All Australian Curriculum learning areas can contribute to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures cross-curriculum priority. Taken collectively, Australian Curriculum learning areas deepen students’ knowledge and understanding of Australia and the First Australians. This knowledge and understanding enriches all students’ ability to participate positively in the ongoing development of Australia.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures are included in each learning area in ways that are consistent with its content and purpose. They also make it possible to link content across learning areas, which can lead to integrated units of work.
Each learning area contributes differently to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures cross-curriculum priority and its key concepts of Country/Place, Culture and People. Australian Curriculum content descriptions and elaborations relating specifically to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures are tagged with the priority symbol. In other content descriptions and elaborations, the cross-curriculum priority can be inferred from the use of the terms ‘Identity’, ‘Country/Place’, ‘Culture’, and ‘Peoples’.
Learning areas value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures. Each one articulates appropriate and relevant aspects of the priority and how it can be incorporated in the curriculum.
In the Australian Curriculum: English, students begin to engage with the priority as they develop an awareness and appreciation of, and respect for, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander literature. This includes storytelling traditions (oral narrative) and contemporary literature. Students will learn to develop respectful, critical understandings of the social, historical and cultural contexts associated with different uses of language features and text structures including images and visual language.
Students can explore connections between representations of number and pattern and how they relate to aspects of counting and relationships of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. Students can investigate time, place, relationships and measurement concepts within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander contexts. Through the application and evaluation of statistical data, students can deepen their understanding of the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
Students will have opportunities to learn that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have longstanding scientific knowledge traditions and developed knowledge about the world by:
The diverse cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples are explored through their:
The use of primary and secondary sources, including oral histories, gives students opportunities to see events through multiple perspectives, and to empathise and ethically consider the investigation, preservation and conservation of sites of significance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
Students’ exploration of traditional and contemporary artworks by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples provides insight into the way the relationships between People, Culture and Country/Place for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples can be conveyed through the arts, their expression in living communities, and the way these build Identity.
Students will identify the interconnectedness between technologies and Identity, People, Culture and Country/Place. They will explore, understand and analyse how this intrinsic link guides Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in sustaining environments, histories, cultures and identities through / by creating appropriate and sustainable solutions.
This learning area allows students to appreciate and celebrate the beauty of the world’s oldest continuous living cultures. Students will be able to explore personal, community and group identities and so build understanding of the differences and commonalities in systems of knowledge and beliefs about Health and Physical Education. There is the capacity for making strong connections between cultures and identities and to engage with and appreciate the lived experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. Students can learn about the richness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander modes of communication and ways of living and being, and develop appreciation and understanding of uniquely Australian connections between People and Country/Place. They can explore the importance of family and kinship structures for maintaining and promoting health, safety and wellbeing within their community and the wider community. Students can also be given the opportunity to participate in physical activities and cultural practices such as traditional and contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander games.
The Framework for Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait Islander Languages provides a direct way of learning about and engaging with diverse Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures are an integral part of learning Aboriginal languages and Torres Strait Islander languages as there is an inseparable connection between the languages and land, sea, sky and waterways. Through learning a framework language, all students gain access to knowledge and understanding of Australia that can only come from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander perspective.
For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, learning their own language can have a significant influence on their overall learning and achievements. It can foster a strong sense of identity, pride and self-esteem and enables students to develop a wider recognition and understanding of their culture, Country/Place and People. This then contributes to their wellbeing.
In all other language learning, there is scope for making interlinguistic and intercultural comparisons across languages to develop understanding of concepts related to the linguistic landscape of Australia and to the concepts of language and culture in general.
The exploration of concepts of self-identity provide opportunities to develop understanding of the distinctive sense of identity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. This can lead to an understanding of how identity is strongly linked to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ unique belief systems and their spiritual connection to the land, sea, sky and waterways. The curriculum can demonstrate the influence these have on relationships within the world of work through the Australian Curriculum: Work Studies.