A episode 10 30 th April 2013 ctivity


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Episode 10

30th April 2013


Indigenous ANZACS
Key Learning

    Students will deepen their understanding of ANZAC Day and the contribution made by Indigenous Australians in the military.

    The Australian Curriculum

    History / Historical Knowledge and Understanding / Australia as a Nation

Experiences of Australian democracy and citizenship, including the status and rights of Aboriginal people and/or Torres Strait Islanders, migrants, women, and children. (ACHHK114)

The contribution of individuals and groups, including Aboriginal people and/or Torres Strait Islanders and migrants, to the development of Australian society, for example in areas such as the economy, education, science, the arts, sport.(ACHHK116)

    History / Historical Knowledge and Understanding / Community and Remembrance

Days and weeks celebrated or commemorated in Australia (including Australia Day, ANZAC Day, Harmony Week, National Reconciliation Week, NAIDOC week and National Sorry Day) and the importance of symbols and emblems.(ACHHK063)

    Cross-curriculum priorities / Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures


  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities maintain a special connection to and responsibility for Country/Place throughout all of Australia.


  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ ways of life are uniquely expressed through ways of being, knowing, thinking and doing.

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have lived in Australia for tens of thousands of years and experiences can be viewed through historical, social and political lenses.


  • The broader Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander societies encompass a diversity of nations across Australia.

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have sophisticated family and kinship structures.

  • Australia acknowledges the significant contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people locally and globally.

    Cross-curriculum priorities / Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures

    Discussion Questions

  1. What is an ANZAC?

  2. What did Jake’s great great Uncle Rufus have to do to become an Australian soldier?

  3. How old was Rufus when he joined the war?

  4. Indigenous Australians weren’t even considered citizens of their own country. Discuss as a class what this statement means.

  5. Approximately how many Indigenous Australian men were enlisted in the First World War?

    1. 80

    2. 800

    3. 8,000

  6. How were Indigenous Australians treated by their fellow soldiers?

  7. What did Donna discover when researching for her history project on Ngarrindjeri ANZACs?

  8. How did Donna and Jake’s cousin Victor say goodbye to Rufus in a traditional way?

  9. In your own words describe the role Indigenous Australians have played in wars.

  10. Describe what ANZAC Day means to you?


Remember and Understand

  • Watch the BtN Indigenous ANZACS story and circle each of the following words as you hear them. Record any unfamiliar words.

Define these words












Ask students to write what they think is the meaning of each word (including unfamiliar words). Swap definitions with a partner and ask them to add to or change the definition. Check these against the dictionary definition.

Classroom discussion

  • R

      Indigenous Australians – Service

    Indigenous people enlisted to serve Australia as not only a duty to serve but also as part of the cultural responsibility of protecting country. They enlisted for the same reasons as their non-Indigenous fellow servicemen and servicewomen, but for many men, it was and continues to be an honourable way to re-enact traditional roles of leadership, protection and service to community.

    Indigenous servicemen and servicewomen were and continue to be involved in almost every war and peacekeeping effort of Australia. At the time of the First World War, few Aboriginal people could vote, were not counted in the Federal census and most lived in poverty. Wartime service in the armed forces provided many Indigenous Australians with a level of racial equality they had not previously known.

    Whilst many found equality in service, once back home, they experienced racism and inequality by not receiving the same entitlements as other diggers. Despite this, many became outstanding leaders.

    ead the following passage aloud to your class and then hold a group discussion.

  • Ask students to imagine what life would be like for Indigenous Australians who served Australia in the army.

Profile study – Captain Reginald Saunders

Ask students to conduct research on Captain Reginald Saunders, the first Aboriginal Australian to be commissioned as an officer in the Australian army. Refer students to the following websites for information on Captain Reginald Saunders.

  • http://www.awm.gov.au/people/302.asp

  • http://www.awm.gov.au/blog/2009/02/13/reginald-saunders/

    Research questions

  • What Aboriginal group did Reginald Saunders come from? Can you find this group on an Indigenous Language map? http://www.abc.net.au/indigenous/map/default.htm

  • What people and stories inspired Reginald Saunders to join the army?

  • Why do you think Reginald Saunders wanted to serve Australia?

  • When was Captain Reginald Saunders enlisted to the army?
  • What were his skills and what was his role when he first enlisted to the army?

  • Describe how Captain Reginald Saunders is a role model for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

Students can present their research findings as an oral presentation or using the Cube Creator publishing tool.

Visit read write think and create-your-own bio cube. http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/interactives/cube_creator/
Further investigation

Provide your students with the opportunity to further explore and connect by creating a timeline or writing a letter ‘to the editor’.

Timeline template links Persuasive writing link


What do you understand more clearly since completing these activities?

Further Investigation

Borrow a memorial box from the Australian War Memorial. The box explores the contribution made by Indigenous Australians during the First and Second World Wars. https://www.awm.gov.au/education/resources/box/3/

8 Related Research Links

Australian War Memorial – Indigenous Australian Servicemen


Australian War Memorial – Too dark for the light horse: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the defence forces.

Australian Defence Force – Indigenous Overview: A Proud History

Australian War Memorial – The ANZAC Day tradition

ABC – Gallipoli The First Day

ABC – Gallipoli The First Day: Teacher’s Guide

YouTube – ANZAC: Message Stick
Behind the News – Gallipoli Perspective

Behind the News – ANZAC Day

Behind the News – Anzac Kids


©ABC 2013

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