Centenary Challenge – Understanding Our Australian Identity


Two long ropes  for each patrol.
Two buckets for each patrol.
One Cup for each patrol.
A Map for each patrol
A pile of construction things for each patrol.
Crepe paper
Instruction sheets
Flags and countries

The Year is 1789, you are a chain gang of convicts who came over to tis new land of Australia in the First Fleet of 1787. Your legs are tied together and your hands as well, and you are tied together in a chain. This is where the title “chain gang” comes from. Chain gangs are used to do the hardest, dirtiest work in their shackles; like building roads. Today your chain gang is working on a farm just out of Parramatta. You are in charge of making sure the animals all have enough water.

As a gang, you must cart all the water, cup by cup from one bucket to the other.

Clove hitch the girls into a chain gang and place a bucket of water at one end of a space, and and empty one at the other. Give them a cup to transport water with.

The farmer goes inside to eat dinner. You seize you opportunity to break free of your restraints and run into the bush.


It is getting late, and you know the troopers will be out looking for you soon. You find a cave so you decide to take shelter in it for the night. In the cave, on the walls are some strange markings.
Its a map!

You can hear the troopers coming, so using what’s around you to create disguises you decide to follow the map.

I made a map up on paint using traditional aboriginal symbols for the girls to follow. It is below.


What’s this?!?! It looks like some sort of machine that has fallen to pieces… put it back together.

The girls had a varety of boxes and sticks and things to build with.


Once your machine is back together you realise it is a time machine, as you spin through time and space you sing loudly the chorus to “Botany Bay”

“Singing Tooral liooral liaddity
Singing Tooral liooral liay
Singing Tooral liooral liaddity
And we’re bound for Botany Bay”


Woah! Hello 2010! The place you have arrived in is very strange. In 1789 there was you, (the English) and the native people (the aboriginals). But here, there are so manyChinese people! It seems like there is a big parade on. As you wander through Bendigo, you stop to chat to an old man. He tell you how a lot of chinese peope moved to Australia during the gold rush, and today is the Chinese New Year’s big parade and celebrations. As you look around you notice lots of paper lanterns. You ask the man about them. He tells you all about their history.

“Chinese paper lanterns are more than just decorations; since 250 B.C. they have silently spoken of births, deaths, social status and approaching danger. Banned during the Cultural Revolution, today they have resumed their place as honored guests at ceremonies and festivals.”

How cool! You decide that you will each make one to take with you on your journey.

We had crepe paper and templates and instructions for the lanterns which girls then made.


You all get back into your machine and sing “My Ship Sailed to China” as you travel.

My ship sailed to china with a cargo of tea,
All laden with presents for you and for me.
He brought me a fan, just imagine my bliss,
When I found myself going like this, like this, like this.


When you next stop you discover yourself in the immigration museum. The caretaker is all in a fuzzle. All the flags of some of the cultures that live in Melbourne are all mixed up! He asks you to help him sort them out for a reward.

When you have completed the challenge find the caretaker and get them to check it.

We had about 20 different print outs of flags and twenty countries names, girls had to match flags to countries.


Once you have received your wedge, sit in a circle and brainstorm all the different cultures you can think of that live in Australia.

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