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The Museum has long delivered professional learning programs for teachers, both onsite and online, but in 2022 we’re trying something a little different.

Australia Perspectives 2022: First Nations, Gender, Migration is a free teacher professional learning program hosted on our Australia’s Defining Moments Digital Classroom website. It will premiere in a special online event on 24 January 2022.

A teacher and two students looking at a digital device screen.
Digital Classroom

Australian Perspectives panellists

Composite of three black and white images featuring three people. - click to view larger image
Steph Tisdell, Professor Clare Wright and Saroo Brierley

Showcasing first-person narratives, Australian Perspectives will feature comedian Steph Tisdell, historian Professor Clare Wright, author Saroo Brierley, along with teachers, students, museum experts and guest speakers Nathaniel Tamwoy, Nevo Zisin and Professor Munjed Al Muderis.

For the First Nations theme, Yidinji woman Steph Tisdell and Argun man Nathaniel Tamwoy from Badu Island will share their stories and experiences as First Nations Australians.

For the Gender theme, Professor Clare Wright will highlight experiences from her own life and research, inviting critical questioning of history. Nevo Zisin will share their lived experiences as a non-binary transgender person.

For the Migration theme, Saroo Brierley will explain his experience of migrating to Australia as a child through adoption and adapting to a new country. Professor Munjed Al Muderis will share his experiences as a refugee coming to Australia.

All the speakers will reflect on the personal and national defining moments that have shaped their lives, and panel discussions will unpack this knowledge for the classroom and curriculum.

Rethinking the conference format

Back in 2019 we began planning for Australian Perspectives, fully expecting it to be a conference held onsite at the Museum. Covid lockdowns in 2020 and 2021 challenged us to rethink how to deliver the program.

Rather than simply shifting the format of an onsite conference to an online platform, we decided to create a more flexible event for busy teachers who are already saddled with a heavy digital load.

A video monitor featuring a woman and a model of a suspended orca in the background. The woman being filmed is standing to the right of the monitor and a technician is crouched on the ground adjusting a cable.
Virginia Haussegger during filming for Australian Perspectives

During the online premiere event teachers will experience an Australian Perspectives highlights package. They will hear stories, Q&A and chat live online with Museum educators. Afterwards, three professional learning episodes will be available to watch on demand for the remainder of 2022.

Reflection activities included with each episode will enable teachers based in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory to have their participation recognised.

First-person narratives

Teachers are constantly searching for diverse first-person narratives to embed truth-telling and empathy into their teaching of history. The personal stories told in each of the episodes can be used for professional learning, and also shared in the classroom throughout 2022.

The program includes panel discussions centred around integrating effective learning strategies into classroom practice which consider the individuality, diversity and perspectives of students. Each episode will also highlight relevant and ready-to-use resources that are available on our Digital Classroom.

Australian Perspectives will give teachers the tools to incorporate diverse stories into their classrooms. It is made possible by the generous support of Gandel Foundation.

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