Year levels

Year 9, Year 10


See Plan Your Visit


Monday to Friday (during school term)

Explore the interdependence of wetland ecosystems and the organisms that rely on them.

Program description

The pristine waterways and wetlands of Healesville Sanctuary are home to a wide variety of biodiversity. In this program, students will learn about wetland and river ecosystems by exploring food webs and the impacts of environmental change. They will also discover Aboriginal custodial responsibility and approaches to waterway management.

Students will learn:

  • The organisms and abiotic components that make up ecosystems and food webs
  • The characteristics and factors that affect wetland and river ecosystems
  • How ecosystems can change as a result of human impact
  • Aboriginal custodial responsibility and management of waterways

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 explore Healesville Sanctuary’s wetlands and discover the abundance of life this ecosystem supports. They will learn how these waterways have changed over time through facilitated observations and discussions. Students will develop their understanding of how critically endangered species depend on other organisms to survive and how they can be affected by human impact. Students will explore how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people care for waterways to develop their understanding of how to apply sustainable practices in their local community.

Your Sanctuary visit will include: A Welcome (for arrivals between 9:50am-10:10am), a Healesville Sanctuary Teacher Workshop, 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.

Learning outcomes

Victorian Curriculum 9-10


Ecosystems consist of communities of interdependent organisms and abiotic components of the environment; matter and energy flow through these systems (VCSSU121) 

  • Students will demonstrate interactions between abiotic and biotic components using a food web activity

Multicellular organisms rely on coordinated and interdependent internal systems to respond to changes to their environment (VCSSU117)

  • Students will identify the physiological adaptations of Australian animals 

Land and resource management strategies used by Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander peoples to achieve food security over time (VCGGK137)

  • Students will discover how the practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples enable them to live sustainably  

Plan your excursion 

This program 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

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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