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My Place: A virtual time-trip through Australian history

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If you are interested in looking at how the environment and living has changed in Australian History, then the resources which sit around My Place are excellent.

The resources surrounding My Place combines the picture book by Nadia Whatley, an interactive website, and a TV series, which creates a truly multimodal experience of Australian History

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 9.28.07 amThe book My Place by Nadia Wheatley and Donna Rawlins was published in 2008 by Walker Books.

“My Place traces the history of one small part of Australia and the people who have lived there, from the Dreaming until the present day. As time folds rhythmically backwards, children describe their homes, their families, their pets, and their special celebrations. The constant sources of renewal in the landscape are the big tree and the creek (or canal).” (Walker Books 2008 para 2).

The book follows the stories of children who live in one place over 200 years (1788 – 1988). There are 20 children’s stories. The visual elements and the accompanying text make this text a truly interactive experience.

Walker Books have published teaching notes for the book (2008). These notes list ideas and activities to use with the book and lists additional books, which would complement work in this area.

Walker Books (2009) has also published a unit of work on Belonging based on My Place

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 9.29.48 am

Following on from the book was the TV series, which is created by Australian Children’s Television Foundation and Education Services Australia and broadcast on the ABC. The TV series follows the adventures and lives of each of the children creating a virtual time machine of how one place can change over time.

My Place for Teachers: is a treasure trove of ideas and information surrounding the TV series. This site identifies the many themes which run through the series and teaching ideas. It is an excellent starting point for a unit of work. These units of work and ideas are linked to the Australian Curriculum, to provide a comprehensive overview. It contains a timeline for the series and identifies the pertinent events in each decade from 1788 to 2008.

Reading Australia and ALEA (2014)  has also produced comprehensive teaching notes on the book and the TV series. These notes and accompanying ideas are linked to the Australian Curriculum. The notes are categorised into four categories: context, responding, examining and creating. This allows for a multitude of different approaches to the texts.

The Series 2 trailer produced by the Australian Children’s Television Association:

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 10.12.11 amThe website hosted by the ABC is an interactive journey  which follows the lives of the children from My Place between1788-2008. The website allows you to explore each decade, click on interactive components for additional information and play games. The games are related to the history of the book.



The National Fim and Image Archive (2015) has collated 1065 clips with teachers’ notes surrounding the history of Australia as shown through moving images. Some of this collection could be used in conjunction with the My Place Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 10.48.28 amresources, to further investigate life in that time.



Image and Text References:

Australian Children’s Television Foundation, Education Services Australia and The Learning Federation (2015) My Place for Teachers retrieved from

Australian Children’s Television Foundation (2011) , My Place – Series 2 Trailer retrieved from

Screen Australia (2009-2011), Chapman Pictures Pty Ltd, New South Wales Film and Television Office, Matchbox Pictures Pty Ltd and Tasmania Development and Resources retrieved from

The National Film and Image Archive (2015) retrieved from

Walker Books: Classroom Ideas (2008) retrieved from

Walker Books: Classroom Ideas (2009) retrieved from




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One Comment

  1. Majella Lloyd

    This is great Kelly,
    I found a website which links with this called ‘What Was Where’, which has many photos from the past and present for particular locations. Some areas are better resourced than others, but it can be interesting for children to recognise landmarks from their locality in old photographs and see how they have changed.

    May 24, 2016

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