Colonisation and Change – Old Government House, Parramatta

Explore colonial life, sustainability and First Peoples cultural practices in this Stage 1 education program at Old Government House.

Looking for an excursion that engages your students in role play, hands-on learning and in sharing their observations of past and present?

Old Government House is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of eleven convict sites in Australia. Located on Sydney’s doorstep in leafy Parramatta Park, students in Stage 1 will explore colonial life and consider: Why convicts came to New South Wales; Sustainability and First Peoples Cultural Practices; and how changes in technology have effected how people live over time.

Colonisation and Change – Old Government House

Pre-visit lesson

In the pre-visit lesson, students consider the concept of past and present. Students identify differences in time using events from the school day, and periods of development over time ( baby, toddler, student). This learning is extended by the completion of an unscaled timeline. Resources are provided and subject-specific terms in the lesson support student orientation as they prepare for their onsite visit to Old Government House.

On-site excursion

During the on-site excursion at World Heritage Listed Old Government House, students travel back in time to our 1815’s classroom. They learn about the importance of Parramatta to First Nations People and contemplate convict life in the early colony.

In the Dharug room, students consider how cultural practices are intertwined with sustainability and reflect how everyone can help to Care for Country. Students discuss why people care for heritage places as they make connections between living with 1800’s technologies and how today’s technologies effect how we live today.

Teacher led on-site excursion booklets

Our teacher led booklets offer greater flexibility in terms of timing and pricing compared to the guided excursion above. Following an introduction to the site, you will be welcome to explore at your own pace. Our booklets will guide your exploration, providing primary and secondary sources to help you and your students learn about the significance of Old Government House and the lives of people in the colony.

Post-visit lesson

The post-visit lesson consolidates the topics of past and present, how students can help to Care for Country, and convict life in the early colony of New South Wales. Students reflect on these elements as they investigate provided resources, share observations and discuss perspectives.


Booking Information

Number of students: 60 max

Teachers: 1 per 10 students FOC (Max 4) extra adults are charged at the student rate

Duration: 90 minutes

Sessions: 10am – 11:30am & 12:30pm – 2pm

Cost: $14 or $22 joint ticket with Experiment Farm Cottage programs

Teacher led booklets: Cost is $11 or $20 joint ticket with Experiment Farm Cottage programs. Start anytime between 10 and 2pm. Estimate time length 60-90 minutes.

Bookings: (02) 9635 8149


Education Booking Enquiry - Parramatta

Booking Enquiry form for Old Government House & Experiment Farm Cottage

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Teachers resources

Resources for teachers planning an excursion to Old Government House.

Download risk assessment Download social scripts

Plan your visit

Colonisation and Change – Old Government House, Parramatta


Parramatta Park, Pitt Street Entrance, Parramatta NSW 2150


Good Friday, Anzac Day, King’s Birthday, Labour Day, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day

(02) 9635 8149
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