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Environmental History & Indigenous Perspectives

About The Program

This excursion provides students with a variety of hands-on activities learning about pre-historic and environmental history and Indigenous Perspectives that explore the expanse of time over millions and thousands of years and connection to country.

Indigenous perspectives_highlight group photo

Using West Beach and Port Phillip Bay as our outdoor classroom, the excursion aligns with curriculum needs, inquiry topics and student projects.

  • Understanding time
  • Understanding how living things adapt over long periods of time in response to their changing environment
  • Learning how palaeontologists understand important information from the past in order to better understand our present
  • Understand the unique relationship the Yalukut Weelam have with the natural world

West Beach, St Kilda VIC

Excursion Duration:

4 hours (10am – 2pm). Shorter excursions (60min, 90min or 2 hour) can also be arranged.

Year Level:

Prep to Year 12

Maximum number of classes:

3 (Group max: 25)


$500 + GST


All terms on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Most suitable in the warmer, drier months of term 1 and 4.

Program Themes:

 Yalukut Weelam, Diprotodon, geological time, Port Phillip EcoCentre excursions, Indigenous perspectives, pre-historic, pre-historic time, environmental history, Port Phillip Bay, pre-historic animal, fossils, Kulin Nation, geology, palaeontology. European arrival, European invasion, mega fauna, walking the land

  • 3-4 Earth’s surface changes over time as a result of natural processes and human activity (VCSSU062)
  • 3-8 Students sketch their interpretation of the environment and designs (various)
  • 3-8 Students sketch their interpretation of the environment and designs (various)
  • 5-6 Influence of people, including the influence of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, on the environmental characteristics of Australian places (VCGGK094)
  • 5-6 Living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in the environment (VCSSU074)
  • 5-6 Sudden geological changes or extreme weather conditions can affect Earth’s surface (VCSSU079)
  • 5-6 The growth and survival of living things are affected by the physical conditions of their environment (VCSSU075)
  • 5-6 Living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in the environment (VCSSU074)
  • 7-8 Scientific knowledge and understanding of the world changes as new evidence becomes available. Scientific knowledge can develop through collaboration and connecting ideas across the disciplines and practice of science. (VCSSU089)
  • 7-8 Spiritual, cultural and aesthetic value of landscapes and landforms for people, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, that influence the significance of places, and ways of protecting significant landscapes (VCGGK120)
  • 7-8 Sequence significant events in chronological order to analyse the causes and effects and identify continuities and changes (VCHHC097)
  • 7-8 How physical or geographical features influenced the development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ communities, foundational stories and land management practices (VCHHK105)
  • 9-10 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ approaches to custodial responsibility and environmental management in different regions of Australia (VCGGK148)

This is a 3 class excursion and includes three 1 hour activities listed below:

1. Hunt for Mega Fauna
Students are palaeontologists for the activity and their job is to hunt for clues that will provide them with enough information to answer some vital questions in discovering a species of land animal that roamed the foreshore area thousands of years ago. Their findings will also provide them with some understanding of how this animal would have been important to the Yalukut Weelam clan of the Boon Wurrung language group who hunted and lived on this coast line in Port Phillip.

2. Geological and Cultural Timelines
Students explore geological time and generational time. In a unique blend of science and story, students will create a timeline covering 520 million years, ice age, volcano eruption, and the connection to Indigenous life and the arrival of Europeans.

3. Yalukut Weelam – Six Seasons
The Yalukut Weelam’s close observation of nature provided them with six seasons by which to navigate their survival in the landscape. Students will go on a hands-on journey to understand the interconnection between the stars, rainfall, temperatures, plant flower time and animal breeding. Students will practice the Yalukut Weelam language of the Boon Wurrung people, in relation to the six seasons and local plants and animals.

Restrictions: Our group sizes are capped at 25 students and our maximum is 75 per excursion. More than 3 classes can be accommodated by special request. We will send you instructions for transport and a day plan after you book.

"Students, parents, helpers and teachers have all said how much they enjoyed the day and how professional and knowledgeable the EcoCentre team was. It was truly a rich learning experience for everyone involved."

- Primary school teacher

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Please note, outdoor excursions only run on Tues, Wed, Thursdays.

School Information

Organising Teacher Details

The EcoCentre acknowledges the Kulin Nations, including the Yalukut Weelam clan of the Boon Wurrung language group, traditional owners of the land on which we are located.

We pay respects to their Elders past and present, and extend that respect to other Aboriginal and Elder members of our multicultural community.