Getting Things Done: Freedom Rides – Aboriginal Land Rights 1972–1990s

Topic: Aboriginal Land Rights 1972–1990s

Download as Word document 

Stage: Five

Duration: 10 hours


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

M5.11 – identifies marginalised groups who have struggled for rights and freedoms

What steps took place leading to the recognition of land rights and native title?

1 Wave Hill Strike

  1. Song and lyric analysis: 'From Little Things Big Things Grow'.
  2. Background information.

Kelly, P, Don't Start Me Talking: Lyrics 1984–1999



M5.14 – explains meaning, purpose and context of sources

M5.15 – explains different perspectives


2 Other protests

  1. Source analysis. Burnum Burnum's Declaration 26/1/88; cartoons.
  2. Role-play. Division of students into roles for role-play about mining on Aboriginal land to promote understanding of the role of stakeholders.

Parbury, N, Survival, p 130

Education Department SA, Aboriginal Land Rights, pp 53–7, 63





M5.1 – chronology

M5.2 – sequencing

M5.7 – describes social and cultural life

M5.18 – selects and uses appropriate written, oral and graphic forms for communication

M5.19 – creates well-structured texts


3 Mabo to Wik and beyond

  1. Timeline. Comparison of native title timeline with resistance timeline for similarities, differences, etc.
  2. Students are divided into groups to research one of the following topics. Results are to be presented as a two-page summary and a half-hour lesson to the class. Topics include: Mabo, Native Title Legislation, Wik, 10 Point Plan, Response of National Indigenous Working Group on Native Title.

Luker, T, Hot Topics, Number 14: Native Title, pp 24–5

Curriculum and Internet resources (see Case Study file)



M5.13 – uses historical terms and concepts

How have traditional views about Australia's history been challenged by the end of terra nullius?

4 Terra nullius

  1. Student discussion: 'What was terra nullius?' and sources-based questions.
  2. What influence does this have on traditional views of Australian history? Analysis of history textbooks over time.

Anderson & Ashton, Focus on Australian History, pp 189–92

Variety of textbooks






M5.9 – recounts some major events in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal relations

M5.14 – explains meaning, purpose and context of sources

M5.15 – explains different perspectives

M5.16 – locates, selects and organises information

Why was there a Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody?

5 Deaths in custody

  1. Cartoon analysis. Discussion about stereotypes and need for the Royal Commission.
  2. Source analysis. Students' reading and analysis of extracts from the Royal Commission. What were the recommendations of the report? How could these be best implemented?

Kennedy, G et al, Everyone Is Talking About It ..., pp 11 ff

NSW Dept of Education & Training, Aboriginal Education Policy T&D Resource, pp 65 ff