Mike Lefroy is a fifth generation Western Australian. His great great grandfather was John Septimus Roe, the state’s first Surveyor General. His great grandfather was C Y O’Connor the Chief Engineer of Fremantle Harbour and the Goldfields pipeline.
Mike’s love affair with boats began in a fruit box in the back garden with an old sheet for a sail. He eventually graduated to real boats and has been to sea in all types of watercraft ever since.
Mike worked in schools in Australia, England and America before joining the Endeavour Replica Project in Fremantle. Since then he has worked as Head of Education at the WA Maritime Museum and with the Duyfken Foundation. He currently works as a freelance educator and writer.
Mike has written many books for children – most about ships and the sea.
In 2020 I am highlighting the 250th anniversary of the voyage of Captain Cook and Endeavour. By tracing the east coast, Cook completed the shape of Australia, begun by Dutch navigators in the early 1600s.
As well as exploring Cook’s expertise as a sailor, navigator and leader, this year’s anniversary is an opportunity to engage in an important national conversation. Was Cook a discoverer or the forerunner of a European invasion? Were the Aboriginal peoples he came across backward nomadic tribes, or were they farmers with a sophisticated understanding of a land that European eyes struggled to comprehend?
As part of this conversation we also look at the way our public statues, civic buildings, parks and roads often tell stories that need updating with different understandings of the people behind them and their history.
For years 3 – 5, I offer a special two-hour workshop – Sailing to the End of the World – that involves the story of Cook and the Endeavour followed by the construction of a ship of discovery and testing it in a ‘Roaring Forties’ Wind Tunnel.
I also lead walks in Fremantle through our company Museums Without Walls that highlight the early history of the Swan River Colony. For more details: www.mikelefroy.com
For years 3 to 6: HASS, Health, Science, Technologies, The Arts
For years 7 – 10: History, Geography, Science, Technology and Health