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​​Situated in Bathurst, approximately an hour from Katoomba, this unique resource has quite literally been billions of years in the making. The museum allows visitors to explore the natural history of our planet, traveling through time in our unique fossil and mineral galleries and experiencing the wonder of ancient specimens that have been uncovered from deep within the Earth.

Since 2007 the museum has delivered creative writing, Australian history (gold rushes, bushrangers, Bathurst bicentenary) and Wiradyuri culture videoconferences to schools across Australia and as far afield as Unaklakleet in the Baring Sea (Alaska). The broadcast team of Penny Packham (Education Officer/curator) and Paul Stafford (children’s book author, published by Random House & New Holland) has won numerous awards for their video conferencing modules.

The Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum has received national recognition as a centre of excellence in the tourism, cultural and education industries with the following awards:

National Award
2011 MAGNA Award, for its video conference module Scattered Bones (Museums and Galleries Association National Awards)

State and Local Awards
2005 Local Government & Shire Association Cultural Award - Cultural Infrastructure
2008 Local Government & Shire Association Cultural Award - Managing Culture, for The Dead Bones Society (on-site boys’ writing club)
2010 IMAGinE Award - Education and Public Programs, for Scattered Bones
2011 Local Government and Shires Association Cultural Award - Programs Projects and Partnerships, for Scattered Bones

Most popular excursions:

T.rex Versus the Text Types

A variety of creative writing challenges centred around the Somerville Collection’s awesome T.rex (the most complete yet uncovered) which focus on the school’s choice of text type.

Narrative writing: examine the essential elements of the narrative story plan with author Paul Stafford. Genre, setting, characters and complication are all chosen by the students, who also choose Paul’s options. While he models their choices and demonstrates the scope of the options, the class develops their own narrative plan. By the end of the session they have a ready-to-go story plan which can be completed in class or as homework.
Persuasive Text: should the T.rex be bought back to life by flipping genetic levers in the DNA of a chicken? What are the advantages and disadvantages? What about populations versus preservation? Should human demand for housing outweigh the conservation of fossilised dinosaur remains in places of high human population? Is it really worth destroying dinosaur remains in situ to lay down a new sewage system? Should human health and welfare take precedence over preservation of prehistoric treasures? Just some of the questions posed in our persuasive texts, which see one half of the class pitted against the other.
Procedure: just how do you brush a T.rex’s teeth? What is the best protocol for keeping a T.rex as a pet? Can the not-too-bright beast really be trained? If so, how?
Explanation: using theoretical scientific processes, explain how we can now bring a T.rex to life.
Factual description: describe the habitat of the T.rex, then (when it lived) and now. Compare and contrast the two environments using rich language.
Factual recount: retell the story of the horrible day when the school T.rex broke out of its high security cage and ran amok. Was it coincidence that the regional principals’ conference was being hosted at the school that day, and just how many principals were eaten before the critter was recaptured? Not for the faint-hearted… 
Or choose your preferred factual text, persuasive text or literary text and let the team create a module for you.

English curriculum outcomes, Stage 2 & 3 

Students plan, compose and review a range of texts – EN2-2A, EN3-2A
Students identify and use language form and features …appropriate to a range of purposes, audiences and contexts – EN1-7B, EN2-7B
Students think imaginatively, creatively and interpretatively  … when composing texts – EN2-10C, EN3-7C
Students … compose a range of texts that express viewpoints of the world similar and different to their own – EN2-11D, EN3-8D

​Target audience: Years 3 to 6

Cost: $300

Introduction to Wiradyuri Culture - A Conversation with Wiradyuri Elder, Dinawan Dyirribang

Join us for an open mic Q&A between Wiradyuri Elder, Dinawan Dyirribang, also known as Uncle Bill Allen and children’s author Paul Stafford. Topics include the traditional Wiradyuri lifestyle and customs introduction to traditional Wiradyuri culture, hunting, lifestyle and beliefs.

Dinawan Dyirribang is a direct descendant of Aboriginal resistance fighter & lawman, Windradyne, who led the resistance against the Europeans who colonised Wiradyuri land in Bathurst in 1815. 

The story of the Wiradyuri nation created a template for the story of European occupation across Australia, and involves many overlapping strands of famous Australian identities and explorers. First discovered for the Europeans by Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson, and forming the terminus of Cox’s famous road over the mountains, Bathurst recently celebrated its bicentenary, making it Australia’s oldest inland city. Governor Macquarie declared it a town in 1815 and relations with the local Wiradyuri started off amicably. Population pressure and demand for land by the European settlers soon pushed the Wiradyuri out of their traditional hunting ground and resulted in what became known as the Black Wars in 1824, with devastating effects.

Join Uncle Bill Allen (Dinawan Dyirribang) and Paul Stafford (author of historical fiction books Ned Kelly’s Helmet, Captain Flinders’ Map and Peter Lalor’s Sword, published by New Holland) as they discuss traditional Wiradyuri lifestyle – food, clothing, shelter, spiritual beliefs, communications, and how the Wiradyuri ‘invented’ the first GPS. This unit also looks at STEM elements in Aboriginal culture such as the aeronautic elements utilised in the boomerang, and the woomera.
History Outcomes, Stage 2 and 3

Describes and explains the significance of people, groups, places and events to the development of Australia – HT3-1
Describes and explains how significant individuals, groups and events contributed to the local community over time – HT2-2, HT3-2
Describes and explains different experiences of people living in Australia over time – HT3-2
Applies skills of historical enquiry and communication – HT2-5, HT3-5
Describes and explains effects of British colonisation in Australia – HT2-4,
Describes and explains the struggle for rights and freedoms in Australia, including Aboriginal people    – HT3-5

Target audience: Years 3 - 6

Cost: $50 (funding assisted)

Mt Panorama/National Motor Racing Museum 

Mt Panorama. Council is currently installing the equipment to broadcast a STEM-based module from the National Motor Racing Museum on Mount Panorama. This module will include action writing & descriptive writing based on footage of a ‘hot lap’ recorded from the cockpit of a race car, the physics of racing, new car technology, and various other STEM-related topics. This one is currently under development.

Target audience: Years 3 - 10

Cost: $? - TBA

See all excursions by this provider <here>

Available time slots for the commencement of excursions (AEDST - Sydney/Melbourne time): 

8.30AM -  5.00PM AEDST​

Contact Details for schools seeking further information:

Phone number: (02) 6331 5511​

Contact Email:​

Business Address:  

224 Howick Street
Bathurst, New South Wales
Fax: (02) 6331 5986

Request an excursion <here​​>​