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History Year 5: NAIDOC WEEK

Remembrance Day



Introducing this year’s NAIDOC theme: Always Was, Always Will Be

Always Was, Always Will Be recognises that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were Australia’s first explorers, first navigators, first engineers, first farmers, first botanists, first scientists,first diplomats, first astronomers and first artists.NAIDOC Week 2020 acknowledges and celebrates that our nation’s story didn’t begin with documented European contact whether in 1770 with Captain James Cook, or in 1606 with the arrival of the Dutch on the western coast of the Cape York Peninsula. The very first footprints on this continent were those belonging to First Nations people.

NAIDOC 2020 invites all Australians to embrace the true history of this country – a history which dates back thousands of generations. It’s about seeing, hearing and learning the First Nations’ 65,000-plusyear history of this country - which is Australian history.
Source: and reproduced here with permission.

Dirtsong by Black Arm Band

Books In our Library


This year's winning poster - Shape of Land - judged by the National NAIDOC Committee to illustrate the 2020 NAIDOC theme: Always Was Always Will Be.

Source:Illustrator: Tyrown Waigana, Image: NAIDOC

Tyrown Waigana is an artist and designer living in Perth, Western Australia. He has Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage, which can be traced to the Noongar people of south-west Western Australia and Saibai Island in the Torres Strait.

Cover artwork: The Rainbow Serpent came out of the Dreamtime to create this land. It is represented by the snake and it forms the shape of Australia, which symbolises how it created our lands. The colour from the Rainbow Serpent is reflected on to the figure to display our connection to the Rainbow Serpent, thus our connection to Country. The overlapping colours on the outside is the Dreamtime. The figure inside the shape of Australia is a representation of Indigenous Australians showing that this country – since the dawn of time – always was, and always will be Aboriginal land.

Inspiring First Nations Women Who have Changed Australia.

Teaching Resources - 2020 NAIDOC Week - SBS Learn

A Sydney Aboriginal personality, known as the King of the Blacks in the early days of the colony. He led an amazing life having circumnavigated Australia with Matthew Flinders.


1. Bungaree

Bungaree was from the Darkinjung people of NSW, and was one of the first officially documented
Aboriginal explorers of Australia.

  • Ask students to watch the story below:

Bungaree | SBS On Demand

  • Ask the students to take notes about Bungaree’s life.
  • In small groups brainstorm ideas on how you could develop a way to recognise Bungaree’s life and achievements.
  • For example, students could create a news report to be posted online explaining some of the interesting things they have found out or, students could write a poem in response to what they learnt about Bungaree.


David Unaipon

David Unaipon is featured on the Australian $50 note – perhaps the students have seen his face on
Australian currency.



  • Who was David Unaipon and what led him to be featured on the $50 note? Discuss possibilities as a class, and write up suggestions.
  • From a reputable source, find information about some of David Unaipon’s achievements. He made notable contributions as an advocate, as well as to literature and science.
  • Working in small groups, have students develop a way to celebrate the life and achievements of David Unaipon.

Useful resources

  • How can we learn from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples when it comes to looking after Country?
  • How do Aboriginal people listen to Country?
  • What can we learn from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples about Kinship and looking after your community?
  •  "Dr Lynette Riley (Senior Lecturer, Leader Indigenous Strategy - The University of Sydney) has developed a learning module around Kinship."
  • Click on the following link to complete the Kinship Module. Here you will learn about Aboriginal Kinship Systems.  a learning module around Kinship.
  • Watch this video on traditional burning, while considering the context of the major bushfires Australia experienced in the summer of 2019/2020. Together, identify the principles described, and make a list of traditional bushfire management practices and what they involve. Facilitate a class discussion about whether these principles can be implemented in Australia today. How could they be implemented? In the video, was this a successful initiative, and what are the plans for future implementation?
  • Have the students look up past winners of the ‘Caring for Country’ NAIDOC Awards category. Working in groups, select one recipient per group to research. Present findings on the recipient’s achievements, and why they won. Connect this award to what the students have learnt about how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have been caring for Country for more than 65,000 years and the practices employed to do this.

  • As a class investigate Lowitja O’Donoghue. What has she dedicated her life to doing? With the information students have found collectively, ask them to produce a resource for other students which tells them about Lowitja O’Donoghue.

  • In pairs ask students to research a variety of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who have worked or are working hard to make change.

  • Did you know the Mer Islanders (from the Torres Straits) decided they would be the ones to challenge the legal principle of Terra Nullius in the High Court and that Eddie Mabo would be the one to lead that action? The Mabo case ran for 10 years.

Terra Nullius is a Latin term meaning 'empty land' or 'land belonging to no one'.

What is Naidoc?

NAIDOC 2020 Always was, Always will be