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Immersive Duyfken education program now available to primary school teachers and students

Australian National Maritime Museum 3 mins read

In time for the commencement of term 1 across Australia, the Australian National Maritime Museum’s exciting new curriculum aligned Duyfken education program is now available to the public. Including online resources which can be used in the classroom or at home and a hands-on onsite excursion program, this interactive program provides insight into the first known European contact with Australia.


Directly linked to the year 4 History content in the Australian Curriculum and the First Contacts unit in the NSW History Syllabus, these new resources tell the story of Willem Janszoon’s (Jansz) historic journey to Australia and Dutch repulsion by First Nations people at Cape Keerweer in 1606. They provide young students with important context of the contact with Australia by multiple European powers preceding the invasion of Captain Cook on the HMB Endeavour.


Ms Daryl Karp, Director and CEO of the Museum said, ‘What transpired in 1606 in the Cape York Peninsula between the Wik people and the crew of the Duyfken is a largely unknown moment in this continent’s history. The creation of this curriculum resource will enable future generations of Australian children to learn more about our shared history. The 25th anniversary of the launch of the Duyfken replica seemed a fitting opportunity to announce this next phase of the history of that 1606 meeting.’


Head of Education, Mathew Sloane, has said, ‘we are excited about the online new resources being available to every student around the country. And if you can come to the museum, what better way to learn about the events of 1606 than to go on board Duyfken and handle museum objects? And it’s not just about history, it’s also about the importance of reconciliation for our country’.




The online resource offers a variety of learning and education tools including four audio and visual storytelling resources designed by Tasmanian-based film company Roar Film. Each video approaches the story from both the ship and the shore perspective, ensuring that a balanced view of the contact, and eventual repulsion of the Dutch, is available in every Australian classroom.


Also available as part of the online resource are a virtual walkthrough of the Duyfken replica and an interactive map, which provides insight into the crew aboard the ship as well as the Dutch East India Company at large. Additional information and guiding questions are also available alongside activities on the website.


The traditions and culture of the Wik people of Northern Australia are also highlighted as part of the online resource, with activities available for students to further their understanding of the ways in which the Indigenous communities interacted with each other and with Asian and European travellers who visited Australia.


With points for classroom discussion, interactive games, maps and activities, and classroom and individual writing and research activities linked to the curriculum content, this online resource is all-inclusive and available for free on the museum website.




The museum also offers an interactive and immersive schools excursion program which consists of two sessions, a tour of the Duyfken replica and an object-based learning workshop where students learn about the first contacts between the Dutch and Wik people.


During the tour, students are able to immerse themselves in the experiences of the Dutch people aboard the ship as they explore the top deck of the Duyfken while learning about its voyage to Australia, and its captain, Willem Jansz.


The interactive workshop takes a hands-on approach to learning and allows students to handle objects and learn about the Dutch spice trade, and trade between the Macassans and Yolngu people, and write and share messages of reconciliation.


This expansive education program is available to students and teachers on the Australian National Maritime Museum website and is an ongoing resource that will be available to schools for years to come.


To view the online education resource, visit:


For more information and to book an onsite excursion, visit: Duyfken - Australian National Maritime Museum (




Images available here.


For media enquiries please contact:


Alex Gonzalez                              e:                                         m: 0401 545 778


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