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ACARA Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are strong, rich and diverse. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Identity is central to this priority and is intrinsically linked to living, learning Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, deep knowledge traditions and holistic world view.

A conceptual framework based on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ unique sense of Identity has been developed as a structural tool for the embedding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures within the Australian curriculum. This sense of Identity is approached through the interconnected aspects of Country/Place, People and Culture. Embracing these elements enhances all areas of the curriculum.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander priority provides opportunities for all learners to deepen their knowledge of Australia by engaging with the world’s oldest continuous living cultures. This knowledge and understanding will enrich their ability to participate positively in the ongoing development of Australia.

Organising ideas

a For each cross-curriculum priority, a set of organising ideas reflects the essential knowledge, understandings and skills for the priority. The organising ideas are embedded in the content descriptions and elaborations of each learning area as appropriate.

CodeOrganising ideas
Country/Place
OI.1 Australia has two distinct Indigenous groups, Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
OI.2 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities maintain a special connection to and responsibility for Country/Place throughout all of Australia.
OI.3 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have unique belief systems and are spiritually connected to the land, sea, sky and waterways.
Culture
OI.4 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander societies have many Language Groups.
OI.5 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ ways of life are uniquely expressed through ways of being, knowing, thinking and doing.
OI.6 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have lived in Australia for tens of thousands of years and experiences can be viewed through historical, social and political lenses.
People
OI.7 The broader Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander societies encompass a diversity of nations across Australia.
OI.8 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have sophisticated family and kinship structures.
OI.9 Australia acknowledges the significant contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people locally and globally.