Australian History

History Buffs: The Land Down Under


As that beloved Aussie tune goes “We are one and we are many and from all the lands we come*” and Australia’s history is long and colourful. Whatever your background, there is a wealth of rich historical material to access.

Dig into Australia’s past with these inspiring activities

  • Watch this brilliant National Geographic video – Did Bushrangers define Australian values?
  • Learn something local with Landsborough Museum’s exhibition Far from this land which commemorates those that gave their lives during the First World War and acknowledges the sacrifices and ongoing struggles of local families and those that returned to the Sunshine Coast.
  • Take this Rock Art and Engravings 360 Tour thanks to the Aboriginal Heritage Office in Sydney.
  • Check out this interactive map which details Ludwig Leichhardt’s expedition from Moreton Bay to Port Essington, using journal excerpts and Google Earth – created by the Australian National University in Canberra.
  • Learn more about the region’s history and visit Sunshine Coast Council’s Heritage website.
  • For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, visit Kuril Dhagun or check out this help guide from State Library of Queensland.


  • Right now you can access from the comfort of your lounge room for free just by becoming a member of The State Library of Queensland and signing in. Search thousands of online records including; Military, Immigration, Census records. Get online now and grow your family tree!
  • State Library of Queensland has a detailed guide on how to begin tracing your family tree.
  • Access Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history by visiting Kuril Dhagun and check out this help guide from State Library of Queensland.

First time downloading from our eLibrary? Join online to access thousands of online materials.

Unusual Australian history eBooks

Libraries love these historically unusual eBooks:

Borrow up to 30 eBooks on your device. To get started download the ePlatform by Wheelers, RBDigital and Libby apps. Select Sunshine Coast Libraries and enter your member number and passwords.

How to search for the above titles in eBooks

  1. Go to the eLibrary – Books & Comics page.
  2. Scroll down the page to the Search eBooks section.
  3. Enter the title of the book and tap the search icon.
  4. When you have found the title you want to borrow "View Availability" to see if the book is available and to identify which app the eBook is located in.
  5. Go to the eBook app on your device [e.g. ePlatform byWheelers, RBDigital or Libby by Overdrive], and search for the item, borrow and download.

Australian history eAudiobooks

Listen to a wealth of knowledge with these Australian history eAudiobooks:

  • True Girt: the unauthorised history of Australia by David Hunt
  • The dogs that made Australia: the story of the dogs that brought about Australia’s transformation from starving colony to pastoral powerhouse by Guy Hull
  • Captain Cook’s epic voyage by Geoffrey Blainey
  • Mrs Kelly: the astonishing life of Ned Kelly’s mother by Grantlee Kieza
  • Convict colony by David Hill

Australian history documentaries 

Get your history on with these documentaries:

Set up a Kanopy account to access more films for free. First time customer: select "Add Library Card" and enter your member number and password. Create a Kanopy account, then verify your email address. Repeat customer: login to Kanopy using your email and Kanopy password.

Australian history eMagazines

Flip through the pages of Australia’s past with this intriguing eMagazine.

Traces - for people passionate about Australian and New Zealand genealogy, history and heritage. 


Australian history podcasts to listen to:

  • Rum, Rebels and Ratbags: history not for the faint-hearted. Historian and author of 'Girt' David Hunt and ABC Radio Sydney's Dom Knight uncover the characters and events left out of your high school history class.
  • History lab: collaboration between the producers at 2SER 107.3 and the Australian Centre for Public History at the University of Technology Sydney, History Lab is Australia’s first investigative history podcast.
  • Australian Histories Podcast: take a fresh look at some of the brilliant stories from Australia’s past, focusing on histories starting from around the time of the British colonization of Australia.

Penal Colonies in Australia were all over the place as prisoners were shipped from Britain for 120 years. Check it all out on this short informative video – great for expanding your general Australian History knowledge.  

Australian History - Penal Colonies

*I am Australian written by Bruce Woodley and Dobe Newton.

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