Topic 1 Investigation 1


To begin your investigation into different perspectives on land, you will examine a political map of Australia (one which depicts the Australian States and Territories) and compare it to one that shows the cultural distribution of Indigenous peoples across the Australian continent. What you will be investigating are two different cultural geographies of Australia, which coexist and, sometimes, come into conflict.


To conduct this investigation, you can enlist the help of your whole class, or undertake a part of it yourself. For a whole class investigation do the following:

  • Divide into eight groups, one for each State and Territory, and have each group consult a political map of Australia, showing the States and Territories.
  • Next, locate the Indigenous Australia map.
  • Using an outline of the political map of Australia, shade your nominated State or Territory so that it depicts the Aboriginal cultural groups within their State or Territory. 
  •  Write a description of the distribution of the cultural groups using only the natural features and the cultural groups depicted on the map.

When you have completed your maps and descriptions, think about the limitations and/or advantages you discovered in explaining Australian geography in this way. Use the following questions to begin a discussion in your group about your discoveries.

  1. What are the features of the map?
  2. How would you describe yourself in relation to this map?
  3. In what ways do maps affect understanding of identity and belonging to place?


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