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Year level: Overview: This unit considers history of the status and rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait

Islander Peoples. This

will be explored by looking at the Stolen Generation, the fight for Land Rights, and the 1967 Referendum
Australian Curriculum links: Humanities and social sciences: History
Below level: Level 5:
Achievement standard: By the end of year 5, students describe experiences of people in the past.
Content description: The nature of convict or colonial presence, including the factors that influenced their development, aspects of the daily life of inhabitants (including
Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islander Peoples) and how the environment changed.
At level: Level 6:
Achievement standard: By the end of year 6, students identify change and continuity and describe the causes and effects of change on society. They compare the
different experiences of people in the past.
Content description: experiences of Australian democracy and citizenship, including the status and rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. (ACHHK114)

Rich question: Were Indigenous Australians treated with respect after colonisation?

Importance of historical accuracy
Land rights
Not repeating past mistakes


Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islanders/Indigenous
Stolen Generation
Terra Nullius

Indigenous Australians were living in Australia for 60 000
years before colonisation
The history of what happened after colonisation has not
always been accurately represented to the public
British Colonisation didnt respect the way of life of
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Indigenous Australians were often treated unfairly by those
in power (E.g. Government)
Attempts have been made to rectify past mistreatment (e.g
Bringing them Home report, Sorry Day)
Contributing questions:

How were Indigenous Australians treated unfairly? Why were they

treated this way?
What are the Stolen Generations?
What was the 1967 referendum about?
How did the Australian Government control Indigenous Australians after
What is reconciliation?
What does National Sorry Day (the Apology) signify?
What are land rights?
What changes have the Australian government made over time to help
ensure Indigenous Australians are treated with respect/treated fairly?

Background notes

The lack of citizenship

rights for Aboriginal Peoples
and Torres Strait Islander
Peoples in Australia,
illustrated by their early
classification as flora and
fauna, controls on movement
and residence, the forcible
removal of children from
their families leading to the
Stolen Generations, and poor
pay and working conditions

Resources/ Lesson ideas:

Describing the
significance of the 1962 right
to vote federally and the
1967 referendum
Investigating the stories
of individuals or groups who
advocated or fought for
rights in twentieth-century
Australia (for example Jack
Patten or the Aborigines
Progressive Association)

Useful resource library:

Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Pre-service teacher resource/
helpful hints for teaching
Indigenous history:
Lesson sequence used to
assist planning: Talk about
Stolen Generation
Referendum information:

Stolen Generations/ the Apology: (Modified from: http://e4ac.edu.au/units/year-6/sequence07.html)

Teacher should view and select appropriate testimonies to show class. These could be used as a stimulus for written or artistic responses. Get testimonies
from the following website: http://stolengenerationstestimonies.com/index.phpwritten testimonies can also be found here:

Show students Took the Child Away on YouTube: This song was written by Archie Roach as a response to his experiences within the stolen generations.
Students could draw or paint while they are listening to the song, responding to the lyrics and story within (more than one listening may be required).
Teacher could then explore the picture book illustrated by Ruby Hunter, with paintings by Peter Hudson; students could respond to the images and written
texts within the book. Discuss the tone/colours/symbolism in the book, what do they symbolise and represent?

Look at Kevin Rudds apology with class; discuss what this apology means to Indigenous Australians; why was it so significant?
Sorry Song: http://e4ac.edu.au/units/year-6/sequence06.html

Torn Paper activity: Students make a drawing of their family at home and include valued items such as pets or computers. The teacher then tells the story
of stolen children and, while walking around the room, tears away part of each students drawing. Ripped pieces of drawings are then placed in a pile in
the middle of the room; students can collect these and try to put their drawing back together. Lead a discussion about how even though the families are
technically back together, are they the same as they were before? Why/why not? How did it feel? Link to Stolen Generations: how would these children
have felt? *****This activity should be done with upmost sensitivity; consider the students in your class and whether or not this will negatively affect
them.**** (Modified from http://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/politics/a-guide-to-australias-stolen-generations#ixzz3YrHZTz1z)

Watch and/or read Rabbit Proof Fence (parental permission forms may be needed to watch movie); use as a stimulus for discussion, role playing, written,
or artistic responses.

The Forgotten Australians: A 3-minute video about the Stolen Generations, made following the Apology in 2007; aimed at primary school students. Video
also looks at British children who were sent to Australia without their parents in the 20 th century- teacher could make links between these two groups of
children, how were their experiences the same? How were they different? http://splash.abc.net.au/home#!/media/86460/

Land Rights:

Learning through music: using From Little Things (Big Things Grow) by Paul Kelly as a stimulus. What do students think the song is about? Who is it about?
Was it just about land rights? Why werent many Indigenous people paid wages? How can you find out more? Lyrics can be found at:
http://www.nma.gov.au/exhibitions/from_little_things_big_things_grow/song_lyrics Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_ndC07C2qw

From Little Things Big Things Grow exhibit at the QLD museum:

Explore the concept of Terra Nullius and what it meant for Indigenous Australians: http://www.nfsa.gov.au/digitallearning/mabo/tn_01.shtml

Consider Mabo and his fight for land rights: http://www.nfsa.gov.au/digitallearning/mabo/

Referendum/Right to Vote:
-What was the 1967 Referendum? What did it mean for Indigenous Australians?: http://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/history/australian-1967referendum#axzz3YrGS2ttg
Other useful resources/excursions venues:
-Australian history timeline: http://www.aushistorytimeline.com/
-Australian Aboriginal history timeline: http://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/history/australian-aboriginal-history-timeline#axzz3YrGS2ttg
-Trove- find historical archives, newspaper articles etc: http://trove.nla.gov.au/
-Picture book about reconciliation: Two Mates by Melanie Prewett / Illustrated by Maggie Prewett, Magabala Books, 2012
-Brambuk Cultural Centre has many educational activities: http://www.brambuk.com.au/education.htm

Possible assessment pieces

Students write a persuasive letter, addressing the government of Australia (50 years ago), persuading the government to stop their unfair treatment
of Indigenous people; areas of focus could include Stolen Generations, inability to vote, inability to earn a wage etc.
Artistic responses: Students could paint, draw, sculpt, dance, perform or make a movie as a response to the unfair treatment of Indigenous