Warning: This resource may contain references to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who may have passed away.


[Episode 25 | Before Time : Bunda]

At the creek, Bunda's father tells him and his brother to catch a fish. Each uses a different method of fishing and Bunda's method of building a small dam proves to be the most successful. Their father is annoyed that they are not working together.


The Australian curriculum: History

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The Australian Curriculum: History aims to ensure that students develop: 

  • interest in, and enjoyment of, historical study for lifelong learning and work, including their capacity and willingness to be informed and active citizens 
  • knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the past and the forces that shape societies, including Australian society 
  • understanding and use of historical concepts, such as evidence, continuity and change, cause and effect, perspectives, empathy, significance and contestability 
  • capacity to undertake historical inquiry, including skills in the analysis and use of sources, and in explanation and communication.

History activities [1]

Activity 1: An Australian inventor
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Subtheme(s): Historical events; Indigenous perspectives; Inventions and electronic media
  • As a class, view the clip and note the solutions that the brothers come up with for catching fish. The clip illustrates the education of the boys in the ways of bushcraft, bush medicine and working as a team. Ask students to list the skills, knowledge and technologies that the boys are learning to use.
  • Bunda is extremely clever and inventive. Another famous Australian inventor is David Unaipon, a Ngarrindjeri man from South Australia who features on the Australian fifty-dollar note. 
  • David Unaipon patented ten inventions in his lifetime and is credited with drawing the first sketches of the helicopter propeller based on his observations of boomerang flight. Have students investigate the inventions of David Unaipon and list them. Here are some websites to assist you with information:
  1. ABC, 'Didj "u" Know - Stories', Who is David Unaipon?, www.abc.net.au/messageclub/duknow/stories/s888637.htm
  2. State Library of New South Wales, 'Discover Collections', David Unaipon - Legendary Tales, www.sl.nsw.gov.au/discover_collections/history_nation/indigenous/unaipon/unaipon.html
  • Students could organise their notes in the 'biography wheel' provided in Student Activity Sheet H25.4: An Australian inventor, arranging their information under the following headings for David Unaipon:
  1. Inventions
  2. Indigenous rights activist
  3. Writing and poetry
  4. Legacy
  • In the centre of the wheel, students can draw a sketch of David Unaipon based on his image on the fifty-dollar note.

  • Explore David Unaipon's life, work, writings and the context of the time. Unaipon was born in 1872 and some of his significant inventions were made in the early 1900s. Reflect on the situation for Indigenous people at the time. You may want to refer to My Place for Teachers, 'Decade timeline', from the 1870s to the 1910s. 
  • As a class, discuss some of the challenges that David Unaipon faced. Consider what he might write about on a blog, the events he might discuss and who he would be talking to.
  • To explore this idea as well as other ways to embed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives in the classroom, go to Leesa Watego's slideshow presentation at: 
  1. Google Docs, 'The Critical Classroom', 5 Deadly Ways to Explore Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Perspectives of Democracy, Politics and Civics in Your Classroom,  https://docs.google.com/present/view?id=0AZZThDCu3oJRZGdrdmdjanhfNjYzZGdzdmZncHI&hl=en&authkey=CMiJjooE


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