Prized Australian history heads to Great Lakes and Manning Primary Schools

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Captain Cook’s shoe buckle and a rare convict letter are among the extraordinary items from the State Library’s world-renowned collection heading to primary schools in the Great Lakes and Manning region from 23 to 25 November.

NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts, Troy Grant, said that this would be the first time that these prized Australian historical items from the State Library’s collection would be shown in the Great Lakes and Manning region.

“Over the past two years 300 schools have enjoyed the Library’s popular FAR Out! Treasures to the Bush initiative, and I’m thrilled it is heading to the Great Lakes and Manning region for the first time to show primary school students these amazing items, relating to the discovery and exploration of our nation,” says Mr Grant.

Member for Myall Lakes Stephen Bromhead welcomed news the collection would be enjoyed by local students.

“This collection will give 635 students and teachers the chance to be among the first in the Great Lakes and Manning region to view the actual handwritten letter of NSW convict Mary Reibey, extraordinary Indigenous artwork and Indigenous word lists from the local area.”

The tour to the Great Lakes and Manning region will be the State Library’s 32nd FAR Out! tour. This is just one of the unique learning services the Library offers students and teachers, with extensive online services and learning resources available to all on the Library’s website.

“We’re adding more and more riches to our website every day, and providing remote access to our extensive heritage material through digitisation, online resources and video conferencing, but actually seeing these original and unique historic items has a special appeal!” said Dr Byrne.

“The State Library is committed to giving regional and remote communities of NSW the opportunity to experience some of the original documents of our nation, and hopefully inspire their interest in Australian history.”

From 23 to 25 November the State Library’s Learning team will run fun and interactive activities with students and teachers around a selection of landmark Australian treasures including:

  • a letter written from Sydney in 1792 by convict Mary Reibey who became Australia’s first business woman;
  • a painting of European women by Indigenous artist Johnny Kangatong, from 1855;
  • a local Indigenous word list; and
  • Captain Cook’s shoe buckle.

“The State Library is the home of Australia's history and taking artefacts and manuscripts to schools in rural and regional NSW allows students and teachers to connect with our past in a very real way,” said Megan Perry, State Library Manager of Learning.

The State Library has developed learning resources for the NSW Syllabus for the Australian curriculum. Some of the historic items we’re taking to Bathurst will be part of our contribution to that national initiative, demonstrating the significance of the Library to the understanding of our national story,” said Ms Perry.

For more information about FAR Out! Treasures to the Bush, please contact Learning Services.

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