Governing and Caring for Country – Old Government House, Parramatta

Explore colonial life and consider the lives of convicts, governors and First Nations Australians in this Stage 2 education program at Old Government House.

Have your students ever wondered why convicts came to New South Wales? Have they investigated the idea of Caring for Country- but wonder how it fits into sustainable living? Looking for an excursion that deepens historical learning through engaging active participation and hands-on learning?

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 2 will explore colonial life and consider the lives of convicts, governors and First Nations Australians during this marked period of change.

Governing and Caring for Country – Old Government House

Pre-visit lesson

The Pre-visit lesson examines the factors that led to the transportation of more than 162,000 convicts to Australia. The lesson, activity and resources address the reasons why colonisation occurred and how colonisation impacted different groups of people.

Students will also consider what Caring for Country means and analyse its contribution to sustainable living as they formulate responses to the discussion.

On-site excursion

Students participate in dynamic, hands-on and investigative learning during our on-site excursion at World Heritage Listed Old Government House.

As students of the colony in our 1815’s classroom they explore Britain’s convict penal system, transportation and consider the colonial plans for Sydney; in the Dharug room, students explore the connections between Caring for Country and sustainability practices, reflecting on First Nations Australians continuous connection to Country.

Investigating our Macquarie-era house, students will uncover the past as they interpret, compare, discuss and record the past and its role in the present.

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 provides students with an opportunity to consolidate their learning. Students deepen their historical knowledge as they consider decision-making and change in the colony and who was impacted by those decisions.

Students will consider the role of governor and how the decisions colonial governors made established rules and laws – some of which still effect our lives today.

Booking Information

Number of students: 60 max

Teachers: 1 per 10 students FOC (Max 4) extra adults are charged at 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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Teacher's resources

Resources for teachers planning an excursion to Old Government House.

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Plan your visit

Governing and Caring for Country – Old Government House, Parramatta


Parramatta Park, Pitt Street Entrance, Parramatta NSW 2150


Thursday and Friday 10am - 4pm, last entry 3:30pm
Saturday and Sunday 11am - 4pm, last entry 3:30pm


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

(02) 9635 8149
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