The Last Daughter is an inspiring and intimate feature-length documentary film about the story of Brenda Matthews, a proud Wiradjuri woman, and her first memories of growing up in a loving white foster family, before she was suddenly taken away and returned to her Aboriginal family. In this lesson, students reflect on the film and work to explore the key messages embedded in Brenda’s story.
- explore key messages within the film The Last Daughter
- examine how each person’s stories are represented and constructed within the film.
- identify and explain the key messages within the film
- explain how identities and narratives are interwoven throughout the film.
Lesson guides and printables
Australian Curriculum (v9.0) content descriptions:
Students learn to:
- analyse the representations of people and places in literary texts, drawn from historical, social and cultural contexts, by First Nations Australian, and wide-ranging Australian and world authors (AC9E9LE01)
Syllabus outcomes: EN5-8D
Cross-curriculum priority: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
Relevant parts of Year 9 & 10 English achievement standards:
Students analyse and evaluate representations of people, places, events and concepts, and how interpretations of these may be influenced by readers and viewers.
Level of teacher scaffolding: High – facilitate class activities and discussions, maintain a safe environment for all students.
- Access to The Last Daughter
- Butchers’ paper or access to an online tool like Canva
- Device capable of presenting audio and video to the class
- Student laptops or access to schools’ devices (laptops, iPads etc)
- Student Worksheets – one copy per student.
- Timer (smart phone, stopwatch etc)
- Writing materials
This lesson is designed to build students’ competencies in the following skills:
- cultural understanding
- social skills
Teachers wanting to watch The Last Daughter in the classroom with their students can register and purchase the film here.
Special thanks to:
Australians Together is a not-for-profit organisation that brings together non-Indigenous and First Nations staff, consultants and collaborators located across Australia. Their mission is to help non-Indigenous Australians listen and learn from First Nations people. Building a greater awareness of our shared history and its ongoing impact, gain a deeper respect for First Nations perspectives, and help pave the way for meaningful actions for an Australia together. You can learn more about Australians Together and their Learning Framework here.
Related professional learning
Quick summary: This course will help you to view the world with a more critical eye by introspectively exploring your own biases of thinking.