Welcome to Walyalup



Available Tuesdays and Thursdays during Term 1
Available weekdays from Term 2

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
Cross curriculum priorities


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Culture
Cross-curriculum Priorities

Year Level
Year 3-6 (Curriculum focus for Year 4)
120-180 minutes

$240 per class (maximum 32 students per class)

Welcome to Walyalup is a three-part 180-minute curriculum-linked package. 

It immerses your students in Whadjuk Nyoongar culture as they hear real stories, handle real objects and learn about the importance of place. At the heart of the program are videos of several local Elders and representatives who share their knowledge, ensuring that the voices of Traditional Owners are heard and acknowledged. 

The Maritime Museum is located at the mouth of the Derbarl Yerrigan (Swan River), a significant spiritual, social and cultural site for Whadjuk Nyoongar people, so it is an ideal location to connect students with the places they are learning about. 

The program focuses on Walyalup (Fremantle) and the important sites that can be seen and explored from the Museum, however, there are connections made to the broader South-West area, including the seasonal movement of Whadjuk and other Nyoongar people through Whadjuk country. 

Also explored is Manjaree (which includes Bather's Beach), where Whadjuk people met with other Nyoongar groups for trade and celebration, as well as patterns of trade across other Aboriginal nations/language groups within other parts of Western Australia.

Key concepts explored

Nyoongar voices: Learning to respectfully listen to and engage in traditional stories as told by Nyoongar Elders and other Nyoongar representatives on specially curated videos. These videos highlight connections to place, people, culture, and identity, with particular reference to the local area.

Placenames and stories: Describing, seeing and mapping the location of Whadjuk Nyoongar land and identifying significant placenames around Walyalup. Understanding how oral traditions and stories describe parts of the Walyalup area, including features of the landscape and Derbarl Yerrigan (Swan River).

Nyoongar Seasons: Discovering where Nyoongar people have lived and moved in the coastal areas around Walyalup and connecting traditional seasonal movements to real locations. 

Traditional knowledge: Exploring how traditional ways of living are still taught today, resulting in a culture that is thriving and being shared. Examples discussed include the use of natural resources, sharing of placenames and stories, sustainable fishing, prescribed burning, seasonal planting and native revegetation).

Material sciences: Looking at how natural resources were/are used in and near Walyalup, with a focus on properties and uses of materials.

Coastal living and fishing: Understanding the importance of the Beeliar/Derbarl Yerrigan (river) and the Wattern/Wardan (sea/ocean) in resource provision and learning about some of the traditional fishing methods of Nyoongar people as described by local Elders. 

Trade: Exploring how the trade exchange of ideas, technologies and goods traditionally took place (and still takes place today) in the Manjaree area.

Impacts of colonisation: In a local context, understanding some of the impacts of colonisation on Aboriginal people through dispossession, dislocation, incarceration, and loss of resources.

Thriving cultures – past, present, and future: Understanding the important contributions that Elders past and present and other representatives such as educators, artists, tour guides, rangers and conservation workers make to today’s sharing of Aboriginal cultures, traditions, and knowledge. Examples discussed include community representation, education, tourism, the arts, and special events throughout the year. 

At the Museum 

What your class will experience

Students participating in the three-part 180 min program (one, two or three classes) will take part in the following activities:

Part A: Facilitated Program (WA Maritime Museum) 

  • Watch exclusive video content of local Nyoongar Elder Marie Taylor, as she welcomes students to Walyalup and shares stories of traditional culture, including seasonal movement, fishing and cooking around Walyalup and beyond.   
  • Take part in a fun interactive quiz to confirm your understanding of the stories told.
  • Use engaging resources to create a large-scale map of Walyalup, reinforcing the stories and significance of places in the area. 
  • Handle traditional materials and tools and discover the importance of local resources. 
  • Investigate the properties of materials with a fun challenge to match structure and function with the various uses of natural resources. 
  • This part is led by a Museum Educator.

Part B: Museum Self-Guided Tour (WA Maritime Museum)

  • View a range of videos of various Nyoongar Elders and representatives, who will guide students through a map of Walyalup, sharing stories of significance.  
  • Explore a large model of a traditional mungah (fish trap) and find out about Nyoongar fishing methods before and after colonisation. 
  • Learn more about the removal of the rocky sandbar that used to span the mouth of the Derbarl Yerrigan and discuss the impact on Nyoongar people. 
  • Consider how early colonial hunting of whales as an industrial resource was contradictory to the spiritual significance of whales within coastal Nyoongar groups. 
  • Learn how early settlers viewed the flow of trade and exchange with and between Aboriginal peoples. 
  • Student activity sheets and adult sheets with answers and discussion questions will be used in this part (please print and bring them to the Museum with pencils and clipboards). 
  • This part is self-guided and can be completed as a class group, or in smaller adult-led groups. 

Download the Welcome to Walyalup Self-guided Museum Trails (adult and student).

Part C: Self-Guided Precinct Walking Trail (Outside the WA Maritime Museum, the Round House Whaler’s Tunnel and Manjaree trail near Bather’s Beach)

  • Participate in a self-guided precinct walking trail which enables students to see several of the significant sites around Walyalup, reinforcing the importance of place. 
  • See the remains of the rocky sandbar featured in important Nyoongar histories and view other important sites along the Beeliar (river). 
  • Visit the Whalers Tunnel (and the Round House, if time allows) to learn more about the impacts of colonisation and Aboriginal incarceration.
  • Walk part of the Manjaree trail, seeing native plants and significant landscapes. 
  • Identify some of today’s cultural establishments and celebrations that help to keep Aboriginal cultures thriving and knowledge shared. 
  • Student activity sheets and adult sheets with answers and discussion questions will be used in this part (please print and bring them to the Museum with pencils and clipboards).
  • This part is self-guided and should be completed as a class group, led by a teacher, with additional adult supervisors. 

Booking instructions

Step 1 – Creating your class rotation

  • We can accommodate up to 3 classes per day – all starting at 10am (start time can be adjusted on request). Before you book, you must create a proposed rotation for your visit so that you are clear on what time your class is participating in the different parts of the program.
  • If there are 3 classes, all students participate in the 180-minute three-part program, which includes the self-guided precinct walking trail. 

Step 2 – Making a booking

Please send an email to education@museum.wa.gov.au with the following details and we will begin to process your booking.

  1. Program choice: Welcome to Walyalup 
  2. Preferred visit dates and session times
  3. Number of classes & student numbers in each class
  4. Number of attending adults per class
  5. Contact Teacher name, email and mobile number
  6. School

Step 3 – Planning your visit

  • Don’t forget to read the Planning Your Visit section so you are prepared for your visit to the Museum.
  • If you are booking for more than one class, please share this page with your fellow class teachers.

Please email education@museum.wa.gov.au or call us on 1300 134 081 to discuss other booking options if the options above are not suitable.

Booking conditions

  • Each part of the program starts on the hour, and we are unable to shorten the program (especially if you are rotating with another school).
  • For the best learning outcome, we recommend a maximum of 32 students per session.
  • A minimum supervisor ratio of 1 adult to 10 students is required, however, a ratio of 1 to 6 is preferred for this program.
  • Bookings need to be made 14 days before the date of your visit.
  • Changes to dates and times are subject to availability.
  • Refunds are not available if you cancel your booking within 14 days of your visit.

Curriculum links

Programs and exhibitions at the WA Museum support teachers in their delivery of the WA Curriculum to their students. Welcome to Walyalup has been developed concerning the following content descriptions from the Year 4 Western Australian Curriculum.

There are also some links to the Year 3,5 and 6 curricula through the Cross-curriculum Priority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures, which encompasses all year levels.

The Curriculum Areas that link to these requirements are: 

Year 4 HASS 


The custodial responsibility Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have for Country/Place, and how this influences views about sustainability (ACHASSK089) 

The importance of environments, including natural vegetation, to animals and people  (ACHASSK088) 


The diversity of Australia's first peoples and the long and continuous connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to Country/Place (land, sea, waterways and skies) (ACHASSK083) 

The nature of contact between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and others, for example, the Macassans and the Europeans, and the effects of these interactions on, for example, people and environments (ACHASSK086) 

Year 4 Science 

Biological Sciences 

Living Things have life cycles (ACSSU072) - Aboriginal peoples’ understanding and use of the life cycles of certain species 

Living things depend on each other and the environment to survive (ACSSU073) - Aboriginal peoples’ sense of as being an integral part of the environment

Chemical Sciences  

Natural and processed materials have a range of physical properties that can influence their use (ACSSU074) - Aboriginal peoples’ use  of natural materials for different purposes, such as tools, clothing and shelter, based on their properties

Earth and Space Sciences 

Earth’s surface changes over time as a result of natural processes and human activity (ACSSU075) - Aboriginal peoples’ fire management practices

Years 3 – 6 cross-curriculum priorities

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Identities are represented as central to the priority and are approached through knowledge and understanding of the interconnected elements of Country/Place, Culture and People. These concepts are linked to the deep knowledge traditions and holistic worldviews of Aboriginal communities and/or Torres Strait Islander communities.

Students will understand that Identities and Cultures have been, and are, a source of strength and resilience for Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islander Peoples against the historic and contemporary impacts of colonisation.

The Humanities and Social Sciences provides opportunities for students to learn about the traditional and contemporary experiences of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People in a social, economic, political and legal context, and examine historical perspectives from their viewpoint. The priority also provides an opportunity to explore the relationships people have with place and their interconnection, and interactions, with the environment in which they live.

The Western Australian Curriculum: Science values Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures. It acknowledges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have longstanding scientific knowledge traditions. They will investigate examples of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander science and the ways traditional knowledge and Western scientific knowledge can be complementary.


Welcome to Walyalup is a 3-hour package* that consists of the following two components:

  • Facilitated tour – 60 minutes (approx.)
  • Self-guided gallery tour – 60 minutes (approx.)
  • Self-guided precinct walk – 60 minutes (approx.)

* If you only have two classes and would prefer to only stay for two hours, and if bad weather is forecast, you can skip the self-guided Precinct Walk. If bad weather is forecast and you have three classes, we will arrange for an alternative third activity on site.  

Planning your visit

Specific to this program

  • Before arriving at the Museum please have students in each class already organised into six groups of 4-6 students (each with an adult helper, if possible), for the Facilitated component of this program. Having your students already organised into groups will give them more time to enjoy the activity, rather than spending time splitting into groups.  If you do not have enough adult helpers, we suggest that you organise 2-3 groups of more independent students who can work without direct adult supervision, and then allocate the adult helpers to the groups that require more support.  The minimum supervisor ratio is 1 adult to 10 students, however, a ratio of 1 to 6 is preferred for this activity.
  • Students will require any pencils and clipboards with a printed copy of their Welcome to Walyalup Self-guided Museum Trail. 
  • The program starts promptly at 10am and runs for the full 3 hours with a short transition period in the middle. There is no time for a snack break during the transition and we strongly recommend that a morning tea break occurs before the program start time. Lunch or recess can also be incorporated into the precinct walk time at the teacher’s discretion. 

General to WA Maritime Museum

  • On arrival at the Museum, please check in at the Front Desk to confirm your student numbers, booked session times and emergency contact details.
  • The Museum is open from 9.30am for access to toilets and storage of bags etc.
  • If you are running late, please contact the WA Maritime Museum front desk on 9431 8334, or the Customer Relations Team on 1300 134 081.
  • Further information can be found in the WA Maritime Museum Excursion Management Guide
  • Getting to the WA Maritime Museum

Teacher familiarisation sessions

The Maritime Museum Education Team is excited to offer teachers the opportunity to experience Welcome to Walyalup through one of our free program familiarisation sessions. This will help you to plan your excursion and prepare your students and adult helpers for the day. 

At the familiarisation sessions, teachers will:

  • Meet the Education Officers who created the program.
  • Learn about the background of Welcome to Walyalup and how the program links to the curriculum.
  • Take part in a session that will allow you to experience the highlights of the program. 
  • Handle the objects that will be used in the facilitated program. 
  • Find out about the booking process and important excursion essentials at the WA Maritime Museum
  • Chat with your teaching colleagues on how they will incorporate Welcome to Walyalup into their classroom.

Sign up to our education newsletter to be notified of the next session.