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NSW Department of Education and Communities

Curriculum support for NSW Public Schools

Aboriginal perspectives

The HSIE K-6 syllabus was written to support the relevant recommendations from the Royal Commision into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, which says:

The curricula of schools at all levels should reflect that fact that Australia has an Aboriginal history and Aboriginal viewpoints on social, cultural and historical matters. It is essential that Aboriginal viewpoints, interests, perceptions and expectations are reflected in curricula, teaching and adminstration of schools.

The term Aboriginal perspectives refers to Aboriginal points of view on particular issues and events. Where possible Aboriginal subject matter and perspectives should be explored in consultation with Aboriginal people in the local school community. Refer to Working with Aboriginal Communities: A Guide to Community Consultation and Protocols (BOS 2008).

The syllabus includes Aboriginal subject matter that describes student learning about specific aspects of Aboriginal history and culture for each stage. In doing so the syllabus acknowledges that all Australian people have a shared history with Aboriginal peoples and that aspects of Aboriginal cultures have been included into the broader Australian community.The incorporation of Aboriginal perspectives into classroom practice includes Aboriginal students through the important recognition of their identity, history and culture and also promotes reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians.

Resources to support the inclusion of Aboriginal history and culture in HSIE K-6

 A shared history


A Shared History is an Internet site for teacher reference designed to support the teaching of Aboriginal perspectives in the NSW Human Society and Its Environment K-6 syllabus.

The site contains: 
 Share web imageA rationale for teaching Aboriginal perspectives.
A set of protocols and guidelines to assist in the implementation of the NSW Department of Education and Training's mandatory policies.
A series of teaching ideas for Stages 1 to 3.
A list of resources
A list of educationally relevant contacts
A list of links to Internet sites.

 Caring for Place - Caring for Country image

Caring for place, caring for country

Stage 1 resource

This is a teaching resource about contemporary Aboriginal culture, heritage and connection with the land. Included in the teaching kit are 2 story books; Gami's Place and The river is big; a tape of the songs Old Man Windrayne and Gami's Place; and A pictorial study guide of NSW. This resource was distributed to schools in Term 4 2005.

Caring for place - caring for country focuses on the Change and Continuity, Culture and Environments strands.

Teachers book: Caring for place - Caring for country (pdf 305kb)


 It didn't always look like this

 It didn't always look like this

Stage 2 resource

This resource uses the Penrith lakes as a case study. The case study can be used as a model for other sites.The changes that have occurred at the Penrith lakes are investigated and are inclusive of the Aboriginal heritage and culture of the area.  The resource focuses on the Change and Continuity and Environment strands.
The resouce kit sent to schools included the teachers book, a story Tessa's Treasure, and a set of pictorial broadsheets.

Teachers book: It didn't always look like this (pdf 600kb)


Talking Identity

Stage 2 resource

The Talking Identity teaching resource addresses some of the Aboriginal identity components of HSIE in Stage 2. These include: The land, the Lore and the Dreaming, Community and community symbols, Family heritage, Belonging to country, Roles, rules and responsibilities, Identity, racism, prejudice and diveristy. Components of all HSIE content strands are addressed.

Included in the resource sent to school in 2002 are the teachers book Talking Identity, a novel The fat and juicy place by Dianne Kidd, Rak Niwilli from the BOS Aboriginal Literacy Resource Kit 1995 and a tape of the song Rak Niwilli.

Teacher's book: Talking Identity (pdf 1.52kb)

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