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Fremantle Shipwreck Galleries and Maritime Museum Excursion

Found in: News

The marine and maritime students are known for their adventure and fun.

On a cold, cloudy morning last week, the marine and martimers ventured to Fremantle to visit the shipwreck galleries and the Maritime Museum. Students arrived at school and jumped on the bus ready to start the day with a great attitude. The aim was to cement in what students had already learned, and to gain more knowledge on maritime history and archaeology.

Amongst the history of sunken ships, past trade routes and old-fashioned diving equipment, the year elevens and twelves, embarked to discover the hidden treasures that have been lost and found along WA’s coast.

Students studied and discussed historical facts of marine history from the pearl exhibition, the Indian Ocean trade and exchange, the Megamouth Shark, Australia II and a variety of other vessels. They talked about the importance of Australia II’s keel and how it had a more advanced design than its competitor, which in turn helped it to win the historical America’s Cup in 1983.  

The pearl exhibition, Lustre was also an exciting experience. Students had the chance to try on an old metal diving helmet and walk through the history of pearling. The Aboriginal pearls are sacred and they are filled with the history of the Aboriginal people and their traditions of pearling. A 2000 year old pearl the size of a pea was quite exquisite to set your eyes upon.

The shipwreck galleries held the corner port hull of the almost 400 year old Dutch ship Batavia. Although the year twelves had studied it last year, it still left them in wonder and awe. From the video of the excavation, the details of the reconstruction, and the incredible history of its past, seeing the Batavia is always a great experience.

The display still provides the fine details of the animal fur used alongside tar, to waterproof the ship, and the indents into the wood where nails were hammered in. Being introduced to marine archaeology this year, the year elevens were able to discover the Batavia’s history, while the year twelves were able to think more in-depth and scientifically about certain factors of maritime history and archaeology.

A new feature of the gallery was the pewter plate left by Dirk Hartog in 1616. It was encased in a pressurised display cabinet filled with dry argon gas. This was to preserve it for long periods of time, so in future, others can enjoy viewing it and discussing its history.

Students were rewarded with lunch at Cicerello's. It was a lovely adventure and the class was utterly perplexed by the extreme beauty of the museum witnessed. The class learnt many new ideas and facts regarding the archaeological history identified with the magnificent coast of Western Australia.