Using This Resource

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this resource contains a range of material which may be considered culturally sensitive, including the records of people who have passed away.

This resource is aligned to the Australian Curriculum: Geography for Year 8 students. It adopts an inquiry learning approach that develops students’ skills as geographers. The resource engages students with a rich selection of sources and challenges them to draw their own conclusions about sites of significance to Aboriginal people around south-east Australia. 

Jon Rhodes (b. 1947), one of Australia’s most important documentary photographers, created the National Library’s 2007 exhibition Cage of Ghosts. The photographs exhibited showed 36 sites including examples of scarred and carved trees, bora rings, and cave paintings and rock engravings. They also mention prominent Aboriginal historical figures, linking their stories to the material evidence of habitation. Rhodes’ style focuses on using photographs as a way of storytelling—documenting change and the passing of time.

The resource gives teachers flexibility. Introductory and concluding activities are provided to focus students on broad concepts explored in Year 8 Geography. The highlight of the resource is the selection of sources from the National Library of Australia’s collection. The student activities that support the sources cater for a variety of classroom contexts and learning styles. Teachers can explore all themes, or choose specific themes to meet their teaching and learning objectives.