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Teacher guide 55 000 years and counting: celebrating our shared history

TLF ID M021051

This resource is a sequenced series of teaching/learning activities about the Aboriginal history of Australia before British colonisation and the shared Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal history after colonisation. Intended for teachers, the 21-page pdf focuses mainly on South Australia, is introduced by background notes, and is organised in three main sections: Early Years; Primary Years; and Middle Years. Each section contains inquiry questions, detailed teaching suggestions and lists of supporting resources. Source documents and proformas for student use are included in five appendices and reconciliation is an ongoing theme throughout the resource.

Educational details

Educational value
  • This is an excellent resource particularly for studies of humanities and social sciences (HASS), and history in the Australian curriculum. It supports both the knowledge and understanding strand and the skills strand in Foundation and years 3, 4, 5 and 10. In Foundation the Early Years section is very useful for HASS knowledge and understanding content descriptions that refer to the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Country/Place on which the school is located; how past events are commemorated; and how stories of the past can be communicated.
  • The emphasis on land in the Primary Years section is particularly relevant to a range of content descriptions in years 3, 4 and 5 HASS. Examples include content descriptions refering to the connection of Aboriginal peoples to Country (years 3 and 4) and the nature both of contact between Aboriginal peoples and others and of the colonial presence (years 4 and 5). The activities focusing on the Murray and the Coorong provide excellent support for the year 5 content description on the influence of people on the environmental characteristics of Australian places.
  • Although intended for years 6 to 9, the Middle Years section has considerable value for the Rights and freedoms (1945 - the present day) case study in year 10 history, particularly for the the content description about the background to the struggle of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples for rights and freedoms before 1965.
  • Each section supports the Skills strands in HASS and history as well as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures cross-curriculum priority.
  • The resource also provides a stimulus for student inquiry of topics relating to Country/Place and community in the past and present within the Framework of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Languages.
  • The resource's emphasis on reconciliation connects strongly with the priority's organising idea that the significant contributions of Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the present and the past are acknowledged locally, nationally and globally.
  • The resource also facilitates opportunities for development of general capabilities particularly in the elements of Intercultural Understanding in terms of respect for culture as well as exploration of personal and societal values, rights and responsibilities through the element of Ethical Understanding,
Year level

F; 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10

Other details

  • Contributor
  • Name: Education Services Australia
  • Organization: Education Services Australia
  • Description: Data manager
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
  • Copyright Holder
  • Name: Reconciliation South Australia
  • Organization: Reconciliation South Australia
  • URL:
  • Publisher
  • Name: Reconciliation South Australia
  • Organization: Reconciliation South Australia
  • Description: Publisher
  • URL:
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
Access profile
  • Unknown
Learning Resource Type
  • Online
  • © Reconciliation South Australia Inc, unless otherwise indicated. Unless otherwise indicated, this material may be used in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) licence Third-party material is explicitly excluded from the Creative Commons licence.