Story of Our Rights and Freedoms - The Struggle for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Rights and Freedoms

Story of Our Rights and Freedoms - The Struggle for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Rights and Freedoms

Lesson 4 of 4 in this unit

  • Secondary
  • Year 9 - 10
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
  • History
  • Civics and Citizenship
  • Social
  • Equality
  • Human Rights
  • Indigenous Education
  • ...

Lesson summary

In this Finding Out lesson, students will read, watch, and analyse historical sources relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ rights and freedoms. They will use visible thinking routines and scaffolded discussions to interpret and analyse each source. Students will engage in a Socratic Seminar to discuss the influence of Charles Perkins on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ struggle for rights and freedoms, then deepen their historical understanding through independent research. Students will make connections between the National Apology to the Stolen Generations, progress in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ struggle for rights and freedoms and reconciliation in Australia. They will research the events that prompted the apology, and communicate their understanding in an extended text. Students will reflect on their learning in this lesson by writing a paragraph explaining their understanding of the role that they play in ensuring that the rights and freedoms of others are not denied.

Essential questions:

  • What are some of the historical events in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ struggle for rights and freedoms?
  • Who is Charles Perkins and what role has he played in the movement for Indigenous rights?
  • What is the National Apology to the Stolen Generations and how is it related to reconciliation in Australia?

Lesson guides and printables

Lesson Plan
Student Worksheet
Teacher Content Info

Lesson details

Curriculum mapping

Australian curriculum content descriptions

Year 10 History:

  • Background to the struggle of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ for rights and freedoms before 1965, including the 1938 Day of Mourning and the Stolen Generations (ACDSEH104)
  • The significance of the following for the civil rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples: 1962 right to vote federally; 1967 Referendum; Reconciliation; Mabo decision; Bringing Them Home Report (the Stolen Generations), the Apology (ACDSEH106)
  • Methods used by civil rights activists to achieve change for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and the role of ONE individual or group in the struggle (ACDSEH134)

Syllabus outcomes: HT5-3, HT5-2

General capabilities: Literacy, Information and Communication Capability, Personal and Social Capability, Ethical Understanding, Intercultural Understanding.

Relevant parts of Year 10 achievement standards: Students refer to key events, the actions of individuals and groups, and beliefs and values to explain patterns of change and continuity over time.

They analyse the causes and effects of events and developments and explain their relative importance. They explain the context for people’s actions in the past. Students sequence events and developments within a chronological framework, and identify relationships between events across different places and periods of time. When researching, students develop, evaluate and modify questions to frame a historical inquiry.

They process, analyse and synthesise information from a range of primary and secondary sources and use it as evidence to answer inquiry questions. Students analyse sources to identify motivations, values and attitudes. When evaluating these sources, they analyse and draw conclusions about their usefulness, taking into account their origin, purpose and context.

They develop and justify their own interpretations about the past. Students develop texts, particularly explanations and discussions, incorporating historical argument. In developing these texts and organising and presenting their arguments, they use historical terms and concepts, evidence identified in sources, and they reference these sources.

Unit of work: Story of Our Rights and Freedoms – Year 10.

Time required: This lesson should be delivered over a series of four to five 60-120 minute sessions. 

Level of teacher scaffolding: High – facilitate class discussion, student research and manage the sensitive nature of the content being delivered.

Resources required

  • Student Worksheet – one copy per student
  • Device capable of presenting a video to the class
  • One web-enabled device per student for online research
  • Chalk-Talk Visible Thinking Routine Prompts (enough copies for one between four students)
  • Socratic seminar text: “Australia needs to be embarrassed, Perkins says” (one per student)
  • Sticky-notes
  • Butcher’s paper (optional)

Skills

This lesson is designed to build students’ competencies in the following skills:

  • Collaboration
  • Empathy
  • Communication
  • Cultural understanding
  • Ethical understanding
  • Problem solving

Additional info

Throughout the Story of Our Rights and Freedoms lessons, students will consider Civics and Citizenship concepts through a human rights lens. They will critically assess the Australian system of government and the effect that it has on our rights and freedoms.
There is no universally accepted definition of human rights, and our understanding is continually developing. Some definitions include:

  • The recognition and respect of peoples’ dignity
  • A set of moral and legal guidelines that promote and protect the recognition of our values, our identity and access to an adequate standard of living
  • The basic standards by which we can identify and measure inequality and fairness
  • Those rights associated with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)

When we talk about human rights we usually refer to principles that have been agreed upon by countries throughout the world. These rights have been set down in international agreements and form part of international law. They can also be written into the domestic law of individual countries. Human rights cover virtually every area of human life and activity. These include:

  • Civil and political rights, such as freedom of speech and freedom from torture
  • Economic and social rights, such as the rights to health and education
  • Individual rights, including the right to a fair trial
  • Collective rights, or those rights that apply to groups of people, such as the right to a healthy environment or to live on one’s ancestral land.

The UDHR is an international document that recognises the basic rights and fundamental freedoms to which all human beings are entitled. It was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948 and marks a key milestone in the history of human rights. The Magna Carta, though limited in who it protected, was an important precursor to the UDHR.

Click here to watch a video about the Magna Carta.

You can view the entire text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the other core international human rights treaties, on the United Nation’s website or by downloading RightsApp (free from the iTunes App store).

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