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A walk through 'White Australia'

What does the National Museum of Australia tell us about 'White Australia' attitudes and policies from 1850 to today?

Front cover unit of work

Curriculum areas: Australian history, historical skills, Indigenous culture & history

Years: 9–12

Key curriculum links: Time, Continuity and Change; Culture; Natural and Social Systems; Investigation, Communication and Participation

Investigates how a National Museum of Australia exhibition displays represent the 'White Australia' issue in Australian history and asks students to decide whether this representation is fair and accurate. Activities included in this unit cover the following topics:

  • What do National Museum displays tell us about White Australia? (includes the gold rushes, Afghans, Quong Tart, Pacific Island and Torres Strait Island labourers, Japanese, Immigration Restriction Act 1901, Sweat Box, European migration to Australia in the early 20th century, refugees, Indigenous rights)
  • another representation of White Australia
  • how well the National Museum of Australia represents the White Australia issue