Sample Uluru Worksheet
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By Judith R Tanner
1 On July 19, 1873, William Gosse, a European explorer, discovered a huge monolithic rock in the center of the Australian desert in the Northern Territory. He named it Ayers Rock after the then premier of South Australia, Henry Ayers. Ernest Giles, a more seasoned explorer in that region, had already found and named an important lake and mountain range nearby. But he reached Ayers Rock, which he described as "this remarkable pebble," some months after William Gosse had reached and named his discovery.
2 What neither explorer realized was that aboriginal people had lived in the area for around ten thousand years, long before white man came. Evidence of their early habitation was to be found in the rock paintings located at the base of Uluru and in nearby caves. For the next one hundred years, the rock retained the European name that Gosse gave to it.
3 In the twentieth century, as the center of Australia became more accessible to travellers, Ayers Rock became a famous tourist destination visited by many thousands of people from all around the world. In 1985, the rock and the surrounding Kata Juta national park were deeded back to the aboriginal people by the then Prime Minister Robert Hawke. The aboriginal nation renamed it Uluru and continue to own and administer the rock and the park today.
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