Small child looking into a hollow log with a nest. Inside the nest are three small pale eggs and a large green emu egg.

Cultures and Connection to Place

Year levels

Foundation, Year 1, Year 2


See Plan Your Visit


Monday to Friday (during school term)


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

Aboriginal cultures teach us that everything is connected. Uncover Aboriginal connections to seasons, animal life cycles, and the environment by playing, exploring, and observing the Australian bush.

Program description

Cultures and Connection to Place brings the wisdom of the Dreamtime to life and ignites student curiosity.  

Through guided discovery, play-based exploration, and Dreamtime storytelling, students will learn about the significance of Healesville Sanctuary to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the lifecycles of animals and their connection to the environment. 

By the end of the program, students will understand some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of caring for Country. 

Students will learn:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island cultures, traditions, and connections to Country  
  • Animal life cycles and the seasonal changes that impact on these 
  • Interdependence of the environment, plants, and animals 
  • The features and basic needs of some Australian animals 

Program sequence

Before your visit


Use the activities in the teaching guide (below) to spark student curiosity before their zoo visit.

During your visit

Connect and Understand 

Students will learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of living, make connections between animal life cycles and their environment and learn about the seven Seasons of the Kulin Nation.

They will discover how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people care for the environment and develop their understanding of these practices.  

Your Sanctuary visit will include: A Welcome (for arrivals between 9:50am-10:10am), Healesville Sanctuary Teacher-led activities, Spirits of the Sky presentation and keeper talks. Check out your Teaching Guide for other ideas of what to do at the 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 F-2


Identify how people are connected to different places (VCGGC059) 

  • Students will learn about how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are connected to Country.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Country/Place on which the school is located and why Country/Place is important to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and the ways in which they maintain special connections to particular Country/Place (VCGGK066) 

  • Students will discover why Healesville Sanctuary is an important place. 

Weather and seasons and the ways in which different cultural groups, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, describe them (VCGGK067) 

  • Students will learn about the seven seasons of the Kulin nation.

Living things have a variety of external features and live in different places where their basic needs, including food, water and shelter, are met (VCSSU042) 

  • Students will observe and describe the unique features of Australian animals.

Living things grow, change and have offspring similar to themselves (VCSSU043) 

  • Students will learn about the life cycles of some Australian animals.

Plan your excursion 

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

School groups will enter Healesville Sanctuary via the Main Entrance. Organising teachers please check in with our Admissions team upon arrival. More information.     

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