Researching significant Victorians
This pathway brings together resources and activities for students exploring the stories of significant Victorians as part of AusVELS Levels 5 and 6 Humanities - History.
ergo is a great place for students to start their research into significant Victorians from the past and explore ways they contributed to society. On this page you will find a list of key figures and links to primary and secondary sources that will assist students in their research as well as related activities for the classroom.
- Explore the role that a significant individual or group played in shaping the colony and in the development of Australian society; for example, explorers, farmers, entrepreneurs, artists, writers, humanitarians, religious and political leaders, and Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples (ACHHK097) (ACHHK116)
Below is a list of significant Victorians from the past who are featured in the Explore History section of this site.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
- Simon Wonga: Indigenous leader and founder of Coranderrk. Born 1820s.
- William Barak: Aboriginal artist and cultural leader. Born 1824.
- Tommy McRae: Aboriginal artist. Born 1830s.
- Robert Russell: British surveyor, architect and artist. Migrated to Australia 1833
- Alfred Howitt: English explorer, magistrate and anthropologist. Migrated to Victoria 1852
- Angus McMillan: Scottish explorer. Migrated to New South Wales 1838.
- James Riley: Member of Strzlecki's 1840 expedition across the Australian Alps.
- Burke and Wills: Members of the Victorian Expedition Party aiming to cross the continent, from South to North, in 1860.
- Douglas Mawson: English geologist and the pioneer of Australian Antarctic exploration. Born 1882
John King Davis: Master of the Aurora on the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, 1911
Ernest Shackleton: British Antarctic explorer who played an important role in Australian Antarctic exploration. Born 1874.
Religious and political leaders
- Peter Lalor: Irish migrant who led the rebellion of the Eureka Stockade, 1854.
- Vida Goldstein: Advocate for women's rights. Born 1869.
- Zelda D'Aprano: Advocate for equal pay. Born 1928.
- James Stephens:Advocate for worker's rights. Migrated to Melbourne, 1853.
- The Henty Family: First European family to settle within the Port Phillip district, 1834.
- Joseph Docker: Settler and grazier, arrived in the Port Phillip district in 1838.
- Anne Drysdale and Caroline Newcombe: Arrived in Port Phillip district 1840. Established large farming enterprise near Geelong.
- John Batman: Born in NSW in 1801, Batman arrived in Port Phillip in 1838. Considered one of Melbourne's founders.
- John Pascoe Fawkner: Born in England in 1792, transported from England in 1803. Considered of of Melbourne's founders.
- Redmond Barry: Judge and founder of the University of Melbourne and the State Library of Victoria. Migrated to Australia 1839.
- Charles La Trobe: First Governor of the state of Victoria, 1851.
- Robert Hoddle: Surveyor of the Port Phillip district. Migrated to Australia 1823.
Artists and writers
- Garryowen: Journalist. Arrived in Melbourne 1841.
- S.T.Gill: Artist. Arrived in Victoria 1852.
- A collection of paintings, by Victorian artists and/or exploring Victoria's history, can be found in the Library's Cowen Gallery
Once students have chosen a significant Victorian, these activities can support students' research and writing:
- Generating questions - See Think Wonder
- Generating questions - Lotus diagram
- Search strategies for the web
- Using catalogues
- Finding newspapers online - Trove
The Research skills section of this site provides addtional information and strategies for students.
More to explore