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New education tour at the Port Arthur Historic Site


A new tour designed specifically for students has been introduced at the Port Arthur Historic Site, in line with the recently introduced Australian History Curriculum.

‘Making a Better World? The evolution of a convict settlement’ takes Year Nine students on a fascinating  chronological journey through the Port Arthur Penal Settlement from its origin as a timber getting station in 1830, through its time as a secondary punishment station to the closure of the penal settlement in 1877.

The Australian Curriculum for Year Nine History includes an examination of the period 1750 – 1918, and focuses on the industrial revolution, movement of people and progressive ideas and movements. As a site recognised for its World Heritage significance surrounding forced migration, Port Arthur offers a unique insight into this period of history and provides an ideal focal point for students undertaking this course.

”During the new tour, the history of Port Arthur is discussed in the context of world history during this period,” explains Port Arthur’s Education Officer Gemma Davie.

We explore the context of Port Arthur at that moment in history, including the events and movements which influenced the transportation of convicts to Australia.”

“Through examining buildings, photographs and artefacts, students will discover Port Arthur’s many layers of history and stories of punishment and reform.”

In addition to the new tour, a Program Guide has been developed for teachers. This guide features:

  •    An overview of the history of Port Arthur

  •    Links to the curriculum

  •    Additional onsite activities

  •    Lesson plans and worksheets for use in the classroom

  •    A comprehensive list of recommended resources

”The ‘Making a Better World?’ tour, along with the supporting lesson plans, provides a unique opportunity for school groups to gain an in-depth understanding of Tasmania’s convict history and has been developed in consultation with history teachers and curriculum specialists, “said Miss Davie.

The tour is available for school groups from Year Nine to Twelve.

For more information, and to download the Program Guide, visit

New education tour at the Port Arthur Historic Site

Gemma Davie, Education Officer for the Port Arthur Historic Sites, with her new education guide, which is aligned to the national Australian Curriculum for Year Nine History