Connections to country

1. Display this painting for your students. As a class, discuss the following (using the background information as a guide):

  • This is a painting of some paintings. Why do you think the young British artist, William Westall, decided to paint this site when he came across it in 1803? Where, when, why and by whom do you think the paintings in the original picture were created?
  • William Westall’s painting shows a special place. Who might the place be special for? Why might it be special to them?
  • What makes places special to people? Can you think of some different types of special places? What are some ways people show that a place is special (e.g. painting it, naming it, visiting it, protecting it)? Are there places that are special to you?

Ask students to create a picture of a special place they are familiar with.

2. Explain to your students that different groups of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have connections to different areas and places in Australia. As a class, identify:

  • the traditional owners and/or language group/s in the area where your school is located
  • any landmarks or special places in your area that have significance for the traditional owners
  • place names (e.g. parks, streets, suburbs) in your area that indicate an Indigenous heritage.

Invite a representative of the local Indigenous community to visit your classroom to talk to the students about the traditional owners’ connections to the area.