People, place, language and song

In this unit, People, place, language and song, concepts of place, language and song are explored as they relate to Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their cultures.

Multimodal texts used include music video clips, the picture book Nyuntu Ninti (What you Should Know) by Bob Randall and Melanie Hogan, and My Island Home by Neil Murray, illustrated by children from Papunya and Galiwinku, and with paintings by Peter Hudson.

Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu performing at St George’s Church, Brighton, May 2009. Photo by Greg Neate, CC BY 2.0

Above: Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu performing at St George’s Church, Brighton, May 2009. Photo by Greg Neate, CC BY 2.0


Australian curriculum links

The general capabilities emphasised in this unit of work are literacy, critical and creative thinking, personal and social capability and intercultural understanding. This unit addresses the cross-curriculum priority Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures.

See how this unit relates to Australian Curriculum: English content descriptions and NSW Syllabus outcomes.

Focus

This unit provides opportunities to explore the ideas that:

  • Aboriginal Australia is made up of many cultures
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are Australia's Indigenous peoples
  • language and land are important to the identity of Indigenous cultures
  • Indigenous peoples express their cultures in many ways
  • people, place, language and song are connected in many ways.

Teaching and learning activities

  1. Introduce the unit through song
  2. Connecting
  3. Expressing
  4. Creating

For the teacher

The Little Red Yellow Black Book: An introduction to Indigenous Australia (Aboriginal Studies Press, 2008) is an excellent resource. Having multiple copies available to students would be useful in this unit. There is also a website for this book with many valuable links.

Learning processes from the 8 Ways of Aboriginal Learning have been used as a guide in the writing of this unit. The website and wiki space is constantly evolving and should be investigated thoroughly before launching into its use. Symbols, for example, are specific to places and should not be used without permission.

Protocols for working and interacting with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and with the use of knowledge are important. The protocols (.pdf 165 kB) used by Oxfam Australia provide useful information.

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