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What can objects tell us about the development of Indigenous Australians’ rights over time?

Curriculum areas: Australian history, Indigenous culture & history, English, Media

Years: 8–12

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

This resource presents the story of a group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians who fought to improve the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples during the years 1920 to 1970. Some of these activists are well-recognised; others are obscure or forgotten. Some suffered discrimination themselves; others took up the cause as a question of justice. They worked at a time when most Indigenous Australians did not have the same civil rights as everyone else and were treated with prejudice by many of their fellow Australians.

The students’ task in this unit is to look at some key objects and decide what they help us understand about:

  • the development of Indigenous Australians’ rights in this period
  • the people involved in the struggles for these rights
  • the issues those people faced
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