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What is it?

First Fleet Online consists of information about the convicts who were transported to Australia in 1787. A fleet of ships carrying over 1000 convicts and military under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip arrived in Australia in January 1788 after a journey of seven months. Few ships had been here before other than the early Dutch, French, and British explorers. So it was quite a journey to undertake.

First Fleet OnLine is a resource for students and teachers of any age, professional historians, family tree enthusiasts, descendants of the First Fleeters, and amateur researchers, anywhere in the world. It has been provided free of charge by the University of Wollongong as a community service.

It contains a database of the First Fleet convicts; background notes about the sources of the data in the database; diary extracts, stories and letters of the time; advice about how to approach learning in general; suggestions on how to investigate the topic of the First Fleet in particular; reference and links to other information about the Australia's past.

Why use it?

First Fleet OnLine is an opportunity for students to experience what it's like to study a university subject in an online environment, without the assignments!

The unit provides academic content plus addresses generic skills as outlined in the University's teaching and learning goals, The Attributes of a Wollongong Graduate.

The subject aims to:
  • provide information about one chapter in Australia's history
  • publish data about First Fleet convicts in a powerful searchable form
  • foster independent research skills and inquiring minds
  • facilitate communication skills.

First Fleet OnLine is also an opportunity for university teachers to explore and discuss a model for design of online subjects, one that hopefully demonstrates the capability of the web to go beyond publication of lecture notes, towards research and analysis of data, and formation of worldwide communities of scholars.

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Last Updated June 1999   email webmaster