New lesson plans detailing the lived experiences of the Stolen Generations have been launched, together with grants to support school communities in running activities based on the new resource to increase students’ understanding about this important part of Australia’s history.
Developed by The Healing Foundation in consultation with Stolen Generations members, teachers, parents and curriculum writers, the new resources promote greater understanding about an often overlooked part of our national history in a safe and age appropriate way.
The Stolen Generations Resource Kit for Teachers and Students was officially launched on 26 March 2019 at Trangie Central School near Dubbo in regional NSW, which is one of the schools that has been involved in testing the new resources.
Including compulsory modules on the Stolen Generations in school curricula was first recommended in the landmark 1997 Bringing them Home report. The report identified education as an important part of the reparation process, with awareness of the history of child removal seen as key to preventing a repetition of such human rights violations.
The Healing Foundation’s Chair Professor Steve Larkin said sharing the truth of Australian history is an important part of healing for the thousands of children who were forcibly removed from their families between 1910 and the 1970s.
“Despite the traumatic impact that the Stolen Generations policies continue to have on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities, very little about this chapter of our history has been taught in schools – particularly from an Indigenous perspective,” said Professor Larkin.
“We hope these resources will foster greater respect and understanding of the past and influence a different relationship with our communities.”
Trangie Central School’s Deputy Principal Dimiti Trudgett said learning about the Stolen Generations encourages reconciliation for all Australians.
“As an important part of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education, it supports the healing process for those impacted both directly and indirectly by acknowledging, comprehending and correcting the past,” Ms Trudgett said.
“We have trialled a number of activities from the resource kit with our secondary students and the response has been positive. The resources are not only educational, but are genuine and engaging. Our students particularly enjoyed the video case studies and computer components.”
The Healing Foundation’s Stolen Generations Reference Group Chair Ian Hamm said the activities draw heavily on the stories, music, dance, art and writing of Stolen Generations members and their descendants and showcase the strength and resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and culture
“While the policies and suffering of the Stolen Generations is only one part of the ongoing story of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people it is an essential one to learn as part of developing a full understanding of the history of Australia,” Mr Hamm said.
The kit includes suggested lesson plans for Foundation Year through to Year 9, mapped to the Australian Curriculum, as well as professional learning tools for teachers.
Each year level includes four activities that can be taught over a day, week, month or term and align with National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week.
To mark the launch of these important new resources, The Healing Foundation is offering $700 micro grants for schools to hold events about the Stolen Generations between National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week 2019.
“We’re encouraging schools to involve local Stolen Generations members in activities relating to the resource kit between May and July. This might include storytelling, art and music about the healing journeys of Stolen Generations members and their descendants,” added Professor Larkin.
To find out more or apply, please click here.