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Integrated study - Murray Islands community

Unit description

This option focuses on the processes of establishing Aboriginal organisations and enterprises and their impact on Aboriginal people’s self-esteem and sense of personal and cultural autonomy.

The identity of Aboriginal people has a deep foundation of enterprise as evidenced by their ability to adapt to and prosper in an often adverse and changing environment. Furthermore, Aboriginal people’s sense of social organisations and disciplined social order give them an inherent resilience. They have kept a connection with their past, their culture and land. Their strength of identity and autonomy, from pre-invasion, throughout colonisation and to contemporary times, is amazing.

This unit offers an important opportunity for students to respect these qualities of Aboriginal people, specifically within their own community.

Seven-week lesson cycle

Teaching sequence

  1. Week 1 Explore career options within Aboriginal organisations – ‘Aboriginal organisations and me’
  2. Week 2 Students complete Job Profiles and Service Profiles within Aboriginal organisations to learn about the role and nature of Aboriginal organisations
  3. Week 3 Students visit and correspond with Aboriginal organisations/enterprises and personnel
  4. Week 4 Students review the history of paternalism and dispossession which has necessitated the creation of Aboriginal organisations and enterprises
  5. Week 5 Students review the history of paternalism and dispossession which has necessitated the creation of Aboriginal organisations and enterprises
  6. Week 6 Explore the major protests and steps towards selfdetermination and autonomy through Aboriginal organisations and enterprises
  7. Week 7 Research and explore the number, nature and diversity of Aboriginal enterprises

Quality teaching framework

  • Intellectual quality – substantive conversation, deep knowledge.
  • Quality learning – explicit quality criteria, higher-order thinking.
  • Significance – background knowledge, exclusivity.

Key concepts

  • identity
  • autonomy
  • colonisation
  • culture
  • dispossession
  • kinship
  • land
  • cultural heritage
  • self-determination
  • social justice

Sample assessment for learning activities

  • Students are to research and present a brief profile of the following Aboriginal organisations:
    • Aboriginal Medical Service
    • Aboriginal Housing Service.
  • Students complete an empathic diary of Alinta based on the video. The diary must emphasise the leadership role of the elders and the autonomous nature of Aboriginal family clans and communities.
  • Students are able to outline the key services offered by different Aboriginal organisations.
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