Topic 2: Country and Place

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Deeper knowledge and understanding of Australian history is essential in the development of skills for students to be able to develop ‘critical and creative thinking’.

The topic presents  past, present and future interpretations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous contact from a range of perspectives.

In the primary classroom history content delivery is centred around: contact history (First Contact), invasion/colonisation (The Australian Colonies) and settlement growth (Australia as a Nation). The Australian History Curriculum outcomes allow for the exploration of topics which build students’ knowledge and skills in Australian History. In secondary classrooms Year 7 The Ancient World (60 000BCE‐ c. 650CE), Year 9 Making a nation and Year 10 The modern world and Australia.

Land (including rivers and lakes) and sea are at the core of belief for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and fundamental to our wellbeing. The land and sea is a whole environment that sustains us and is sustained by peoples and cultures. Apart from spiritual significance, where the very essence of history is embedded in features of the environment, land and sea provide everything we need: food, shelter, material for tools and identifiers.

Get StartedExplore the concepts, activities and assessment tasks below or use the Get Started button to work through the content in the suggested sequence.

Connection to Country

There are over 200 different First Nation groups in Australia, and their names come from their languages, skin groups and regions. Video snapshot from Reconciliation Australia

Our history, our story, our future

In every nation’s story there are important moments—events and crossroads—that shape the chapters to come.

The Rabbits: An allegory of colonisation

Activity: Read the story about the way rabbits have invaded and taken over a country.

Delving deeper into history

Activity: Apply deep knowledge to the teaching of Australian History

The dark side of colonisation

Activity: Gain a deeper understanding of Australia's past by reflection and debrief upon the dark side of Australia's history.

Land, colonisation and reconciliation

Activity: Understanding the role education can play as a vehicle for achieving reconciliation.

Education, rights and economic justice

Activity: Consider how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia might achieve their cultural rights or economic justice.

An Indigenous language program

Activity: As a class discuss the benefits of a language program such as the Wiradjuri Language Program at Forbes North School.

Your story about Country

Activity: In small groups perform/share your stories about Country.

The importance of 'Place'

Activity: Reflect on the importance of place as a concept

The Rabbits: Part 2

Assessment: As a class, or in groups, develop a mind map about the story The Rabbits, by John Marsden.

Write your story of Country

Assessment: Write a story about your chosen region in an essay that connects to a narrative about Country.

The impact of history

Assessment: Argue why Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education history cannot be considered in isolation.

Design a history lesson

Assessment: Design a history lesson aligned to the Australian curriculum.

Topic review

Review the concepts, activities and assessment tasks in Topic 2.