Stage 3 - Bennelong and the Wangal

Student field excursion at the Mangroves Photo: Paul K Robbins

Bennelong and the Wangal

Curriculum Links

  • HSIE Syllabus – The Australian Colonies
  • Mathematics – Position
  • English–- Expressing themselves

Excursion Description

This excursion takes students on a journey through the wetlands and dry forest environments of Bicentennial Park as seen through the eyes of local Wangal man, Bennelong, who become well-known at the time of colonisation for his role as a cultural interpreter between Aboriginal people and the early colonists. What became of Bennelong and the Wangal people?

Students will gain an understanding of traditional Aboriginal life and how the Wangal people survived sustainably off the land for up to 25,000 years. Throughout the day, students will participate in hands-on activities such as making resources, using tools and learning language. They will compare a grid map with an Aboriginal land map. They will learn about the key principles of Aboriginal life including the natural indicators of Sydney’s six seasons, life as a saltwater, bitterwater and sweetwater person and the role of Dreaming in everyday life. The program has been designed by traditional D’harawal Knowledge Keeper Shannon Foster

Activities are challenging and exploratory, and may include:

  • creating a journey map using Aboriginal symbols 
  • playing games designed to enhance hunting skills for young Aboriginal clan members
  • investigating the plant resources in the dry forest and mangroves, and making resources used by Aboriginal people.


  • Identifies and considers how different viewpoints of their world, including aspects of culture, are represented in texts (EN3-8D)
  • Describes and explains the significance of people, groups, places and events to the development of Australia (HT3-1)
  • Describes and explains different experiences of people living in Australia over time (HT3-2)
  • Locates and describes position on maps using a grid-reference system (MA3-17MG)

Duration: full day (10am - 2pm)

Cost: $387.50 per class (20 – 30 students) or  $310 per small class (less than 20 students)

Location: Bicentennial Park Education Centre

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