Displays for Schools

These local history posters were developed by the Douglas Shire Historical Society in conjunction with teachers from the Douglas district, with funding support from the Queensland Government.

The posters are designed to provide teachers with easy-to-use resources to meet some objectives of the Australian Curriculum’s History Learning Area. To assist teachers with background information, each school in the district has been provided with supporting information on CDs (one for each theme).

Poster sets have up to six sheets of text and photos on A1 size laminated paper.

The posters are available to schools to borrow from the Mossman Library with accompanying CDs giving more background information for teachers.

Early trade and travel

The six posters begin with trade in very early days by the original occupiers (the Kuku Yalanji people) and early trade in Port Douglas and Mossman. It then looks at travel on land and water and by air.

1 Trade and travel early days - First Occupiers

2 Early days of trade – Port Douglas

3 Early days of trade - Mossman

4 Land transport – before the car

5 The coming of the car; Building the highways

6 Sea or river transport; travel by air.

Some History Curriculum links: Year 1, differences between students’ daily lives and parents’ or grandparents’ childhood; Year 2, impact of changing technology; Year3, example of change (in relation to trade and transport); Year 4, ways Aboriginal people connected to Country.

Old school days

This set of six posters shows early images of the district’s schools then some of the features of early school days:

1 Port Douglas, Craiglie, Mowbray, Killaloe, Mossman

2 Secondary School, Daintree, Twyford

3 Miallo, Cassowary, Julatten, St Augustines

4 Rocky Point-Wonga; Getting to school

5 In the classroom; Rules and discipline

6 More than 3Rs; Games and sport.

Some History Curriculum links: Year 1, differences and similarities between students’ daily lives and life during their parents’ and grandparents’ childhoods; Year 2, impact of changing technology; Year 3, example of change and continuity over time in relation to education.

Gold Rush impact

This set of five posters introduces Mulligan the gold discoverer and Palmerston who found a way from the gold fields to the coast; leading to the sudden growth of Port Douglas.

The story moves to the start of Mossman by cedar cutters then the decline and eventual regeneration of Port Douglas. Impacts on the first occupiers of the land are briefly noted.

1 A road from goldfields to the coast

2 Rush to Port Douglas; implications for first occupiers

3 ‘Red gold’ at Mossman; impact on first occupiers

4 Boom time in Port Douglas then years of decline

5 Revival for Port Douglas.

Some History Curriculum links: Year3, importance of place to Aboriginal Peoples; Year 4, contact between Aboriginal people and Europeans; Year 5, impact of a development.


This set of six posters provides brief photo-stories of seven residents of the Douglas district who came from overseas.

Stories cover where they came from and why, how they came to reside in the Douglas district and why they have stayed.

An introduction discusses early immigration to the district. Countries of origin for the seven story tellers are Scotland, England, Germany, Yugoslavia, Kenya (2) and China.

The posters contain personal photographs from early life through until their time in the Douglas district.

Some History Curriculum links: Year 6, stories of groups of people who migrated to Australia and the reasons they migrated.

Sugar Industry

This set of six posters traces the history of the district’s sugar industry, with the sub-headings:

1 How it started

2 Growing and harvesting – then and now

3 Caneworkers – cultural controversies

4 Mossman Central Mill

5 Transport then and now

6 Sustaining a sugar industry today.

Some History Curriculum links: Year 2, impact of changing technology; Year 5, role an industry has played in shaping this district. (These are suggestions only; teachers will see other links).

Australia Day

A photo-story about people who have come to the Douglas district from many places over a long period of time – linked to Australia Day celebrations but could be used at other times.

1. Many cultures; Australian Citizenship ceremony

2. Original Australians

3. Early settlers and farm labourers

4. Golden days at Port and beyond

5. Europeans found work and a home in Douglas

6. Others were smitten by Douglas and stayed.

Some History Curriculum links: Year 3, days celebrated in Australia (e.g. Australia) and importance of symbols; Year 6, contribution of individuals and groups including Aboriginal people and migrants to development of our society.


Three posters depict the contributions of Douglas district men and women to the wars that Australia has fought for the defence of this country and the freedom of others.

First World War

Second World War

Wartime Douglas Shire

Other conflicts

Some History Curriculum links: Year 3, days celebrated in Australia (e.g. Anzac Day).