Unit 3 - Foundation Story - Melbourne
Batman's Monument 1
The image below shows a monument to John Batman erected near where he was buried in Old Melbourne Cemetery. The cemetery is now the location of Queen Victoria Market and the monument stands on the edge of a car park. Erected to commemorate a significant person and event, the monument raises some interesting questions about historical significance, perspective and how we reconstruct the past. The activities below are intended as a guide for exploring the history of how the monument came about.
Born at Parramatta, N.S.W, 1800,
Died at Melbourne 6th May, 1839.
He entered Port Phillip Heads
29th May, 1835,
As leader of an expedition which
He organised in Launceston, V.D.L.,
To form a settlement, and founded one
On the site of Melbourne then unoccupied.
This monument was
By public subscription in Victoria,
- Look closely at the image of Batman's monument and its inscription (also available as a separate student resource, Batman's Monument, SR 2).
- Write down a list of details you learn from the monument.
- Write down a list of questions you have about the monument. Include questions about unfamiliar words. Keep these questions in mind as you complete the remaining activities and raise them in class discussion if they have not been answered by the end of the unit.
- What do you think was the purpose of this monument?
- Refer to Foundation Sources 1 (SR 3) and answer the following questions:
- What type of book do you think Source A is taken from? When was it published?
- Do the details in Source A match the details provided in the inscription on Batman's monument? What new information do we learn?
- What is the author's attitude to Batman's 'treaty'?
- How long after the event they depict were Source B and Source C produced?
- Compare the two images. How accurately do you feel they depict the past?
- How might the time at which these images were produced have influenced the artists?
- Assess the usefulness and limitations of these three sources in allowing us to understand how Melbourne was founded.
- Refer to Monument Sources 1 (SR 4) and answer the following questions:
- Read Source A and Source B and the first paragraph of Source C. Making reference to these sources, write a half page history of how Batman's Monument came to be erected. (Numbers have been added to the original paragraphs in Source C.)
- Through class discussion or research, answer these questions:
- What was the value of 'a shilling'? (Source B)
- Who were the 'old colonists'? (Source C, par. 1)
- What might have been the reason for laughter during the ceremony? (Source C, par. 3 – 4)
- What does 'iron roads' refer to?(Source C, par. 4)
- Who was Marcus Clarke? (Source C, par. 5)
- What does the 'Black War' refer to? (Source C, par. 5)
'Monuments often tell us more about the attitudes of those who erected them than they do about the people or events they are commemorating.'
Discuss this statement in relation to the Batman Monument.
In your discussion, refer to evidence from the sources.