Learning Guides

Stage 2 "First Contact' 

Stage 4 'Expanding Contact'


A note from the researcher – Louise Smyth

 It has been a wonderful opportunity to engage in the research and development of these Learning Guides. The aim of these resources is to assist teachers who are charged with the important task of providing their students with an understanding of the nature of the traditional lives of our First Peoples and their contact with White Australia with confidence. This guide aims to provide insights and materials to assist teachers without a background in history to address what can be suggested as the little known history around first contact and the conflicts that occurred across Australia between those living in Australia and those coming to Australia from the 1770’s.

It is inspired by the research work of Henry Reynolds, the acclaimed historian and many others working for social justice with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. It further aims to address the nature and impact of these encounters and challenge us to question our frontier history and consider: Were there ‘wars’ between the first Australians and the Colonists? Should we ‘own’ our history and regard the key figures amongst the First Australians who fought to safeguard and preserve their people, land and cultures as heroes?

Teaching is both a rewarding and demanding profession; however, it is my experience with the increasing demands of our profession teachers can be ‘time poor’. It is hoped that the teaching and learning experiences found in ‘Owning our history’ will assist teachers in fulfilling the requirements of the NSW History syllabuses in an engaging and valid study of this significant aspect of our history.


Stage 5- Core Study Depth Study:

      Stage 5 Changing Rights and Freedoms -(Template for a guided Inquiry) 

       Download the guide

Thanks to Katrina O'Shea and the Library staff of Santa Sabina College for helping to create the template.
  • Core Study 4

       Rights and Freedoms (1945-present)

       Download the guide



Resources for the Depth Study

     Websites to assist study


Explaining the concept of 'totems'