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Unit 1: Frontier Wars (1780s – 1920s)

AIATSIS Education

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Frontier Wars (1780s – 1920s)

This unit re-thinks traditional narratives of Australia’s involvement in war by positioning the Frontier Wars as the first major conflict on this land. It reminds us that the Australian nation was formed through the violent displacement and destruction of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their homelands. By exploring the connection between the Frontier Wars and the creation of Australia, the tensions between Indigenous understandings of Country and colonial understandings of country emerge. This reveals the differences between Indigenous warriors fighting in the Frontier Wars and Indigenous soldiers who fought on behalf of the nation in later wars.

Download Teaching and Learning Overview (PDF, 1MB)

Learning intention

We are learning about the Indigenous warriors who fought for their Country against British colonisation during the Frontier Wars.

Success criteria

  • I can explain why Indigenous people have fought for their Country since 1788.
  • I can explain how Pemulwuy used tactics to engage in war against the British.
  • I can explain how Jandamarra used strategies to defend the land of his peoples.

Unit 1: Frontier wars and warriors 1780s – 1920s

Part 1 - Stimulus video and listening notes

Part 2 - Class/group discussion

Part 3 - Definition of key concepts

Part 4 - Frontier battles map

Part 5 - Pemulwuy perspective

Part 6 - Jandamarra investigation

Part 7 - Local case study

Teaching and learning resources

This unit has a variety of teaching resources that provide background content knowledge and multi-media learning materials.

  • Stimulus video: Frontier Wars and Warriors
  • Study notes
  • Teaching worksheets

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