Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Resources

Hi Everyone, I've been collecting resources about aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander life. I've listed them below in categories such as dance, art and so on.

If you would like a copy of anything just let me know. Also, if you have anything that could be added to our collection, please send it in! 

(NB I've included a suggested age group for each resource)

Art

  • From the Australian Museum Foundation, On the Road to Yuendumu. This is a short article about women artists from the Yuendumu community in the NT. It has good black and white photos and is an easy, interesting read. Years 9-12.
  • Kimberley CEO, Kimberley Clipart A folder of designs and borders that can be readily photocopied and used for artworks, title pages, etc. Years 7-12.
Cartoons
  • Koori Mail, 29/1/14. Danny Eastwood's View depicts two Aboriginal men watching the First Fleet arrive. One of the men comments: "I've got a bad feeling about this!" It is good for subtext deconstruction in English. Years 10-12.
Culture
  • Catholic Education Archdiocese of Canberra-Goulburn, Aboriginal Support Document. This is an excellent resource for protocol, terms and definitions and important cultural aspects such as smoking ceremonies. Well worth a read. Staff.
  • Welch, James, Fools Crow. This is a great American novel. Written by a Blackfoot man, it is the story of the decline of the Blackfoot Nation after Europeans move into the Montana area of the USA. It is a hard read because of its grim inevitability but is worth the struggle. I have included it here due to its many similarities with first encounters in Australia. Years 11-12, Staff, Student Leaders.
Dance  
Film
  • Pederson, Aaron, My Brother Vinnie. Made by SBS in 2002, it is still relevant. It shows the complicated relationship between Aaron Pederson and his disabled brother Vinnie. At times the documentary is confronting and reveals the intricacies of Aboriginal family relationships as Aaron Pederson talks about family history and cares for Vinnie. It is an emotional film, especially the Darwin Cemetery scenes and the brothers' discussion of their ambivalent feelings towards their alcoholic mother. Years 10-12.
Geography
  • AIATSIS, Aboriginal Australia Map. A good sized map showing cultural and  language areas. Would be good as a wall feature. Years 7-12. (x2)
  • Tindale map of Aboriginal Tribes of Australia, 1940. Too intricate to use bar as a wall feature. At times incorrect, but it is a good source from a long time ago. Years 7-12.
    • CMA dvd, Hawkesbury –Nepean Environmental Stories
    • Our Rivers, More Than Just Water relates the story of 3 Indigenous women and their connection to local waterways,
    • Migadan is a Dharawal story about the Bargo River,
    • Biladurang and Gaaayga is a Wiradjuri creation story. These are short films with an environmental/Indigenous focus. Years 9 - 12
  • Gammage, Bill, The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines Made Australia. This is an interesting book that won the 2012 Prime Minister's Literary Award for Australian History.  It argues that Aboriginal people farmed the continent in a variety of ways, but especially through fire. Colonial painting is used as evidence that park like areas were present in Australia prior to European settlement. These were the result of fires set to create that environment as it promoted the growth of food plants and encouraged animal life. I enjoyed the book but in small doses as the writing is quite dense. Our own Goulburn area is mentioned and that section, especially about the wombats and koalas, is really good! Years 9-12, Staff. (College Library).
  • Hooton, Amanda, SMH (22/11/14), Into the Wild is about the Umpila people (Cape York, QLD) who have taken over an old cattle station. They are undertaking an environmental audit and commencing environmental tourism. Nice pictures, interesting story and bonus material online. Years 9-12.
  • WIRES newsletter. This is published quarterly and contains excellent information on Southern Tablelands flora and fauna and environmental/ecology issues. Years 7-12.
History
  • From Hot Topics 2014, Key Dates in Recent Indigenous History. This is a chronological listing of significant events from 1770-2008 that would be a good handout. Years 7-12.
  • Jennett, Christine, People and Place in Poiner & Jack, eds., Limits of Location (Sydney 2007) discusses a 19th Century Aboriginal woman's diary. It describes her life in a more positive way than is often depicted. Years 11-12 and Staff.
  • McDonald, Gaynor, Make A Light in Poiner & Jack, eds., Limits of Location (Sydney 2007) is an interesting article which discusses 19th Century Aboriginal businesses. Its premise is that things weren't as economically bad as once thought, that Aboriginal people were not passive, but were often financially successful. Years 11-12 and Staff.
  • Saunders, Kay, Mary Cockerill & Wolyer in Notorious Australian Women. This is the story of Australia's first female bushranger and a depiction of early colonial life for Tasmania's Aboriginal population. It is an engrossing read but has references to sex and violence. Years 10-12.
  • From SMH, 2/1/15, Faces of the Fallen is a short biography of WWI Aboriginal soldier William Joseph Punch from Goulburn. Years 7-10.
Music
  • Kelly, P & Karmody, K, From Little Things Big Things Grow. The Vincent Lingiari story in song lyrics. Years 7-12.
  • King, Andrew, in Music of Our Cultures  (Sydney, 2014), A History of Popular Indigenous Music. A really interesting explanation of ATSI music; it is fairly detailed and has a great bibliography, especially from Youtube. Year 10-12 and Staff.
  • King, Arthur, A History of Popular Indigenous Music is an article that emphasises the importance of music as reconciliation. Years 11-12.
  • Vibe magazine, 2014. Master Story Teller: Generation One's New Ambassador, Jeremy Donovan, talks about Catching Dreams. Jeremy is a Kuku Yalangi (north QLD) and Gunbaynngirr (north NSW) musician. The article talks about his youth and his attempts to relate to a traditional Aboriginal life. Years 7-10.
People
  • Adam Goodes - from SMH 23/1/16, Pride and Prejudice. This is an illuminating article about Adam Goodes by Nikki Barrouclough. In the interview, Goodes talks about sport, racism and his family. Years 9-12, Staff.
Picture Books
  • Calley, K and Pearson, N, Caden Walaa! It is a bilingual story (Guugu Yimithirr and English) about Yigi, beings who chase naughty children at night. There is a glossary plus colourful illustrations about life in Cape York for the Guugu Yimithirr people. Years 7-8.
  • O'Brien, May, Wunambi the Water Snake. With lovely illustrations, this book tells the story of the Wongutha people (WA) and their relationship with the giant water snake Wunambi. There is a glossary and description of Wongutha language at the back of the book. Years 7-8.
Poetry
  • (NB I have included unusual, uncommon poems by both Indigenous and non-Indigenous poets).
  • Gibini, Ruby Langford, The Missionaries. This is an intense, angry, yet hopeful poem about Ruby's people, the Bundjalung. Well worth a read. Years 10-12 and Staff.
  • Herrick, Stephen, Katoomba. A lovely poem about the importance of Indigenous place names. Its humour works. Years 7-10.
  • Oodgeroo Noonucal (Kath Walker), The Past. An important text from a great Noonucal woman (Stradbroke Island, QLD). Year 8-10.
  • Us Mob Writing, By Close of Business. This is a compilation of poems by Canberra-based Indigenous writers. The book also contains prose and photography. The themes are diverse and there is a freshness to some of the poems. Years 9-12.
Science
  • Phillips, Nicky, in SMH (14/2/15), Aboriginal Stories Describe Dramatic Sea Surge is a short article linking traditional Dharawal stories and sea level changes. Years 7-12.
  • CMA dvd, Hawkesbury –Nepean Environmental Stories
    • Our Rivers, More Than Just Water relates the story of 3 Indigenous women and their connection to local waterways
    • Migadan is a Dharawal story about the Bargo River
    • Biladurang and Gaaayga is a Wiradjuri creation story. These are short films with an environmental/Indigenous focus. Years 7 - 12
  • WIRES newsletter. This is published quarterly and contains excellent information on Southern Tablelands flora and fauna and environmental/ecology issues. Years 7-12.
  • From Explore (2014), Carrying the Message Stick, is a description of how ATSI artefacts are treated at the Australian Museum and the changing scientific perspective on them. Years 7-10.
  • Xplorer-Indigenous Science consists of simple facts and activities, including how to make a paper boomerang, astronomy, bush calendar. It is very basic. Year 7.
Short Stories
  • Povah, Frank, You Kids! Count Your Shadows! A collection of traditional short stories that are good yarns and fun to read. Years 7-8.
  • Thomas, Jared, The Healing Tree in Heiss, A & Winter, P, Macquarie Pen Anthology of Aboriginal Literature, Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 2008. Jared Thomas is a Nukunu man (Flinders Ranges, SA) and prolific author. This short story, The Healing Tree, tells the tale of Alf, an old Aboriginal man, who recalls his youth as a boxer and drinker. While it contains themes such as alcoholism, it has a wry and gentle humour. Years 9-12.
Spirituality
  • Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples: Living the Gospel of Hope. This is the Australian Church handout for ATSI Sunday 2013. It has some good background information and is easy to read. It includes a reference/teaching section for classroom activities. Years 7 - 12.
  • CMA dvd, Hawkesbury –Nepean Environmental Stories
    • Our Rivers, More Than Just Water relates the story of threeIndigenous women and their connection to local waterways
    • Migadan is a Dharawal story about the Bargo River
    • Biladurang and Gaaayga is a Wiradjuri creation story. These are short films with an environmental/Indigenous focus. Years 7 - 12
  • From The Koori Mail (30/7/14), Yaegl Ancestors Return to Country, is a short newspaper article explaining traditional burial practices and the importance of repatriation to Country. Years 7-12.
  • Robb, Lyndel, A Homeless Spirit! in Pattel-Gray, A, ed., Aboriginal Spirituality: Past, Present and Future. Robb's, (Aboriginal outreach worker and poet), article is incisive in its depiction of "homelessness" of the soul and how Christianity does not always fit Australia;s First People. Years 11-12.
  • Torres, Pat Mamanyjun, Sacred Earth and Ancestral Gifts in Tousaint, Sandy, ed., Kimberley Stories. This is a 13 page explanation of Dreaming, skin, totems and other aspects of Aboriginal beliefs in this region. The author, Pat Torres, is a West Kimberley woman of the Jugan, Yawuru, Nyul Nyul and Jabirr Jabirr lands. It is an excellent article on her immediate family's spirituality and connection to the Land. It is a long article and would be best suited for extending students or used in small excerpts. Years 10-12.
  • Yunupingu, Galarrawuy, Concepts of Land and Spirituality in Pattel-Gray, A, Ed., Aboriginal Spiritualty: Past, Present and Future. Yolngu man, Galarrawuy Yunupingu, AM, is a tribal elder and leader of the Gumatj People of NE Arnhem Land; he is also an "Australian Living National Treasure". This is a short and easy to read article suitable for SOR I and II. Years 11-12.
Sport
  • Boomerang Games is a simple resource for boomerang throwing. Years 7-8.
  • Walter, Brad, SMH (9/2/15), Making a Song and Dance: Indigenous players hope war cry will catch on. This is a short but interesting article on the NRL linking into the tradition of war cries in Aboriginal Australia.
  • Weme is a stone rolling game. Years 7-12.

Mrs Bev McGreevy

Aboriginal Contact Teacher

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