Encouraging classroom conversations: Lesson plans on the First Nations Voice to Parliament and an update to the Stolen Generation Schools Resource Kit

The Healing Foundation (THF) has developed a special resource for schools, focused on the Uluru Statement from the Heart and the upcoming Referendum on the Voice to Parliament. The newly developed resource was released on 26 May 2023, National Sorry Day.

This First Nations Voice to Parliament resource contains lesson plans for Years 10, 11 and 12. The purpose being to encourage classroom conversations on the important topic of the First Nations Voice to Parliament and the upcoming Referendum. The resource is also designed to support educators to create a culturally safe space for these conversations and for explorations around the topic to occur in classrooms.

The lesson plans form an additional resource to the Stolen Generation Schools Resource Kit. The Healing Foundation is currently updating the Stolen Generations Schools Resource Kit to align with recent changes to the national curriculum, implemented in 2023.

THF’s Stolen Generations Resource Kit for Teachers and Students was created to educate young people about the Stolen Generations. It also facilitates and makes it easy for school communities to start the conversation and inform classroom discussions using facts, real examples and stories.

Cultural consultation and guidance from Stolen Generations survivors was an essential part of this project. The Healing Foundation also worked closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous teachers, parents, early childhood specialists and curriculum writers when compiling the kit.

This teaching resource was developed to introduce students from Foundation to Year 9 to the firsthand experiences of Stolen Generations survivors. One of stories shared in the curriculum is that of Aunty Florence Onus, a descendant of the Birri-Gubba and Kairi/Bidjara clans of north-east Queensland and the fourth generation of women from her family to be forcibly removed from land, culture and family. Aunty Florence says, “There needs to be an increase in healing resources for the Stolen Generations and our families to heal from the trauma, pain and suffering that we’re still dealing with today.”

While the policies and suffering of the Stolen Generations are only one part of the ongoing story of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, they are essential for learning and teaching so students will have a full understanding of the history of Australia.

The update to the Stolen Generations Resource Kit includes an extension of lesson plans to include Years 10-12, as well as a full update of the Foundation to Year 9 lesson plans. When launched on 4 August 2023, the kit will include some exciting new additional teaching resources.

“We are really delighted to continue to build on the success of these resources in schools. Survivors want us to keep the information up-to-date and relevant and we enjoy playing our part in making this critical information about healing available to the next generation of leaders.” – THF CEO, Fiona Cornforth

The First Nations Voice to Parliament resource and the current Schools kit are available on THF website – https://healingfoundation.org.au/schools/

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