Topic 1: A contested geography

Focus question

How do Indigenous ideas of geographical and cultural boundaries compare to the non-Indigenous ways of dividing up the Australian landmass, and how does this affect and reflect cultural beliefs and identity?

Overall aim: Understanding different cultural geographies

All of us are familiar with maps, and using maps in everyday situations. Street directories, maps of shopping malls and maps of transport services all convey information and, importantly, make sense of a particular space. Maps of places and land demonstrate an understanding and knowledge of an area, and what is important to the creator of the map.

To assist our understanding of Indigenous cultures and Indigenous peoples’ ideas about the land and their relationship with the land, we need to realise that these different attitudes to the land not only predate European settlement of Australia but that they continue to exist in Australian society, even coexisting with European perspectives on land and property.


Introduction | Topic 1 | Topic 1 Investigation 1 | Topic 1 Investigation 2 | Topic 2 | Topic 2 Investigation 1 | Topic 2 Investigation 2 | Topic 2 Investigation 3 | Resources