Classroom-ready clips from the series launching each week as the three episodes air on SBS and NITV, and covering important issues raised in the selected clips;
Year 9: Understanding the movement of people, the short- and long-term effects of colonisation;
Year 10: Exploring text and resources from the documentary and analysing historical interpretations of these documents;
Years 11 & 12: Explore British Imperialism and the Industrial Revolution and examine impacts then and now;
Reflection questions to encourage deep thinking;
Classroom activities to enrich learning;
Expert guidance on cultural protocols; and
Further resources to build more in-depth lesson plans.
We recommend you pre-screen the full-length episode before using in class. Head to SBS On Demand for personal viewing. For classroom viewing of whole episodes, please visit ClickView, or your school’s resource centre (for example Wingaru, Informit etc).
Content warning: The documentary is classified M, and the clips selected in this resource are classified PG. The clips are intended to be previewed by teachers before sharing with students.
SBS would like to advise this teaching resource may contain the images, voices and names of deceased persons, which may be distressing to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Professor and Director, Monash Indigenous Studies Centre
In February, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese told Parliament that an Australian government had yet to acknowledge the nation’s true history. The section about the nationwide killing of Indigenous people by European invaders was usually missing.
“We have all failed,” Albanese said. “Truth must fill the holes of our national memory.”
The Aboriginal people who died at the hands of the settlers should be recognised, he said. “They, too, died for their loved ones. They, too, died for their Country. We must remember them, just as we remember those who fought more recent conflicts.”
Albanese also confirmed his support for the Makarrata Commission, part of the Uluru Statement of the Heart, released in May 2017 by the First Nations National Constitutional Convention.
A Makarrata Commission would tell the truth about how Australia was colonised, including the massacres of Indigenous people that took place all over the continent.
A month after Albanese’s speech, the Victorian government announced it would hold the nation’s first truth and justice commission – to tell a more complete story of the state’s colonisation, as part of its historic treaty process.
Monash Indigenous studies historian Professor Lynette Russell AM welcomed Albanese’s statement and the Victorian initiative.
“The myth of the peaceful settlement of Australia is something we need to undo, because we talk about reconciliation in Australia, but for the most part, we like to do it without truth,” she says.
“The War Memorial represents wars between nation states, and essentially wars between equals. In lots of ways, the frontier wars are anything but a war between equals.”
Australian history classes rarely include accounts of a violent frontier, and few monuments exist that tell the story of the Indigenous people who lost their lives in a conflict sometimes called “the frontier wars”.
Although work is being done to uncover the stories of Aboriginal resistance and to document Indigenous massacres, these accounts haven’t yet entered mainstream understanding, or bipartisan acceptance.
“We need to improve the historical literacy of Australians,” Professor Russell says. “It was not a mythic, peaceful settlement. It was an invasion. It had deep ramifications for Aboriginal people, their ongoing dispossession and alienation. If we want to undo some of that, or we want to move forward as a sophisticated, reconciled nation, then we’ve got some growing up to do.”
Some historians, including Henry Reynolds, have called for the story of the frontier wars to be incorporated into the Australian War Memorial. But Professor Russell isn’t sure the memorial is the best place to tell the story.
“I think it’s a really great debate, and it’s one a mature nation could have, and it could be really fruitful,” she says. “But it has to be done against the background of what, I think, is an obscene amount of money [$500 million] being spent on the War Memorial.”
Reynolds’ research estimated that up to 3000 Europeans and at least 20,000 Aboriginal Australians lost their lives in the frontier conflicts.
More recently, Raymond Evans, of the University of Queensland, has estimated that in this “largely unpublicised guerrilla war”, 66,680 Indigenous people lost their lives in 6000 attacks by settlers and native police in Queensland alone. Queensland was the most densely populated part of Australia pre-settlement, and the “epicentre of the struggle”, he says.
He and colleague Robert Orsted Jensen arrived at this figure using methodology described here. If their estimate is correct, it would mean that the number of people who lost their lives in Queensland was more than the number of Australians who died in WWI (62,300). Evans puts the ratio of Aboriginal to settler deaths at 44:1.
“The War Memorial represents wars between nation states, and essentially wars between equals,” Professor Russell says. “In lots of ways, the frontier wars are anything but a war between equals.”
This research, which continues to expand, estimates 8391 Indigenous lives were lost in the massacres it has been able to verify, and 312 Europeans. Their sources included parliamentary papers, private journals and letters, newspaper articles, anthropological reports and Indigenous records – both oral and visual.
According to the archive, massacres were often planned events that took place in secret without witnesses. A code of silence in the immediate aftermath makes detection difficult – although survivors sometimes spoke out years later, when they believed the danger had passed.
“Should we redefine what we’re talking about, when we talk about the colonial period, as a period of war?” Professor Russell asks.
“Maybe it’s a different type of war, an undeclared war. People see their lands invaded. They see people come, stay, and take from them. Dispossession and dislocation – all follow on from that. Then it segues into the removal of children … then you remove culture and language.
“In a way, it almost dignifies them to put them in the War Memorial as though, somehow, this is equal to attempting to land on the beaches at Gallipoli.”
Not a war in the Western sense
Although Indigenous people sometimes protected their borders, had rivalries with other tribes, or conducted raiding parties, they didn’t wage war in the Western sense. “They were doing something different,” Professor Russell says.
“People often say, ‘The Maori people fought back, and Aboriginal people didn’t.’ That’s absolutely not true. We know Aboriginal people fought back.
“[But] If you read, particularly, some of the work on the frontier wars, you do start to get this idea of Aboriginal people creating skirmishes, plotting, and planning in the ways we expect Western war to proceed. They are battle-ready, and they’re working out the best strategies for this.
“Now, they might have been doing that, but my fear is, because you’ve already got in your mind the view of the noble soldier, you then ascribe that to Aboriginal people, who are retaliating against the invasion in their land on their terms, not the European terms. That makes it really quite tricky to then turn around and say, ‘Oh, look, it’s war as we recognise it.’”
During the Eumeralla Wars – a protracted conflict between the Gunditjmara people in what’s now known as Victoria’s Western District, British colonists and police, the Aboriginal resistance was regularly reported in the press, Professor Russell says.
Indigenous people “fought back in various ways. They fought back overtly. They actually, literally, attacked settlers’ huts. Particularly, if you’re a shepherd on the outskirts of a station, then you could be in a lot of trouble, but they had to be very careful in how they managed their retaliation …
“There’s also covert retaliation – retaliation that the settlers might not have even seen, including the use of sorcery and magic, to influence people.”
The siege mentality
In the mid-19th century, colonists recognised that “they were under siege”, she says. “It was commonly spoken of. It was also common for settlers to talk about the validity of Aboriginal people trying to protect the land … Trying to chase off the invaders. It was part of the general writing. People wrote it in their diaries. They wrote it in letters to the newspaper. They would say things like, ‘Who can blame them. We’ve taken this from them.’”
But by the turn of the century, this conversation about Aboriginal resistance all but vanished from public view, she says.
“I think it’s tied into the dying-race paradigm, where, suddenly, everybody thinks Aboriginal people are dying out. It smooths the pillow of the dying race … humanitarianism comes to the forefront.
“Aboriginal people are needing protection. They’re needing to be looked after, but there’s also an anticipation they will go away – as in, they’ll disappear. They will be absorbed into the wider population. They’ll become white, or they’ll die out.”
In reality, Indigenous people were herded onto protectorates, deprived of their liberty, punished for talking in their own language, and their children were taken away. “It’s out of sight, out of mind,” Professor Russell says.
She hopes that during the Victorian truth and justice commission “these stories of dispossession, and violence, and all the rest, can be captured, kept, and held in posterity. People in the future will know what happened here. To me, that’s the most important thing we really need.”
Posted Tue 1 Aug 2023 at 11:06amTuesday 1 Aug 2023 at 11:06am, updated Thu 3 Aug 2023 at 10:14amThursday 3 Aug 2023 at 10:14am
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A former childcare worker has been charged with 1,623 child abuse offences against 91 children, police have revealed.
The AFP says the offences occurred at childcare centres in Brisbane, Sydney and overseas
Police will allege all offences were against pre-pubescent girls
The AFP is “highly confident” all 87 Australian children involved have been identified
A Gold Coast man, 45, has been charged with 136 counts of rape and 110 counts of sexual intercourse with a child under 10.
An investigation involving the Australian Federal Police (AFP) as well as Queensland and New South Wales police led to the arrest of the man for offences committed in Brisbane, Sydney and overseas between 2007 and 2022.
He has been in custody in Queensland since August 2022 when the AFP arrested and charged him with two counts of making child exploitation material and one count of using a carriage service for child abuse material.
AFP Assistant Commissioner Justine Gough said the man recorded all offences on his phone and cameras and authorities are “highly confident” all children recorded in Australia have been identified.
“The process of identification took time, skill and determination,” she said.
Assistant Commissioner Gough said a search warrant was executed at a Brisbane childcare centre on August 20 last year and the man was arrested the next day.
Police seized devices at the man’s Gold Coast home that contained a large amount of child abuse material.
Assistant Commissioner Gough said the details of investigation Operation Tenterfield would be “deeply distressing” for the community.
“I am cognisant investigations like these can be re-traumatising for survivors of sexual abuse and loved ones,” she said.
The AFP alleges the abuse occurred at 10 childcare centres in Brisbane between 2007 and 2013 and also between 2018 to 2022, at an overseas location between 2013 and 2014, and at one centre in Sydney between 2014 and 2017.
Assistant Commissioner Gough said the AFP alleges that all the children offended against were pre-pubescent girls.
“We allege the 45-year-old man from the Gold Coast recorded all his alleged offending on his phone and cameras. The AFP is highly confident that all 87 Australian children who were recorded in the alleged child abuse material have been identified.
“The Australian children recorded in the alleged child abuse material have been informed of the investigation. Some of the individuals identified in the alleged child abuse material are now aged 18 years and have been informed.”
The AFP is working with an overseas law enforcement jurisdiction to determine the identity of four children who were allegedly offended against at an overseas location, Assistant Commissioner Gough said.
Within hours of the man’s initial arrest last year, further alleged child abuse material was identified on the man’s electronic devices, she said.
Children identified from thousands of images
The operation focused in part on identifying the children in the alleged child abuse material.
“In September 2022, the AFP coordinated a joint agency task force with the Queensland Police Service at the AFP led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation to review nearly 4,000 images and videos the man had allegedly created,” she said.
“The man worked at other childcare centres but the AFP is highly confident the man did not allegedly offend at those centres.
“Law enforcement has been working very closely with all the relevant childcare centres for the past year, and we thank them for their cooperation.”
Assistant Commissioner Gough said up to 35 members had been involved in Operation Tenterfield since August 2022. She said the operation was “complex” and required “highly skilled victim identification specialists”.
The operation commenced after the Queensland Police Service located alleged child abuse images and videos on the dark web in 2014.
Queensland police posted them on an international victim identification database seeking assistance from the global victim identification community.
Assistant Commissioner Gough described the alleged offending over 15 years as “chilling news”.
She said the AFP and other agencies examined about 4,000 images, but they contained few distinguishable clues for investigators to follow.
“But in August 2022, the AFP was able to trace objects identified in the background of the alleged images and videos posted on the dark web between 2013 and 2014, to a Brisbane childcare centre,” Assistant Commissioner Gough said.
“Following inquiries with the childcare centre, the AFP executed a search warrant on the 20th of August 2022 in Brisbane, and arrested the man in Brisbane’s south-western suburbs about 1am on the 21st of August.
“He was charged with making and distributing child abuse material that was allegedly posted on the dark web.”
The AFP then searched the man’s Gold Coast home and seized electronic devices allegedly containing child abuse material created by the man.
“Given there was so many alleged images and videos of children that were recorded over 15 years … on the alleged offenders devices, the process of identification took time, skill and determination.
“There is not much solace I can give parents and children who have been identified under Operation Tenterfield, but I can tell you we never gave up and we never will when it comes to protecting children.”
NSW Police will seek the alleged offender’s extradition to NSW in relation to 180 charges of child sexual abuse against 23 children.
NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Michael Fitzgerald said those charges carried life imprisonment.
“Once this man faces the AFP charges here in Queensland, we will be seeking his extradition back to New South Wales.”
The man’s case is scheduled for a mention in Brisbane Magistrates Court on August 21.
Chanel Contos speaks with TODAY after her petition to change consent education in schools went viral.
Thousands of students from across every part of Australia have spoken out about a chilling culture of normalised rape and sexual assault – as pressure grows for systemic change.
Since being overwhelmed by the response to her petition – calling for earlier and more holistic sexual education lessons – Sydneysider Chanel Contos has received more than 4000 testimonies from students in South Australia, Western Australia, Victoria, Queensland, the ACT and NSW.
Overnight, she launched a website where the disturbing accounts are beginning to be made public for the first time.
There are already more than 1500 testimonies on the website – and many of them bear eerie similarities to the vile stories that emerged from Sydney schoolsshortly after the petition first went live.
In many of the freshly-uploaded accounts, students say they were raped while unconscious at parties or woke up to being touched by someone inappropriately.
MELBOURNE SCHOOLS MENTIONED
Many of the new testimonies come from Melbourne schools, where students say there is a similar culture to the chauvinistic club-like mentality reported in some Sydney all-boys schools in the initial testimonies.
One former student at Carey Grammar School said she was 16 and at a party when she smoked her first joint and passed out on a bed.
“I thought I’d be safe as the host went to my school,” she said, recounting the incident in 2012. “Instead he came in and got into bed with me.”
She said the boy then started digitally penetrating her, and wouldn’t stop even though she repeatedly asked him to.
She said a friend of the boy entered the room and “joined in” – before spreading rumours around the school about the victim’s body.
“When I told my ex boyfriend a few years later he told me I asked for it and shouldn’t have laid down,” she said. “There’s so much wrong to this story.”
In another testimony, a former Firbank Grammar School student said she and her mates were invited to a “massive party of about 500 people” when she was in year 9.
“It was one of my first experiences drinking a lot and I was vomiting at the back of the party and going in and out of consciousness,” she said. “I don’t remember anything but the next day I found an Instagram picture of me passed out next to my vomit with a guy I don’t know with his hands up my dress.”
She said the St Kevin’s College student’s friends took pictures and posted them online.
“I reported the photo every day for a long time before it was removed and it still terrifies me that lots of people I don’t know have that photo,” she said. “I also don’t know what else was done to me that night because I don’t remember.”
‘RAPE CULTURE’ BEING EXPOSED
The disturbing accounts are just some of hundreds that have been uploaded overnight, and Ms Contos told news.com.au that thousands more will be uploaded soon.
“I’m really excited that this is reaching different states because once these stories start coming out in other parts of the country, I think we will see the same response we’ve seen in NSW,” she said.
“The more people that come forward, the more it will help the cause and it will expose the rape culture in our society.”
Private Sydney schools in particular were mentioned time and time again in the initial testimonies, and Ms Contos said she was already seeing positive signs that schools and MPs in the city were taking the petition seriously.
She is meeting with several headmasters in the schools mentioned tomorrow as well as Liberal MP for Wentworth Dave Sharma – who has thrown his support behind the campaign.
“As the response to this petition makes clear, we’ve all got to do better in educating our children, at home and in our schools,” Mr Sharma said.
PARENTS PULL STUDENTS OUT OF PRIVATE SCHOOLS
As the pressure grows for systemic change, it’s clear some parents aren’t willing to wait.
Some of those who sent their boys to Sydney private schools mentioned in the petition have spoken out, and some have reportedly sent their children to other schools.
One father of a year 9 student at Kings School in Parramatta told the Sun-Heraldelite schools cultivated a culture of entitlement and privilege, which he said leads to a lack of “sensitivity” towards others.
“They teach these kids they’re the best, they’re the chosen ones, they’re going to run Australia, they’re going to conquer the world,” he said.
The parent said he chose the private school for his son to give him a better chance, but worried he and his wife would struggle to teach the child to be empathetic towards others.
News.com.au has contacted the school for comment.
MELBOURNE SCHOOLS RESPOND
Meanwhile, Melbourne schools mentioned in the new testimonies have expressed their concern.
The body representing some of Melbourne’s most prestigious Catholic schools – including St Kevin’s College, Parade College, St Mary’s College, St Joseph’s College and St Bernard’s College – said the petition had pushed them to take action and signalled they would work with parents to address the issue.
“The powerful testimonies provided by the many young women in the online petition are disturbing and are an indictment on societal decency,” said Edmund Rice Education Australia executive director Dr Craig Wattam.
“All of us – schools, families, and the broader community – must carefully consider and revisit issues pertaining to sex education.
“More specifically, sexual consent education is required for both young men and women and we need to be providing this education in early adolescence.”
News.com.au has also reached out to Carey Grammar School for comment.
A senior teacher at one of Sydney’s most prestigious schools used his work laptop to access a stash of “depraved” child abuse images.
Cody Michael Reynolds, 37, will spend the next 18 months behind bars after being sentenced at Downing Centre Court on Tuesday, more than a year after he was stood down from a prestigious role at Moriah College in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, where parents pay about $35,000 a year.
Police arrested Reynolds following a raid of his inner city home in March 2022. Officers uncovered a cache of child abuse material on multiple devices and online storage service Megalcoud, including at least 1000 child abuse images and 50 videos.
Investigators uncovered a further 111 images and six videos on Reynolds’ iPhone in a folder hidden on the phone’s camera roll as well as nine images and two videos on his work-assigned laptop.
Cody Michael Reynolds, the former head of English at Moriah College, arrives for sentencing on child abuse material charges. Picture: Simon Bullard
Judge Phillip Mahoney told the court the material was “depraved” and showed mostly pre-pubescent males and females aged between 9-16 masturbating or performing sex acts, including with adults.
“The material included sadistic material where children are engaged in sexual activity under gunpoint,” Justice Mahoney said. “In another, a four year old was forced to put his hand on the penis of an older boy.”
The court was told Reynolds used multiple aliases to share child abuse material with users through a concealed WhatsApp application, including an explicit conversation with a user called Xavier about “playing with young boys”.
“The offender transferred videos to a like-minded user encouraging their own gratification,” Justice Mahoney said.
“He deliberately used a sophisticated method, including end-to-end inscription, to minimise detection.”
Cody Reynolds formerly served as head of English at Moriah College.
Reynolds pleaded guilty late last year to using a carriage service to transmit, publish, or promote child abuse material and using a carriage service to possess or control child abuse material.
At the time of his arrest, Reynolds was head of English at Moriah College, a coeducational Modern Jewish Orthodox private school, but was stood down by the elite school within 24-hours of his arrest at his Surry Hills home.
During sentencing, the court was told how Reynold went from being a high-flying teacher presenting his academic studies in Australia and overseas to consuming child abuse material.
“Reynolds would avoid going home to his partner and would instead sit in the storeroom of his apartment building drinking and viewing the child abuse material,” Justice Mahoney told the court.
“He used it to cope with negative emotions (…) rather than develop healthy coping mechanisms.”
Justice Mahoney said Reynolds had “done everything” to seek out rehabilitation after being charged,
Cody Reynolds used his work laptop to access a stash of ‘depraved’ child abuse images. Picture: Damian Shaw
The 37-year-old was diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder at 21 and later with PTSD following his arrest.
Reynolds “acknowledged in hindsight” the emotional harm that the offending had caused to children depicted in the videos.
The court was also told Reynolds had not met the criteria for a pedophilic disorder and co-operated with police following his arrest.
He was joined in court by his family, who had relocated to Sydney to support him.
Reynolds was sentenced to a total prison term of two years and 10 months.
But Justice Mahoney ordered that he be eligible for release from November 2024.
After that time, he will be required to pay $1000 and continue with rehabilitation treatment.