • make a lino rubbing of a historical building or structure

Recommended excursion site