Two boys in school uniforms attempt to create smoke using the friction of a fire stick on some kindling.

Aboriginal Connections to Country

Year levels

Year 3, Year 4


See Plan Your Visit


Monday to Friday (during school term)


Aboriginal Culture, Animal Features, Australian Animals, Ecosystems / Habitats, Life cycles

Discover the significance of Healesville Sanctuary to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and learn about how they have lived on Country sustainably for tens of thousands of years.

Program description

Immerse yourself in the Australian bush and learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and stories. 

Through guided investigations, students will explore the seven seasons of the Kulin Nation and how these changes impact Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of living and the life cycles of different species.  

Students will learn:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories, traditions and their connections to the environment 
  • How living things depend on each other and the environment to survive 
  • The impact of humans and seasonal changes on the environment 
  • Sustainable practices to help care for wildlife in their local community 

Program sequence

Before your visit


Use the activities in the Teaching Guide (below) to spark students’ curiosity before their Healesville Sanctuary visit.

During your visit

Connect and Understand 

Students will interact with the natural environment to learn more about the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s connection to the land and how their ways of living positively influenced the landscape.  

Your Sanctuary visit will include: A Welcome (for arrivals between 9.50am-10.10am), a Healesville Sanctuary Teacher workshop (40 minutes), Spirits of the Sky presentation and keeper talks. Check out your Teaching Guide for other ideas of what to do at Healesville Sanctuary. 

After your visit


Use activities in the Teaching Guide to deepen students’ learning back at school. 


Use the Teaching Guide to enable students to master their knowledge and skills in real-world contexts. 

Program maps and itineraries

Digital maps will be provided to you on the day.

Program resources

Learning outcomes

Victorian Curriculum 3-4


The many Countries/Places of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples throughout Australia, and the custodial responsibility they have for Country/Place, and how this influences views about sustainability (VCGGK080)  

  • Students will discover how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of living influenced the wildlife and land and consider how to incorporate sustainable practices in their own lives.

Types of natural vegetation and the significance of vegetation to the environment, the importance of environments to animals and people, and different views on how they can be protected; the use and management of natural resources and waste, and different views on how to do this sustainably (VCGGK082)  

  • Students will explore the importance of the natural environment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and how they managed resources sustainably. 

Different living things have different life cycles and depend on each other and the environment to survive (VCSSU058)  

  • Students will learn about constellations and how they relate to animal life cycles and the seasons.  

 Earth’s rotation on its axis causes regular changes, including night and day (VCSSU061)

  • Students will learn about constellations and how they relate to animal life cycles and the seasons.

Plan your excursion 

Aboriginal Connections to Country is an outdoor all-weather program; the students will need appropriate clothing for weather conditions. This could include a raincoat, hat and sun protection.   

The organising teacher should make themselves known to Admission Staff prior to entering Healesville Sanctuary so that payment can be made. More information. 

All onsite excursion bookings are subject to coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions and as such are subject to change in line with the Victorian Chief Health Officer’s advice. We will be in contact with all teachers prior to their booked date if we need to clarify any new requirements. See the COVID-Safe information for schools before your visit.

Book your education experience

Fill out an online form to request a booking for your zoo education experience

Request booking now

You will need to know the following to book your zoo excursion or online workshop:

  • Education program of your choice (if applicable)
  • Preferred date
  • School name and address
  • Contact details of organising teacher
  • Number of students/classes and their year level