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Outstanding (Asian) AustraliansBookmark

Learning area: Civics and Citizenship, English, History
Year level: Year 6
Country: Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam
General capability:

This learning sequence explores what is meant by the term being 'Australian'. Students research more precise definitions used when immigrants become Australian citizens and analyse contributions made by recent immigrants from across Asian nations.


Engage

  1. As a class, brainstorm the positive aspects of what it means to be an Australian. Use a shared brainstorming space such as Padlet or PrimaryPad to gather everyone's thoughts.
  2. Watch the video (below). Add any ideas you get from the statements and images in the video to your class' brainstormed list.

  3. Read the poem What It Means To Be Australian by Year 6 student Frances Grealy. You might have a few students read it aloud. Discuss whether the poem adds anything to your brainstormed list.
  4. Find a partner and discuss what each of you think it means to be an 'Australian'. Connect your ideas to your own experiences and what you've just seen and read to justify a point of view. Ask specific questions to clarify your partner's ideas and review what's expressed to arrive at either an individual or a shared definition.

Resources


Explore

When immigrants apply for citizenship, they use a number of resources (such as the website, a DVD and a booklet) provided by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Task 1 - Australian Citizenship

  1. Open the edited version of the booklet Australian Citizenship: Our Common Bond and go to the second page where you will see the Australian Citizenship Pledge. Read the pledge. Summarise the main points of the pledge.
  2. Go to page 4 focusing on 'Australia's democratic beliefs, rights and liberties'. Read through the page and add any aspects listed here that were not highlighted during the class brainstorm from the Engage activity. Do the same for pages 5-6 on Our Freedoms and Our Equalities, and page 7 for Responsibilities and privileges. Complete your own response for:
    • 'I used to think… but now I think…' about what it really means to be an Australian.

Task 2 - Australia and Me

  1. Look at the link for the Australia and Me videos from the Department of Immigration. You will find personal stories from Australian immigrants who have made lives for themselves in their new country. Choose one to watch in its entirety.
  2. Identify specific things from the video that you think are examples of being a 'good Australian'. Record these details in your notes.

Task 3 - Australian of the Year

  1. Open the link Australian of the Year Honour Roll. You can use the searches for specific countries linked in the digital content or enter your own search terms for the countries of Asia. Not everyone listed will be from these nations (many have done good work in those countries). Look for people on the Honour Roll who are Australians of Asian heritage.
  2. Read through the profiles for at least three honoured Australians on the roll.
  3. Identify specific elements from the profiles that you think illustrate examples of being a 'Good Australian'. Record these details in your notes.

Reflect

Australian of the Year Walk location in CanberraAustralian of the Year Walk

You may have visited the Australian of the Year Walk in Canberra. Along Lake Burley Griffin is a row of stone bollards, each one bearing a plaque for every Australian of the Year.

As the historian Mark McKenna notes on The Australian of the Year website, there are more than 30 blank bollards waiting for future winners.

  1. After watching the videos and reading the profiles of Asian Australians who have already contributed to our country or have been recognised on the Honour Roll, you have probably gained some new insights about the lives of these great Australians.

    When I first saw the plaques, last December, I counted at least another 40 standing beyond the one that bears the name and photograph of the 2007 Australian of the Year, Professor Tim Flannery. These blank plaques - memorials to the future - stand as if waiting for the years to pass before they can be filled in and become whole. Yet strangely they seem more intriguing than the plaques that precede them. It is possible to imagine the line of blank plaques stretching one endlessly, and their emptiness begs the question: What sort of nation will Australia become over the next few decades?

    –Mark McKenna, 'The Nation Reviewed,'The Monthly, No. 32, March 2008, 10 and 'The Australian of the Year' website.

  2. Reflect on the question posed by Mark McKenna given this positive contribution of more recent immigrants:

    What sort of nation will Australia become over the next few decades?

  3. Write a reflective paragraph exploring this question.

It is recommended that teachers preview websites to ensure they are suitable for their students prior to use in class.

Content accessed via these links is not owned or controlled by the Asia Education Foundation and is subject to the terms of use of the associated website.

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