Indigenous Case Studies


Albert Namatjira and Sally Morgan, Aranda Primary School, ACT

Year 6; KLAs: English, Health, SOSE, Visual Arts

This unit of work focuses on the life and work of Albert Namatjira and Sally Morgan. It examines the social and political climates during their lives, highlighting the Freedom Rides, the Stolen Generations, the rights associated with citizenship, the implications of the 1967 referendum and racial intolerance. Read more.

Aboriginal Cross-Cultural Awareness, Rosetta Primary School, Tas

Years 5 & 6; KLAs: English, SOSE

The Aboriginal Cross-Cultural Awareness unit is an eight-week course that addresses the Social Responsibility strand in the Tasmanian curriculum framework. The major focus of the unit is to examine the traditional and contemporary complexities of Aboriginal culture, with specific attention to how these complexities determine Aboriginal values, beliefs and relationships with others and the environment. Read more.

Exploring Indigenous Art and Dance, Tarwin Lower Primary School, Vic

Years prep–6; KLAs: The Arts, English, SOSE

Exploring Indigenous Art and Dance explores a variety of cultures in order to better understand our own. Key concepts are heritage, citizenship and conservation. Read more.

Joining In, Gillen Primary School, NT

Year 5; KLAs: English, Social Education

This unit is based on the Discovering Democracy middle-primary unit ‘Joining In’. It investigates the kinds, structures and functions of groups in the community and examines how and why people participate in groups. Read more.


Confronting Issues of Human Rights, Ballarat Secondary College, East Campus, Vic

Year 9; KLAs: Drama, SOSE

This unit focuses on the Koorie community in Ballarat. It begins with a full-day visit to Sovereign Hill, which assesses the historical accuracy of the re-creation and notes the absence of a Koorie presence. Read more.

Freedom Rides, Narara Valley High School, NSW

Year 10; KLA: History

This unit was developed as a part of a thematic Stage 5 Teaching and Learning History Programme using the Discovering Democracy concept of 'Getting Things Done'. It was designed to inform students about Indigenous issues on a local and national level under parts 5, 6 and 7 of the NSW Junior History Syllabus. Read more.

Indigenous Australia: Law, Governance and Participation, St Mary's College, WA

Years 7 & 8; KLAs: The Arts, English, SOSE

Indigenous Australia: Law, Governance and Participation is an eight-week unit incorporated into the general Society and Environment units for Year 8. Students learn about the complex systems of social organisation within Indigenous societies that existed prior to European contact. Law and governance are examined and a comparative study between the two societies is developed. The participation of significant Indigenous people features in this unit. The study also identifies the experiences of other, less well-known groups of Indigenous people whose struggles to be recognised as Australian citizens forged the way for changes to European Australian law. Read more.

Indigenous Studies and Current Affairs, Tennant Creek High School, NT

Years 8 & 9; KLAs: English, SOSE

This program is designed to address a lack of understanding on the part of non-Indigenous Australians towards Indigenous Australians, and to show Indigenous Australians that their situation is not necessarily unique and that they share similar experiences with other Indigenous peoples. The program endeavours to foster empathy and reconciliation. Topics covered are the Indigenous experience in Australia and overseas, government policy, Indigenous biography and current affairs. Read more.

Indigenous Youth and the Law, Ross Smith Secondary College, SA

Years 7 & 8; KLAs: The Arts, English, SOSE

Indigenous Youth and the Law was a pilot project developed to raise awareness of the law, law enforcement and consequences of the law. A hands-on approach, involving as many Indigenous representatives from the law as possible, created an awareness of what the law is, how to access information about it, who to obtain information from, and where to go to obtain support. Read more.

Justice, Port Lincoln High School, SA

Year 8; KLAs: English, SOSE

This unit incorporates middle-school methodology and integrates concepts from the learning areas of Studies of Society and Environment (SOSE) and English. The aim of the program is for students to develop an awareness of law and democracy with a specific focus on justice and Aboriginal law. Read more.

Laws and Rights, Kalkadoon State High School, Qld

Year 8; KLA: SOSE

Laws and Rights was adapted from the Discovering Democracy lower-secondary units ‘Law’ and ‘Should the People Rule?’, as well as additional resources. A major focus was the local history of contact between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples and the development of self-governing Indigenous communities within the context of the Australian system of government. Read more.

Making Choices and Decisions, Yirara College, NT

Year 7; KLAs: The Arts; SOSE

Making Choices and Decisions, a five-week unit, aims to provide an understanding of how rules and laws operate in our daily lives and within society. Read more.

The Myall Creek Massacre: Reconciliation Past and Present, Caroline Chisholm High School, ACT

Year 8; KLA: SOSE

Students investigate the Myall Creek Massacre, focusing on selected themes and key questions to guide their research. Through a process of research, reflection and debate they develop their own perspective on whether justice was served at Myall Creek and what reconciliation means to all Australians in a multicultural, inclusive society. Read more.

Reading Our Rights, Claremont College, Tas

Year 11; KLAs: The Arts, English, SOSE, Technology

This unit gives students the opportunity to make an acquaintance with living Tasmanian Aboriginal history through the voices of Tasmanian Aboriginal people. It demonstrates that citizenship is not a recent phenomenon, and allows students to explore some of the ways in which Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal voices have been heard throughout the land in the past and how they are heard in the present. Read more.

Rights and Wrongs: Indigenous Australians and the Democratic System, Centenary State High School, Qld

Year 9; KLA: SOSE

This unit explores the relationship between Indigenous Australians and the democratic system by focusing on a range of individuals and their achievements. Read more.

Tolerance – Valuing Difference – Towards Reconciliation, Redlynch State School, Qld

Years 7 & 8; All KLAs

The project Tolerance – Valuing Difference – Towards Reconciliation focuses on the local Djabugay tribe and the closest Indigenous community, Yarrabah. The aim of the project is to address racism, stereotyping, harassment and discrimination. Read more.

Travelling the Road to Reconciliation – How Can We Shorten the Journey?, Virginia State School, Qld

Years 7 & 8; KLAs: The Arts, English, SOSE

In this 13-week project students demonstrate active citizenship by doing both individual and group projects to enhance the process of reconciliation in the school and local community. Students develop an appreciation of traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and also explore the changes and consequences of cross-cultural contact. Read more.