Online Quizzes

Enjoy a bit of online lockdown fun with these South Australian quizzes!

Bringing our museums to life online: how the History Trust adapted and improved education programs in 2020

Necessity is the mother of invention they say, and this year has seen many new systems, processes and ways of communicating emerge thanks to COVID-19. School education programming is an essential piece of the History Trust of South Australia puzzle and in 2020 the History Trust team adapted to find new ways to share our rich South Australian collections to reach students and teachers, overcoming challenges and finding many positives along the way. 

Poetry Takeover

In May we launched the inaugural Poetry Takeover challenge, a key education program delivered through the History Trust’s South Australia’s History Festival. This month-long poetry competition asked students to write a poem inspired by an object found in a museum. When the festival was sadly cancelled earlier in the year, the Poetry Takeover still forged ahead, asking students instead to explore online collections. Students all over South Australia—from metropolitan to regional area schools across the state—submitted poems inspired by objects found at museums like the Parndana Museum on Kangaroo Island, to the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin, as well as from our very own History Trust collections at the National Motor Museum, the South Australian Maritime Museum, the Centre of Democracy and the Migration Museum. We were thrilled to see so many students exploring and thinking creatively about the fascinating, moving and sometimes seemingly mundane museum objects from around the world.

Teachers’ professional development webinars

Later in 2020 the History Trust’s education team together with our curators delivered a range of online professional development opportunities for teachers. Each webinar explored different aspects and eras of history and incorporated virtual visits to different cultural institutions around the state. We received wonderful feedback from teachers who loved having the flexibility to attend virtually, having access to subject experts and the ability to ask them questions, and enjoyed the informative discussions. As one teacher in a rural location noted, ‘being given the opportunity to be involved with like-minded others in hearing from high quality presenters, online is excellent’.

Virtual visits and digital resources

Delivering our much-loved museum programs for school groups faced many hurdles this year, both during closure of our museums and even when we reopened with COVIDSafe restrictions.  Our education team swiftly created an online model of delivery. As a pilot program, a virtual visit was developed at the Migration Museum and presented to history students at St Michael’s College. Students were able to interact with Museum Officers and view some interesting objects close-up. You can watch a student-made video of their experience here. Virtual visits are a cost-effective, safe and accessible way for teachers and students all over the state to access our objects and interact with museum experts. The team also created a raft of new digital resources to support classroom learning, including a series of videos and teacher resource booklets about Governance in the Early South Australian Colony, and Social Movements in SA. The videos have been viewed 336 times so far, and the booklets downloaded 399 times. The Digital Wall from the Centre of Democracy was transformed into the Picturing Democracy website, allowing students to explore the people, groups, and social and political movements that have made Australia what it is today from home or the classroom.

As we move into 2021, the History Trust is committed to improving access to history and museums for all South Australian students and teachers, but especially those in disadvantaged, rural and remote areas of our state. During 2020 we have learnt the value of providing enriching digital experiences and learning programs for students and teachers. Now, on the cusp of 2021, there is no going back. We can’t wait to bring more of our wonderful history to life for everyone in 2021, so sign up to our mailing list and stay tuned.

2021 SA’s History Festival registrations now open

Event registrations are now open for South Australia’s History Festival, which will run next year from 1-30 May in 2021. The History Festival is an initiative of the History Trust of South Australia, which is celebrating its 40th birthday in 2021.

Hosting one or more events in the History Festival is a great way for organisations and communities to share their stories with locals and visitors alike.

The theme for next year’s festival is change, reflecting the historic moment we find ourselves in, as well as the changes for the History Festival in 2021, with events taking place both in person and online. The program guide will be digital-only, via the History Festival website, to allow for greater flexibility in changing times along with an extended registration period.

History Trust CEO Greg Mackie OAM said, ‘‘After a challenging year, people are looking to reconnect and South Australia’s History Festival provides a multitude of opportunities for communities to make connections, engage in important conversations about our past and future and share the ideas and stories that make us who we are.”

History Festival events come in all shapes and sizes, but most have smaller group sizes, allowing for more intimate, interactive and COVID-safe experiences.

“We are particularly looking for innovative, creative and surprising ways of sharing histories in all parts of the state. We are excited to see how our resilient communities respond creatively to challenging times.”

With overseas travel looking unlikely in 2021, the History Festival will give travellers the chance to explore South Australia and meet local experts in parts of the state they may not have visited before.

The popular Open Doors program will be back in 2021, inviting audiences to peek behind the doors of some of the state’s most intriguing places and spaces.

The 2019 History Festival program featured 695 events across the state presented by approximately 408 event organisers and drew a total of 158,500 attendances. It brought a vast range of engaging opportunities for South Australians to immerse themselves in history. From performances, exhibitions and behind-the-scenes tours to thought-provoking talks, bus and bike tours to bushwalks and in venues ranging from galleries to graveyards, the events are always fascinating.

Although the 2020 festival was cancelled, the 2021 festival will go ahead, with event organisers encouraged where possible to turn to online delivery should restrictions prevent in-person events.

By taking part, organisers will get a dedicated listing in the official History Festival digital program and access to additional promotional tools and support. To be part of the 2021 History Festival, register your event by Monday 1 March 2021. South Australia’s History Festival 2021 will run from 1-30 May.

Contact the SA History Festival team for any questions about future events.

History Trust of South Australia to re-open the doors to history

The History Trust of South Australia is preparing to reopen its museums’ doors to the public as part of Step 2 of the South Australian Government’s Roadmap to Recovery for easing COVID-19 restrictions, with the National Motor Museum starting its engines first, opening from 10am on Wednesday 3 June.

The South Australian Maritime Museum in Port Adelaide, and the Migration Museum in the city will follow, opening their doors at 10am Friday 5 June, and in time for the June long weekend.

The Centre of Democracy, located in the State Library of South Australia’s Institute Building, will open later when the Institute Building reopens to the public.

History Trust CEO Greg Mackie OAM said that everyone at the History Trust is excited about the reopening just before the June long weekend. “Although we can’t wait to show South Australians around our museums again, we remain very vigilant. We’ve embarked on a comprehensive review of our sites and operations to ensure the health and safety of our museum officers, volunteers and visitors,” said Mr Mackie. “Each of the History Trust’s museums is unique in its buildings and interactive exhibitions so we are deploying some innovative solutions to open our doors, engage with our visitors and remain a valuable asset to the community.”

Some changes visitors will notice include the number of people allowed in each museum and gallery to allow for the government requirement of one person for four square metres. Other measures include the adaptation of interactive displays, increased hand sanitiser and additional cleaning programs.

Excursions may not be possible for a while, but school groups will not miss out. The History Trust’s education team is developing online tours so that classes can see, hear, and engage with museum exhibitions and experts – right from inside their classrooms.

The History Trust’s Community Program team is working with South Australia’s history network of individuals, associations and volunteer groups with webinars and resources so that the state’s important community heritage and cultural organisations can also reopen safely.


History Trust of South History’s Museum re-openings

National Motor Museum Migration Museum South Australian Maritime Museum
10:00 am Wednesday 3 June 2020
Opening hours
10:00 am to 5:00 pm daily
10:00 am Friday 5 June 2020
Opening hours
10:00 am to 5:00 pm daily
10:00 am Friday 5 June 2020
Opening hours
10:00 am to 5:00 pm daily