Message stick - Scotty Martin 2005: Wandjina


Reproduced courtesy of australianscreen online

Resource title: Message stick – Scotty Martin 2005: Wandjina

Digital resource identfier: R9773

Resource description
This clip shows Indigenous rock paintings in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. The artist provides an explanation of Wandjina depicted in the rock paintings as well as the significance of the paintings to his culture and its history.

Stage of schooling: Lower Primary

CCE focus: Historical Perspectives


Students are provided with the opportunity to discuss and understand the long history of Aboriginal culture through rock paintings. It is important to emphasise with students that many of these paintings are considered sacred and should not be seen by members of other cultures. However, a number of Indigenous elders now feel that it is important for others to see and understand these paintings so that they can appreciate the complexity and long history of their culture.

Opportunities for Civics and Citizenship learning

‘Message stick – Scotty Martin 2005: Wandjina’ provides opportunities for students to:

  • discuss who does rock paintings and why

  • consider the importance of storytelling in Aboriginal culture

  • explore what they know about Aboriginal culture

  • reflect on issues that have impacted on Aboriginal identity.

Ideas for the classroom

  • Use the KWLH (Know, Want, Learn, How) technique with your students, centred on the topic ‘The history of Aboriginal culture’. (K – students recall what they currently know about the topic; W – students write down what they don’t know, and want to know.)

  • Ask students to share some of the comments they have made.

  • Show students the clip, then ask them to complete the remaining two sections of the KWLH (L – students identify and reflect on what they have learnt; H – students describe how they learnt the information and what other ways could they learn about Aboriginal culture.)

  • Invite students to share their comments about their learning from viewing the clip. Ask them to share their ideas about ways in which they could learn more about Aboriginal culture.