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Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre

Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre

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Telephone02 9816 1298

Place and liveability program

Teacher checklist



Wallumedegal Country

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Bus access

Provide bus driver with bus information for Meadowbank Wharf


DoE $25 per student - GST free

Non-gov school cost $35 per student - GST free, minimum charge $700

Risk assessment

Meadowbank risk management plan

COVID-19 safety plan

Walking route Google maps

Participants will be walking all day in an outdoor urban environment.

Please contact the centre if you have students who use wheelchairs so adjustments can be made.

This excursion may not be suitable for people who have recently been unwell.

Public toilet access is limited.

Bring Backpack, clipboard, medication, low-waste food, water bottle, sunblock, wet whether gear, hat, sports uniform, sturdy shoes.

Preparing for an excursion

Preparation and supporting resources Supporting resources coming
Bin access

All student waste to be taken home by students.

Medical or special needs

Notify Field of Mars staff prior to excursion.

Students, staff and visitors must not attend if unwell, even with mild symptoms. 

Extreme or wet whether

Days predicted to be above 35ºC, high winds, extreme bush fire danger and dust storms may result in the excursion being modified, postponed or cancelled. 


Cancellations with less than four school weeks' notice will incur a $500 administration fee. This does not apply to cancellations due to weather or fire danger.

Suggested timetable

Timetable suitable for up to 8 classes. Exact times may vary.



9.30 - 10.00

Introduction - Helene Park

Preparation and walk to first activity location

10.00 - 11.40 Walk and activities
11.40 - 12.10

Break 1 at a scenic spot on the Parramatta River

12.10 - 1.50

Walk and activities

Concluding activites

1.50 - 2.15

Break 2

Depart at Helene Park

Learning activities 

Students explore the diverse and dynamic suburb of Meadowbank to engage in place-based inquiry. This fieldwork investigation focuses on the recently developed Shepherd's Bay Urban Village, examining the cultural, social, economic, infrastructural and environmental features of this urban renewal project and their impact on liveability for the people that live there. Students conduct a liveability survey, stopping at sites of interest to collect qualitative and quantitative data using specialised fieldwork equipment. This data will be analysed and discussed with respect to varying perceptions of liveability. Students will also conduct a case study on the Parramatta River and examine its role on the liveability of Shepherd's Bay as a riverside urban place.

Inquiry questions

  • What effect does environmental quality, access to services and facilities, and social connectedness have on the liveability of Shepherd's Bay Urban Village?
  • How can we measure, assess and rank liveability?
  • How might perceptions of liveability differ between social groups?


This program offers Stage 4 students with an authentic opportunity to develop their fieldwork skills and use specialised scientific equipment.

Students will engage in multiple fieldwork activities using digital and non-digital geographic tools to measure, assess and evaluate the liveability of Meadowbank, Shepherd's Bay Urban Village and the Parramatta River foreshore.

The excursion commences with exploratory and observational activities which develop students' sense of place. Students will using mapping and field sketching to identify key features, identify study sites, and make predictions as they draw visual comparisons.

Students will complete a walking survey of Meadowbank and Shepherd's Bay Urban Village to quantify and qualify the features of these places across a range of liveability criteria including social, cultural, economic and environmental factors. Students will use scientific equipment to measure environmental quality including sound, humidity, and temperature.

Students engage in a case study of swimming in the Parramatta River, using historical photos and water quality testing methods to examine how urbanisation has impacted environmental quality, and how this in turn has impacted liveability for places such as Shepherd's Bay and Meadowbank.

Through discussion, students will collectively analyse their data and generate objective evaluations on the liveability of each study site. Students will be encouraged to engage in deep thinking as they reflect of their own perceptions of liveability and how this influences conclusions drawn.

Syllabus outcomes and content

NSW Geography K-10 Syllabus (2015) 


  • locates and describes the diverse features and characteristics of a range of places and environments GE4-1
  • explains how interactions and connections between people, places and environments result in change GE4-3
  • examines perspectives of people and organisations on a range of geographical issues GE4-4
  • explains differences in human wellbeing GE4-6
  • acquires and processes geographical information by selecting and using geographical tools for inquiry GE4-7
  • communicates geographical information using a variety of strategies GE4-8


Influences and perceptions


  • investigate factors influencing perceptions of the liveability of places  

Access to services and facilities


  • investigate the influence of accessibility to services and facilities on the liveability of places

Environmental quality


  • investigate the impact of environmental quality on the liveability of places



  • investigate the influence of social connectedness and community identity on the liveability of places   

Enhancing liveability


  • investigate strategies used to enhance the liveability of places using examples from different countries    

Geography K-10 Syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2015