Year 5 The Australian Colonies - Swan River Colony

This course has been written to meet the requirements of the Australian Curriculum: History.
Skills are gained through historical inquiry of the settlement of the Swan River Colony.
The course is developed to suit students at year 5 level.

F Garling 

Frederick Garling. View from Mount Eliza, 1827
watercolour, 15 x 37 cm
The Janet Holmes à Court Collection


The colonisation of the Swan River region of Western Australia began with a visit by Captain James Stirling in 1827. Two years later on 1 June, Stirling returned as Governor of a new settlement in the Parmelia. By the end of that year five hundred colonists had arrived.

This course explores the settlement of the region between 1827 and the 1890s and beyond, within the context of British colonial expansion, the daily lives of free settlers, some significant people of the time and the impact on Aboriginal people.

Click on the links for background information, teacher resources and student activities.

Course outline: weekly outline with links to historical skills, key concepts, knowledge and understanding, resources and activities.

Year 5 Achievement Standards: of Skills and Understandings to be gained. 

References: for course.


The British Empire: placing the settlement of the Swan River in the context of Britain's colonial expansion. Includes a timeline of developments in the World, Australia and Western Australia from 1492 to 1903.

A Colonial Settlement: migration to the Swan River Colony 1827 to 1890s; includes use of primary and secondary sources.

Peninsula Farm (Tranby): visiting a heritage site to learn about the daily lives of free settlers and their families in a new colony; includes pre- and post-visit activities.

East Perth Cemeteries: visiting the site to explore the graves and learn about heritage values; includes notes on significant people of the period.

Historical Inquiry into Significant People:  students use research skills to conduct an inquiry about a significant person of the period.

Impact on Aboriginal People: students consider perspectives in history and source primary and secondary sources.