Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander School Curricula (2022)

Indigenous Knowledge Resources for Australian School Curricula Project

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Curricula Project is a University of Melbourne initiative which aims to empower all teachers to integrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures in their teaching using these curriculum resources that incorporate Indigenous knowledge.

The project is a partnership between the Indigenous Studies Unit (Centre for Health Equity, MDHS), the Melbourne Graduate School of Education and the Indigenous Knowledge Institute.

Browse/ search by learning area

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
  • The Arts
  • Technologies
  • Health and Physical Education

Browse/ search by theme

  • Astronomy Resources
  • Fire Resources
  • Water Resources

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander School Curricula (1)This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

The development of these resources was funded through an Australian Government initiative delivered by the University of Melbourne's Indigenous Studies Unit. The resources include the views, opinions and representations of third parties, and do not represent the views of the Australian Government. They have been developed as a proof of concept to progress the inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content in Australian classrooms. In drawing on the material, users should consider the relevance and suitability to their particular circumstances and purposes.

This website provides resources for school teachers to incorporate Indigenous Knowledge in the classroom.

It contains resources for Years 3 – 10 across seven learning areas of the Australian Curriculum (English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities and Social Sciences, The Arts, Technologies and Health and Physical Education).

It assists teachers in implementing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures cross-curriculum priority from the Australian Curriculum. The resources are compatible with all State and Territory curricula.

Much of the work for this website was completed as part of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Curricula Project, funded by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. The Dara Foundation has generously funded the continuation of this project.

The resources are designed for primary and secondary school teachers and others may find the content useful and relevant to their own personal or professional education.

The project was led by Professor Marcia Langton AO, Associate Provost, Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor and Foundation Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne.

Contact the project team at indigenous-studies@unimelb.edu.au with enquiries.

  • Background
  • Languages
  • Glossary
  • Expert Panel
  • Links

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander School Curricula (2)

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

The development of these resources was funded through an Australian Government initiative delivered by the University of Melbourne's Indigenous Studies Unit. The resources include the views, opinions and representations of third parties, and do not represent the views of the Australian Government. They have been developed as a proof of concept to progress the inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content in Australian classrooms. In drawing on the material, users should consider the relevance and suitability to their particular circumstances and purposes.

The resources can be explored through the homepage’s search function, or by learning area or theme.

The resources are tagged by year level, learning area and theme to enable easy navigation.

Each resource contains background information about the topic, followed by a classroom activity and references.

The classroom activities have been designed to align to the Australian Curriculum (tailored to a specific learning area, year level and content description/s). Be sure to read it carefully (as well as the background information) to ensure it is suitable for the class' year level and learning area.

Teachers should refer to the Languages page for important information about cultural and linguistic diversity.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander School Curricula (3)

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

The development of these resources was funded through an Australian Government initiative delivered by the University of Melbourne's Indigenous Studies Unit. The resources include the views, opinions and representations of third parties, and do not represent the views of the Australian Government. They have been developed as a proof of concept to progress the inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content in Australian classrooms. In drawing on the material, users should consider the relevance and suitability to their particular circumstances and purposes.

The project used three themes to guide the creation of the resources: Astronomy, Fire and Water.

These themes were chosen due to the significant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge available, and enduring importance today.

Discover more about themes below.

  • Astronomy In Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, everything on the land is reflected in the sky.
  • Fire Aboriginal fire management is a body of ancient traditional practices and knowledge about natural systems that are still practised today in some parts of Australia.
  • Water Water is one of the necessary conditions for all forms of life, it is important to Indigenous and non-Indigenous people alike for environmental, economic and cultural purposes.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander School Curricula (4)

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

The development of these resources was funded through an Australian Government initiative delivered by the University of Melbourne's Indigenous Studies Unit. The resources include the views, opinions and representations of third parties, and do not represent the views of the Australian Government. They have been developed as a proof of concept to progress the inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content in Australian classrooms. In drawing on the material, users should consider the relevance and suitability to their particular circumstances and purposes.

The resources cover seven learning areas from the Australian Curriculum.

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
  • The Arts
  • Technologies
  • Health and Physical Education

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander School Curricula (5)

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

The development of these resources was funded through an Australian Government initiative delivered by the University of Melbourne's Indigenous Studies Unit. The resources include the views, opinions and representations of third parties, and do not represent the views of the Australian Government. They have been developed as a proof of concept to progress the inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content in Australian classrooms. In drawing on the material, users should consider the relevance and suitability to their particular circumstances and purposes.

Project Team

Professor Marcia Langton AO

Indigenous Studies Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences

Professor Marcia Langton AM is an anthropologist and geographer, and since 2000 has held the Foundation Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne. She has produced a large body of knowledge in the areas of political and legal anthropology, Indigenous agreements and engagement with the minerals industry, and Indigenous culture and art. Her role in the Empowered Communities project under contract to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and as a member of the Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians are evidence of Professor Langton's academic reputation, policy commitment and impact, alongside her role as a prominent public intellectual.

Professor Jim Watterston

Dean, Melbourne Graduate School of Education

From his first job as a teacher in a rural Indigenous classroom in his home state of Western Australia to his appointment as the Dean of the Melbourne Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne, Professor Jim Watterston brings more than 35 years of successful experience across a diverse range of educational roles and sectors.Jim spent his first ten years in the profession as a teacher before being promoted to the position of principal in a range of primary and secondary schools.

He then progressed to the role of Regional Director in WA and Victoria before he was appointed as the Deputy Secretary of the Victorian Education Department, and Director General of both the ACT and, most recently, Queensland Departments of Education and Training. Jim was awarded a Doctorate in Education at the University of WA in 2004.

Dr Kirsten Smith

Indigenous Studies Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences

Dr Kristen Smith is a medical anthropologist in the Indigenous Studies Unit. Her interdisciplinary work traverses the fields of anthropology, epidemiology, human geography, public health and health promotion.

Tahlia Eastman

Indigenous Studies Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences

Tahlia Eastman is a Research Fellow in the Indigenous Studies Unit with a background in Indigenous health policy. Tahlia has Palawa ancestry from the north-west coast of Tasmania. Tahlia is currently undertaking her PhD, focusing on the link between Aboriginal identity and youth mental health.

Dr Melitta Hogarth

Melbourne Graduate School of Education

Melitta Hogarth is a Kamilaroi woman who is the Assistant Dean Indigenous and a Senior Lecturer in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. Prior to entering academia, Melitta taught for almost 20 years in all three sectors of the Queensland education system specifically in Secondary education.

Melitta’s interests are in education, equity and social justice. Her PhD titled “Addressing the rights of Indigenous peoples in education: A critical analysis of Indigenous education policy” was awarded both the QUT and Faculty of Education Outstanding Thesis Awards and was awarded the Ray Debus Award for Doctoral Research in Education.

Dr Sophie Rudolph

Melbourne Graduate School of Education

As a non-Indigenous Australian, I have had a long-standing interest in exploring issues of social justice, diversity and equity in education and, in particular, the impact that colonial history has on present day inequalities in Australia. These interests frame my teaching and research practices.

My research includes sociological and historical examinations of education and investigates issues of curriculum, pedagogy and politics in education, policy and practice. My work is informed by critical and post-structuralist theories and aims to offer opportunities for working towards social change.

Dr Katherine Coleman

Melbourne Graduate School of Education

Kathryn Colemanis a feminist, artist, researcher and teacher who lives and works in Kulin Nation. Her work focuses on the integration of digital pedagogies and digital portfolios for sustained creative practice, assessment and warranting of evidence across education sectors.

Kate’s praxis includes taking aspects of her theoretical and practical work as a/r/tographer to consider how artists, artist-teachers and artist-students use site to create place in digital and physical practice.

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