History Challenge

Entering the History Challenge has been the most challenging experience I have ever faced in my life. I entered the competition because I have always been into history since I was a little boy and whenever I research or read about history, it makes me feel calm and relaxed.

The topic I chose was the Wreck of the Batavia Flagship. I chose this topic because it is an important event in the history of Australia and not many people know about it. Most of us know about Captain James Cook, who was the first European to explore the eastern coastline of Australia in 1770, but before that, in 1600‘s the Dutch East India Company were the first to discover Australia. The Batavia flagship was the first ship that wreck off the coast of Australia, in the year 1629. It is a remarkable story of murder, mutiny and also hope.

I have extremely enjoyed been able to participate in this competition for the first time and even if I didn’t win I still had lots of fun and had the opportunity to learn an important part of the history of my country. I would like to thank the school and Mr Wood for giving me the opportunity to participate in this wonderful competition. I am also hoping that next year I will also have the opportunity to participate and this time aim to win the competition.

Karl Hagen, 8A

“The only source of knowledge is experience.” Earlier this year, I participated in the National History Competition. I entered the competition, as I had set myself a goal to try something new and to immerse myself in a variety of facets during this year – and this challenge seemed like the perfect opportunity to do, as it was something that I had never done. The theme for the challenge was “Legends, Facts and History”. Upon, pondering on what could possibly capture the essence of the theme, I remembered the issues that we had explored in class, I thought of the Myall Creek Massacre. It was a legend in Australian history as it was one of the first times that racism was combated in Australia and helped shape the diverse and multicultural Australia that we know today. This event saw the execution of thirteen white skinned Australian men after they brutally murdered the Aboriginals in their area – massacres like this one were very common and even seen as a sport in our society. This event is one that appealed to me right away, as for me it truly revolutionized Australian History. It changed people’s mentalities towards the aborigines and created a tolerance against racism in our society today.

The most difficult aspect of this challenge was deciding how to capture the essence of the challenge and to fully do justice to it. I harvested an idea. My plan was to create a visual representation, three scenes on my board that would depict the scenes of how the massacre took place. After, this I reserved an area where two of my models would stand, one Caucasian and one aborigine each with their very own opinion, to highlight the difference in mentalities and views.

When I first started working on the project, I had absolutely no idea what a huge impact it would have on me. My eyes were opened towards the harsh brutalities and suffering endured by the Aboriginal people. I also gained a deeper understanding of Australia as a country and the harsh and bitter realities that ultimately impacted who and what we became as a country. I have a new perspective on the aboriginal culture and life and have a greater level of respect for them for all the circumstances that they have endured and all the trauma attached to and the way they continue to forgive society despite all the wrongs done to them.

Kishon Pawar, 9A