Lesson 1: Rights denied to Indigenous Australians

Lesson title: Rights Denied to Indigenous Australians
Unit topic: Aboriginal Protest Movements 1940s–1972
Area of study:   Citizenship and Aboriginal Australians
Inquiry question: What was assimilation and how was it applied to Aboriginal people?

Lesson 1 (Word document)

Lesson 1: Student response (htm page)

Outcomes targeted

M5.9 recounts some major events in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal relations
M5.10 accounts for how and why the nature of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal relations has changed
M5.14 explains the meaning, purpose and context of historical sources in order to deduce their usefulness for the purposes of an inquiry
M5.19 creates well-structured texts using evidence to describe, recount, argue, challenge and discuss increasingly complex problems and issues


Discovering Democracy Middle Secondary Units, pp 55–7, 68–70

Australian Readers Discovering Democracy Middle Secondary Collection, pp 38–9

Discovering Democracy Middle Secondary Units Assessment Resources, pp 40–2


  1. Introduction:
    1. Introduction
      Outline the topic in relation to the outcomes and inquiry questions and in relation to preceding and following lessons.

    2. Brainstorming
      As a whole class, students are to brainstorm the rights they have in society today. Teacher to promote discussion.

  2. Body:
    Groupwork activity
    1. Students read through sources A–E of Middle Secondary Units (pp 68–70) and Certificate of Exemption from p 38 of the Australian Readers Discovering Democracy Middle Secondary Collection. Discuss issues such as 'What rights are denied?' and 'What effect would this have had on Aboriginal people?' (Sources are placed on separate cardboard sheets.)

    2. Students read UN Declaration from pp 55–7 of Middle Secondary Units.

    3. Students use information from the above sources to complete the chart (adapted from p 41 of Middle Secondary Units Assessment Resources).

  3. Conclusion:
    1. Discussion
      Whole class discussion of groupwork activity based on student responses. These are then related back to the original brainstorm. How many of the original list have been affected?

    2. Close
      Teacher to close and relate to the original topic.

  4. Extension/homework:

    Teacher explanation of one of the following:  

    1. Middle Secondary Units Assessment Resources, p 42:
      'Imagine that you can argue for only one of the rights that were denied to Indigenous Australians in the past. Which right will you choose? Why is your chosen right so important?'
    2. Australian Readers Discovering Democracy Middle Secondary Collection, pp 38–9:
      Empathy task based on the writings of Ella Simon.