To see the original post, click below...

Retracing Our Steps in the Evolution of Technology


I found this post interesting. It made me consider how technology has changed throughout my years.

I was born in the time before Australia had television. It was to come along in 1956 because Australia was hosting the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne. My family was able to have one of the first TV sets in out area, not because we were wealthy and could afford the cost of six months of the average wage. My grandfather owned the local electrical store and set it up as an in house demo. Each day people from the neighbourhood would fill the room to stare at the box.

It was a time when phones in our area only had six digits, ours starting with UY rather than numbers. Neighbours would call in to make a phone call or we would take messages. We weren’t out in the countryside. This was suburban Sydney in the 50s. It was the late 50s Australia had its first supermarket.

I was in school in the 60s and, in 1963, was made class ink well monitor. My job was to check ink was in desk inkwells so pens could be dipped. It was late that year we were first able to use ballpoint pens in class and I lost my job. In the early 60s our first shopping centre (mall) was built. I was 10 and found the place pure magic.

It was 1971 when I saw my first computer when visiting the Atomic Energy Commission centre at Lucas Heights as part of a school visit. It was large and required punch cards to operate. I first used and programmed one when at university in 1975 but home computers were a long way off. It didn’t have a screen, hard drive or even disks. It had a telex printer and stored programs on cardboard tape.

It was in the 70s I started teaching. Many teachers in schools I visited considered me a techie. My multimedia lessons were well known. I used the latest gear, an overhead projector, 8mm movie projector and a cassette player.

It was 1981 before I gained a permanent teaching position in a small, isolated one-teacher country school in western New South Wales. Our phone was a party line. You would pick it up. If someone was on your would replace the hand set and wait. If not used, you’d replace the handset, wind the handle, pick up the handset and ask for a number from the operator. Television was one channel affair if the weather conditions were okay but we did have a Umatic 1” video tape machine to play tapes I could arrange to borrow. Of course I still had my 8mm projector.

It was the 80s tech took off. In 1981 I used my first computer with students. Because of limited software, I had written some of my own programs. The first VHS and Beta home video recorders appeared and I bought one. Movies cost $80 but only from a few outlets in my state. A rental could cost $10 to $20.

In 1982 I bought my first personal VHS video camera with its large side pack and lead batteries. People, on seeing me with the camera, would think I was from a television station. My first school video was shot in that year and still exists in my collection now transferred to DVD. Thirty years of filming in schools is stored in my media library.

In 1983 I returned to Sydney and introduced computers to another school and then a third school in the mid 80s. The 80s saw me send my first emails using an Apple IIc, 300 baud modem and a phone extension cord. I also bought my first mobile phone with its large lead battery. It was more the size of a handbag than mobile phone.

The 90s saw me introduce the internet, websites, digital photography, desktop publishing, digital video, digital audio to my lessons and to teachers. I even served as President of an educational computer group dealing with 150 schools so I could share my skills. My computer ownership reached its peak at 45 machines. Many would be lent out to students for home usage. The school computer lab had 16 computers, only one belonging to the school. I installed the first network in the computer lab and, once expanded across the school, managed sharing between classes and with teachers. I left this school in 2000 with a school wide network and lab with teachers using them as part of their lessons and to create presentations.

It wasn’t until 2000 I arrived at a school where computers were already in use and network with the internet was already installed. I was finally able to sit back and let others run the school while I could concentrate on developing presentations for classes, spend greater time developing their skills and promote new uses.

The 00s was the decade I retired from full time teaching because of health issues but my technology journey didn’t stop. These days I comment on student blogs around the world, operate my own blogs, a You Tube channel, and make DVDs and CDs for community groups and schools.

I was an analog and now am a digital native. Even retired, I seek ways to incorporate technology to enhance presentations and now share with the world. My outlook and use of technology hasn’t change. It’s only the technology that’s changed and allowed me even greater capabilities.

You asked, “What will we have to adapt to next?

I say bring it on and let’s see how it can adapt to me.


Teacher (retired), N.S.W., Australia


This is an image taken from my first video made with my own VHS camera in 1982. The school was 100km (60 miles) from the nearest town. I lived next door to the school on a sheep station, a short 20km (12 miles) drive.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.


1 Comment


(Definition: an account of the descent of a person or family through ancestral line.)

How big is our family tree?

When we look into our family history, it can be easy to trace back to our parents, grandparents and great grandparents but, the further back we go, the more names appear and the records of births, marriages and deaths cloud with time.

How many relatives do we have?

Consider this… Each generation back in family history multiplies by two..

We have…

2 parents

4 grandparents

8 great grandparents

16 great great grandparents

32 great great great grandparents

64 great great great great grandparents

128 great great great great great grandparents


…and so on with only 20 generations exceeding one million BUT there’s more…


If our parents had brothers and/or sisters then we have uncles and aunties.

If our grandparents had brothers and/or sisters then we have great uncles and great aunties.

If our great grandparents had brothers and/or sisters then we have great great uncles and great great aunties.


…I think you get the idea BUT there’s more again…


If our uncles and aunties have children then we have cousins. When our cousins have children then we have 2nd cousins. When our 2nd cousins have children, we have 3rd cousins and so on.

Before long we are looking at thousands of relatives in one huge family. We may not know them all but they are out there.

Many people looking into their ancestors trace only one line. They might choose to look at their mother or fathers ancestors. 


Can we find all our ancestors?

The further back we go, the poorer records become. By the time we look at hundreds of years back, the only records might be kept for nobles (kings, queens, princes, princesses, dukes, duchesses, barons…).

 This means there will be little or no record of huge numbers of our relatives, only our relatives from the nobility. Even then the records may not be reliable. I believe you all have nobility in your ancestors somewhere but far more relatives who weren’t.


What about my ancestry?

I’ll share one line of ancestry from many found by two of my uncles and a cousin over many years of research.


My father   …   born in 1919

My paternal grandfather   …  1886

Matilda Sims   …  1862

James Homblower Sims   …  1816

James Sirns   …  1781

Ann Truran   …  1756

Thomas Truran   …  1735

Samuel Truren   …  1711

Reginald Trewren   …  1685

Henry Trewren   …  1654

Gabriell Trewren   …  1613

Fraunces Trewren   …  1584

Thomas Trewren   …  1568

Elizabeth Chiverton   …  1543

Tomasine Godolphin   …  1532

John Godolphin   …  1441

Elizabeth Beauchamp   …  1415

Elizabeth Edith Stourton   …  1375

Catherine Beaumont Stretche   …  1354

Lord Henry Beaumont   …  1338

Eleanor Lancaster Countess Arundel Plantagenet   …  1316

Sir Henry Richard 3rd Earl of Lancaster Plantagenet   …  1281

Sir Edmund 'Crouchback' Earl of Lancaster Plantagenet   …  1245

King Henry III of England Plantagenet   …  1207

King John I'Lackland' of England Plantagenet   …  1166

King Henry 11 of England Plantagenet   …  1133

Matilda Maud Empress of Germany   …  1102

King Henry I of England Beaucterc   …  1068

King William I 'The Conqueror' of England Duke of Normandy   …  1024

Robert I "Magnificent" Duke of Normandy   …  1000

Richard 11 "The Good" Duke of Normandy   …  963

Richard I "Fearless" Duke of Normandy   …  935

Rollo "The Dane" Ropvaldsson First Duke of Normandy   …  854

Rollo Rolf 'The Viking' First Duke of Normandy   …  846

Rognvald Reginald 'The Wise Earl of More Eysteinsson   …  830

King Eystein 'The Noisy jail of the Uplands King of Norway Ivarsson   …  800

Ivar I Oplaendinge jarl of the Uplands Halfdansson   …  ?770

King Halfdan II 'The Old'' The Mild' Hvitbeirin Eysteinnson   …  ?768

King Eystein I Fred 'The Old' King of Vestfold Halfdansson   …  736

Asa Heidmork Throndheim Eysteinsdottir   …  715

King Harald 'Wartooth of Denmark Sweden & Norway Hildetand   …  675

Princess Aud 'The Deep Minded' Ivarsdatter   …  633

King Ivar Vidfamne of Norway Denmark & Saxony Halfansson   …  610

King Halfdan of Sweden Haraldsson   …  590

Hildur of the Vandals Heidreksdatter   …  572

Amfleda'TheYoungei Angantyrsson   …  556

King Thrasamund of the Vandals in Africa   …?470

Gehnir (General of the Spanish Goths) of the Vandals   …?440

Licinia Eudoxia Princess of the Eastern Roman Empire   …  422

EMPEROR THEODOSIUS II, Augustus 'The Calligrapher” of Eastern Roman Empire   …  401

EMPEROR FLAVIUS THEODOSIUS Arcadius Eastern Roman Empire   …  377

Aeha Flavia'Flacilla’ Augusta   …  350

EMPEROR Flavius Valentinianus I   …  321

Constantia Verch Constantine   …  299

EMPEROR Constantine'The Great Flavius Valerius Aurelius   …  272

EMPEROR Constantius I Chlorus   …  242

Claudia Crispina di Roma   …  203

EMPEROR COMMODUS Lucius Aurelius Antoninus Crispus of Rome   …  161 AD

EMPEROR MARCUS AURELIUS Antoninus Annius   …  121 AD

Marcus Annius Verus   …  97 AD

Domitia Lucilla

Tullus Domitius Calvisius

Lucius Salvinus Titianus   …  50AD

Julia Calva Torquata   …  25AD

Aemilia Lepida Caesia   …  2AD

Julia The Younger Agrippina  …  30BC

Julia The Elder Caesonia

EMPEROR AUGUSTUS * * Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus Augustus   …  63 BC


** EMPEROR AUGUSTUS Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus Augustus was adopted by Julius Caesar after his death and was the closest my cousin could get to Julius Caesar, as his few recognised children didn’t produce heirs that lived.


From my father born in 1919 to the end of the list is, if I’ve counted correctly, 68 generations. I think this would mean the one at the bottom of the list would be my great x 66 grandfather. This would mean, again if I have the maths correct, for great x 66 grandfathers and great x 66 grandmothers, I would approximately have this many of them…


That doesn’t seem possible does it? It isn't. The numbers tell us many of all those people must be the same people. Distant relatives have children with other distant relatives. This would mean the actual number of greatx66 grandparents is much less. I think it must mean all humans are related somewhere back in time. We are one very large family.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

We don't just have a 'family tree', we have a 'family forest'.

Hello all you cousins many times removed out there.

To visit the original post from Mrs. Yollis and class...

Memorial Day 2012

Dear Mrs. Yollis and class,

I know of Memorial Day and its importance in remembering the men and women who died in active military service. When I had been in Hawaii, I had visited the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. It can be sad passing along the rows of often very young people who have lost their lives in wars but we must remember how important their sacrifice had been.

I was interested to read Andrew and his scout troop had placed flags at military grace sites. I was a scout and ended up earning my Queen’s Scout Award (similar to Eagle Scout). A number of times I took part in local ANZAC Day marches as a scout, sometimes carrying the Australian flag.

For Andrew, if he is interested, here is a link to a post on my scouting history I prepared for a student in 2011.


Your questions…

Did anyone in your family serve?

Of course, I didn’t have any known family serving in the U.S. forces but I have had relatives serve for Australia.

Ernest Mannell served in WWI in France. He was my great uncle (my father’s uncle). He lost his life while serving. The family has never known where he was buried as, apparently, the German forces had buried him along with many others.

My father served in the Australian Infantry Forces (AIF) in World War II. He was sent to Singapore to help defend the city and, when the British forces surrendered, he became a Prisoner of War (POW). He was only freed when the Japanese surrendered in 1945.

I had uncles serving in the Australian Army, Navy and Air Force during WWII. All returned safely. One uncle had put up his age so he could serve and was sent to fight the Japanese in New Guinea. On finding out, my grandfather had him returned to Australia. As soon as he was old enough, he rejoined and was sent back to New Guinea.

Did you fly your American flag today? 

I have flown the American flag but it wasn’t on Memorial Day, It was when I first heard of the 9/11 attack in New York.

In Australia, we have two days to remember the sacrifices of men and women who served in wars. The first is known as ANZAC Day and falls on April 25th each year.

ANZAC Day originated back in 1915 when Australian troops landed at Gallipoli in Turkey. It was the first time troops from Australia fought as a nation as Australia only became a country in 1901.

Here is a link to a post I made for a class studying ANZAC Day this year…


The second day is on November 11th each year. It is Remembrance Day and marks the day WWI ended.

 To remember my father, I attend the ceremonies held on these days. This year’s ANZAC Day had a Dawn Service. Here is a link to a video I made of the 2012 ceremony…

Schools and students have permission to use this video clip for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Later in the day, the ANZAC Day march was held through town. Despite the rain and driving winds, there was a good turn out. Considering the weather, I wasn’t able to film the march.

Our days also have U.S. service people in attendance as some retired to our town. One man I have known for a long time, Lonnie Llewellyn, served in the U.S. Air Force.



Dear Year 4,

How sad a time it was when families had to hide in shelters and hope they and their homes would survive. I've prepared some sound effects from my collection. Let's go on a journey back in time using a little fiction writing. Click on the clips below to hear the sounds (there aren't any moving pictures) then read the words underneath as I tell you a short story.

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Mum came running into our rooms at the sound of the air raid siren. She woke Molly and me and told us we had to go to our shelter. Molly insisted on taking her doll.

We stumbled outside. We could hear the sounds of planes approaching in the night sky. Lights from searchlights were already scanning the sky hoping to lock onto one of the planes. We had no time to watch. We had to get to shelter dad had built when he was on leave. He'd made us practise what to do.

Molly was scared, "Are bombs coming again?"

Okay, I was scared too but I didn't want to worry mum. We had our routine. We would try singing some songs and telling stories, anything to try and help us think about good things.


The sounds of bombs started, at first distant but one seemed to hit close. We felt the ground shake and I screamed in surprise. Mum said it was okay, the big one was a long way off. I wasn't so sure.

As we huddled together, the sound of bombs started to fade. We waited for the "all clear" to come. We had no idea how long we had been in the shelter. We didn't even know what time we came in.

With the long sound of the "all clear", we knew it was safe to come out. The sky was already growing light so we knew morning had come. Above we saw some planes but we knew they were ours. They were probably Spitfires or Hurricanes chasing the bombers away.

We went back into our house. Everything was safe, except one of mum's vases. It must have fallen when we felt the ground shake.

We walked out onto the street. Most of our neighbours had done the same. Our street was safe.

In the distance, we could hear the sound of bells from a fire engine. Someone hadn't been so lucky.


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For the original Year 4 class post....
Year 4's post

Hello Class 6,

With the London Olympics fast approaching, I was fascinated by your research into Olympic countries and was pleased to be able to read the Australian information from Chelsea, Ryan, Callum, Oliver, Jasmin and a name I wasn't quite able to read (sorry, I'll add the name if I find out later).

I thought I might share some information about Australia in some of the areas you researched, if you are interested. I'll break them up into  subject areas...


Early maps of the world from the 1500s showed the known world but little in the southern Hemisphere (south of the equator). Ships had rounded the southern tip of Africa and seen parts of South America. It was thought there must be a big southern land to balance the land in the northern hemisphere. Here is a 1564 map of the world by Ortelius...

We know some European explorers visited Australia as early as the 1500s but they thought they had found New Guinea. In 1606, a Spanish ship sailed between Australia and New Guinea but didn't seem to realise what they had seen. The first known landing in Australia by Europeans was by a Dutch ship also in 1606. In 1616, a Dutch ship landed on the western shores of Australia and in 1642, another Dutch sailed to Van Dieman's Land (Tasmania) before sailing on to New Zealand. The new land had been called New Holland.

Before the coming of James Cook, nothing was known of the east coast of Australia by Europeans. The then Lieutenant James Cook was put in charge of the ship Endeavour and set sail from England in 1768.

I prepared a blog post on another of my blogs for schools in my local area. Recently, the Endeavour replica sailed into Eden's Twofold Bay in Australia. You will find information and photos of the Endeavour replica on the blog as well as links to other of my posts including a 'letter' from Commander Cook to a class in California, a video of the ship departing Eden, and a slideshow of the photos taken.

Here is the link to the post...

James Cook and his Endeavour


Australia is said to the the world's biggest island and smallest continent. This means anything larger is a continent and anything smaller is an island. From my research,

Australia's area is...   7,686,850 square kilometres   or   2,967,910 square miles

United Kingdom is...  243,610 square kilometres   or  94,060 square miles

This means Australia is over 31 times bigger than the United Kingdom yet only has a population nearing 23 million whereas the United Kingdom has over 62 million people, over 2.5 times Australia's population. We must remember, much of Australia is desert and not suitable for many people to live. Most Australians live along the coastline.

Seas and Oceans

Australia isn't in the Indian Ocean, it's the eastern edge of the Indian Ocean. Look at this map I prepared for you...

From the map, you can see Australia is in three oceans, the Indian, Pacific and Southern Oceans. It's also the shore of three seas, the Timor Sea between it and Indonesia, the Coral Sea between it and the islands of New Guinea, and the Tasman Sea between it and New Zealand.

I've seen estimates Australia has a coastline 25,760 km or over 16,000 miles long making it the sixth largest whereas the United Kingdom has a coastline of over 14,400 km or nearly 9000 miles making it 12th.

Our Flag and National Anthem

Australia became a nation on January 1,1901. It was no longer a colony of independent states, it was a commonwealth of states. Our national flag was first approved by King Edward VII in 1902.

As you can see, the Australian flag has the Union Jack in its top, left corner.This was used to show our links with the United Kingdom.

The large star underneath the Union Jack is known as the Federation Star. Six points represent the states (New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia) whereas the final point represents the territories (Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory).

The group of five stars on the right is the Southern Cross. It is visible in our night sky throughout the year and helps me find south when out at night. The constellation is known to astronomers as Crux.

At times, there have been moves to create a new Australian flag but, at this date, no decision has been made.

The National Anthem

When I was a boy, the Australian National Anthem was "God Save the Queen" just as in England. In 1984, the new national anthem became "Advance Australia Fair". Here is a recording I made of a 100 voice choir some time ago...

Australian Natural


There certainly are a number of spiders in Australia. Each morning when I walk down a path I am likely to walk into webs strung in the garden. We have some deadly spiders here but most are reasonably harmless. Here are some photos and drawings of spiders and their webs...

This is a drawing of a funnel web spider. It's bite can be fatal but they are rare to see. I have seen them in zoos but only once in the wild.

The redback is also poisonous but it isn't normally a fatal bite. I have seen a number of these in the wild.

This spider is harmless and likes to hang around houses.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

I often see these in their webs as I go on hikes. Again it's harmless. A bite might only cause a little skin irritation.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Also seen when hiking, this leaf curling spider brings a leaf into its web, curls it and stays hidden inside. Look carefully and you can see its legs sticking out touching its web lines. When it senses something in the web, it rushes out to grab its prey.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Spider webs can be quite delicate as this one spun between opening fern fronds.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

...or this one photographed in the morning dew.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Kangaroos, Koalas and Wallabies

These are some of our cute looking animals but we must remember, in the wild they should be left alone. Wild animals don't like us getting too close.

This is an eastern grey kangaroo I met on one of my walks. He stood about 175 cm (5'9") tall. This type of kangaroo is the most common in my area. The tallest species is the red kangaroo but they live more in arid areas away from the coast.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Suzie is a female koala living at Potoroo Palace, a refuge for injured and orphaned animals.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

 Last year Suzie gave birth. The peanut-sized baby made its way up and into her pouch where it grew. Below is a link to a video I shot of one of the first times her baby girl made an appearance...

 Schools and students have permission to use this video clip for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Blinky is a male koala and the father of Suzie's baby. In the wild, the father has nothing to do with raising a baby but at Potoroo Palace, he shares an enclosure with Suzie. You can tell the difference between males and females by looking under their neck. You can see how much white Suzie has compared to Blinky. In many places, koalas are now endangered because of habitat loss and a disease. Breeding programs in zoos are helping.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

While they normally stay in trees and sleep for over 20 hours a day, they sometimes can be seen walking from tree to tree. Here is an animation I created for you from a series of photos...

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

This little girl is a swamp wallaby. She also lives in Potoroo Palace. She appears to be smiling because she thought I had food for her. Swamp wallabies are very common in my area. I often see them on my walks.

Below is a link to a video of Serena, another swamp wallaby, when she was young...

Schools and students have permission to use this video clip for non-commercial, educational purposes.


Sydney Harbour Bridge (its nickname is "The Coathanger") was built between 28 July, 1923 and 19 January, 1932. It was officially opened on 19 March, 1932. Amongst the crowd at the opening was my father. He was 13 at the time.

Before its construction, the only way across the harbour was by ferry. When the bridge opened, it offered rail, tram and car access. There is now also a tunnel under the harbour nearby.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.


Cricket is without doubt a big sport here. We have a national team, state teams and local teams. There are two cricket pitches across the road from me.

Football to an Aussie can mean one of three major codes. We have soccer (there are two soccer fields across the road), Australian Rules Football (one field across the road) and rugby league.

The sport with the biggest number of players in Australia (mainly girls and women) is netball. In another park their are two courts.

Basketball is also a big sport in Australia with teams set up like in America. There are many other sports played.


Thank you all for sharing your research into the Olympic countries. I sure you will feel as excited as may class did when the Sydney Olympics started in 2000.


Teacher, NSW, Australia

** Some information was referenced using Wikipedia.


Original Post...

Biographical Bonanza

Dear sirs, madams and colonials,

I see a number of American colonials have already written to you, all from my future. What strange world there must be when we can speak from your long past.

It is the year of our Lord, 1771. I have just returned from a successful journey around the world although there were times all might have been lost. I share with you some of my experiences.

The Royal Society requested service from the Admiralty. Their scientists wanted to observe the transit of the planet Venus across the face of the sun. They had determined the viewing would be most clear from the Tahitian isles on 3 June, 1769. They called on me, Lieutenant James Cook, to take command of His Majesty’s Ship, Endeavour. She is a fine ship. She had started her days as a coaler along the coast of England but had been refitted for our journey. It was in the admiralty’s wisdom to grant me freedom of movement once we were done in Tahiti.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

We departed England in 26 August, 1768 with 94 souls on board and provisions for 18 months. I had chosen a course around Cape Horn, the shortest route to Tahiti, arriving on 13 April, 1769. We awaited the transit. I will share from the ship’s log…

“Saturday 3 rd This day prov'd as favourable to our purpose as we could wish, not a Clowd was to be seen the Whole day and the Air was perfectly clear, so that we had every advantage we could desire in Observing the whole of the passage of the Planet Venus over the Suns disk: we very distinctly saw an Atmosphere or dusky shade round the body of the Planet which very much disturbed the times of the contacts particularly the two internal ones. D r Solander observed as well as M r Green and my self, and we differ'd from one another in observeing the times of the Contacts much more than could be expected.”

Once our observations were complete, I opened sealed orders given by the Admiralty. I had been tasked to find the land to the south known as Terra Australis, hitherto of unknown quantity. Thoughts of riches from the new land had been on mind.

We set sail from Tahiti along an approximate course south-west. A Tahitian had with knowledge of these waters provided us with information of lands once seen by Abel Tasman in 1642. On 6 October, 1769 we reached the islands of New Zealand whereupon I set to task mapping the islands’ coastlines.

From these waters, I was determined to prove once and for all there was no great southern continent. I headed westward hoping to find Van Diemen’s Land (I think you more modern folk call it Tasmania) but bad weather hit on 19 April, 1770. It was the next morning Lieutenant Zachary Hicks sighted land. I named the point of land after the Lieutenant.

To the south, the sea looked empty. I thought this was strange because Abel Tasman’s logs suggested I should see Van Dieman’s Land. The coast we found was not on any charts. With the weather clear, we had a good view of the coast as we headed north. It was 22 April when we sighted people on the land through our telescopes. They appeared dark of skin.

As we continued our voyage north, we had times of bad weather. On 29 April we took our ship into a large bay. Seeing natives on the beach, we tried to make contact but they didn’t speak a language we understood and had tried throwing spears at us with no success. We tried leaving beads and trinkets for them but they avoided us as we explored the area. Perhaps we had broken one of their laws so they wouldn’t meet with us. We did have clashes with them at times but no one had been hurt.

We found two streams and, although the soil was sandy, we saw some fine meadows that might be good for farming. Joseph Banks, our botanist, and Dr Solander, our naturalist, collected many specimens in their explorations. One species unknown to us seemed to be of the honeysuckle family. It was named after Banks and was called banksia.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

One of our crew had been ailing and had died while we were at anchor. Forby Sutherland was buried on May 1 on the shores of the bay we named Botany Bay. May God rest his soul.

Again sailing north, we saw a bay which might be a good anchorage. I named it Port Jackson although I think you modern folk now call it Sydney Harbour. Day after day we continued our journey north. Many nights I spent in my cabin working on charts of the coastline.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

We eventually reached tropical waters. There were plenty of waterfowl to hunt, mussels and large pearl oysters on rocks and fish to be caught. As we continued north, we saw islands to our east. I knew we would have to watch our depth lest we end up on a reef.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

On June 10, the depth under our ship was 15 fathoms as I retired for the night but by the morning, the depth suddenly fell from 14 to 8 fathoms. I ordered all hands to their stations. Our next cast found a depth of 21 fathoms. At 11pm the man at the lead called 17 fathoms but, before we could take another depth, our ship struck a reef. I ordered crew to boats. We needed to haul off the reef before the tide fell. We needed to lighten our ship so we cast overboard unneeded items, including six ship’s guns.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

At 10:20 pm on 12 June, we finally freed Endeavour from the reef. Our battle was not over as water poured in through the holed hull. Sail and packing was used to stem the flow. So far from home, if our ship was lost so were we.

We searched for a safe anchorage to effect repairs. On 18 June we found a safe place to effect repairs at a river near a town you modern folk now call Cooktown. It took six weeks to make repairs. Timber needed to be cut and nails made. It was during this time hunting parties were sent out. We saw strange animals hopping across the land.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

It was 6 August when we were finally able to set sail. We kept watch for further reefs and would send out a boat ahead to take depths. Huge seas threatened to throw us on the reefs on 16 August. I decided to keep the ship close to shore. If we were to be holed again, we could make land.

Our journey had now taken us into seas seen by the Spaniard Torres. If his records were true, we would come to a strait as indeed we did. We landed on a beach after passing through this strait. It was here I raised the flag and claimed the eastern half of New Holland in the name of His Majesty, King George III. I named this land New South Wales although I have heard you modern folk have divided it into smaller states with only a central portion keeping my naming.

I considered this land suitable for settlement.

Our journeyed continued west with a stop over in Batavia (you call it Indonesia now). From Batavia we headed a course WSW, rounding Cape of Good Hope before heading into the Atlantic and north to fair England on 13 July, 1771 where I was promoted to the rank of Commander.

I must leave you now as I have a meeting with the Admiralty to discuss a new voyage back to the southern seas.

Commander James Cook

Royal Navy


I hope James Cook didn't mind me including some photos of a replica of his Endeavour. It is in Eden Harbour, about 20km fom here,  till Monday, May 14th. He didn't have access to cameras.

References used....


Discovery series by Marcia McEwan


Teacher, NSW, Australia


Link to original post...


Hello 2/3 Class,

What does ANZAC Day mean to me?

When I was growing up, it was a tradition. My mother would take my two brothers and I by train into Sydney so we could watch my father march in the ANZAC Day march. He had been a soldier during World War II. After enlisting in the army and receiving his training, he was posted to Singapore with the 8th Division, 2/18 Battalion of the AIF (Australian Infantry Force).

The Japanese attacked the city of Singapore and, despite the defence by Allied troops including my father, General Percival, the British officer in charge of the Allies, surrendered to save the people of Singapore from further suffering. My father became a Prisoner of War from 1942 until the war ended in 1945.

My brothers and I would wait somewhere along the annual march route and try to be the first to see him coming. While I can’t remember them, veterans of the Boer War (1899-1902) were in the lead but eventually the last was gone and a riderless horse with boots reversed in the stirrups represented them.

Next would come the veterans of World Way I. I had a Great Uncle (the uncle of my father) in that war but he never returned from France. I remember the WWI as proud and strong but in time, the last of them had passed as they grew older.

After them, the World War II veterans, including my father, would appear. When we finally saw him, my brothers and I would cheer for him and he’d smile and wave. Slowly now the number of veterans of World War II are dwindling. May father has now passed and few from his battalion are left. Had my father still been alive, he would have been 93.

Next would come veterans from Korea, Malaya, Vietnam (my brother had a friend in the Vietnam war) and other conflicts up to some veterans from the most recent conflict in Afghanistan.

For me, ANZAC Day, the Dawn Service and the march is a chance to remember my father, Great Uncle and others who served during wars. It's not a time to celebrate war. It’s a time to remember the tragedy of Gallipoli back in 1915. Imagine, the founding of the ANZAC legend will be 100 years old in 2015.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

The ANZAC ceremony in my town.

Did you know the last Australian veteran of Gallipoli was Edward (Ted) Matthews? He was born on 11 November, 1896 and passed on December 9, 1997. I remember seeing him interviewed on television once. People were interested in the last Australian survivor. He was told he was a real hero by the reporter.

I still remember his response, "Why? I just lived longer than the others."

What an incredible Australian.

Ted Matthews


Hello Mrs. Yollis and class,

The meaning of "fad", according to one of my dictionaries, is a temporary, usually irrational, pursuit, fashions, etc.   (The Little Macquarie Dictionary, 1983). It made me think back to what might have been a fad when I went to school.

Did we play chasings with dinosaurs? No, I'm not quite that old.

Did we play computer games? No, they weren't available yet.

This means somewhere between the dinosaurs and computer games, I must have seen or been part of fads.


One of the first fads I can remember at school was marbles. Each recess and lunch break mostly boys would set up their marble games on the large dirt playground.

Game 1: They might call, "Four and your tor back!"

What this meant is if you could flick your marble along the ground and hit their marble at the end of maybe a three feet run, you were given your marble and four extras back. If you missed the marble was theirs.

Game 2: Another game was where each player would place some marbles in a large circles they had drawn in the dirt. They would take turns flicking their marbles into the circle. If they hit any marbles out of the circle, they could keep them. If their marble stayed in the circle, it was lost until someone could hit it out.

Game 3: This was played one on one. One player would challenge another. The challenger would flick his marble along the ground. The challenged would then flick his marble and try and hit the other. If he hit it, it was his. If he missed, the challenger would have a turn. This would go on until one of the players won.

Many years later I returned to my old school as a teacher. The dirt playground was covered with asphalt and marbles were no longer played. Some fads can go on for a long time while others fade away.


Cards with chewing gum first appeared when I was about your age. The idea had come from America and it caught on quickly. We would buy and trade cards to try and have the complete set. My favourites were...

Addams Family - This old US television shows was a big hit here. I once had all of the cards. If I still had them, they might now be worth quite a bit more than when I got them.

Combat - This was a TV show set during World War II. It followed a US Infantry Squad in Europe.

The Samurai - This show was made in Japan. It was a series of adventures with Shintaro, the samurai, and Tombe, his ninja friend. The would battle the evil dark ninja.

In those early TV days, there were Australian TV shows but I don't remember ever seeing cards for Australian shows.


This is a fad still working today as it has into the long past history. Hair has been worn in many different styles throughout the centuries.

While I was at school, The Beatles from England started to gain favour. Boys, often to the horror of the parents, started to grow their hair longer.  The hippy era started. Long hair, peace and flowers became popular as was the 'new' music. Many of my friends grew their hair longer, dressed in jeans and old shirts and considered themselves trend setting and different. I kept my hair short so, in a way, I was the different one.

Here is a WIkipedia link on hairstyles...



Model Railways - When I was your age, model railways were the rage. Many boys had train sets. They had been made in England by a company called Triang. They all looked British. At that time steam trains still pulled passenger and freight trains on the real railways and many boys dreamed of being engine drivers.

Railways is an interest I have kept since that time and have ridden behind steam train hauled trains when they were on the real railways and now on historical railways in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Below is a photo of the first model train I owned. It's now around 50 years old but has had some upgrades so it can still run.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Barbie Dolls -No, I didn't collect these but I had to include them as many girls had them when they arrived in Australia.Other toy fads over the years include - Rubik's Cube, Beanie Babies, Cabbage Patch Kids, Matchbox Cars, Yo-yos and Virtual Pets


I was in high school when I saw my first computer in 1969. We had a science fair and a teacher had organised to have a computer on show. It was very large and could only play tic-tac-toe. I'm not certain but I think I was able to beat it.

In 1971 I visited Australia's only nuclear reactor at a place called Lucas Heights. It's still our only reactor site today and is used to make nuclear medicines. It had a large computer room. In the middle was a large computer. It accepted punch cards. A programmer had to push out little punched pieces on perhaps hundreds of cards then feed them into the computer. If one card had an error, they started again.

Elecronics became a hobby.

It was 1975 when I really caught the computer bug. I was at university and started a new course called, "The Computer Simulation of Behaviour". We didn't have cassette drives, floppy discs, hard drives, CDs, DVDs and Bluray discs back then. I would carry my programs around on a long piece of ticker tape. When I placed it in a reader, the machine would "read" the punched holes and my program would start.

I could see a growing fad here.

In 1981 I was part of a program to introduce computers in the classroom and have never looked back. Computing is no longer a fad for studious science types, it's a part of our normal world. However, more portable, powerful and capable computers have led to fads...

The First Computer Games I remember -

Space Invaders (I was hooked on this one for a time)



My First Emails - We had a FrEdMail (Free Educational Mail) account at my school around 1990. Not long after I first started paying for an internet account. I have had the same email address from this supplier since the mid 1990's.

Social Networking - We now have Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, You Tube, and many others ways of sharing on line. Some are very big for a while then disappear as a new fad hits

Emailing a fad? Seems to be a part of normal life now.


It could be you - When I was at high school, I had some leather. I cut out strips and made them so they could be put on a watch. I would sell them to others for $1 and had a good little business going. Soon others started to make them and sell them. Within a year, the fad had faded and my leather had run out.

It could be someone famous - Have you ever wanted to wear the same clothes as a singer or have your hair the same way?

It could be an inventor - Think of items like iPods, iPads, Bluray players. Do you like these?

Do you know about 78rpm, 45rpm, 33rpm vinyl records? They were once very big but now are only owned by collectors and hoarders like me.

I know you know about music CDs and probably music cassettes but do you know about 8 track stereo? It was a fad in the 1970s and was a great sound system but has gone.

I know you have used DVDs and Bluray disks to watch movies but do you remember BETA and VHS video tapes? Yes? What about 8mm movies? Before I had video tapes, DVDs and Bluray, I used to carry an 8mm movie projector to school (I still have it). I would load a roll of film onto it and show the class cartoons, science films and even small parts of movies. Spools of film are still in many cinemas but now many cinemas, including my local, also have movies arrive on computer hard drives.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

With so many fads, I wonder what the next will be? If we knew this, it might be a way of becoming rich. 🙂

By the way, my current fad is commenting on blogs. With the use of Skype growing in classes, I wonder if we will soon be able to virtually appear in a classroom in 3D and share lessons. Imagine being able to see someone appear in front of you when you connect.


Teacher, NSW, Australia


Hello Year 2/3,

Your questions are very interesting. If I were closer rather than all the way down here in Australia, I would share a book I have entitled, "The Olympic Factbook". It has information about the modern Olympic Games from the first in 1896 to 2000. I have done a little research into your questions. Let’s see if I can help with them…


How many people compete?

The 2008 summer games were held in Beijing, China. 10,500 people competed in 302 events in 28 sports. Did you know there are also Winter Olympic Games?


Where do people come from?

I think there were 208 countries entering in the 2008 games. You can find a list of all of the countries involved in the 2008 games using this link…


When is it happening?

The London Olympics will run from July 27 to August 12, 2012.


When was the first Olympics?

Did you know the first Olympic Games were thought to have started in Ancient Greece over 2750 years ago? There was a very big break before the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. The 1896 games were held in Athens, Greece.


What do athletes wear?

During the opening, athletes wear clothes designed by their country. In the events, it depends on the sport. Swimmers need swimsuits. Runners need light clothing and good running shoes. Can you imagine how it would look if the clothes were mixed up and a swimmer were to try to swim in the light clothing and running shoes of runners or a horse rider were to wear a swim suit?


Where in the world has the Olympics happened?

1896 Athens, Greece

1900 Paris, France

1904 St Louis, USA

1906 Athens, Greece

1908 London, Great Britain

1912 Stockholm, Sweden

1916 Berlin, Germany (not held)

1920 Antwerp, Belgium

1924 Paris, France

1928 Amsterdam, Holland

1932 Los Angeles, USA

1936 Berlin, Germany

1940 Tokyo, Japan / Helsinki, Finland (not held)

1944 London, Great Britain (not held)

1948 London, Great Britain

1952 Helsinki, Finland

1956 Melbourne, Australia

1960 Rome, Italy

1964 Tokyo, Japan

1968 Mexico City, Mexico

1972 Munich, Germany

1976 Montreal, Canada

1980 Moscow, USSR

1984 Los Angeles, USA

1988 Seoul, South Korea

1992 Barcelona, Spain

1996 Atlanta, USA

2000 Sydney, Australia

2004 Athens, Greece

2008 Beijing, China

2012 London, England

2016 Rio, Brazil

Notice some of the games weren’t held. The 1916, 1940 and 1944 games weren’t held because of World War I and II.


Where haven’t the Games been held?

There are 300 countries in our world yet only Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, England, Finland, France, Great Britain, Germany, Greece, Holland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, USA, and USSR have held the summer games. The Olympics are very expensive to run so they are only held in wealthier countries. No modern Olympics have yet been held on the continent of Africa.


What games and sports are held?

This has changed over the years as sports are added and taken away. Here is a link showing the events for the 2012 London Olympics…



What day do the Olympics start?

The Opening Ceremony for the 2012 London Olympics is on July 27 but football actually starts on July 25  so all matches can be fitted in.

Have fun at the Olympics. 🙂



Teacher, NSW, Australia

Dear AA,

They're initials I've often seen when visiting some of my favourite blogs. I think our goal is the same, to encourage children to see how talented they are in what they share. 🙂

What level of teaching was my favourite?

When I was studying for my science degree at university, I knew I could end up teaching maths and science at high school. My problem was, I had very many interests (and still do) so being restricted to the two subjects wasn’t attractive. I wanted to specialise in primary school (5 to 12 year old). This would allow me into art, craft, history, music, literature and writing.

To supplement my income in early years as a student and casual teacher, I tutored children from general primary up to Year 12 high school maths out of school hours.

The couple Year 12 students were outstanding and could challenge me when there were more difficult problems to consider. In one case, I can remember saying I would call back after I thought about the solution. After the ten minute drive home, I called back with an answer.

My first longer stay on a class as a casual teacher was six months working with Kindergarten (Prep or Reception). They were aged only four and a half to five and were absolutely wonderful to work with. I remember parents were often amused by a 185cm (6'1") 25 year old male skipping and dancing with the class. 🙂

Apparently I made an impression on the school principal as she asked if I was interested in a position in the government pre-school section of the school working with three and four year old children. While tempting, government pre-schools weren’t that common so I would have been greatly restricting my future options so I passed on the offer.

This was followed with time on a Year 4 while still a casual teacher. Student teachers seeing me with the children gave me the nickname, “Teddy Bear”. When the class learned I was offered a permanent teaching position in a one teacher school in far western New South Wales, a number wanted to go with me. 🙂

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

The photo was taken from an old VHS tape I made of my first school. All children were in the one room and I was the only teacher. It was 100km (62 miles) from the nearest town and served sheep and cattle properties.In that isolated school for the two years, I had children from five to thirteen. The thirteen year old girl was studying correspondence high school and would bring in materials to the school.

These years were followed on Years 3, 4 and 5 in different schools. These tend to be my favoured levels because of many happy memories. I enjoyed all of my classes over the years and treasure the memories. A number of former students are now Facebook friends so I see photos of their own children and still feel a part of their lives. Some have commented their entry into teaching or the IT industry was influenced by their experiences in my class. One told me he didn’t know how he might have turned out had I not been there when he needed someone to trust. These are special memories.

I still wouldn’t choose high school. Apart from too many years away from that level of maths and science, I still love too many different subjects to be a two subject teacher. 🙂


Teacher, NSW, Australia

1 Comment

Dear Madi,

This is a wonderfully prepared project. There were times when men argued against women voting because they didn't feel women had the mental and emotional capacity to vote. It seems to me those men didn't have the mental capacity to understand both men and women should have equal rights to vote.

In the 1800s and early 1900s, the suffrage movement gained strength. There were women in those days who were considered very radical. It was a time when society told women their place was in the home raising children not being involved with men's politics. The suffragettes slowly gained support by clearly showing they were capable and were determined to have equal rights to vote. They were amazing women.

With such strong movements in England and the United States you might have thought those countries would be the first to allow women to vote but history tells us it was New Zealand. They allowed women to vote in 1893.

As you pointed out, South Australia was our first state to allow women to vote. At that time, Australia didn’t exist as a nation. It was up to the states to decide if women should vote. When Australia became a nation in 1901, the first election recognised the right of women to vote if their state had already allowed it. In 1902, women were given the right to stand for Federal Parliament.

Did you know the notion of democracy (where power of government rests with the people) started in Ancient Greece (Athens)? Citizens were given the right to vote on what the government did but not on the politicians. This sounds great, the right to vote over 2000 years ago but who could vote?

In those days, you had to be a citizen to vote. That meant being able to show your family had a long history in Athens. Slaves and non-citizens (even if they had been born in Athens), didn’t have the right to vote. Women weren’t even considered no matter how long a history their family might have had. I wonder if women were pushing for the right to vote back then?

Women in charge…

In 2010, Sydney had a first in government with women in every major political position. Look at this…

Sydney Lord Mayor – Clover Moore

Premier of N.S.W. – Kristina Keneally

Governor of N.S.W. – Marie Bashir

Prime Minster – Julia Gillard

Governor General of Australia – Quentin Bryce

Queen of Australia – Elizabeth II

Thank you for sharing your excellent project.

Project link...


One student was interested in my scouting background. In order to be able to share photos and extra comments, this post has been set up for Leila.

This was my old Senior Scout uniform I wore in my later teens. It is now over 40 years old. It is a little bit of a cheat as it has Scout and Senior Scout badges attached. Rather than lose badges I added both to the uniform when I left Scouts. The round brown badges are Scout badges whereas the square badges and round white badge belong to Seniors. Here's a little explanation of what you see...

The Scout Green Cord from the Senior Scout shoulder epaulet to the pocket was the highest award for Scouts but not in scouting.

The three stripes on the left pocket shows my rank was Troop Leader. As we often didn't have an adult leader, I would find myself running meetings as though I was leader. I had two Patrol Leaders (two stripes), two Seconds (one stripe) and about 8 seniors scouts in my troop.

Above the left pocket is an "Air Scouts" badge. My troop was officially an Air Scout senior group. In early years, we had pilot leaders who would instruct scouts in aeronautics as a lead up to flying but by my time, we kept the title but no longer had pilots as leaders.

One badge on the left shoulder bears a crown ( a closeup photo is below). This was the highest Senior Scout award and still exists for Venture Scouts (the newer title for Senior Scouts). It's title depends on the current sovereign of Britain. As Queen Elizabeth II is the current ruler of the United Kingdom (and officially the ruler of Australia), it is know as the Queen's Scout Award. When a king takes the throne, it will be known as the King's Scout Award. The badge was personally presented to me and other Seniors in a special ceremony held at our state's Government House. The then Governor of New South Wales presented it to me. It is equivalent to the American Eagle Scout and is the only badge a scout can earn and still wear if they become a scout leader.